Szell's Beethoven 5 cw Sibelius 2 with the Concertgebouw Orchestra has to be one of the great CDs.
Now, is anyone going to fill in the details about Szell renegotiating his contract. It has been left as a tease in an earlier post in this thread.
Last edited by Dave2002; 29-09-11 at 13:36.
I don't know about Szell's contract.
There is a story about a young musician ( possibly David Zinman - anybody know?) visiting Szell for a conducting 'lesson'.
"are you another one of those virtuoso pianists who thinks he can turn into a conductor?"
"No" comes the reply,
"actually I can't play the piano at all".
"Aha" snorts Szell, " then you will never, ever be a conductor!"
Szell was also a fine pianist. The Sony Original Jacket Collection of his Mozart recordings has him accompanying Rafael Druian in four of the Piano & Violin Sonatas and also with members of the Budapest String Quartet in the Piano Quartets. Anyone who has enjoyed his Haydn Symphonies would probably like his Mozart as well. The 10 -CD set contains symphonies, concertos, serenades etc. Unfortunately, it also contains 'bonus' material- mono recordings of Symphonies 39, 40 & 41 and some non-Szell material. They are not really bonuses, just filling up what would overwise be short-measure discs.
Last edited by Biffo; 29-09-11 at 11:00.
Reason: Tidying up typos
Andre Previn told a story about how, as a young man, he visited Szell in a hotel room with a view to discussing a possible performance of the Strauss Burlesque. Szell told him to play a bit of it. Previn looked around for a piano - there was none. Szell indicated that he should play it on the coffee table. Previn did so - Szell said it was too slow (or fast, I forget which). Previn replied it was because he wasn't used to Szell's table, and played it much better on his own table at home.
The performance never took place.
Originally Posted by Barbirollians
Are you able to provide more information on the Tchaikovsky 4/5 and Beethoven Eroica recordings please? I recall a Decca Tchaik 4 but am unsure if this is the recording you refer to.
I, too, just love Szell's Mahler 4 - Abbado's recent Lucerne DVD is also very fine.
I am very fond of Szell's recording of the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the great Pablo Casals and the Czech Philharmonic - the more poignant as it was recorded only a couple of years before Czechoslovakia was occupied. I don't think I've heard a more eloquent performance.
As I recall Szell's T4 was originally on a Decca LP, while T5 was on CBS. He may have done more, but those were the ones which I think were most praised. I'm guessing that these are the CD re-releases you want to know about -
Originally Posted by remdataram
http://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-Sy.../dp/B0000025PK Note - you might have to hunt around a bit to get a CD version of this one. Amazon UK appears to offer downloads, but the US site has the CD.
I'll pursue copies of both.
Was the Beethoven Eroica originally a CBS issue?
It's a great disc yes, but the Live (unedited) 1970 Tokyo Sibelius 2 has a blazing power and intensity, and it is the Clevelanders - try to get it (prices!) if you're a fan!
I don't know that anecdote but here's a good one...
"After he [Szell] had stalked out of the New York Met. in 1954, someone observed to Rudolf Bing, the manager, that George Szell was his own worst enemy.
"Not while I'm alive," said Bing.
Originally Posted by Dave2002
I totally agree, it is a blistering performance. I had heard them do it at the Edinburgh Festival not long before which was, without doubt, the finest live performance of Sibelius 2 I have ever heard.
Originally Posted by jayne lee wilson
At the same festival I heard the Berlin Phil with Karajan and for my money the Cleveland and Szell knocked them into a cocked hat!!