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Works on This Recording
Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1892; Russia
Date of Recording: 1929
Sylvia: Suite by Léo Delibes
British Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1876; France
Date of Recording: 1930
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
A fine introduction to a forgotten conductor. August 29, 2015
By T. Tucker (Madison, AL) See All My Reviews
"Conductor Oskar Frieds reputation has unfortunately faded, due to a combination of reasons. A Jew, advocate of modern music and disciple of Gustav Mahler, he emigrated to the Soviet Union after the rise of Hitler (effectively ending his recording career). He died in Moscow a couple of weeks after the beginning of the Nazi invasion of Russia, so, unlike his fellow disciples Bruno Walter and Otto Klemperer, he did not have an opportunity to reestablish himself after the war. And most of his landmark orchestral recordings were made in the old acoustical process, and were rendered obsolete once the electric microphone was introduced. Thankfully, the recordings here were recorded electrically in 1929-30, and transferred to CD with care. Tchaikovskys Nutcracker Suite can easily degenerate into twee sentimentality and Dresden china preciousness. Fried would have none of it; this is serious music meant played seriously, and he proceeds to do so without any hint of treacly condescension. His tempos are surprisingly fast when necessary, but his performance is also leavened a judicious use of rubato as well to allow the music to breathe. The performances of the Pathétique Symphony and Delibes ballet suite from SYLVIA arent as revelatory, but the interpretations are surprisingly modern and objective for a conductor born in 1871."