Nikolai Sokoloff & the Cleveland Orchestra: Complete Recordings

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Nikolai Sokoloff & the Cleveland Orchestra: Complete Recordings

Post by jserraglio » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:34 pm

New York Times
James Oestreich


CLEVELAND — Sound the trumpets, peal the bells! The Cleveland Orchestra, which many consider one of the finest ensembles in the nation and the world, turns 100 this year.

But don’t necessarily expect the orchestra, which plays two soberly sensible programs at Carnegie Hall this week, to join the clamor. There is no major commissioning project, such as you might see from other orchestras; no nationally televised gala.

“It’s kind of an understated celebration,” said Gary Hanson, the ensemble’s executive director from 2004 to 2015, “and that is absolutely true to the Cleveland Orchestra’s character. It would rather not make noise. The quality of the performances is always supposed to be the loudest voice.”

Franz Welser-Möst, music director since 2002, elaborated: “We shouldn’t be celebrating ourselves. We should be celebrating the city and the community.”

The city and community have backed the orchestra through thick and thin. Mostly thin, in recent decades, though Cleveland seems finally to be rebounding economically.

To anchor the season, Mr. Welser-Möst devised the “Prometheus Project,” an exploration of Beethoven’s music. It included an educational venture involving some 250 students of the Cleveland School of the Arts. Orchestra members worked with students of dance, painting, photography and the like for six months, and 11 young musicians from the school were coached to join the ensemble in the season-opening performance of Beethoven’s overture to “The Creatures of Prometheus.”

More grandly, the orchestra has embarked on a slightly expanded series of international tours; a trip to Vienna last October, with an innovative production of Janacek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen,” said to have been the first opera staging in the history of the fabled Musikverein; and a return to Vienna in May with all nine Beethoven symphonies, followed in June by a repeat of that cycle in Tokyo.

The Carnegie repertory this week is substantial but low-key: on Tuesday, Mahler’s Ninth Symphony and the New York premiere of a work commissioned for the occasion, “Stromab,” by the Austrian composer Johannes Maria Staud; and on Wednesday Haydn’s oratorio “The Seasons,” with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus.

The orchestra has long been renowned for its sound — precise, lithe and transparent, yet not lacking in power or color — and its disciplined work ethic, both honed by a series of strong maestros in the modern era. Much of the credit invariably goes to George Szell, the legendarily authoritarian music director from 1946 to his death in 1970. Christoph von Dohnanyi, Szell’s elegant and punctilious successor from 1984 to 2002, liked to say, “We give a great performance, and George Szell gets a great review.” (Pierre Boulez was the orchestra’s musical adviser from 1970 to 1972; Lorin Maazel, its music director from 1972 to 1982.)

In truth, Szell’s legacy, at least when it came to sound, was mixed. In search of a dry, clear, immediate acoustic, he had the great Skinner organ in Severance Hall, the orchestra’s classic Art Deco home of 1931, walled off by an acoustical shell filled with sand. The hall, magnificently restored, reopened in 2000 (complete with organ) and it continues to shape the orchestra’s sound.

“Severance Hall gives us wonderful feedback,” Mr. Welser-Möst said, “in colors, pliancy and intonation.”

As for the institutional ethos, the terrors of the Szell era left behind an enduring pride and sense of unified purpose. Morale remains strong.

“In general, people are on the same page,” said Mark Kosower, the principal cellist (one of eight principal players hired by Mr. Welser-Möst, of 17 total). Mr. Kosower describes a self-regenerating tradition in which “the musicians check their egos at the door and give what’s best for the orchestra.”

Where other symphony orchestra may complain about rehearsals that run too long or conductors who talk too much, Cleveland players tend to complain if they feel they have not had enough rehearsal or enough direction from the maestro.

Two incidents leading up to the Carnegie concerts spoke volumes about the ensemble’s seriousness and adaptability. On Jan. 13, after performances of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony on the two nights before, Mr. Welser-Möst led the orchestra in a superb third reading. If it did not have the warmth of, say, the Bruno Walter recording that long ago introduced me to the work, it was superbly played and full of the requisite tension. I detected no need for further rehearsal.

Mr. Welser-Möst and the players felt differently. Some requested more work on the second movement. So half an hour of intensive work on that movement was wedged into a rehearsal on Friday earmarked for a Beethoven concert that night.

