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Krips Conducts Schubert - The 1940s Decca "k" Recordings

Schubert / Mozart / Strauss / Lpo / Krips
Release Date: 12/13/2011 
Label:  Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog #: 9810  
Composer:  Franz SchubertWolfgang Amadeus MozartJohann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Josef Krips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraNew Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

SCHUBERT Symphony No. 6. Rosamunde: Overture. MOZART Symphony No. 39. J. STRAUSS II Waltzes 1 Acceleration; Roses from the South Josef Krips, cond; London SO; 1 New SO DUTTON CDBP 9810 (78:56)

Here is Read more an attractive, and well-filled, collection of Josef Krips’s Decca sessions in early postwar London (1947–48), where his brand of natural, unforced Viennese musicality and congenial personal nature proved a good fit with the British players (particularly the London Symphony Orchestra).

The Mozart 39th was the first of Krips’s three studio recordings, to be followed by another with the same orchestra and label in 1951 (recently reissued on Pristine Classical) and a much later one with the Concertgebouw (Philips, 1972). They don’t differ radically (though his Andante con moto got faster over time). The sedate, bland slow introduction to the first movement has not aged well, but the outer-movement Allegros are spirited and nicely pointed, projecting a natural Mozartean elegance with an appealing Viennese warmth. The minuet is slow by today’s standards but not heavy.

The Schubert items will be more compelling to modern ears. Rosamunde is stylishly inflected and idiomatically Viennese-sounding, while the “Little C-Major” symphony is dispatched with an ideally light touch in pointed, nuanced playing. The whole thing has an irresistibly buoyant flow, a kind of music-making that gives the impression of encountering little resistance (the diametrical opposite of, say, Harnoncourt’s probing, intense way with the symphonies). Especially memorable is Krips’s conducting of the finale, with a volatile sweep at a very flexible tempo—and a fascinating contrast with Beecham’s mannered, effete, under-tempo drawl through this movement four years earlier (LPO, 1944/Dutton Labs or Biddulph).

The Strauss waltzes are wonderfully idiomatic. Krips really had this music in his blood, and the music-making, with its light, unforced rhythmic Schwung, has an authentically intoxicating quality—no mean achievement with the British players.

So much for the good news. The transfers are in Dutton’s house style, which will be a known quantity to historic collectors: quiet passages, bass, and midrange very heavily filtered, silencing surface noise at the price of an unpleasantly husky, muffled, “underwater” quality to the sound, which then springs to vibrant life in loud passages and highs. Sudden changes from one to the other can be most disconcerting, as in the Andante of the Mozart symphony, with its long, quiet main theme followed by the forte contrast of the bridge (bar 30). Both symphonies are available in less quiet but much more natural-sounding transfers on Andante (the Mozart in a collection of multiple historic versions of the last three symphonies; the Schubert in an eclectic LSO anthology from acoustic recordings to the present). Rosamunde and the Strauss waltzes are new to me, and I’m glad to have them, even in Dutton’s schizophrenic transfers. Your call.

FANFARE: Boyd Pomeroy
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Works on This Recording

Rosamunde, D 797/Op. 26: no 1, Overture (D 644) by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Josef Krips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/08/1948 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London 
Symphony no 6 in C major, D 589 "Little C Major" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Josef Krips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1818; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/1948 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London 
Symphony no 39 in E flat major, K 543 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Josef Krips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/14/1947 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London 
Accelerationen, Op. 234 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Josef Krips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1860; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/07/1948 
Venue:  Decca Studios, West Hampstead 
Das Spitzentuch der Königin: Rosen aus dem Süden Waltzes, Op. 388 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Josef Krips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/10/1948 
Venue:  Decca Studios, West Hampstead 

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