Holiday Shop


George Szell

Biography

Born: Jun 7, 1897; Hungary   Died: Jul 29, 1970; USA  
Part of the wave of great Hungarian conductors who took over American musical life just before and after World War II -- the others included Fritz Reiner, Antal Dorati, and Eugene Ormandy -- George Szell quickly transformed a middling Midwestern orchestra into one of the nation's Big Five. His cultivation of the Cleveland Orchestra set an example of discipline and hard work that gradually helped raise the standards of orchestras across Read more America.
Although born in Hungary, Szell was raised in Vienna where he studied composition with Eusebius Mandyczewski, and piano with Richard Robert; he also studied composition in Prague with J.B. Foerster. Szell was a wunderkind, playing a Mozart piano concerto with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra when he was ten, and composing a number of solid chamber and orchestral works in a lush, late Romantic style as a child and teenager. He was 17 when he conducted the Berlin Philharmonic in a program that included one of his own compositions.
Despite these early successes, Szell rose through the conducting ranks in the traditional way of the period, with a series of opera positions: Royal Opera of Berlin (1915-1917), Strasbourg (1917-1918), Prague (1919-1921), Darmstadt (1921-1922), and Düsseldorf (1922-1924). Szell's first prestigious post came to him in 1924, when he was named first conductor of the Berlin State Opera; he simultaneously served as a professor at Berlin's Hochschule für Musik. In 1929, he moved on to become general music director of the German Opera and Philharmonic in Prague, where he remained until 1937.
Szell began focusing more on orchestral repertory in the 1930s; he made his U.S. debut as guest conductor of the St. Louis Symphony in 1930, and in 1937 he was appointed conductor of the Scottish Orchestra in Glasgow, while maintaining a steady relationship with the Residentie Orkest in The Hague. Szell was in America in 1939 when war broke out in Europe; he remained in the U.S. through the war, first depending on guest engagements and then, in 1942, becoming a regular conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, where he was especially praised for his Wagner performances. In 1946 Szell took American citizenship and became music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, a post he held for 24 years. He was also the New York Philharmonic's music advisor and senior guest conductor during the last two years of his life.
Although Szell made a recordings in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s for Decca, and in Cleveland at the end of his life for EMI, the bulk of his substantial discography was the result of his long collaboration with Columbia Records in Cleveland. There, Szell had inherited an able but ordinary orchestra and, through sheer determination, molded it into one of America's finest. A Szell performance was remarkable for its textural clarity, chamber-like balances, and precision of attack and release. He drilled his orchestra mercilessly, even in works it had performed with him not long before. Szell was particularly admired for his performances of Austro-Germanic classics from Haydn to Richard Strauss, his sharp renderings of works by a select group of twentieth century composers including Bartók, Prokofiev, Janácek, and Walton), and his idiomatic way with Dvorák. Indeed, some collectors maintain that Szell's monaural, early 1950s recording of Dvorák's Eighth Symphony with the Concertgebouw Orchestra has never been equaled. His treatment of French composers, on the other hand, was criticized for its lack of atmosphere, and detractors maintained that he achieved precision at the expense of emotional expression. To those who demanded a warmer approach to his beloved Mozart, however, Szell is said to have retorted, "One does not pour chocolate sauce over asparagus." Read less
Browse 1-25 of 246 Available Recordings
1 2 ... 9 10
  • 1.
    Decca - Vienna Philharmonic - The Orchestral Edition
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002227902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Tom Krause,  Werner Krenn,  Elly Ameling,  Werner Tripp  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Münchinger,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
    CD: $169.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $199.98   CD:  $169.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 2.
    Blacher: Music For Cleveland; Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27; Brahms: Symphony No.2; Stravinsky: Fireworks
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2404 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Boris Blacher,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Robert Casadesus
    Conductor:  George Szell
    On sale! $15.98
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $15.98   CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 3.
    Isaac Stern Plays Mozart
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5429342 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Pinchas Zukerman
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Alexander Schneider,  Daniel Barenboim,  Jean-Pierre Rampal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra members  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $11.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 4.
    Robert Casadesus Plays Mozart
    Label: Sony (Nax615)   Catalog: 7808372 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Robert Casadesus,  Gaby Casadesus,  Jean Casadesus
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 5.
    George Szell Conducts Haydn Symphonies
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 68779 Release Date: 01/01/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $11.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 6.
    Vienna Philharmonic - Bruckner, Mozart, Walton / George Szell
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4566 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Sir William Walton,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $29.95
    DVD: $27.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $29.95   DVD:  $27.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 7.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
    CD: $148.49
    In Stock
    On sale!   $169.98   CD:  $148.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 8.
    Great Moments: Horowitz Live At Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 376860 Release Date: 11/11/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Conductor:  George Szell
