SIBELIUS: Intermezzo and Alla Marcia from Karelia Suite, Op. 11 (Royal Philharmonic Society Orch/Robert Kajanus, cond.)(May 1930). Rakastava (The Lover). Elegie from King Christian II. (Leslie Heward String Orch/Leslie Heward, cond.) (Feb. 14, 1941). The Swan of Tuonela, Op. 22 No. 3 (Philadelphia Orch/Eugene Ormandy, cond.) (Oct. 20, 1940). Festivo from Scenes Historiques (London Philharmonic Orch/Sir Thomas Beecham, cond.)(Dec. 14, 1935). Belshazzar's Feast, Op. 51 )(London Symphony Orch/Robert Kajanus, cond.)(June 24-29, 1932). The Maidens with Roses from Swanwhite, Op. 54 (Boston Symphony Orch/Serge Koussevitzky, cond.)(Dec. 12, 1936). Danses Champetres, Op. 106. Romance in F, Op. 78 No. 2 (Emil Telmanyi, violin; Georg Vatsarhelyi, piano (March 3, 1936). Gerald Moore, piano (March 28, 1935). Malinconia, Op. 20. (Louis Jensen, cello; Galina Werschenskaya, piano)(Aug. 26, 1936).

SIBELIUS: En Saga, Op. 9 (March 10, 1955). Pohjola's Daughter, Op. 49 (March 10, 1955). Oceanides, Op. 73 (Dec. 24, 1955). Tapiola, Op. 112 (Dec. 24, 1955). ALFVEN: Swedish Rhapsody No. 1, Op. 19 (Feb. 15, 1953)
Philadelphia Orch/Eugene Ormandy, cond.

BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 7 in E
Berlin Philharmonic Orch/Jascha Horenstein, cond.

ANTHEIL: Capital of the World Ballet. SCHUMAN: Undertown Ballet. GOULD: Fall River Legend
Roy Fitzell, dancer (Antheil); Ballet Theatre Orch/Joseph Levine, cond.
EMI CLASSICS 95228 TT: 75:02

Here are three valuable releases from the new label Pristine Audio. Their interest in historic issues here is reflected in two important Sibelius CDs. The first, called A 78rpm Anthology, features some of the earlier recordings of music of Sibelius; of particular interest is inclusion of two recordings conducted by the composer's champion, Robert Kajanus (few of his recordings are available today). The second offers a group of recordings by Eugene Ormandy with the Philadelphia Orchestra just pre-stereo. All were recorded in the Academy of Music where the dry acoustics do not flatter the orchestra: little of the famous "Philadelphia Sound" is heard here, although producer Mark Obert-Thorn has done whatever can be done. His work was really cut out for him with the Alfven, also recorded in the Academy. It sounds as if a bit of artificial reverb was by Columbia, as the aural picture is more resonant. However, the LP issue of Swedish Rhapsody started more than a half-tone flat and got progressively worse until the end. Obert Thorn has corrected this mishap, and it is a delight to hear the famed orchestra romp through this well-known music.

It is odd that in 1928 Jascha Horenstein was chosen to make this first electric recording of any Bruckner symphony. Horenstein was but 30 at the time and it is reported he had yet to conduct the work. But, young master that he was, the sessions went well, with brisk tempi (this is one of the fastest performances on disk). MOT points out that the three sessions for the work were all recorded at different speeds, which he has corrected, The Berlin Philharmonic has recorded this symphony many times in the past 80 years, including versions by Abbado, Böhm, Giulini, Jochum and Karajan, but this one is of particular historic interest.

This site welcomed EMI's issue of a CD featuring Antheil's Capital of the World Ballet coupled with Schuman's Undertow, and Morton Gould's Fall River Legend (REVIEW). That review gives information about the recording, as well as information about the Centaur recording of the complete Antheil ballet (REVIEW). The original EMI issue has been deleted, but it was issued by ArkivMusic—and since then EMI decided to reissue it, as listed above: same contents but different cover art. Both versions of the EMI recording are currently available. Don't miss this fascinating music, particularly Antheil's colorful ballet.

R.E.B. (December 2009)