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"Fabien Sevitzky and the 14-year- old Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra paid their first visit to New York and Carnegie Hall last night. A big audience heard them in an effective program. This orchestra is a well disciplined and able body of men. It numbers eighty-five ... The orchestra is well balanced and coordinated in its elements and it is capable of highly dramatic interpretation"
- New York Times, 1944
Fabien Sevitzky was born in Vishny Volochyok, Russia on 29 September 1891 (not 1893, as other sources list). A nephew of Serge Koussevitzky’s, his original last name was the same, but later shortened at his uncle’s request to avoid confusion. Like him, Sevitzky took up the double bass in order to win a conservatory scholarship. After playing in orchestras in Russia and Poland, Sevitzky joined Stokowski’s Philadelphia Orchestra in 1923. Two years later, he organized members of the ensemble’s string section into the Philadelphia Chamber String Simfonietta. (Their complete recordings have been reissued on Pristine PASC 375.) He left the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1930, although he continued to conduct the chamber ensemble until 1941.
Sevitzky was appointed conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1937, a post he held until 1955. Between 1941 and 1946, Sevitzky and the Indianapolis Symphony made a series of 78 rpm recordings for RCA Victor. His final recordings were made for Capitol LPs in 1953. The present program is the first in a series which aims to reissue them all, some for the first time since their initial release. None of them have ever received an “official” CD reissue.
TCHAIKOVSKY Manfred Symphony
TCHAIKOVSKY Eugene Onegin - Waltz
GLINKA Russlan and Ludmilla - Overture
LIADOV Baba Yaga
Fabien Sevitzky conductor
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Studio recordings, 1941-46
PASC479 (79:00 - 1CD)
"Throughout the performance, Beecham emphasizes the suave grandeur Mozart controls in this, his largest symphonic structure in his oeuvre at the time. The virtuoso syncopations of the last movement move with a lithe suppleness that makes this rendition a worthy companion to Beecham’s commercial endeavor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra."
- Audiophile Audition on Vol. 3
The final installment of Beecham's four-concert stint at the nascent ABC radio in April 1945 brings us a full Haydn symphony coupled with shorter works by Mozart, Haydn and Berlioz. Once again Beecham demonstrates his brilliance in taking a hastily-assembled orchestra on and producing musical excellence!
"What is truly memorable is the intensity Beecham gets from his players in Siegfried's Funeral March, the Schubert, the Elegy from Tchaikovsky's Serenade and Sibelius's Death of Mélisande."
- The Sunday Times on Vol. 2
Now the series is complete, you can order the full set of four volumes in FLAC download or audio CD format and save 10% on individual prices!
"In New York for concerts with the Rochester Philharmonic during the first week of April 1945, Beecham conducted a Blue Network afternoon broadcast on April 7, and this is the result ... a wonderfully entertaining album"
- Fanfare magazine on Vol. 1
MOZART The impresario - Overture
SAINT-SAËNS Omphale's Spinning Wheel
HAYDN Symphony No. 102
BERLIOZ Royal Hunt and Storm
BERLIOZ Hungarian March
Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor
Blue Network Symphony Orchestra
Live broadcast recording, 1946
PASC480 (53:37 - 1CD)
"Birgit Nilsson filled the Metropolitan Opera House last night with the glory of the finest Isolde since the unforgettable days of Kirsten Flagstad two decades ago. In her New York debut the Swedish soprano assumed one of the most demanding roles in the repertory and charged it with power and exaltation. With a voice of extraordinary size, suppleness and brilliance, she dominated the stage and the performance. Isolde's fury and Isolde's passion were as consuming as cataclysms of nature."
- New York Times, front page, 19 December 1959
STOP PRESS! Birgit Nilsson's all-conquering New York debut on 18 December 1959 in the role of Isolde literally made front page news, so great was the response to her stellar performance. It was a role she would come to call her own. Three weeks later that same production, conducted by Karl Böhm - also indelibly linked to Wagner's Tristan und Isolde - featured in a live matinee broadcast performance from the Metropolitan Opera.
"Her soprano has apparently limitless reserves of tone. In a range well over two octaves, no note loses its quality, and high C's emerge with stunning impact."
- New York Times
This release, drawn from two excellent source recordings and XR remastered for Pristine by Andrew Rose, brings you the full impact of Wagner's drama and Nilsson's game-changing performance in superb sound quality.
"In recent years Wagner's music-dramas have had few performances at the Met. Cassandras declared that Wagner was finished. He is far from finished. There is nothing wrong with him that a sovereign singer like Miss Nilsson will not help to cure."
- New York Times
Tristan - Ramon Vinay
Isolde - Birgit Nilsson
Orchestra & Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera
Karl Böhm, conductor
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