Issay Dobrowen, Pt. 2. Philharmonia Scheherezade & Various 78s

Here are a few odds and ends left over from my previous posting of recordings conducted by Issay Dobrowen. The Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture is from the same period as those recordings (the Tchaikovsky 4th Symphony and Serenade for Strings, available here). I had hoped to present one other recording from this period, of the Borodin Prince Igor Overture, but I only have the first two out of three sides. The earlier recordings, rather boxily recorded by Parlophone, are by no means all of the sides from these c. 1929 sessions, but are all I have access to at this time. There are a few other Dvořák Slavonic Dances that were waxed, and an alternate coupling for one issue of the Op. 46, No. 1 (an orchestral transcription of Sinding’s Rustles of Spring, interesting because from 1927-31, Dobrowen was music director of the Oslo Philharmonic). This version of the Grieg Symphonic Dances is abbreviated (as is Paul van Kempen’s wonderfully inflected version, available here)in order to fit the work on four 78rpm sides.

The Philharmonia Scheherezade has had one unofficial cd reissue, but as it nicely fills out a cd with the 78s, I have transferred it from a good, but not perfect Angel Lp copy. It’s certainly a recording that should be proudly issued by EMI, as it is one of the most thrilling versions ever recorded, and one of the best documents of Dobrowen’s art on record. The playing of the Philharmonia is a big plus…I’m not sure the various solos have been played more beautifully, and Dobrowen provides a framework of great panache AND refinement. Overall the approach is an appealingly languorous, but is wonderfully counterbalanced by excitingly impulsive touches.

Grieg: Symphonic Dances, Op. 64
Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Parlophone E 11171/2, Odeon O-6873/4
American Decca 2524 1/2, American Columbia G-68112/3
(matr. 2-21515/58) Recorded c. 1929

Dvořák: Slavonic Dances: No. 1 in C Major, Op. 46, No. 1
No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 46, No. 2
Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Parlophone E 10936, Odeon O-6986
French Parlophone 57 080
(matr. 2-21282/83) Recorded c. 1929

Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture, op. 9
HMV C3709 (matr. 2EA 12705/6)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Recorded February 3, 1948
London, EMI Studio No. 1, Abbey Road

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, op. 35
Columbia 33SX1007, Angel 35009
Philharmonia Orchestra
Recorded December 17-18, 1952 & January 5, 1953
London, EMI Studio No. 1, Abbey Road

Note: In my effort choose an item to supplement the 78 items in order to fill out a cd, I overshot the mark a bit. Many cd burners will be able to “overburn” this whole compilation on one blank disc, but your mileage may vary. The whole disc will be around 81:09 in length.

 

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