Friday, September 6, 2013

Hindemith, Schoenberg and Stravinsky for Band

Cover painting by Russell Connor
As I mentioned earlier, I spent much of the summer enjoying the fruits of the new Mercury Living Presence CD box, and gained thereby an idea or two for future transfers.  Well, here's one of them realized.  The box contained nine discs conducted by Frederick Fennell (1914-2004), who, arguably, did more to raise awareness of the serious literature for wind band than anyone else (much as his colleague at the Eastman School of Music, Howard Hanson, did for American music).  Included among Fennell's recordings in the series of Mercury CD reissues of the 1990s (from which the box set were derived) are fine works for band by the likes of Holst, Vaughan Williams, Grainger, Khatchaturian, Milhaud, Persichetti and Morton Gould, but inexplicably ignored was this issue:

Hindemith: Symphony in B-Flat (1951)
Schoenberg: Theme and Variations, Op. 43a (1943)
Stravinsky: Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920, rev. 1947)
Eastman Wind Ensemble conducted by Frederick Fennell
Recorded March 24, 1957
Mercury Golden Imports SRI-75057, one stereo LP record
Link (FLAC files, 160.95 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 54.10 MB)

In the case of the Schoenberg work (which also exists in a version for full orchestra, Op. 43b), this was a first recording.


  1. Bryan,
    I love these Eastman Wind Ensemble Mercury LPs, and am really looking forward to hearing this one.
    Unfortunately, FileFactory keeps giving me the "No free slots available" message, as it did for your previous Ormandy post.
    Can you provide a HotFile link for this Mercury LP (as you did for the Ormandy post)?

  2. Oh my, this is getting indeed tiresome. Well then, here are the Hotfile links;

    1. Thanks for the HotFile link, Bryan. I don't understand what has happened with FileFactory. I never had a problem with them until I tried to download the Ormandy Tchaikovsky 4th. Now they have cut me off completely. No matter how many times I try (and I have tried many, many times), I always get the "No free slots available" message.

  3. Great job, I will visit (my father is a humble collector too) Greetings from Spain and thanks 4 your job ;) keep on ;)

  4. Many thanks for this one --- I have a copy of the LP but it is not in very good shape. The Hindemith and Schoenberg pieces on this record were very important to me, since we played them in my high school Concert Band. They were the first 20th century works I got to know 'from the inside' for that reason. My band director leant me the Fennell recordings at the time, not just this one but the one with Grainger's 'Lincolnshire Posy', another piece I loved playing with the band.

    Thanks again for sharing this! (BTW, I was very surprised: I clicked on the link and actually got one of those hard-to-find File Factory 'download slots'. I had been unable to access them for the last month or so, but got lucky today. So I guess you just have to be persistent.)

  5. Unfortunately, it's not so inexplicable that this was overlooked for reissue: Universal has made little to no effort to transfer new material for any of its big boxes. In this case, they wouldn't even have had to make a new transfer, since it was issued on CD by Universal Japan, on Mercury UCCP-3271, in 2005, as was Fennell's Gabrieli disc, on UCCP-3277 - both long OOP, of course... Keep up the good work! Thanks, Nick