HORENSTEIN in Gothenburg Complete: Bruckner, Mahler, Mozart, Saint-Sëans, Schubert (1968/69) - PABX034

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HORENSTEIN in Gothenburg Complete: Bruckner, Mahler, Mozart, Saint-Sëans, Schubert (1968/69) - PABX034

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Overview

BACH Brandenburg Concerto No. 1
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 6
MAHLER
Symphony No. 4
MAHLER
Symphony No. 5
MOZART
Idomeneo - Overture
MOZART Symphony No. 35 'Haffner'
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 2
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 9, 'Great'

Live recordings, 1968/69

Jennifer Vyvyan, soprano
Philippe Entremont, piano
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Jascha Horenstein


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This set contains the following albums:

Click below to expand note:
HORENSTEIN in Gothenburg Vol. 1: Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Schubert (1969) - PASC610

This compilation is the first in a series to be published by Pristine Classical that will chronicle the concerts conducted by Jascha Horenstein during his visits to the Swedish city of Gothenburg in the late 1960s. On all three occasions, first in January 1968, then in December of that year and finally in October 1969, Horenstein was asked to conduct works that would challenge the recently expanded Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and its newly engaged personnel, particularly in the brass section. It was for this reason that his program choices settled on Mahler’s 4th, followed by Bruckner’s 6th, Schubert’s 9th and finally Mahler’s 5th symphonies, good tests of the orchestra’s mettle and its ability to handle large-scale romantic music. These were performed in four carefully and attractively constructed programs that also included works by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Liszt and Saint-Saëns, all of which were recorded in-house and will be remastered for publication on this label.

The first volume in the series reproduces the complete concert of 9th October 1969 during Horenstein’s third and last visit to Gothenburg. The program, a typical example of his preference for variety and substance, opened with a large-scale reading of the overture from Idomeneo, here performed with solemn reverence and in a style now considered out of fashion, followed by a scintillating rendition of Saint-Saëns’ popular Second Piano Concerto with Philippe Entremont. No stranger to this piece, Entremont launches into the opening cadenza with theatrical flourish and leads the concerto, from its solemn opening to its light-hearted conclusion, with great freedom of expression, flowing lyricism and delicacy of touch. His exquisite tone and beauty of phrasing combine splendidly with Horenstein’s watchful accompaniment to take the listener on a wildly exhilarating and witty ride, in which the cooperative and attentive orchestra deserves much of the credit.

Like the other items in this collection, the recording of Schubert’s Ninth Symphony, heard in Gothenburg after the break, is the only example of this work in Horenstein’s extended discography. Constancy of tempo, essential in Schubert’s Ninth whose unity can be imperiled by frequent shifts in pacing, is the defining feature of Horenstein’s muscular, tightly controlled and carefully measured reading. Extraordinarily clear in detail and shapely in outline with a marked emphasis on the vertical and rhythmic elements so fundamental to this work, Horenstein’s performance seethes with an explosive, almost demonic energy that rarely relaxes, yet is sufficiently flexible to give ample space to the lyrical sections when they arrive. Repeats are kept to a minimum so as not to compromise the work’s “heavenly length”, while Schubert’s bold and imaginative treatment of the brass, and especially the trombones that initiate and carry much of the action forward, is exploited to the full with style, swagger and tremendous sweep by Horenstein and an alert, highly engaged Gothenburg orchestra.

Misha Horenstein

HORENSTEIN in Gothenburg Vol. 2: Mahler Symphony No. 5 (1969) - PASC613

This release is the second in a series published by Pristine Classical chronicling the concerts conducted by Jascha Horenstein during his visits to the Swedish city of Gothenburg in the late 1960s. On all three occasions, first in January 1968, then in December of that year and finally in October 1969, Horenstein was asked to conduct works that would challenge the recently expanded Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and its newly engaged personnel, particularly in the brass section. It was for this reason that his program choices settled on Mahler’s 4th, followed by Bruckner’s 6th, Schubert’s 9th and finally Mahler’s 5th symphonies, good tests of the orchestra’s mettle and its ability to handle large-scale romantic music. These were performed in four carefully selected and attractively constructed programs that also included works by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Liszt and Saint-Saëns, all of which were recorded in-house and will be remastered for publication on this label. The present recording reproduces the last of the four Gothenburg programs conducted by Horenstein, an evening that opened with a gripping performance of Liszt’s symphonic poem Mazeppa, aptly programmed as a warm-up piece for the Mahler symphony that will be published separately.

This recording of Mahler’s Fifth, documenting the last of many occasions that Horenstein conducted the work, is the third under his direction to be published on this label following those with the Berlin Philharmonic (PASC 416) and the London Symphony Orchestra (PASC 567). The tough and tensile Gothenburg Mahler 5, not in the orchestra’s repertoire at that time, stands somewhere between the former’s  "barbaric Mahler, struggling with and howling at God", and the latter’s lucid, carefully pointed, carefully controlled reading. In all three performances the spacious formal outlines are clearly and firmly profiled, with the symphony’s multitudinous details kept coherent, proportional and in context.  All three performances also emphasize the strong fibers in the music while underplaying its softer centers, with Mahler’s expressionist roots clearly recognizable. The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, which had not played the work since the 1940s, responds to Horenstein’s demands with great feeling, sensitivity and dedication if not with the greatest executive refinement or precision, while the performance itself, with many felicitous details revealed, is another fine example of his unique capacity for getting the most out of his players in a short period of time.

