11-27a: RODZINSKI / REEDER ROUNDUP! Mussorgsky | Tchaikovsky | Sibelius | Richard Strauss | Shostakovich AND MORE...

The main post for 11-27 will follow, but first here are a bunch of transfers of Columbia 78s featuring the work of Artur Rodziński (d. Nov. 27, 1958), all made by the trusty F. Reeder over at the Internet Archive. A few of these I believe we've seen already, but at least a couple dozen we haven't, and I found it too difficult to choose from them... so I'll leave that up to you!

Rodziński is most famous for his legendary decade with the Cleveland Orchestra, from 1933 to 1943. Much of the credit usually given to the tyrannical George Szell for transforming that orchestra into the world-class organization it is today should really be reserved for Rodziński; for without the prior groundwork he laid the Clevelanders would not have been up to Szell's exacting demands. Rodziński also had four great seasons in New York with the Philharmonic, and as guest conductor for Toscanini's NBC Symphony, which Rodziński had helped to organize in 1936–37.

Rodziński's later years, first in New York, and then in an abortive stint at the Chicago Symphony in 1947–48, were characterized by a lot of personal wrangling with orchestra management. His reputation as a conductor was such that his resignation from the New York Philharmonic was actually a cover story for Time magazine in February 1947:

After Chicago, Rodziński had no further long-term positions in his career; he did do quite a bit of freelance work, especially in the opera pit, both in the United States and in Europe. And it's perhaps because of this somewhat sour end to his professional life that he isn't remembered as well as some of his contemporaries, even though he was certainly at least their equal as a musician.

He was tall; he used a big baton; he preferred brisk tempi; he was renowned wherever he mounted the podium for his muscular yet refined interpretations. Enjoy these recordings by this too-little-lauded master of the orchestra!


No comments:

Post a Comment