New York Phil marks 100 years since its first recording

Posted on: January 20, 2017

“It was 100 years ago this Friday—on Jan. 20, 1917—that the New York Philharmonic cut its first record,” writes Michael Cooper in Thursday’s (1/19) New York Times. “It did not use microphones back then: The orchestra had to play into a large flared recording horn, and the mixing mainly involved getting the musicians to play louder or softer—or having them move closer to, or away from, the horn. Over the following century, the Philharmonic would go on to make more than 2,000 recordings…. They are time capsules…. Sony Classical is observing the centennial by releasing a boxed set of 65 CDs, starting with the Philharmonic’s very first recording: Josef Stransky leading Ambroise Thomas’s ‘Raymond’ Overture. And the orchestra … has signed a multiyear contract with Universal Music Group’s American classical division, beginning next season with the capture of concerts led by its music director designate, Jaap van Zweden.” Included are audio excerpts from Philharmonic recordings, among them Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer Overture (1925, conducted by Willem Mengelberg), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 (1936, Arturo Toscanini), Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (1940, led by the composer), Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (1967, Leonard Bernstein), and Magnus Lindberg’s EXPO (2009, Alan Gilbert).

Posted January 20, 2017