Misha Horenstein

HORENSTEIN in Gothenburg Vol. 3: Bach & Bruckner (1968) - PASC615

This release is the third in a series published by Pristine Classical chronicling the concerts conducted by Jascha Horenstein during his visits to the Swedish city of Gothenburg in the late 1960s. On all three occasions, first in January 1968, then in December of that year and finally in October 1969, he was asked to conduct works that would challenge the recently expanded Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and its newly engaged personnel, particularly in the brass section. It was for this reason that his program choices settled on Mahler's 4th, followed by Bruckner's 6th, Schubert's 9th and finally Mahler's 5th symphonies, good tests of the orchestra's mettle and its ability to handle large-scale romantic music. These were given in four  attractively constructed programs that also included works by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Liszt and Saint-Saëns, all of which were recorded in-house and will be remastered for publication on this label.

The present recording reproduces the second of Horenstein’s four Gothenburg programs, an evening that opened with a performance of Bach’s First Brandenburg Concerto, preserved here from a pre-concert rehearsal that ends with encouraging words from Horenstein to the musicians. The “live” performance has not, apparently, been preserved.

Horenstein first became aware of Bruckner’s music as a youngster when he attended a June 1912 performance of the Ninth Symphony in Vienna conducted by Artur Nikisch, whom he credited with stimulating his desire to become a conductor. Later during the Weimar era his performances of Bruckner’s Ninth and a pioneering recording of the Seventh (PASC 203) were immediately recognized as authoritative and contributed to his meteoric rise among young conductors of the day. The unloved and rarely played Sixth was the only other Bruckner symphony he conducted during the early part of his career, the rest entered his repertoire only much later. However judging from the number of times he conducted it, the Sixth was his favourite of the canon after the Third, and also featured at his last performance of any music by Bruckner, in London in July 1972.

The recording from Gothenburg exhibits many of the qualities that made Horenstein’s performances of Bruckner so compelling: a steady rhythmic pulse, forward momentum and a transparent delineation of harmonic and melodic detail, all in the service of long-term shape and structure. The Gothenburg Orchestra, playing the symphony for the first time and lacking the refinement of more accomplished ensembles, delivers a performance of great intensity, drama and conviction that contrasts favourably with Horenstein’s more relaxed, suavely played studio recording from 1961 with the London Symphony Orchestra (remastered on PASC 574).

Misha Horenstein

HORENSTEIN in Gothenburg Vol. 4: Mozart & Mahler (1968) - PASC620

This is the fourth recording in a series published by Pristine Classical chronicling the concerts conducted by Jascha Horenstein during his visits to the Swedish city of Gothenburg in the late 1960s. On all three occasions, first in January 1968, then in December of that year and finally in October 1969, he was asked to conduct works that would challenge the recently expanded Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and its newly engaged personnel, particularly in the brass section. It was for this reason that his program choices settled on Mahler's 4th, followed by Bruckner's 6th, Schubert's 9th and finally Mahler's 5th symphonies, good tests of the orchestra's mettle and its ability to handle large-scale romantic music. These were given in four attractively constructed programs that also included works by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Liszt and Saint-Saëns, all of which were recorded in-house and have been remastered for publication on this label. The present recording reproduces the first of Horenstein’s four Gothenburg programs, an evening that opened with a performance of Mozart's “Haffner” Symphony and ended with Mahler's Fourth. The soprano soloist, Jennifer Vyvyan, also performed selections from Act II of Handel's opera Rinaldo that will be published separately.

Mozart stated that the first movement of his D-major symphony was to be played “with fire”, an instruction abundantly evident throughout Horenstein's fleet-footed, sharply defined performance of K.385, played with great gusto and enthusiasm, and no repeats, by a clearly energized Gothenburg Orchestra. The outer movements, urgent and dramatic with crisply defined rhythmic profiles, are complemented by a beguiling grace and elegance in the Andante and a Menuetto of clear contrasts. A little gem.

Mahler's Fourth Symphony entered Horenstein's repertoire during the Weimar era when he gave several performances in Berlin that established his conducting credentials and his early identification with this composer. He continued to perform the Fourth throughout his career with great success, notably in 1970 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra that resulted in his studio recording of the work for EMI. The present publication, taken from nearly three years earlier, is the only other recorded example of his thoughts on this work. It is distinguished from its commercial cousin, and benefits in spontaneity if not always in execution, by being “live”.