This was no small matter. Players needed for the Mahler but not the Beethoven, who would otherwise have had the morning off, had to report for duty, and the orchestra’s contract requires that any such change be approved by a secret ballot of all members. The vote was taken, and permission was granted.

And last Thursday, the first presentation of “The Seasons” foundered when two of the three vocal soloists fell ill just hours beforehand. Replacements could not quickly be found. Mr. Welser-Möst decided in the late afternoon that the performance would go on in a much-abridged form (75 minutes of the two-hour piece), featuring the chorus and the last soloist standing, the brilliant South African soprano Golda Schultz.

Ordinarily, the orchestra’s librarians would have put scores on the musicians’ stands detailing cuts and the order of play, but there was no time for that. Instead, Mr. Welser-Most himself hastily drew up a road map to be placed on each stand, with notes like “No. 29 (up to measure 32 then cut to measure 55, letter B).”

“In this orchestra,” he said later, “everyone takes responsibility for what they do.”

Mr. Welser-Möst, no fan of the early-music movement, led a robust, full-bodied account of what remained. And between movements, he delivered amusing commentary off the cuff. The orchestral introduction to “Winter,” he said, characterized “the weather here in Cleveland in November.”

It was all a model of professionalism, leaving the audience obviously entertained and feeling in no way shortchanged. The tenor and bass-baritone soloists sang in the second performance, on Saturday, and are expected to appear on Wednesday. Despite the shortened rehearsal time, the Beethoven concert on Friday was excellent, as was the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration the Sunday before.

Skeptics say that touring orchestras are steeled and on their mettle when they visit Carnegie Hall, adding, “They don’t play that way every week at home.” The Cleveland Orchestra, as I learned during a season (1988-89) spent as its program annotator and editor, plays that way every week, no matter what or where.

Cleveland Orchestra Tuesday and Wednesday at Carnegie Hall.
Last edited by jserraglio on Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Cleveland Orchestra marks its 100th this week at Carnegie Hall

Post by Lance » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:10 am

Congratulations on their centennial. 100 years for an orchestra is wonderful. I have long revered my SZELL recordings of the Cleveland Orchestra and learned much from them. I truly believe he "made" that orchestra into the great ensemble it was during his tenure. I have never felt 100% that it is the same orchestra it was back then, but nothing is, even ourselves! I would also say it is pretty tough to follow on the heels of a master conductor (and wonderful pianist) as Szell. Big shoes to fill for certain. He set the precedent.
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Re: The Cleveland Orchestra marks its 100th this week at Carnegie Hall

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:47 am

Szell was really special, but Rodzinski had the orchestra in pretty good shape long before Szell got there, Maazel, Boulez and Dohnanyi kept it up long afterwards, and recordings of all four conductors with this orchestra show it. I have heard the CO live and they still project that blended, chamber-music aesthetic that Szell inculcated. Everybody else in the US, except maybe the CSO, pretty much sounds like everybody else.

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Re: The Cleveland Orchestra marks its 100th this week at Carnegie Hall

Post by maestrob » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:33 am

jserraglio wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:47 am
Szell was really special, but Rodzinski had the orchestra in pretty good shape long before Szell got there, Maazel, Boulez and Dohnanyi kept it up long afterwards, and recordings of all four conductors with this orchestra show it. I have heard the CO live and they still project that blended, chamber-music aesthetic that Szell inculcated. Everybody else in the US, except maybe the CSO, pretty much sounds like everybody else.
Yes, that glorious Philadelphia sound that I grew up with is now quite a thing of the past. <sigh>

As for Szell, my two favorite recordings from that era are a glorious Mahler IV with Judith Raskin (who studied with my voice teacher and taught his technique at the Manhattan School for many years), and a stunning Bruckner VIII that I still play at least once a year.

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Re: The Cleveland Orchestra marks its 100th this week at Carnegie Hall

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:35 pm

Some of Szell's live concerts are pretty spectacular too. An Emperor with Curzon, best ever heard IMO, and some modern works: Lees, Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra and Rochberg's Second.

