WALTER NBC Vol. 1: Bruckner, Mozart, Schubert, Tchaikovsky (1940) - PASC628

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WALTER NBC Vol. 1: Bruckner, Mozart, Schubert, Tchaikovsky (1940) - PASC628

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MOZART Two Minuets
MOZART Three German Dances
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 4
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 5
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5

Total duration: 2hr 20:01
Live broadcast recordings, 1940

NBC Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Bruno Walter

This set contains the following albums:

Bruno Walter (1876-1962) had a long and distinguished career behind him when he arrived in the United States in late 1939. He had worked in Vienna with Gustav Mahler, premiering several of Mahler’s compositions, and served as music director of the Bavarian State Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. His German positions ended abruptly in 1933 when the Nazis barred him from performing due to his Jewish heritage. Settling in Austria Walter became artistic director of the Vienna State Opera and featured regularly at the Salzburg Festival. The Anschluss between Germany and Austria in 1938 further restricted Walter’s career and after a year in Paris he left Europe for the United States in late 1939.

Walter had performed in the United States many times before his permanent re-settlement, including a period conducting the New York Symphony Orchestra in the 1920s. In the Spring of 1939 he was asked by his friend Toscanini to conduct the NBCSO in five concerts, and the following year returned to conduct five more concerts. Walter concentrated on the core classical repertoire with Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann and Tchaikovsky all featuring. Unlike many others who conducted the NBCSO, Walter chose not to conduct a single piece of 20thC music in these concerts. This release allows us to appreciate Walter as performer of music he knew extremely well. As we might expect for someone who spent so much time in Vienna and Salzburg Walter was a noted Mozartian and would become the Met’s conductor of choice for Mozart’s operas during the war. In the case of the Bruckner there is a clear musical lineage from Walter to Mahler and then to Bruckner himself. Reviewing this Bruckner broadcast Olin Downes, music critic of the New York Times commented ‘Walter did his audience a noble service in revealing the utmost of the vision and splendor of this music.’

Walter was a prolific recording artist and a recent ‘complete’ CD issue (that actually omits his pre-war recordings in Europe) runs to 79 discs. The works by Mozart, Schubert and Bruckner in this release all have commercial alternatives but this Schubert 5th and Bruckner 4 th are his only live recordings of those pieces. While studio recordings try to capture the note-perfect version, there is something about the excitement of a live performance that the studio really struggles with. The Tchaikovsky 5th is a real treasure since Walter never recorded it commercially and there seems to be no other live performance that has been preserved.

BRUNO WALTER at the NBC, Volume 1


MOZART Two Minuets
1. Minuet and Trio No. 12 in C major, K. 568  (2:24)
2. Minuet and Trio No. 5 in F major, K. 599   (2:34)

MOZART Three German Dances, K.605
3. No. 1 in D major  (1:27)
4. No. 2 in G major  (1:29)
5. No. 3 in C major  (2:46)

Broadcast of 9 March 1940

BRUCKNER Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major, WAB 104
6. 1st mvt. - Bewegt, nicht zu schnell  (16:37)
7. 2nd mvt. - Andante quasi Allegretto  (14:33)
8. 3rd mvt. - Scherzo. Bewegt; Trio. Nicht zu schnell. Keinesfalls schleppend  (8:21)
9. 4th mvt. - Finale. Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell  (18:45)

Broadcast of 10 February 1940


SCHUBERT Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, D.485
1. 1st mvt. - Allegro  (5:37)
2. 2nd mvt. - Andante con moto  (10:14)
3. 3rd mvt. - Menuetto. Allegro molto  (4:39)
4. 4th mvt. - Allegro vivace  (5:09)

TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64
5. 1st Mvt. - Andante - Allegro con anima  (12:43)
6. 2nd Mvt. - Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza  (13:01)
7. 3rd Mvt. - Valse (Allegro moderato)  (5:41)
8. 4th Mvt. - Finale (Andante maestoso - Allegro vivace)  (14:03)

Broadcast of 9 March 1940

NBC Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Bruno Walter

XR Remastered by Andrew Rose
Cover artwork based on a photograph of Bruno Walter & Arturo Toscanini taken in 1930
Broadcast recordings made at NBC Studio 8H, Radio City, New York.

Total duration:  2hr 20:01  
CD1: 68:55     CD2:  71:06