Horenstein's account of the Fourth is not naive or simple but probing and searching, an empathetic shaping of accent and expression that goes far beyond the facile view of the work as one of the "easy" Mahler symphonies. His phrasing makes both sense and sensibility where other conductors manage only to stress its beauty, and he can contain the musical tension in such a way that the essential logic of the work is realized as much at the beginning as at the end.

The Gothenburg Orchestra, alert and alive, plays with passion and dedication, clearly in sync with the conductor if not always with each other, and manage to negotiate some of Horenstein’s tricky demands with great aplomb, including some beautifully sustained pianissimi and vividly characterized transition sections.

The soprano Jennifer Vyvyan was one of Horenstein’s preferred British soloists. Aside from several performances of Mahler’s Fourth, she also performed and recorded Britten’s “Les Illuminations” with him in England, and the War Requiem in Belgrade in 1972.

Misha Horenstein

Click below to expand track listing:
HORENSTEIN in Gothenburg Vol. 1: Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Schubert (1969) - PASC610

Horenstein in Gothenburg, Volume 1


1. MOZART Idomeneo - Overture  (5:48)

SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22
2. 1st mvt. - Andante sostenuto  (11:17)
3. 2nd mvt. - Allegro scherzando  (5:36)
4. 3rd mvt. - Presto  (6:20)
Philippe Entremont, piano

SCHUBERT Symphony No. 9 in C major, D.944, 'Great'
5. 1st mvt. - Andante - Allegro, ma non troppo - Più moto  (13:24)
6. 2nd mvt. - Andante con moto  (13:56)
7. 3rd mvt. - Scherzo. Allegro vivace - Trio  (10:31)
8. 4th mvt. - Allegro vivace  (12:32)


Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra    
conducted by Jascha Horenstein

XR Remastered by  Andrew Rose

Live concert recording, Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden, 9 October 1969 from the Misha Horenstein Archive
Cover artwork based on a photograph of Jascha Horenstein from the collection of Misha Horenstein

Total duration:  79:24 

HORENSTEIN in Gothenburg Vol. 2: Mahler Symphony No. 5 (1969) - PASC613

MAHLER  Symphony No. 5
 
PART I
1. 1st mvt. - Trauermarsch  (13:22)

PART II
2. 2nd mvt. - Stürmisch bewegt, mit größter Vehemenz  (16:16)
3. 3rd mvt. - Scherzo  (18:26)

PART III
4. 4th mvt. - Adagietto  (10:29)
5. 5th mvt. - Rondo-Finale   (16:44)

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra    

conducted by Jascha Horenstein




XR Remastered by  Andrew Rose

Live concert recording, Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden, 16 October 1969 from the Misha Horenstein Archive.
Cover artwork based on a photograph of Jascha Horenstein from the collection of Misha Horenstein

Total duration:  75:17   

HORENSTEIN in Gothenburg Vol. 3: Bach & Bruckner (1968) - PASC615

Horenstein in Gothenburg, Volume 3


J. S. BACH  Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046*
1. 1st mvt. - [Allegro]  (4:40)
2. 2nd mvt. - Adagio  (3:43)
3. 3rd mvt. - Allegro  (5:05)
4. 4th mvt. - Menuetto  (7:49)

BRUCKNER  Symphony No. 6 in A major, WAB 106
5. 1st mvt. - Majestoso  (15:18)
6. 2nd mvt. - Adagio. Sehr feierlich  (16:09)
7. 3rd mvt. - Scherzo. Nicht schnell - Trio. Langsam  (9:30)
8. 4th mvt. - Finale. Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell  (14:08)


Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra    
conducted by Jascha Horenstein


XR Remastered by  Andrew Rose
Live concert and *rehearsal recording, Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden, 5 December 1968 from the Misha Horenstein Archive.
Cover artwork based on a photograph of Jascha Horenstein from the collection of Misha Horenstein

Total duration:  76:22 

HORENSTEIN in Gothenburg Vol. 4: Mozart & Mahler (1968) - PASC620

HORENSTEIN in Gothenburg, Volume 4




MOZART  Symphony No. 35 in D major, K.385 'Haffner'
1. 1st mvt. - Allegro con spirito  (5:28)
2. 2nd mvt. - Andante  (4:57)
3. 3rd mvt. - Menuetto  (2:58)
4. 4th mvt. - Presto  (4:01)


MAHLER  Symphony No. 4 in G major
5. 1st mvt. - Bedächtig, nicht eilen  (17:41)
6. 2nd mvt. - In gemächlicher Bewegung, ohne Hast  (10:31)
7. 3rd mvt. - Ruhevoll, poco adagio  (21:06)
8. 4th mvt. - Wir geniessen die Himmlischen Freuden. Sehr behaglich  (9:45)
Jennifer Vyvyan  soprano


Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra    
conducted by Jascha Horenstein


XR Remastered by  Andrew Rose

Live concert recording, Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden, 25 January 1968 from the Misha Horenstein Archive.
Cover artwork based on a photograph of Jascha Horenstein from the collection of Misha Horenstein.

Total duration:  76:27