ARTUR RODZIŃSKI and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Complete Recordings (1947/52) - PASC569

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ARTUR RODZIŃSKI and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Complete Recordings (1947/52) - PASC569

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Overview

R. STRAUSS  Also Sprach Zarathustra
WAGNER  Tristan und Isolde – excerpts
MENDELSSOHN  “Scottish” Symphony
KHACHATURIAN  Gayaneh Suite
plus:  the complete Remington recordings:
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 1
BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No. 3

Studio recordings, 1947/52
Total duration:  2hr 14:57 

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Tonkünstler Orchester

conducted by Artur Rodziński

This set contains the following albums:

On October 9th, 1947, Artur Rodziński led his inaugural concert as the fourth music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Three months later, the ensemble’s board of directors announced that he would not be re-engaged for the following season due to disputes over cost and artistic control issues. His one season, however, was a marked success with both critics and audiences, and resulted in a handful of memorable recordings. This release assembles all of them on CD together for the first time, and adds the not inconsequential bonus of his complete recordings for the Remington label.

By the time he assumed leadership of the Chicago Symphony, Rodziński (1892 – 1958) had enjoyed a charmed career. After being Stokowski’s assistant in Philadelphia (1925-29), he took on the directorship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1929-33), then succeeded Nikolai Sokoloff in Cleveland (1933-43). Rodziński developed a reputation as an orchestra builder that led to his being tapped to select and train the fledgling NBC Symphony in preparation for Toscanini’s arrival in late 1937.

Upon the death of longtime director Frederick Stock in 1942, the Chicago board first turned to Rodziński to see if he was interested in leaving Cleveland for the Windy City; but before they made a concrete offer, he was snatched up by the New York Philharmonic to replace Barbirolli, beginning in 1943. When the CSO’s second-choice pick, Désiré Defauw, proved disappointing, the board turned again to Rodziński. By that time, the conductor had run into clashes with the Philharmonic’s management that were to lead to his departure for Chicago at the end of the 1946-47 season.

Almost immediately, Rodziński was at odds with the head of the CSO’s board, steel magnate Edward Ryerson, who was also a principal contributor to the orchestra’s finances. The conductor announced an ambitious schedule which featured several opera performances, including a Tristan which would mark Kirsten Flagstad’s first U.S. appearance after the end of the war. He also floated the idea of moving the ensemble’s concerts from Orchestra Hall to the superior acoustics of the Auditorium of Roosevelt College, which was a non-starter to the board. His efforts to replace some players in the orchestra ran into Ryerson’s personal veto.

The situation came to a head in January, 1948, when Rodziński had to bow out of a performance for health reasons. The following day, the board announced that his contract would not be renewed. The conductor served out his remaining time there with support from the press and the public; but he was never again to be named music director of any organization.

He left behind a handful of recordings for RCA Victor, made over just three sessions in the fall of 1947. (There might have been more, save for the second Petrillo Ban which sidelined recording activity in the U.S. for nearly all of 1948.) Principal among these was his only recording of Also Sprach Zarathustra, and the Tristan Prelude and Liebestod, the latter recorded immediately after his much-lauded complete performance. The opera had a particular place in the conductor’s heart. On his deathbed, he told his wife, “I might not have done it as well as others have in my lifetime, but no one has ever loved it more than I have.”

After leaving Chicago, Rodziński made Europe his base of operations. In 1952, he signed with the U.S. budget label, Remington Records; but the fruit of this agreement was only a single LP, credited to the “Austrian Symphony Orchestra” under the direction of “Conductor X”. The original LP notes suggested that the obfuscation was necessary because the maestro involved had forgotten a prior contractual commitment that precluded his appearance on another label; but the real story is that American Federation of Musicians head James Petrillo threatened a boycott on further Rodziński performances in the U.S. if the record were issued. To avoid the problem, the compromise was to issue the disc anonymously.

Mark Obert-Thorn

ARTUR RODZIŃSKI and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Complete Recordings


CD 1 (64:28)

WAGNER Tristan und Isolde
1. Prelude to Act 1 (10:29)
2. Liebestod (Act 3) (6:08)
Recorded 13 December 1947 in Symphony Hall, Chicago
Matrices: D7-RC-6895/8 ∙ RCA Victor 12-0404/5 in album M-1230

3. Prelude to Act 3 (4:18)
Recorded 17 November 1947 in Symphony Hall, Chicago
Matrix: D7-RC-6868 ∙ RCA Victor 12-0552 in album M-1258


R. STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30
4. Einleitung (Introduction) (2:08)
5. Von den Hinterweltlern (Of the Backworldsmen) (3:11)
6. Von der großen Sehnsucht (Of the Great Longing) (1:41)
7. Von den Freuden und Leidenschaften (Of Joys and Passions) (1:48)
8. Das Grablied (The Song of the Grave) (1:54)
9. Von der Wissenschaft (Of Science) (4:20)
10. Der Genesende (The Convalescent) (4:41)
11. Das Tanzlied (The Dance Song) (6:40)
12. Das Nachtwanderlied (Song of the Night Wanderer) (3:49)
John Weicher, solo violin

Recorded 17 November and 13 December 1947 in Symphony Hall, Chicago
Matrices: D7-RC-6859/67 ∙ RCA Victor 12-0548/52 in album M-1258


KHACHATURIAN Gayaneh – Suite
13. Dance of Aysha (4:02)
14. Dance of the Rose Maidens (2:19)
15. Lullaby (4:37)
16. Sabre Dance (2:18)
Recorded 18 November and 13 December 1947 in Symphony Hall, Chicago
Matrices: D7-RC-6877/80 ∙ RCA Victor 12-0255/6 in album M-1212


CD 2 (70:34)

MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 “Scottish”
1. 1st Mvt. – Andante con moto – Allegro un poco agitato (12:47)
2. 2nd Mvt. – Vivace non troppo (4:02)
3. 3rd Mvt. – Adagio (8:34)
4. 4th Mvt. – Allegro vivacissimo – Allegro maestoso assai (8:21)
Recorded 18 November and 13 December 1947 in Symphony Hall, Chicago
Matrices: D7-RC-6869/76 ∙ RCA Victor 12-0740/3 in album M-1285


Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Artur Rodziński
conductor


BONUS TRACKS: The Complete Remington Recordings

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21
5. 1st Mvt. – Adagio molto – Allegro con brio (7:14)
6. 2nd Mvt. – Andante cantabile con moto (6:52)
7. 3rd Mvt. – Menuetto: Allegro molto e vivace (3:25)
8. 4th Mvt. – Adagio – Allegro molto e vivace (5:41)
Recorded 7 – 9 March 1952 in the Schubert-Saal, Konzerthaus, Vienna
First issued on Remington R-199-156


9. BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72a (13:35)
Recorded 7 – 9 March 1952 in the Schubert-Saal, Konzerthaus, Vienna
First issued on Remington R-199-156

Tonkünstler Orchester
Artur Rodziński
conductor


Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn
Special thanks to Nathan Brown, Frederick P. Fellers and Charles Niss for providing source material
Cover artwork based on a photograph of Artur Rodziński

Total duration:  2hr 14:57