BRAHMS: Symphony No. 4 in E minor – Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / William Steinberg – Everest VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Job, a masque for dancing; Overture to The Wasps – London Philharmonic Orchestra / Sir Adrian Boult – Everest

by | Aug 10, 2008 | Classical Reissue Reviews | 0 comments

BRAHMS: Symphony No. 4 in E minor – Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / William Steinberg – Everest EVERCD006, 39:24 **** [Not Distr. in U.S.]:

Bert Whyte produced three LPs with Steinberg in Pittsburgh, of which this is the first to be reissued in this new series from Harkit Records. On this showing, the remainder are eagerly awaited. This recording appeared on the Omega CD series of 1996, coupled with Stokowski’s eccentric recording of the Third Symphony (missing on this CD).

Steinberg’s reading is full of integrity – it’s a reading to live with. The strings play with well-controlled vibrato and very occasional portamento, to a certain extent an historic informed performance! The recording, set in an ample acoustic, dates from early 1960, the last year of Everest’s brief life, and has worn very well indeed. There were plans to record Mahler’s Sixth with Steinberg conducting the London Philharmonic later that year.

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS:  Job, a masque for dancing; Overture to The Wasps – London Philharmonic Orchestra / Sir Adrian Boult – Everest EVERCD009, 65:33 ****  [Not Distr. in U.S.]:

Having got his team together, Bert Whyte started recording in London in August 1958, and these two works were recorded in the Royal Albert Hall. The acoustic in those days had not yet been tamed by the “mushrooms” and is certainly ample, but the location allowed the use of the enormous organ where required in “Job”.

It’s an excellent performance, though the orchestra will have had a little trouble hearing one another under those conditions. Boult recorded this work four times, twice in stereo, though his mono Decca recording is considered the tightest performance. “The Wasps” is very successful, the glorious melody in the middle soaring magnificently.

Unfortunately, the mastering for this release went awry; there are gaps at some track changes where the music should be continuous. The fault has been corrected and gapless copies should be available very soon.

— Peter Joelson
 

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