Bruno Walter was just one of many guest conductors to take the podium in Radio City, New York and lead the NBC Symphony Orchestra, but he was certainly among the most illustrious.
This week's release draws mainly on his final appearance with this orchestra in his second series, which took place on 9 March 1940. Of greatest interest here is the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, of which this is the only known recording made by Walter in his extensive studio and podium career. The release also features two other symphonies of which these are the only live recordings: Schubert's Symphony No. 5 and Bruckner's Symphony No. 4
The album begins with a pair of Mozart minuets and his Three German Dances, and is the first in a proposed series drawn from these exceptionally well-preserved sources. Sound quality is exceptional almost throughout the two-disc set, making this essential listening for anyone with a passion for this music and its brilliant conductor.