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This set contains the following albums:
For this final volume in our series of Fabien Sevitzky’s complete recordings with the Indianapolis Symphony, we present a program largely devoted to dance music (three ballet suites, a minuet and two waltzes). None of the works have ever received an “official” CD release, and the Kreisler, Sgambati, Weber and Strauss pieces never even appeared on LP.
Our program begins with two works featuring Romantic era composers dabbling in the forms of earlier times. Fritz Kreisler wrote a number of pieces for violin in Baroque and early Classical styles, ascribing them to then little-known composers such as Gaetano Pugnani. When his hoax was revealed in 1935, some critics who had been taken in were apoplectic. Nonetheless, some of the pieces have stayed in the repertoire, including his 1905 Praeludium and Allegro, which Sevitzky transcribed for full orchestra in much the same “big band” manner that his conducting contemporaries like Stokowski, Henry Wood and Barbirolli were then using to orchestrate Bach, Handel and Purcell.
Giovanni Sgambati wrote his Vecchio Minuetto in 1885 for solo piano, looking back to the 18th Century dance that Haydn and Mozart incorporated into many of their orchestral works. Appropriately, Sevitzky’s performance was originally issued as the filler side to his recording of Haydn’s Symphony No. 73 (reissued on Pristine PASC 650). Both this and the next work, a Weber waltz, were orchestrated by Russian-American composer Arcady Dubensky, who in the latter case took Weber’s original piano solo in B-flat and transcribed it in D. Sevitzky recorded several of Dubensky’s compositions, both with the Indianapolis Symphony (PASC 509) and earlier with his Philadelphia Chamber String Simfonietta (PASC 375).
Could it be a coincidence that the only Johann Strauss waltz that Sevitzky ever recorded, Frühlingsstimmen, was also one of only two that his more famous uncle Serge Koussevitzky had set down 13 years earlier for the same label? In the event, Sevitzky proves himself to be an entirely idiomatic interpreter, even though he had to drop a repeated phrase and speed up a bit toward the end to get his reading to fit onto one 78 rpm side. It is a performance to make one wish he had recorded more of this repertoire.
The two Delibes ballet suites were recorded at Sevitzky’s last session for Victor in 1946, although they were kept “in the can” for three years before being issued. In transferring these from their original LP issue (LM-1032, released in 1950), I was surprised to find that the “Czardas” from Coppélia had been moved to the beginning of the Sylvia Suite. Evidently, no one noticed the mistake, and it was never corrected during the disc’s relatively brief life in the catalog before it was replaced by a Monteux/Boston LP featuring the same suites in a somewhat different selection and ordering of excerpts. (Its position has been corrected here.)
The Khachaturian was one of only two LPs Sevitzky taped for Capitol at his final recording sessions in 1953. Two years later, he left the Indianapolis Symphony to teach at the University of Miami and guest conduct internationally. During one such appearance, he died in Athens in 1967.
According to the Sevitzky/Indianapolis discography compiled by Frederick P. Fellers, of the 43 titles which Sevitzky recorded with the Indianapolis Symphony, no fewer than 12 were never issued. Most of these works were by American composers, whom Sevitzky particularly championed by including one on every program he conducted; but there were others by Bach, Berlioz, Mozart and Verdi which were bypassed for release, as well. It is hoped that someday, these will join the works on the six CDs of the present series, and expand the known performances of this dynamic conductor.
SEVITZKY and the Indianapolis Symphony, Volume 6
KREISLER (orch. Sevitzky) Praeludium and Allegro (in the Style of
Recorded 27 January 1942 ∙ Matrices: CS 071328-1 & 071329-2 ∙ First issued on Victor 11-8439
2. SGAMBATI (orch. Dubensky) Vecchio Minuetto (4:41)
Recorded 9 February 1945 ∙ Matrix: D5-RC-825-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 12-0954 in album M-1312
3. WEBER (orch. Dubensky) Waltz (No. 5 from Favoritenwalzer)
Recorded 8 January 1941 ∙ Matrix: CS 057596-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 11-8609
4. J. STRAUSS II Voices of Spring (Frühlingsstimmen) – Waltz, Op. 410 (5:01)
Recorded 8 January 1941 ∙ Matrix: CS 057590-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 11-8609
DELIBES Coppélia – Suite
5. Thème slave varié (5:07)
6. Danse fête (1:21)
7. Valse des heures (3:33)
8. Nocturne (3:09)
9. Danse des automates et Valse (4:55)
10. Czardas (3:28)
Recorded 20 March 1946 ∙ Matrices: D6-RC-5260-2A, 5261-1, 5262-1A, 5263-1A, 5264-2A & 5265-1 ∙ First issued on RCA Victor 12-0909/11 in album M-1305
11. Prélude et Les Chasseresses (4:30)
12. Intermezzo et Valse lente (2:53)
13. Pizzicati (1:48)
14. Cortège de Bacchus (5:19)
Recorded 20 March 1946 ∙ Matrices: D6-RC-5266-2, 5267-2A, 5268-1 & 5269-1 ∙ First issued on RCA Victor 12-0912/13 in album M-1305
KHACHATURIAN Masquerade – Suite
15. Waltz (4:12)
16. Nocturne (4:18)
17. Mazurka (2:18)
18. Romance (3:27)
19. Galop (2:41)
Recorded 22-23 January 1953 ∙ First issued on Capitol P-8223
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra ∙ Fabien Sevitzky
Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn
Special thanks to Nathan Brown, Frederick P. Fellers and Charles Niss for providing source material
All works recorded in the Murat Theatre, Indianapolis, Indiana
Total Timing: 71:43