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Re: The Cleveland Orchestra marks its 100th this week at Carnegie Hall

Post by THEHORN » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:12 pm

I don't think "everybody pretty much sounds like everybody else ". I haven't had a s much chance to hear America's different orchestras and compare them in recent years , because, unfortunately, they have been making far fewer recordings , radio and TV broadcasts and telecasts are far less common than they used to be .
As far as I can tell, the Philadelphia orchestra is still capable of sounding every bit luxurious as it used to , but not all music calls for smooth plush sounds . Ormandy tended to apply that plush "Philadelphia sound " to whatever he conducted in a kind of one size fits all manner . But orchestras should be flexible , and able to change their sound and style depending on th nationality of the composer and the period in which the music was written .

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Re: The Cleveland Orchestra marks its 100th this week at Carnegie Hall

Post by jserraglio » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:28 am

New this week
Pristine News
Mark Obert-Thorn

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SOKOLOFF & THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA

This week's release has a rather interesting genesis. Initially, it grew out of my plans to commemorate the 75th anniversary this year of Sergei Rachmaninov's death by reissuing several historical recordings of his works, beginning with the two versions of the 1929 set the composer recorded of his Second Concerto, which appeared on Pristine last month (PASC 521). For this series, I had wanted to do a new transfer of the 1928 world première recording of Rachmaninov's Second Symphony made by Nikolai Sokoloff and the Cleveland Orchestra, which had only been reissued once before, 25 years ago, in a ten-CD limited-edition set put out by the orchestra itself.

In looking around for appropriate fillers for the release, I contacted my friend and fellow collector Jim Cartwright in Austin, Texas, who told me that he had nearly all of the Sokoloff/Cleveland Brunswicks. This got me to thinking that there might be an opportunity here to do a larger and more important project. After all, besides the Rachmaninov symphony, only a handful of Sokoloff recordings had ever been reissued before; and these had appeared only on limited-edition fund-raising LPs put out by the orchestra.

What pushed this into the category of something that absolutely had to be done now, however, was the realization, once I started my research, that this year was the centenary of the Cleveland Orchestra, which gave its first concert in December, 1918 under Sokoloff as its founding music director. Here was a chance to hear what the New York Times recently called the finest orchestra in America today close to its very start, with a tranche of recordings which had, for the most part, been unavailable for over 80 years.

Once that decision was made, I had to go about locating all of the source material. There was, first of all, the matter of determining what constituted the complete Sokoloff/Cleveland recordings. I was not aware of any discography focusing on them; and although a general Brunswick discography was available, some of the details regarding the Sokoloff recordings were incorrect. (I had a particularly hard time determining whether a 1926 recording of Shepherd's Hey was ever published, which the discography erroneously suggested had been released along with the 1928 version, and whether the Rachmaninov Prelude in C-sharp minor was ever issued in the USA, as the discography stated it only appeared in the UK and Germany.)

Now that the list of what was released was settled, I had to find all the sources. Jim had most of what I didn't already have; but a few records were still missing. I asked some other collector friends of mine, and it turned out that each of them had one of the discs I needed. It was only after all of this that I could approach Andrew with the idea of doing a complete set.

The result is something that I think most collectors will find ear-opening - a window into a forgotten world, showing a bit of what was going on in the American orchestral scene of the 1920s outside of Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Chicago. The Clevelanders prove to be already superior to nearly every European orchestra on disc at the time; and Sokoloff is revealed as an energetic and imaginative interpreter, as well as a valued collaborator with Rachmaninov in the composer's efforts to edit and "tighten up" his most popular symphony. I found it to be an aural journey well worth the taking. I hope you will, too.

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Re: The Cleveland Orchestra marks its 100th this week at Carnegie Hall

Post by maestrob » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:05 pm

Fascinating!

And all these years later, I thought that Ormandy's reading of Rachmaninoff II with Minneapolis from the 1930's was the first commercial recording of this symphony. Congatulations on unearthing this great issue. Now all I need to know is where can I order it??? :D

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Re: The Cleveland Orchestra marks its 100th this week at Carnegie Hall

Post by John F » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:54 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:47 am
Szell was really special, but Rodzinski had the orchestra in pretty good shape long before Szell got there...
Quite so, and there are many Columbia recordings to prove it, including the first of the Berg violin concerto. Which testifies that Rodzinski was a more frequent and more committed performer of modern and new music than Szell, whatever the latter's other virtues. Though less known as an opera conductor, that was the foundation of Rodzinski's career, and among the fully staged operas he conducted during the 1930s in Severance Hall, which he inaugurated, was the American premiere of "Lady Macbeth of Mzensk," with a further performance at the Metropolitan Opera House, rented for the occasion. So I hope that the orchestra's centennial celebrations will acknowledge Rodzinski's achievement as well as Szell's.

