ORMANDY Complete Minneapolis Symphony, Vol. 2 (1934) - PASC667

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ORMANDY Complete Minneapolis Symphony, Vol. 2 (1934) - PASC667

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MOZART Le Nozze di Figaro - Overture
MOZART Eight German Dances
SCHUMANN Symphony No. 4
SMETANA Three Dances from The Bartered Bride
DELIBES Music from Sylvia & La Source
KREISLER Kreiserliana
SCHOENBERG Verklärte Nacht
music by Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Dvořák, Drigo

Studio recordings, 1934
Total duration: 2hr 32:37

Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Eugene Ormandy

This set contains the following albums:

This volume is the second in a series presenting the complete recordings of Eugene Ormandy and the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (now the Minnesota Orchestra) that were issued on 78 rpm discs, originally made for the Victor label in 1934 and 1935 and never before re-released in their entirety. It includes many disc premières, including the Schoenberg work featured in the present release.

Our second volume, rounding out his 1934 sessions, begins as the first one did with Mozart. While Ormandy’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik presented earlier was found by some critics to be somewhat brusque and aggressive, the overture to Le nozze di Figaro here is appropriately effervescent, and his sequence of German Dances idiomatically charming and characterful.

During his long career, Ormandy made only two Schumann symphony recordings – the Fourth presented here, and the Second which he recorded in Philadelphia three years later (Pristine PASC 578). The Fourth has a single-minded forward momentum which contrasts with the languid arrangement of the composer’s Träumerei which follows it. With the Smetana and Dvořák works, we enter prime repertoire for this Middle European-born conductor; and the Minneapolis players convey the music’s infectious high spirits with impressive ensemble.

Another composer central to Ormandy was Tchaikovsky, and the Andante cantabile from his first string quartet was a favorite encore which the conductor went on to record twice more in Philadelphia. Italian-born Riccardo Drigo spent much of his career in St. Petersburg during the same period that Tchaikovsky was active, composing and conducting his own ballet scores, from which the once-popular Valse bluette derives. This is the only work of his that Ormandy recorded.

The ballet thread continues with excerpts from two Delibes’ scores. While Ormandy would go on to revisit the Sylvia excerpts on disc with the Philadelphia, this was his only recording of music from the lesser-known La Source. The famous Pizzicato Polka by the Strauss brothers was another favorite Ormandy encore on disc, and serves as a bridge between Delibes’ “Pizzicato” in Sylvia and the Viennese works which follow.

As a violinist himself, Ormandy was particularly suited to appreciate the compositions of Fritz Kreisler, and he orchestrated several of the most popular ones for an album whose name cheekily alluded to Schumann’s famous piano suite. Presented here is the only recording he made of the grouping, although he did later return to Liebesfreud on disc with the Philadelphia in a different arrangement.

Although active in Vienna at the same time as Kreisler, one could hardly think of a composer more distant from him in style than the rigorous dodecaphonian, Arnold Schoenberg. Yet, his early works like Gurrelieder and Verklärte Nacht were the apotheosis of the high Romanticism initiated by Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. While Verklärte Nacht had been recorded once before in its original chamber music guise, Ormandy’s Minneapolis set was the first issued version of the string orchestra arrangement. He would go on to re-record it once more in Philadelphia in 1950, with both performances marked by expansive tempi.

Our program concludes with Ravel’s Alborada del Gracioso, in which the Minneapolitans play like a virtuoso orchestra, with stunning precision and high energy, led by a 34-year-old who was clearly destined for a highly successful career.

Mark Obert-Thorn

Eugene Ormandy and the Minneapolis Symphony  Complete Recordings ∙ Volume 2

CD 1 (75:50)

1. MOZART Le nozze di Figaro, K. 492 – Overture (3:56)
Recorded 23 January 1934 ∙ Matrix: CVE 81581-1A ∙ First issued on Victor 8458 in album M-238

MOZART Eight German Dances
2. K. 600, No. 1 in C major – Im Ländler Tempo (1:38)
3. K. 600, No. 2 in F major – Poco più moderato (1:42)
4. K. 600, No. 3 in B flat major – Un poco più allegro (1:40)
5. K. 600, No. 4 in E flat major – Allegro moderato (1:39)
6. K. 600, No. 5 in G major – Trio: The Canary (1:34)
7. K. 602, No. 3 in C major– Trio: The Organ-Grinder (1:45)
8. K. 605, No. 2 in G major – Allegretto (1:24)
9. K. 605, No. 3 in C major– Trio: The Sleigh-ride - Coda (2:09)
Recorded 23 January 1934 ∙ Matrices: BVE 81577-1, 81578-1, 81579-1 & 81580-1A ∙ First issued on Victor 1722/3

