Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Double Gould for Double Orchestra

Happy New Year, everyone!  2013 will see some important composer anniversaries - Verdi, Wagner, Britten among them - but the one I'm feeling most enthusiastic about right now is Morton Gould, although his birthday isn't until December!  And so, here's an LP which I don't believe has ever been reissued, featuring two works by Gould which I don't believe have ever been otherwise recorded.  Perhaps understandably so, for both are for double orchestra!  The recording was accomplished, in this case, by overdubbing, something which had long been a standard practice with pop recordings; but the Billboard issue of April 6, 1968, quoted the producer of the album, Roger Hall, as saying that this was the first time RCA's classical division had overdubbed a complete symphony orchestra.  This LP also represented another "first" - it was the Seattle Symphony's first recording for a major label:

Morton Gould: Venice and Vivaldi Gallery
Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Milton Katims
Recorded April 1 and 2, 1968
RCA Red Seal LSC-3079, one stereo LP record
Link (FLAC files [Venice], 139.64 MB)
Link (FLAC files [Vivaldi Gallery], 139.61 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 108.58 MB)

Of the works themselves, I found "Venice" more enjoyable on first hearing, but found that "Vivaldi Gallery" held up a little better on repeated hearings.  Perhaps that's because I found the latter a little bit perplexing when I first heard it - I recognized several of the Vivaldi themes (most notably, from the slow movement of the D major lute concerto) but I was expecting something similar to Stravinsky's "Pulcinella," (or Gould's own "Foster Gallery"), where the source material, though greatly modernized, is structurally left intact, whereas Gould's procedure is more to use the Vivaldi themes as starting points for his own structures.  But enough of my soapbox; listen and judge for yourself!


  1. A great way to start 2013!

  2. Hi Bryan,

    I really appreciate the educational value of what you are doing.

    May you continue in your operations.

    Thank you and all the best for 2013.


    Douglas (UK)

  3. Thanks! Love Gould!

  4. Wishing you a successful, music-full 2013!

    A PUZZLED QUERY: In researching your Columbia discog, did you run
    across anything that might explain why the Modern Russian [M347]
    and Lully [M376] were issued as M sets rather than X sets? US
    issue was well after intro of X sets, so no need to re-number as
    with some early M200's at the time of intro of X series for 2-rec sets. This is strange and inconsistent even for a record company!

    1. My guess, although it is unsubstantiated by any hard evidence, is that it was because both M347 and M376 were ten-inch sets, and all of the X sets were twelve-inch until X149 and X150, both of which were issued shortly after M376 was! It's as if someone at Columbia realized a mistake was being made, in not issuing M347 and M376 in the X series to begin with.

    2. Bryan, I am in possession of Gould's Venice/Vivaldi Gallery Album and wanted to know if you might could tell me if Morton Gould's signature is printed on the back of the album just above Milton Katims picture. Rick (crickb88 a cox dot net)

    3. Rick, yes, his signature is printed on my copy too.

  5. I just tried to download this one and the page linked to was completely blank.