|Cover design by Alex Steinweiss|
A Wagner Concert:
Prelude to Act I of "Die Meistersinger"
"Forest Murmurs" from "Siegfried"
Preludes to Acts I and III of "Lohengrin"
"The Ride of the Valkyries" from "Die Walküre"
Columbia Masterworks set MM-549, four 78-rpm records
Wagner: Bacchanale (Venusberg Music) from "Tannhäuser"
Columbia Masterworks set MX-193, two 78-rpm records
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conducted by Fritz Reiner
Recorded March 14, 1940, January 9, 1941, and November 15, 1941
Link (FLAC files, 120.52 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 78.29 MB)
For those who like to burn CDs from my downloads, or make playlists, I would suggest following the order of the "Wagner Concert" but inserting the "Tannhäuser" extract before the "Ride of the Valkyries" - this seems to give the best balance of moods and tempi.
MM-549 was one of several albums of reissues that Columbia issued in the closing days of the Petrillo recording ban in 1944, when the supply of backlogged recordings had run dry, and new ones from Europe were unavailable due to the war. So they took four single records of Wagner already on the catalog, and cobbled them together into an album. The resulting "Wagner Concert" was also part of Columbia's initial LP launch, and in that form would have been the first Wagner compilation to be listed in the fondly-remembered Schwann Long Playing Record Guide. I always wondered why, under the Wagner listings, albums of compilations of his music were under the heading "Wagner Concert" while all the other composers' compilations were under headings like "Music of Beethoven," "Music of Brahms," etc. This issue, I've decided, has to be the reason....