Although its name appears on literally dozens of records, the National Philharmonic Orchestra does not formally exist as a permanent performing group. The name has over forty years' existence as the designation for a recording orchestra, assembled as the need arises for session work from the large pool of classical musicians working in and about London.
One may wonder why London, with five full-time resident symphony orchestras, needs anRead more organization to provide a symphony orchestra for recording purposes. One reason is that the London orchestras are all quite busy with their own concert and recording agendas. Another is that when assembling an orchestra for a specific purpose, the producer needs to pay for only the musicians needed for that project, rather than engage the whole orchestra.
The contractors for the orchestra have a large roster of orchestral musicians who hold themselves ready for work, and are quite familiar with their characteristics.
One of the first notable series of recordings made under this name was a series of twelve-LP sets commissioned by the Readers Digest magazine of the United States, covering items in the core symphonic and lighter orchestral repertoire. Produced by George Gerhardt, these 60s discs have extraordinarily fine sound and vivid orchestral playing that make them classics.
In the 70s, Gerhardt took the podium before the National Philharmonic Orchestra for a series of Classic Film Scores that is a landmark in the history of recorded film music. This RCA Victor series, still largely available on CD, is credited with reviving interest in symphonic film scoring in the 70s. The Erich Wolfgang Korngold series directly inspired producer-director George Lucas to commission an original symphonic score for his classic film Star Wars (1977) and changed the direction of Hollywood film music.
The series also focused attention of serious music students and scholars on the achievements of great film score composers such as Korngold, Miklos Rozsa, Dmitri Tiomkin, Alfred Newman, Bernard Herrmann, and Alex North, making the genre a respectable subject of scholarship.
The National Philharmonic has continued to be in demand for film score revival discs and original film scoring. It has also participated in full-length operatic recordings and accompanied star singers in recital discs.
Despite its constantly varying personnel, the National Philharmonic has tended towards a consistent, bright, exciting sound.
The National Philharmonic Orchestra is not to be confused with the National Symphony Orchestra (in Washington, D.C.) or the National Philharmonic of Warsaw, which are permanent organizations with regular concert schedules. Read less
There are 2 London National Philharmonic Orchestra recordings available.
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