Starting a new blog….

I thought some of you might be interested in a new blog I’ve started.  This time around NO recordings are shared….I’m afraid those days are gone, but hopefully I’ll have something interesting to offer as a commentator on some recordings and artists of interest.



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I’m sorry to do this, but after receiving complaints about some of my Mediafire uploads, I have made the decision to remove all of my files from Mediafire and file links from posts. It’s not simply that I’m angry with them and their moronic policies, but I’m also tired of having friends go to download files, and to be assaulted with the horrible, and often virus-laden pop up ads that are part of the Mediafire “experience”!  At this time, I am unable to believe in one service to the point that I’m willing to invest the time and money toward re-uploading yet again in the hopes of permanent storage.  Even if I were to do so, it’s clear that sharing any recordings these days is considered to be copyright infringement by many.  This supposed US law of 95 year copyright protection has led a whole generation of historic record collectors to share anonymously and surreptitiously.  Here’s an article from ARSC about the problem.

Perhaps somewhere down the road the climate will change, and those of us trying to share these neglected orphan recordings will be appreciated instead of harassed. Until the time when I can find a way to share, I’m afraid I will not be able or willing to share my work in publicly accessed blogs. I had thought that the solution of my private blog might be the solution to some of the problems, but that still doesn’t solve the problem of accessibility to my files.

I will leave the essays and notes I have written up for reference, and perhaps I’ll try my hand at some commentary on some areas of related interest.  Until then, my deepest gratitude to all who have supported my work and made valuable comments over the nearly 6 years since I began.  I can’t say how grateful it has made me to participate in the community of those who love the wonderful legacy we have of recorded music!!



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Paul van Kempen. Polydor 78s, Pt. 4

Happy late Thanksgiving to everyone! The holiday weekend has given me a little bit of time to work on transfers, so here is another installment of Polydor recordings by conductor Paul van Kempen. This will be the last batch comprised exclusively of Polydor material, but I DO have the Telefunken Sibelius 7th and some Hilversum Philharmonic material on Philips 78s in the pipeline. Also, I’ve discovered that there are two different Polydor versions of Liszt’s Les Preludes, so I will have the alternate version available as well. In addition to the concerto recordings with Wilhelm Kempff, Vasa Prihoda, Enrico Mainardi, Gioconda de Vito and Georg Kulenkampff, which have either been somewhat readily available or have been unavailable to me, there is probably at least a cd’s worth of Polydor items that I have not been able to locate. But, I can’t thank my friend Mike Gartz enough for allowing access to these rare items, and also putting up with my monopolizing his audio system for hours on end while dubbing these records during my visits! Thanks also to Neil for the scan of the autographed photo!

Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67
Polydor 67635/39 (matr. 1509-1517 GE)

July 7, 1941

Beethoven: Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus:
Overture and Ballettmusik Nr. 8. Allegro con brio
Polydor 15488/89 (matr. 1683-86 GS 9)
July 7, 1941

Gluck: Orphée et Eurydice:
No. 29, Ballet (Dance of the Blessed Spirits)
No. 30, Ballet (Melodie)
Willi Pretzsch, Flute soloist
Polydor 57155 (matr. 1681-82 GS 9)
July 7, 1941

Lortzing: Zar und Zimmermann, Overture
Polydor 57161 (matr. 1734-35 GS 9)
December 29, 1941

Cornelius: Der Barbier von Baghdad, Overture
Polydor 57162 (matr. 1736-37 GS 9)
December 29, 1941

Berlioz: Le carnaval romain, Ouverture, Op. 9
Polydor 57276 (matr. 1746-47 GS 9)
December 29, 1941

Paul van Kempen, Conductor
Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra


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I must apologize to all who have made comments and requested invites to my private blog.  I’m really not sure what I will be able to do to maintain old files, invites, new projects, etc. in the near future.  I simply don’t have enough time to come up with a way to deal with the lousy new world of assaults on file locker services.  I have Mediafire files disappearing right and left, there are new restrictions on multi-part files (10 downloads per week, apparently), and many other users reporting frozen accounts and other hassles.  I simply am unable to come up with a new strategy to make my “library” accessible and run smoothly.  So, I must apologize and only promise that when a method appears to meet my needs AND I have some time (and bandwidth) to accomplish the feat of migration, I WILL do my best to return.  For the near future, I’m afraid I will be more “missing in action” than not.  Thank you all for your interest and support and let’s plan on meeting again when circumstances make it possible!



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Private blog and new posts, and a note on sharing the material I post

I know I invited all of you that expressed interest to my “private” blog, but I’m now beginning to post items there and NOT here.  If I missed sending an invite please leave a comment and I’ll make sure you are allowed access!

