Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tchaikovsky: Suite No. 3 (Little Orchestra Society)

I've been spending a lot more time lately with LPs than with 78s (easier, for one thing), particularly "6-eye" Columbias, and here's a comparatively rare one. Thomas K. Scherman (1917-1979) was the founder of the Little Orchestra Society, still going strong after 66 years, and right away established himself and the orchestra as a force for presenting new and unrecorded works on Columbia (as with this recording of Dello Joio's Harp Concerto). But it's likely that folks in the 1950s were more familiar with his speaking voice than with his conducting, simply because he presented so many spoken analysis records in connection with the Book-of-the-Month Club's series of Music Appreciation Records, of which Scherman was the musical director. (His father, Harry Scherman, had founded Book-of-the-Month Club in 1926.) Today I present the last recording I can trace that he made for Columbia:

Tchaikovsky: Suite No. 3 in G Major, Op. 55
Little Orchestra Society conducted by Thomas Scherman
Recorded February 1, 1955
Columbia ML-5256, one LP record
Link (FLAC files, 100.90 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 65.49 MB)

This was only the second recording of Tchaikovsky's delightful Third Suite with pretensions to completeness - in those days only its famous variation finale was usually heard. I say "pretensions" because an unfortunate cut is made in the second movement (Valse mélancolique), robbing it of almost half its length. The same cut was made in Walter Goehr's 1952 recording, for Concert Hall (which can be heard here), suggesting that a performing edition of the suite was floating around incorporating this cut.


  1. Thanks bryan - don't know this record and look forward listening


  2. A very good version of a work rarely performed nowadays. THX !!!