Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bruno Walter in 18th Century Music

Bruno Walter at the Vienna Musikverein, January 16, 1938
Today I present the only commercial recordings of Baroque music conducted by Bruno Walter (1876-1962), as well as a Haydn symphony recording made on the same day as one of these recordings.  All three recordings were made in that fateful year, 1938, the year of the "Anschluss" - the Nazi annexation of Austria, where Walter, a Jew formerly active in Berlin, had been living and working since Hitler came to power.  (The picture above shows Walter in the green room of the Vienna Musikverein, shortly before his last concert there - which featured Mahler's Ninth Symphony.)  The details on the recordings:

Corelli: Concerto Grosso in G minor, Op. 6, No. 8 ("Christmas Concerto")
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bruno Walter
Recorded September 13, 1938
Victor Musical Masterpiece Set M-600, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC file, 46.62 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 25.73 MB)

Handel: Concerto Grosso in B minor, Op. 6, No. 12
Paris Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Bruno Walter
Recorded May 17, 1938
HMV DB 3601 and 3602, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC file, 36.38 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 14.99 MB)

Haydn: Symphony No. 86 in D
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bruno Walter
Recorded September 13, 1938
Victor Musical Masterpiece Set M-578, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 62.66 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 34.15 MB)

The Handel recording is particularly rare, as it received no US issue during the 78-rpm era (although Victor is known to have allocated a set number, M-952, for it).  The Haydn set is rare enough, both HMV and Victor versions having been deleted during the Second World War.  I originally offered the Corelli and Handel transfers back in 2007, but the Haydn symphony is a new upload.


  1. Thanks Bryan - Interested to see what Walter makes of the baroque items.

  2. lot of thanks, Bryan!
    really rare and intriguing recordings coupled with very interesting rendition.

  3. Lovely! And a beautiful picture also.

  4. Thank you for posting this! I wonder if you could provide any information regarding performers in this recording (soloists in Corelli, etc.) if it is listed? Kind Regards, Erika

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I've given all the information I have; sorry. I do know that George Stratton was the leader (first violinist) of the LSO from 1937 to 1952, so presumably he plays one of the solo parts on the Corelli recording.