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 9.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
    CD: $137.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $149.98   CD:  $137.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 10.
    Dvorak: Symphony No 8; Brahms: Symphony No 1 / George Szell
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95625 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swiss Festival Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 11.
    Gary Graffman - The Complete RCA & Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 546239 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Graffman,  Berl Senofsky,  Shirley Trepel,  Dick Hyman  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Enrique Jorda,  Charles Munch,  Walter Hendl  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale!
    CD: $67.49
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    On sale!   $69.98   CD:  $67.49 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $59.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 12.
    Leon Fleisher - The Complete Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 545997 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  César Franck,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher,  Jules Eskin,  Benita Valente,  Harold Wright  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Seiji Ozawa,  Leon Fleisher,  Szymon Goldberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale!
    CD: $49.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $83.98   CD:  $49.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 13.
    Wagner at The Met
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 542717 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Karin Branzell,  Lauritz Melchior,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Emanuel List  ... 
    Conductor:  Artur Bodanzky,  George Szell,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Fritz Reiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    On sale!
    CD: $34.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $49.98   CD:  $34.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 14.
    The Sound of Pablo Casals
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 780032 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Max Bruch,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Pablo Casals,  Alfred Cortot,  Jacques Thibaud,  Otto Schulhof
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Landon Ronald,  Pablo Casals
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $11.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 15.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 165022 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Bedrich Smetana,  Engelbert Humperdinck  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Gerald Moore,  Edwin Fischer  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Heinrich Schmidt,  Herbert von Karajan,  Lovro von Matacic  ... 
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 16.
    Clifford Curzon Edition - Complete Recordings [23 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001728400 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon,  Irmgard Seefried,  Horst Günther,  Julius Patzak  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch,  George Szell,  Benjamin Britten,  Eduard Van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $104.49
    In Stock
    CD:  $104.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 17.
    Strauss: Don Quixote, Horn Concerto No 1, Don Juan / Fournier, Bloom, Szell
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 63123 Release Date: 09/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier,  Rafael Druian,  Abraham Skernick,  Myron Bloom
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
    Recommendation
    ArkivCD $16.99
    Low Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 18.
    Leon Fleisher Plays Beethoven & Brahms
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1918052 Release Date: 08/07/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher,  Jules Eskin
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale!
    CD: $21.49
    In Stock
    On sale!   $22.98   CD:  $21.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 19.
    Beethoven: Triple Concerto; Brahms: Double Concerto, Violin Concerto / Richter, Rostropovich, Oistrakh
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 55978 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
    Special Order
    SuperAudio CD:  $19.99 Add to Cart

  • 20.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 56034 Release Date: 04/27/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Zeller,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Oscar Straus,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Josef Traxel,  Dolf Dolz,  Rupert Glawitsch  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Schüchter,  Wilhelm Stephan,  Franz Marszalek,  Harry Hermann  ... 
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 21.
    Beethoven: Triple Concerto / Karajan
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 6787052 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 22.
    The Very Best Of David Oistrakh
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 678987 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Schubert,  Alexander Zaracycki  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Lev Oborin,  Svyatoslav Knushevitsky,  Vladimir Yampolsky  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Alceo Galliera,  Maxim Shostakovich,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    CD: $17.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 23.
    Strauss: Four Last Songs, Etc / Schwarzkopf, Szell
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 87318 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Edith Peinemann
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 24.
    The Romantic Era - Beethoven, Etc / Horowitz, Reiner, Szell
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5002 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Czerny,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 25.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos No 22 & 25 / Paul Badura-skoda
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1254 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Paul Badura-Skoda
    Conductor:  Horst Stein,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

1 2 ... 9 10