Monday, February 21, 2011

Two More Symphonies from Philadelphia

Back in October, I posted two symphonies played by the Philadelphia Orchestra under its longtime music director, Eugene Ormandy, from their earliest recording period with RCA Victor (and I have now added FLAC files at that post, here).  Today, I present the first recordings made by the same forces after jumping ship from RCA Victor to Columbia during the Petrillo recording ban of 1942-44.  Here are the "Fabulous Philadelphians" under Eugene Ormandy in two standards of the orchestral repertoire, Beethoven's 7th and Brahms's 4th.  These are fine performances that can be enjoyed on their own merits today, but they faced stiff competition in the Victor catalogues at the time: Toscanini/New York in the Beethoven and Koussevitzky/Boston in the Brahms.  One thing the competition didn't have: those marvelous Steinweiss covers!  (One of these days, I'm going to do an upload of nothing but Steinweiss' Columbia covers - I have about 40 of these altogether.)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92
Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy
Recorded November 19, 1944
Columbia Masterworks Set MM-557, five 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 82.83 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 40.16 MB)


Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy
Recorded November 19, 1944
Columbia Masterworks Set MM-567, five 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 93.91 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 44.39 MB)


  1. Hi Bryan,

    Thanks for these! As you might know, I've found a belated appreciation for these older Ormandy recordings. And, love the covers!


  2. Bryan -
    Nice shares.
    I have the LP issue of Ormandy's Columbia Brahms 2 and 3 recordings, among other works, which were first released as 78s. Perhaps I shall dig them up if I find the time.

  3. I also do love Steinweiss covers (and others of the same vintages, of course) - so, if you get the time please do upload! And shellac labels can be very attractive - 33+45=78 has some beauties I'm sure you've seen.

    Many thanks for your blog!

  4. Thanks everyone for the kind words! As for Steinweiss covers, I just discovered a wonderful site that will make anything I do redundant - - check it out! (I'll put a link up at the right.)

  5. I know the Ormandy & Brahms recordings of the 60 and 70. But this recording is unknown to me. Thank you, dear friend Bryan

    add my blog to your fiends i will add you thx

  7. A very enjoyable Beethoven 7, tho' I can see why it might struggle against the competition of Toscanini. Even so a very happy discovery for me, thank you!