Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weingartner's Earliest Beethoven and Brahms Recordings

This is to be my last "reissue" of acoustically recorded material.  It comprises three of the earliest recordings of complete symphonies conducted by Felix Weingartner (1863-1942) - two symphonies by Beethoven and one by Brahms.  I confess that I hesitated before offering the two Beethoven recordings, since Satyr has also offered them, and, in the case of the Seventh Symphony, he had markedly superior source material, since the first record of my set is badly cracked!  So, I encourage you to get Satyr's transfers, but for those who may want to compare American pressings of these recordings against Satyr's English ones, or for those who may want the FLAC upgrades of my transfers, here they are:

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92 and
Weingartner: The Tempest - Dance of the Sprites
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Felix Weingartner
Recorded June 1, 1923, and November 6, 1924
Columbia Masterworks Set No. 1, five 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 100.02 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 38.27 MB)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F, Op. 93
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Felix Weingartner
Recorded November 27, 1923
Rachmaninoff-Wood: Prelude in C-Sharp minor
New Queen's Hall Orchestra conducted by Sir Henry J. Wood
Recorded December 4, 1922
Columbia Masterworks Set No. 2, four 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 83.35 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 32.26 MB)

It will be noted that the American version of the Beethoven 8th has a very curious filler, which is different from the filler in the English version - that being another excerpt from Weingartner's "Tempest" incidental music.  Yet another reason to get Satyr's download in addition to mine.

Finally, here is the Brahms symphony:

Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Felix Weingartner
Recorded November 28, 1923, and March 21, 1924
Columbia Masterworks Set No. 9, five 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 106.16 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 44.13 MB)

There was also something a little extra with the Brahms set - the original four-page leaflet that accompanied the album.  These leaflets are considerably rarer than the records - in fact, of the five or six early US Columbia Masterworks sets that I have seen with the original albums, this is the only one I have ever seen with such a leaflet.  Particularly interesting is the back page where the first eleven Masterworks sets are outlined and described - Columbia was obviously very proud of this (then) new series!  I have included scans of this leaflet in this download.

Earlier today, I fulfilled an intention that I announced on this blog one year and twenty days ago: that of performing the solo keyboard part of Bach's Fifth Brandenburg Concerto on a modern piano.  This was with a local chamber orchestra, Da Salo Solisti, and I was quite pleased with how it went.  I understand that a video was made by one of the orchestral players, whose hobby is A/V production, and I have hopes that it might make it onto Youtube.  Stay tuned!


  1. It's no problem with me to have choice between uploads from the same records. First: my possibillities in transferring 78s are far from professional; second, mostly the American pressings are much better than the English ones; and third: the artists deserve more attention!
    And thanks for the Brahms!

  2. I hope you will upload his first Beethoven's Ninth,an electrical recording made in London in 1926(sung in English, by the way).It was reissued in Japan as a (very good) 2-LP set many years ago.

  3. I do have that Beethoven Ninth set (the first electrical recording of the Ninth, beating Coates' remake by seven months) but I've never attempted a transfer because 1) the records are in awful shape; 2) I have a pretty good LP transfer myself, a single-record British Phoenix issue from 1981. No promises, but if I can get any sort of listenable result from the 78s I'll post it.

  4. Thanks for the Beethoven - it's been great to hear, & being spoiled for choice is always nice! The Wood-Rachmaninov is - well - a bit of a shock after the 8th :-)

  5. thanks for your great site and allowing us to glimpse was like. a true golden age that the two world wars destroyed

  6. I am listening to the Weingartner 7th at the moment.
    Thank you very much for your transfer! I have the complete Weingartner CD collection on Shinseido can easily compete with the commercial transfer!