Fascinating, individualistic orchestral recordings by Kitschin
Obert-Thorn transfers of this almost-unknown conductor demand your attention!
Alexander Kitschin, conductor
Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn
Notes on the recording:
Virtually nothing is known about conductor Alexander Kitschin, save for the fact that he was married to soprano Xenia Belmas (1889 - 1981), emigrated with her from the Soviet Union to Germany in 1921, and moved to South Africa with her in 1938. He accompanied her on a number of opera aria recordings made for Grammophon/Polydor in the late 1920s – and these three lone orchestral recordings. Kitschin’s interpretations appear to be in the tradition of such other colorful, highly individualistic Russian-born interpreters as Coates and Golovanov; and from the evidence presented here, he was clearly in their league.
The sources for the transfers presented here were German Polydor pressings. The cuts in the finale of the Tchaikovsky Fifth were not dictated by 78 rpm side lengths; indeed, the symphony ran to eleven sides, and a violin solo was added to fill out the album. The original discs were credited to “The Opera-Orchestra, Berlin”. WERM claims this is the Berlin-Charlottenburg Opera Orchestra, but the horn player in the second movement appears to be the same one featured in Leo Blech’s Berlin State Opera Orchestra recording of two years later (Pristine Audio PASC 181), albeit without the cracked note that mars his solo there.
Mark Obert-Thorn, reissue producer