Friday, October 28, 2011

Some Early Orchestral Red Seals

Leopold Stokowski, 1924

As I mentioned earlier, back in 2008 I posted a whole series of acoustical orchestral and chamber music recordings.  Most of these were of European (chiefly British) origin, simply because that's where most of this  recording activity took place.  I did offer two American-made sets, however, and here they are:

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 - Andante and
Rimsky-Korsakov: Dance of the Tumblers (from "The Snow Maiden")
Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski
Recorded April 20 and March 19, 1923
Victor Red Seal 6430 and 6431, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 50.01 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 18.3 MB)

This recording is complete as issued; apparently, there was no thought of recording the entire symphony (which, of course, Stokowski did several times in subsequent years).  An incredible wealth of information about Stokowski's recordings can be found at Larry Huffman's amazing site,

Alfred Hertz

Wagner: Parsifal - Prelude and Good Friday Spell
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alfred Hertz
Recorded January 24, 26, 31 and February 2, 1925
Victor Red Seal 6498 through 6500, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 74.17 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 26.25 MB)

Alfred Hertz (1872-1942) was the San Francisco Symphony's second music director (the first was Henry Hadley), and this was the first appearance on records of that organization, whose concertmaster at the time was Louis Persinger, Yehudi Menuhin's (and later Ruggiero Ricci's) first violin teacher.  Hertz himself was intimately associated with Wagner's "Parsifal," having given the first performances of the opera outside of Bayreuth with the Metropolitan Opera, New York, in 1903.

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