This week, we release the first in a series that has been much-requested from collectors over the years: Eugene Ormandy’s early recordings with the Philadelphia Orchestra. These are not their legendary, oft-reissued collaborations with such stellar soloists as Rachmaninov, Kreisler, Heifetz, Feuermann, Rubinstein, Flagstad and Melchior, however. Those have hardly ever been out of the catalog since they were first recorded. What we will present over what is planned to be five volumes are all of Ormandy’s purely orchestral records for the Victor and World’s Greatest Music labels from the period 1936 through 1942.
Ormandy conducted for so long (his last recording was made in 1982) and recorded so much that we tend to take him for granted, thinking we know what to expect in an Ormandy interpretation. But these early recordings, made when the conductor hovering around the age of 40, show a different side to him – more volatile and exciting than he was to become later in his career. And so, in honor of his 120th birthday on Monday, November 18th, we are proud to re-introduce Eugene Ormandy, with the Philadelphia Orchestra in their early years together.