In his later years Rodzinski returned to opera, conducting annually at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. His repertory there included "Tristan und Isolde" with Windgassen and Nilsson and the first complete performances of Prokofiev's "War and Peace."

Incidentally, the orchestra's first conductor was Nikolai Sokoloff, the father of pianist Vladimir Sokoloff and grandfather of Laurie Sokoloff, principal piccolo in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and a much-liked member of CompuServe's Music Forum. Several of us traveled to Baltimore for memorable concerts conducted by the orchestra's music director Yuri Temirkanov.
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Re: The Cleveland Orchestra marks its 100th this week at Carnegie Hall

Post by John F » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:28 pm

Writing about Rodzinski and the Cleveland Orchestra reminds me of one of the first LPs I bought with my own money, of Strauss's "Till Eulenspiegel," and the "Rosenkavalier" waltzes. Listening to it now, after maybe 60 years and many other performances and recordings of that music, I can hear that the orchestra in 1940 was still a work in progress (its board would never pay for as many strings as Rodzinski wanted) and did not yet have the knife-edge accuracy Szell eventually developed there.

The conducting is perhaps more brilliant than the actual playing. But the orchestra had talented players, including cellist Leonard Rose and flutist Julius Baker whom Rodzinski took with him to the New York Philharmonic. Its new concertmaster, Tossy Spivakovsky, succeeding Josef Fuchs, was a soloist and had been concertmaster of Furtwängler's Berlin Philharmonic at age 18. You can hear him, and them, in "Till Eulenspiegel." I could have chosen worse.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n7fvTXykJY
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Re: The Cleveland Orchestra marks its 100th this week at Carnegie Hall

Post by jserraglio » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:11 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:05 pm
Now all I need to know is where can I order it???
Pristine's website has it on CD among other formats. https://www.pristineclassical.com/colle ... ts/pasc524

The Sokoloff Rach 2nd was first issued on CD In 1993 as part of the Cleveland Orchestra 75th Anniversary set.

A 106-disc George Szell mega box is due from Sony in August.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Scribendum has issued a 19-disc Rodzinski box--but none of his Cleveland recordings are in it, iirc.
John F wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:28 pm
You can hear him, and them, in "Till Eulenspiegel." I could have chosen worse.

I recall another knowledgeable listener stating that he regarded Rodzinski as the most underrated conductor of the twentieth century. I consider AR's DSCH 5 with the Cleveland as brilliantly conceived and conducted--capturing the composer's sardonic tone.

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Nikolai Sokoloff & the Cleveland Orchestra: Complete Recordings

Post by jserraglio » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:36 pm

Review of Sokoloff / CO Centenary Pristine release. (2018)
Audiophile Audition

https://www.audaud.com/nikolai-sokoloff ... ary-lemco/

Nikolai Sokoloff and the Cleveland Orchestra: Complete Recordings, 1924-28 – The Cleveland Orchestra. Nikolai Sokoloff – Pristine Audio

Sokoloff would lead the Cleveland Orchestra 1918-1932, inaugurating national and international tours, initiating young people’s educational concerts, and instituting radio and broadcast performances. Among his various worksite practices, he hired women instrumentalists who received the same rate of pay as his men. He left Cleveland in 1935 to head the Federal Music Project until 1937, during which time he channeled funds into various orchestral and vocal organizations in Cleveland. He later led the orchestra in Seattle before moving on to organize an orchestra in LaJolla, California.

