Giant boxed CD sets for New York Phil and Vienna Phil 175th anniversaries

Posted on: May 10, 2017

“The New York Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic—are observing their 175th anniversaries this season,” writes David Mermelstein in Monday’s (5/8) Wall Street Journal (subscription required). “Both are the focus of gigantic compact-disc collections marking the occasion…. Beyond the year of their founding, the New York and Vienna Philharmonics share something else: an identity separate from those who lead them…. Vienna has accomplished this by withholding the title ‘music director.’ … New York … keeps the tenures short…. Sony Classical’s tribute to the New York Philharmonic comprises 65 CDs and spans the years 1917 to 1995…. Among the discoveries are recordings by John Barbirolli … (1936-1941)…. Recordings of his successor, Artur Rodzinski [1943 to 1947, include] his thrillingly idiomatic account of Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony…. Connoisseurs will rejoice at the trove of souvenirs from Dimitri Mitropoulos’s nine seasons as music director (1949-1958)…. Deutsche Grammophon’s comparatively modest salute to the Vienna Philharmonic runs to 44 discs…. The bulk of the material [dates] from the 1970s onward… Essential [items] are Hans Knappertsbusch’s stately yet spirited 1957 account of Schubert’s Ninth Symphony and Bruno Walter’s remarkably fresh performances of Mozart’s ‘Prague’ Symphony and Mahler’s Fourth from 1955.”

Posted May 10, 2017