Special Feature  •   July-August 2003

HALL of FAME - 2003 Award List

The following recordings have been elected to the CLASSICAL RECORDING INDUSTRY HALL of FAME. Listed in random order.

1. Prokofiev-10 scenes from "Romeo and Juliet". Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ancerl. Recorded by Supraphon (Prague 8/59). CD# Supraphon SU 3676-2.

2. Beethoven-"Missa Solemnis". Lois Marshall, Nan Merriman, Eugene Conley, Robert Shaw Chorale/NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini. Recorded by RCA (New York 3-30/31 & 4-2/1953). CD# RCA 74321-55837-2.

3. Puccini-"Tosca". Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano, Tito Gobbi, Milan La Scala Orchestra/ Victor de Sabata. Recorded by EMI (Milan 8/53). CD# EMI CMS 567756 2.

4. Wagner-"Der Ring des Nibelungen". Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Kirsten Flagstad, Birgit Nilsson, Hans Hotter, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Georg Solti. Recorded by Decca (Vienna 1958-65). CD# Decca 455 555 2.

5. Johann Strauss Jr.-"Blue Danube Waltz" arranged for solo piano by Adolf Schulz-Evler. Josef Lhevinne (piano). Recorded by RCA (1928). CD# Naxos 8.110681.

6. FANTASIA- "Original Soundtrack". Music by Beethoven, Dukas, Mussorgsky, Ponchielli, Schubert, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky. Walt Disney Studio Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski. Recorded 1938-9. CD# Disney 860 007.

7. Eileen Farrell-"Song Recital" with George Trovillo (piano) and "Arias" with Philharmonia Orchestra/Thomas Schippers. Recorded by EMI (1957). CD# Testament SBT 1073.

8. J.S. Bach-"6 suites for solo cello". Pablo Casals (cello). Recorded by HMV (1936-9). CD# 7243 566215 2 7.

9. Beethoven-"32 sonatas for solo piano". Artur Schnabel (piano). Recorded by HMV (London 1930's). CD# EMI References 0777 763765 2 3. Also available on Regis FRC 6801 and single cd's from Naxos.

10. Elgar-"Cello Concerto". Jacqueline du Pré (cello), "Sea Pictures", Dame Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano). London Symphony Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli. Recorded by EMI (London 1965). CD# EMI 7243 556219 2 4.

11. Schubert-"Winterreise". Peter Pears (tenor), Benjamin Britten (piano). Recorded by Decca (London 10/63). CD# Decca 466 382 2.

12. Wagner-"Tristan and Isolde". Kirsten Flagstad, Ludwig Suthaus, Blanche Thebom, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Josef Greindl, Rudolf Schock. Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Philharmonia Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwangler. Recorded by EMI (London 6/52). CD# EMI 7243 567621 2.

13. Bizet-"The Pearl Fishers". Duet "Au fond du temple saint". Jussi Bjorling (tenor), Robert Merrill (baritone). RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra/Renato Cellini. Recorded by RCA (New York 1/3/1951). CD# RCA 74321-63468-2. Also from Regis on RRC 1080.

14. Berlioz-"Harold in Italy". William Primrose (viola), Boston Symphony Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky. Recorded by RCA (Boston 11/28/1944). CD# Dutton CDEA5013.

15. Fauré-"Requiem". Victoria de los Angeles, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire/André Cluytens. Recorded by EMI (Paris 1962). CD# EMI 7243 566894 2 8.

16. Beethoven-"Symphony #5". Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Carlos Kleiber. Recorded by Deutsche Grammophon (Vienna 1974). CD# DG 447 400 2.

17. J.S. Bach-"Goldberg Variations". Glenn Gould (piano). Recorded by Columbia (New York 1955). CD# Sony S3K87703.

18. Grieg-"20 Lyric pieces for piano". Emil Gilels (piano). Recorded by Deutsche Grammophon (Berlin 6/74). CD# DG 449 721 2.

19. Mendelssohn-"Symphony #3 (Scottish) and Fingal's Cave Overture". London Symphony Orchestra/Peter Maag. Recorded by Decca (London 4/60). CD# Decca 443 578 2.

20. Sibelius- "Violin Concerto". Jascha Heifetz (violin), Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Walter Hendl. Recorded by RCA (Chicago 1959). CD# RCA 74321-63470-2.

21. Kreisler-"Henryk Szeryng performs music of Fritz Kreisler". Henryk Szeryng (violin), Charles Reiner (piano). Recorded by Mercury (New York 1/63). CD# Mercury 434 351 2.

22. Mahler-"Symphony #4". Jo Vincent (soprano), Concertgebouw Orchestra/Willem Mengelberg. Recorded by the Dutch Radio (Amsterdam 1939). CD# Philips Dutch Masters 462 096 2.

23. Mahler-"Das Lied von der Erde". Kathleen Ferrier (contralto), Julius Patzak (tenor), Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Bruno Walter. Recorded by Decca (Vienna 5/52). CD# Decca 466 576 2.

24. Bartok-"The 6 string quartets". Emerson String Quartet. Recorded by Deutsche Grammophon (1988). CD# DG 423 657 2.

25. Hugo Wolf-"22 lieder". Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Wilhelm Furtwangler (piano). Recorded by EMI (Salzburg 8/12/53). CD# EMI 7243 567570


This award is given for extraordinary contribution to the field of recording classical music. The recipient of the 2003 WALTER LEGGE Award is recording engineer, KENNETH WILKINSON.

For much of his illustrious, half century career, recording engineer KENNETH WILKINSON labored in anonymity. It was only toward the end of the LP era that labels began to identify production teams, and even then in small type. However, his reputation among musicians, colleagues and audiophiles was supreme. At Decca/London during its golden age from the 1950s to his retirement in 1980, "Wilkie" always headed The A Team.

He was responsible for thousands of major orchestral recordings at Decca/London, also many operas and Britten's "War Requiem" (of which he was especially proud). Still, he found time to do more, such as the highly-prized orchestral series for Reader's Digest, much of the Lyrita catalogue, and the path breaking series of film scores with Charles Gerhardt for RCA.

The most remarkable sonic aspect of a Wilkinson orchestral recording is its rich balance, which gives full measure to the bottom octaves, and a palpable sense of the superior acoustics of the venues he favored, among them London's Walthamstow Assembly Hall and The Kingsway Hall of revered memory. And he was no purist regarding microphone technique. He inherited the Decca "tree" technique from Roy Wallace and over time augmented its natural three-omni directional pickup with "outriggers" and accent microphones which he mixed in judiciously to produce a flawless (one might say "idealized") balance for playback in the home. Those who saw him work say that his hands were in constant motion, playing the mixing board like a musical instrument.

KENNETH WILKINSON'S well-earned retirement happened prior to the sale of Decca/London and the subsequent dismantling of its storied production facility. Happily, his work lives on in performances by all the great Decca artists (and more). His legacy will long stand as an inspiration for all who aspire to the recording arts.

-- An appreciation by Tam Henderson, Reference Recordings, with thanks to Tony Faulkner and Michael Gray.

Over 200 individuals sent in nominations for the 2003 awards. More than 70 record companies from around the world sent in recordings for consideration. Thank you all!

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