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Jascha Horenstein - Broadcast Performances From Paris


Release Date: 08/31/2004 
Label:  Music & Arts Programs Of America Catalog #: 1146   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  Maurice RavelLudwig van BeethovenAlbert RousselBéla Bartók,   ... 
Performer:  Monique HaasJosef TraxelPilar LorengarMarga Höffgen,   ... 
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 9 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 10 Hours 44 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This set is an absolute treasure trove for devoted fans of this great conductor, especially as Music & Arts is selling the nine discs for the price of five. There are many first-time discoveries here, even for diligent Horenstein collectors, and some very important additions to his recorded repertoire. One big surprise was Barber’s Violin Concerto, and some of the other great discoveries include the Sibelius Second, the Stravinsky Symphony in Three Movements, Debussy’s La mer, Roussel’s Spider’s Feast, and a riveting Boléro that will have you wondering just how Horenstein sucked you into that old chestnut as thoroughly as he does.

It is not easy to explain to those who have not encountered Jascha Horenstein’s
Read more conducting just what it is that makes it special. He was less consistent, interpretively, through his career than other standouts of his era (Furtwängler, Mengelberg, Stokowski, Koussevitzky, Toscanini). But his was not an inconsistency born of lack of conviction—it was, instead, an ability to see music through different prisms at different times of his life. The only other conductor with such an interpretive range was Otto Klemperer, and in his case his manic-depressive condition had something to do with that. With Horenstein it was, I think, just a continual re-examination of scores, always looking deeper.

There are, however, certain performance traits that were always present with this conductor. One would be a very careful attention to balance, texture, chord voicing, and contrapuntal detail. Horenstein seemed able to perceive music both horizontally and vertically, without giving undue weight to either element. So one always hears all the voices that the composer utilized in a score, but with no excess prominence given to subsidiary lines. Another Horenstein fingerprint is a careful balancing between the lyrical and the rhythmic. When the music is supposed to sing, as in, for example, the last movement of Sibelius’s Second Symphony, it sings its heart out—but the rhythmic spine around which the melody is woven is always clear. A more detailed analysis of Horenstein’s conducting is to be found in the superb notes accompanying this set by Joel Lazar, Horenstein’s longtime associate (Lazar completed Horenstein’s recording of Nielsen’s Saul and David after the conductor’s death in 1973).

The recorded quality varies, ranging as it does over 14 years, but for the most part it is excellent monaural broadcast sound. The Ravel Concerto suffers from a bit of distortion, and a shallow piano sound—and I find the performance a bit more earthbound than most of the contents here. The same disc contains another performance that fails to convince at least this listener—the Beethoven Seventh Symphony from 1966. The first three movements are fine, though not really special, but the finale is labored and heavy-handed.

On the other hand, there are a number of terrific discoveries here. The Mendelssohn “Italian” Symphony is lithe, sparkly, and joyous; La mer is more subtly colored and shaded than most performances; the Sibelius Second is grand, long-lined and, at the same time, richly detailed; and this live Brahms First grabs from the opening measure and sustains the tension for all 45 minutes.

This is a set for the Horenstein collector more than the general collector. It would be difficult to maintain that any single performance is the recommended version of that particular piece. (Frankly, the older I get and the more I listen, the less I believe in that kind of numerical ranking). But the overwhelming majority of these performances are readings of power, beauty, and dignity, and those sympathetic to Horenstein’s art will find much here to love. The general level of performances is extraordinarily high and the orchestral playing generally fine (though occasionally scrappy strings or ill-tuned winds intrude). Our knowledge of Horenstein’s art is considerably broadened by the contents, and Music & Arts should be commended for engaging Mr. Lazar to provide the notes, and giving him the freedom to write extensively.

Henry Fogel , FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano in G major by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Monique Haas (Piano)
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929-1931; France 
Date of Recording: 02/11/1952 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
2.
Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1811-1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/01/1966 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
3.
Le festin de l'araignée, Op. 17: Fragments symphoniques by Albert Roussel
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; France 
Date of Recording: 06/01/1966 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
4.
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Date of Recording: 12/19/1961 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
5.
Symphony no 8 in F major, Op. 93 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/11/1952 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
6.
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 43 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Finland 
Date of Recording: 11/19/1956 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
7.
Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919/1945;   
Date of Recording: 04/03/1964 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
8.
La mer by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
Date of Recording: 06/01/1966 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
9.
Symphony in Three Movements by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942-1945; USA 
Date of Recording: 12/19/1961 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
10.
Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888-1889; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/26/1961 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
11.
Symphony no 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Josef Traxel (Tenor), Pilar Lorengar (Soprano), Marga Höffgen (Alto),
Otto Wiener (Bass)
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1822-1824; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/19/1961 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
12.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
Date of Recording: 02/11/1952 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
13.
Symphony no 4 in A major, Op. 90 "Italian" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/26/1961 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
14.
Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855-1876; Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1957 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
15.
Symphony no 1 in C major, Op. 21 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/31/1963 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
16.
Kindertotenlieder by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Marian Anderson (Alto)
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1904; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/22/1956 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
17.
Egmont, Op. 84: Overture by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1810; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/27/1954 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
18.
Boléro by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; France 
Date of Recording: 07/01/1966 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
19.
Sinfonietta by Leos Janácek
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Brno, Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 02/11/1952 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
20.
Symphony no 100 in G major, H 1 no 100 "Military" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793-1794; London, England 
Date of Recording: 11/22/1956 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
21.
Tragic Overture, Op. 81 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/19/1956 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
22.
Concerto for Violin, Op. 14 by Samuel Barber
Performer:  Lola Bobesco (Violin)
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/13/1950 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
23.
Symphony no 5 in B flat major, Op. 100 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/22/1956 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
24.
Metamorphosen for 23 solo Strings, AV 142 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1945; Germany 
Date of Recording: 04/03/1964 
Venue:  Live  Paris, France 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 

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