MAHLER: Symphony No. 1 in D "Titan." Symphony No.9 in D minor.
Israel Philharmonic Orch/Paul Kletzki, cond.
DOREMI 7850 (2 disks) TT: 49:56 / 71:20

KORNGOLD: Prelude and Cartnival from Violanta. SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op.10. HINDEMITH: Mathis der Maler.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Paris Radio Symphony Orchestra.
DOREMI 7998 TT: 71:00

SAINT-SAËNS: Piano Concerto No. 5 in F, Op. 103. "Egyptian." GERSHWIN: Piano Concerto n F. Stu††gart Radio Symphony Orchestra / Christoph Eschenbach,cond.

Polish conductor Paul Kletzki (1900 - 1973) had a distinguished career, and held a variety of positions in the orchestral world, leading the Dallas Symphony (1958 - 1962), the Bern Symphony (1964 - 1966), and the Orchestra of Suisse Romande (1968 - 1970). He was respected by record companies and recorded for various labels, often accompanying major artists in concertos. He also recorded all of the Beethoven symphonies with the Czech Philharmonic. His recorded legacy is rather slim, but this new issue is not a major addition. We have two Mahler symphonies recorded with the Israel Philharmonic in April - May 1954, Symphony No. 1 is marred by a 24-bar cut in the finale, a passage also omitted in his 1961 version with the Vienna Philharmonic. Mahler Nine has a 115 bar cut in the second movement. It is strange that a major conductor would sanction such defacing. The Israel Philharmonic was not a virtuoso orchestra at the time, and audio quality is not impressive. Skip this one, for sure.

Sviatoslav Richter has made countless recordings that set the standard for other pianists, and recently many of his live performances have surfaced. This coupling of Saint-Saëns Concert o No. 5 and the Gershwin was released some years ago, and now has been reissued. The Saint-Saëns concerto is given a sparkling reading, but not as good as the pianist's earlier recording conducted by Kiril Kodnrashin. The Gershwin is doubtless the most boring performance ever recorded. It would be interesting to know why Richter even played it. Of course all the notes are there, but Gershwin isn't. Christoph Eschenbach leads the Stuttgart orchestra admirably, but I imagine he was frustrated by Richter's interpretation of the Gershwin. A curiosity in the famed pianist's catalog! The Egyptian Concerto can be seen in a dazzling performance on YouTube with Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Riyal Concertgebouw conducted by Andrés Nelsons—check it out for a rich musical experience. A [perfect performance if ever there was one.

Any additions to the Jascha Horenstein recorded legacy are welcome and this Doremi issue offers two of them. The Shostakovich Symphony is a live performance July 18,1970 with the Royal Philharmonic at the Nottingham Festival, and the Hindemith is a live performance with the Paris Symphony from May 27, 1954. The delectable Korngold Violanta excerpts were recorded for the Reader's Digest with the Royal Philharmonic June 2, 1965. The latter has been issued on Pristine Classical, which also offers Mathis der Maler with the London Symphony. If you are interested in Horenstein's recordings, check the Pristine Classical website which contains many rare reordings‚ including the 1959 BBC Mahler Eighth.. PRISTINE CLASSICAL

R.E.B. (April 2017)