Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hans Kindler

Slava Rostropovich, for all his achievements, was far from being the first cellist to make for himself a successful conducting career. He wasn't even the first cellist to become the music director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington. That honor goes to the orchestra's founder, the Rotterdam-born Hans Kindler (1892-1949). Kindler's recording career began in 1916 with Victor, as a cellist, on their lower-priced Blue Label series (five of these sides can be heard at the Library of Congress' National Jukebox). In 1919 he was promoted to Red Seals. Then, nine years after founding the National Symphony Orchestra in 1931, he came back to Victor as a conductor, with some 64 issued sides to his credit made between 1940 and 1945. The most interesting of these were on single records, including American works by Chadwick, William Schuman and Mary Howe. I'm sorry to say I don't have any of those, but here are three singles I do have, the first two listed being from the reclaimed record pile:

Corelli-Arbós: Suite for Strings
Recorded November 8, 1940
Victor 11-8111, one 78-rpm record

Liszt-Kindler: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6
Recorded January 17, 1945
Victor 11-9154, one 78-rpm record

Mussorgsky-Kindler: Boris Godunov - "Love Music" (Act III)
Recorded April 2, 1942
Shostakovich: The Age of Gold - Polka
Recorded January 29, 1941
Victor 11-8239, one 78-rpm record

All by the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.)
Hans Kindler, conductor
Link (FLAC files, 53.80 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 38.14 MB)

A number of Kindler's National Symphony recordings received a new lease on life in the 1950s, on the RCA Camden reissue label, including the Liszt record above. The pseudonym used was the "Globe Symphony Orchestra."


  1. Alternate links:



  2. Thanks, Bryan - I enjoy Kindler's records.

  3. Beautiful! I believe I have 1 or 2 10 inch HMV's with him playing cello. I didn't know he made so many records as a conductor. Thanks!

  4. Just stumbled across your blog, what a wonderful surprise! thanks for these uploads :)

  5. Sorry for the late comment, but I have a 1970s LP that has some more of those earliest recordings made by the National Symphony in 1940-41 under Kindler. These were issued by RCA as a Listener's Guild recording in collaboration with the DC classical radio station, WGMS. It includes the Festival Overture by William Schuman, and "Stars" by Mary Howe, and an arrangement of a Toccata by Frescobaldi, but the main work on this album is the Brahms Symphony No. 3, in a performance that shows the young National Symphony's capabilities reasonably well. The LP wasn't in the greatest shape, but I have made a transfer and was able to get rid of most of the audible defects from the pressing--the residual noise mostly comes from the original shellac 78s--and did work some mild work on the EQ. RCA may have added some artificial reverb to the mix, and there's a bit of pitch variability from the shellacs as well. But I can post a link to mp3 files I've made of the transfer if anybody is interested.

  6. I am at this moment transferring a pristine copy of the LP. Purchased new, still in the shrink wrap.

  7. Does anyone out there know what the original cover on the 78 set looked like?