SCHUMANN Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120
10. 1st Mvt. – Ziemlich langsam – Lebhaft (8:35)
11. 2nd Mvt. – Romanze (Ziemlich langsam) (4:02)
12. 3rd Mvt. – Scherzo (Lebhaft) & Trio (4:21)
13. 4th Mvt. – Langsam – Lebhaft (7:18)
Recorded 22 January 1934 ∙ Matrices: CVE 81569-1, 81570-1A, 81571-1, 81572-1, 81573-1A & 81574-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 7982/4 in album M-201

14. SCHUMANN (arr. B. Godard) Träumerei, Op. 15, No. 7 (4:30)
Recorded 19 January 1934 ∙ Matrix: CVE 81550-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 8285 in album M-211

SMETANA (arr. H. Riesenfeld) Three Dances from The Bartered Bride
15. Polka (Moderato) (4:24)
16. Furiant (Allegro energico) (2:03)
17. Dance of the Comedians (Vivace) (4:00)
Recorded 19 January 1934 ∙ Matrices: CVE 81549-1, BVE 81548-1 & CVE 81547-1A ∙ First issued on Victor 8694 & 1761

18. DVOŘÁK Scherzo Capriccioso, Op. 66 (8:57)
Recorded 22 January 1934 ∙ Matrix: CVE 81575-2 & 81576-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 8418

19. TCHAIKOVSKY Andante cantabile from String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11 (7:15)
Recorded 20 January 1934 ∙ Matrices: BVE 81567-1 & 81568-1A ∙ First issued on Victor 1719

20. DRIGO (arr. L. Auer) Valse bluette from Les Millions d’Arlequin (2:48)
Recorded 20 January 1934 ∙ Matrix: BVE 81562-1A ∙ First issued on Victor 1757

CD 2 (76:46)

DELIBES (arr. R. Jungnickel) Sylvia
1. Cortège de Bacchus (5:39)
2. Pizzicato (2:16)
Recorded 19 & 20 January 1934 ∙ Matrices: BVE 81560-1, 81561-1 & 81559-1A ∙ First issued on Victor 1669/70 in album M-220

DELIBES (arr. R. Jungnickel) La Source
3. Pas des écharpes (Allegro – Allegretto) (2:34)
4. Scène d’amour (Andante sostenuto) (2:09)
5. Variations (Moderato – Allegro moderato) (0:51)
6. Scherzo-Polka (Allegro moderato) (2:22)
Recorded 19 January 1934 ∙ Matrices: BVE 81556-1, 81557-1 & 81558-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 1670/1 in album M-220

Recorded 20 January 1934 ∙ Matrix: BVE 81565-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 1757

KREISLER (arr. Ormandy) Kreisleriana
8. Caprice viennois, Op. 2* (4:41)
9. Tambourin chinois, Op. 3 (4:01)
10. Liebesfreud (3:53)
11. Liebesleid (3:20)
12. Schön Rosmarin (1:59)
*Harold Ayres (violin)
Recorded 19 January 1934 ∙ Matrices: CVE 81552-1, 81551-1 & 81554-1A; BVE 81553-1A & 81555-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 8284/5 & 1659 in album M-211

SCHOENBERG Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4
13. Sehr langsam (2:44)
14. Etwas bewegter (11:24)
15. Schwer betont (2:40)
16. Sehr breit und langsam (10:37)
17. Sehr ruhig (5:09)
Recorded 24 January 1934 ∙ Matrices: CVE 81508-2, 81509-2A, 81510-2, 81511-2, 81512-2A, 81513-3, 81514-2A & 81515-3A ∙ First issued on Victor 8266/9 in album M-207

18. RAVEL Alborada del gracioso (7:09)
Recorded 23 January 1934 ∙ Matrices: CVE 81583-1A & 81584-1 ∙ First issued on Victor 8552

Eugene Ormandy ∙ Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra

Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn
Special thanks to Nathan Brown, Frederick P. Fellers, Richard A. Kaplan and Charles Niss for providing source material
All recordings made in the Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Total duration: 2hr 32:37