One restriction of the private setting (as it is on all blog hosting services) is that you must create a WordPress login username and password in order for WordPress to recognize you as an authorized user.

I’m not sure if the invite gives the new url or not…could someone leave a comment and let me know?

I’m going to plagiarize one of the comments that may help navigating to the new site:
There’s an “Accept Invitation” button (actually a live link) which activates your personal user’s key and automatically transfers you to the new site. You can’t enter the site without first clicking on that link. In case the live link (button) doesn’t work, copy & paste the url provided at the bottom of the page.


Apparently I need to say something about a subject that really should just be good manners.  The recordings I choose to post here may be distributed in a wider manner outside this private blog by myself ONLY.  If you would like to share them, please ask my permission, and abide by my decision.  The fact that I have taken this blog private indicates that I don’t like how files are being accessed on my public blog.  Ok, back to friendly thoughts of sharing some fun stuff in a world where the big companies “can’t give it away”….so I DO!


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‪Otakar Jeremiáš‬. Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 (Esta, 1940s)

I’ve had this on my “to do” list for over two years now!  My friend Tobias posted this about four years ago in mp3 format, and I asked if I might have a “go at it”, so he generously sent me single side dubs which I’ve only now prepared.  So, a belated thank you to Tobias!

Here is another affectionate but not saccharine, easy-going but not dull, superbly idiomatic performance from Jeremiáš‬, who is a favorite of mine (see these other posts).  Perhaps it won’t leave one wanting to part with the various Talich versions, but I think you’ll enjoy this on it’s own terms.  The trio to the Scherzo movement has just the right kind of subtle “lift” to the rhythm, something seemingly captured with ease by so many Czech musicians, but not easily exported to many outside of the borders of Dvořák’s homeland.

Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E Minor
“From the New World”, Op. 95, B. 178

Otakar Jeremiáš, Conductor
Orchestr Národního divadla v Praze 
(Prague National Theatre Orchestra)
Esta H 5077/81 
Matr. BIEM 4357-63; 4365-6; 4374
Recorded in the 1940s


Posted in Jeremiáš, Orchestral | 11 Comments

Jonel Perlea. Schubert Symphony No. 9. Bamberg Symphony (Vox, 1956 Stereo)

I took a chance on this at a local lp eatery, and was very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the performance and recording.  My very first post on this blog was Perlea’s Remington lp of Debussy’s La Boîte à joujoux, and since the link had expired for that I’ve taken the opportunity to do a fresh 24 bit transfer of it.  So please visit that post to download the new and improved transfer.

Back to this Schubert.  According to the discographic information at, this performance was recorded and released in 1956, in mono pressings.  Yet this later pressing (with a “RVG” embossed in the vinyl indicating that Rudy Van Gelder mastered it), is in true stereo, and could even interest the audiophiles among us, as a wonderful stereo it is, with a very wide range and pleasing image spread.  It’s a bit light in bass, but some of this was perhaps Perlea’s preferred balance.  There’s an interesting emphasis on the (important) trombone lines, at the expense of trumpet and timpani, which adds an interesting clarity to textures.  It’s been a while since I’ve heard any of the Toscanini versions, but perhaps the textural approach is under the influence of AT?  Certainly the swiftly moving Andante con moto movement is in the Toscanini mold.  There is a truly strange detail in this movement at the 7:29 mark:  the pause after this dynamic buildup is a mind-boggling 15 seconds!  At first I thought my record was stuck in a (very quiet) skip!  Was this Perlea’s interpretation or Vox’s goof?  In any case, I don’t think you’ll find the same “heavenly length” on another version!  Overall, I think the first and third movements are the strongest, with beautifully shaped lines and well balanced textures.  You won’t find the individuality of a Mengelberg or Furtwangler here, but there’s much to enjoy.  The finale seems promising, but I feel it loses tension somewhere down the road, and ultimately disappoints.  The Vox stable of conductors can certainly yield many pleasures (Perlea, Hollreiser, van Remoortel, Gielen, and of course the better known Horenstein & Klemperer), if not always with the greatest consistency.  Perlea himself could be extremely dull, as in his slack and tepid Rimsky Scheherezade.  I should pull out his Berlioz Fantastique, which was actually my first lp version and I found very good at age of 10 or 11 (I also had the later Monteux SFSO version on 45 rpm!).

Schubert Symphony No. 9 in C Major, D. 944
Jonel Perlea, conductor
Bamberg Symphony
VOX STPL 510.200 (also PL 10 200)
Recorded or Issued September 10, 1956



Posted in Orchestral, Perlea, Uncategorized | 6 Comments