Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bruno Walter, New York Philharmonic
"Mozart: Symphony no. 39" (Vinyl)

Maestro Bruno Walter is a very important figure for classical musicians.  He represents a very seldom seen bridge between the last seminal generation of classical music (Mahler) and our own.

German-born to Jewish parents, Walter was a protege of Gustav Mahler and actually gave the world-premieres of 'Das Leid von de Erde' and his 'Symphony no. 9' which both have been added to the canon of symphonic literature.

What makes Bruno Walter unique is that his first-hand knowledge and experience with Mahler was captured on recordings with the New York Philharmonic, the Columbia Symphony Orchestra and others.  The generation of conductors that followed him, (Szell, Ormandy, etc.) would not share the same familiarity with the composers whose music they conducted.

This recording, a Columbia six-eye, is one made late in Walter's life with the New York Phil (listed as the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York) which has drawn some criticism for not being as vital as his earlier recordings of the same work, but considering how one might only find these recordings on 78 rpm discs, I think we shouldn't quibble.

No comments: