Conductor(s):
Genre(s):
Concerto; Orchestral
Period(s):
20th Century; Classical (1750-1830); Romantic
Label:
Orfeo
Catalogue No:
C774083D
Barcode:
4011790774329
Release Date:
07/2018
Available Format(s):
CD

Salzburger Orchesterkonzerte 1957

Many of the legendary opera performances and concerts that George Szell conducted in Salzburg are documented on the Orfeo label. To these, we may now add two live recordings of concerts dating from 1957. In the first of them, he is heard with the Berlin Philharmonic, which the Festival’s new artistic director, Herbert von Karajan, had just introduced to Salzburg as its second great symphony orchestra alongside the Vienna Philharmonic. Szell had first conducted the Berlin Philharmonic four decades earlier in Berlin. In 1957 he was originally scheduled to give only one concert with the orchestra at the Mozarteum: an all-Mozart programme comprising the relatively little-known Symphony in A major K 201, the Piano Concerto in C major K 503, with the then twenty-nine-year-old Leon Fleisher making his Salzburg Festival début, his precocious mellowness ideally blending with the astonishingly filigree Mozart style of Szell and the Berlin Philharmonic, and, finally, the famous G minor Symphony K 550. And that should have been that, except that barely a week later Szell was asked to step in at the last minute and rescue a concert in the old Festspielhaus. He conducted the concert without a rehearsal and from memory, beginning with a tempestuously ebullient account of Debussy’s La mer, followed by an extremely delicate, yet never saccharine, reading of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor op. 64, with Nathan Milstein as the soloist. Reversing the planned order of pieces, Szell and the Berlin Philharmonic ended the concert with an acclaimed performance of Beethoven’s Third Symphony, the „Eroica“. Even in the present recording, the listener cannot fail to be astonished by the way in which, through his choice of tempos and through his accents and climaxes, Szell never gives the impression that in spontaneously taking over the concert he had limited himself to only the most basic essentials or, alternatively, that he had taken too great a risk by insisting on his own personal interpretation. Thanks to his wonted precision and perfection but thanks, too, to the unmistakable originality of his imprint as a conductor, the present archival recording affords yet further proof of George Szell’s exceptional status among the leading conductors of the 20th century.


Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201
1.     I. Allegro moderato
08:05
2.     II. Andante
06:15
3.     III. Menuetto
03:17
4.     IV. Allegro con spirito
05:04
Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503
5.     I. Allegro maestoso
14:01
6.     II. Andante
07:20
7.     III. Allegretto
08:18
Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550
8.     I. Molto allegro
08:18
9.     II. Andante
07:38
10.     III. Menuetto: Allegretto
04:32
11.     IV. Allegro assai
04:54

Disc 2

Debussy, Claude

La mer
1.     No. 1. De l'aube à midi sur la mer
08:23
2.     No. 2. Jeux de vagues
06:17
3.     No. 3. Dialogue du vent et de la mer
07:44

Mendelssohn, Felix

Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64, MWV O14
4.     I. Allegro molto appassionato -
11:24
5.     II. Andante -
07:37
6.     II. Allegretto non troppo - III. Allegro molto vivace
06:44

Disc 3

Beethoven, Ludwig van

Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55, "Eroica"
1.     I. Allegro con brio
15:11
2.     II. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
16:20
3.     III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
05:48
4.     IV. Finale: Allegro molto
12:20

Total Playing Time: 02:55:30