From what Obert-Thorn assembles for these discs, we hear highly energized set of performances, much in the Romantic tradition—Sokoloff employs slides and portamento as freely as Stokowski and Mengelberg—and the vigor of approach more than once had my musical imagination’s comparing Sokoloff with Albert Coates, especially in the Russian repertory or any music whose pace accelerates with unabashed fury. While I rarely express much enthusiasm over acoustic recordings—and these often elicit the whine and hollow upper range that consistently drive my avoidance—the musical acuity and natural affinity of style in the work of Brahms, Dvorak, and Wagner excited my blood. The tempo of the Hungarian Dance No. 5 seems exactly that which Chaplin exploits for his shave-sequence in The Great Dictator. Truncated versions—to suit the time limits of the 78 shellacs—of Johann Strauss, Sibelius, Nicolai, Saint-Saens, and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 (Op. 49, not Op. 44) notwithstanding, the musicality remains, and the Valse from Sleeping Beauty – incorrectly assigned opus 20—enjoys a slick verve that makes us wish for more. The Allegretto movement from the Brahms D Major Symphony devolves into pure mania, though it had begun stylistically alert.

Obert-Thorn provides considerable technical detail on Brunswick’s 1926 “Light-Ray” process for electrical recordings, which presented distortion issues in the forte range and above. Some shatter readily appears in the opening brass foray of Rachmaninov’s Prelude in c-sharp minor. The string line in Nicolai, however, set along an inverted pedal, enjoys a smooth legato, even though I find the brass much too subdued. By the time the introductory bars segue, the Overture is half over. The trumpet work proves exemplary, rivaling what Dobrowen could elicit from the Philharmonia Orchestra in the Tsar Saltan. Is it violinist Joseph Fuchs who leads us in Danse Macabre? No repeats, but the interchange with the xylophone and fugal strings demonstrates pert resonance. The climactic polyphony on the Dies Irae, despite the cuts, really whistles up a storm. The Halvorsen Entry March of the Boyars seems to me quite, even singularly, successful, with clear clarinet, brass—including piccolo, cymbals and snare drum – and string response. The lighter textures proceed with delightful finesse.

“The Final Electrics” series of recordings had Brunswick’s adapting the more successful process of rival companies Columbia and Victor, and the resultant acoustical efficiency manifests itself in stylish readings—albeit distant in some microphone placement—of Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony, whose rhythmic license often nods to Willem Mengelberg as a kindred spirit. The retention of the first movement repeat adds dramatic girth to the innate lyricism of the occasion, made even more intense through the liberal use of rubato. The chorale quality of the second movement’s martial progress can be quite affecting, and Sokoloff’s maintenance of individual wind colors only needs better sound to do it justice. Though I find the Entr’acte and Valse from Coppelia insipid as music, the rendition from Sokoloff proves as stylish as any Beecham version of French music. For lightness and natural elan, Grainger’s Morris Dance, Shepherd’s Hey, relishes the composer’s rusticity as well as anyone.

The three works that constitute Disc 3—a second, abridged Valse Triste of Sibelius, the Borodin Polovtsian Dances, and the Rachmaninov Second Symphony—approach a “modern” sound. The scintillating, alternately driven and leisurely, performance of the Borodin dances from Act II of Prince Igor exerts the same energy and buoyancy I look to from Mitropoulos in his CBS version from New York. As early as 1919 had Sokoloff approached Rachmaninov about editing his massive e minor Symphony for popular consumption. Judicious but not excessive cuts followed—including a tempo change for the second movement and several harmonization adjustments—and so the version that Sokoloff recorded retains more music than Ormandy in Philadelphia would promulgate as the “official,” cut score that endured after 1934. Those of us who relish the recorded versions by Sanderling and Rozhdestvensky in contemporary sound will discover a poignant, emotionally literate reading (7-8 May 1928) from Sokoloff, expansive as it is sincere, especially for this work’s debut on records. Savor the arch-Romantic Adagio for its expressive opulence, a poignant tribute to Sokoloff’s art.

Obert-Thorn notes that Sokoloff went on to make records on the Alco and Concert Hall labels of music by Dello Joio, Rosza, Lopatnikoff, Martinu, and Britten. We might hope that Obert-Thorn’s ambitions for restoration projects will embrace these documents.

—Gary Lemco

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Re: The Cleveland Orchestra marks its 100th this week at Carnegie Hall

Post by Heck148 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:52 am

THEHORN wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:12 pm
As far as I can tell, the Philadelphia orchestra is still capable of sounding every bit luxurious as it used to , but not all music calls for smooth plush sounds . Ormandy tended to apply that plush "Philadelphia sound " to whatever he conducted in a kind of one size fits all manner. But orchestras should be flexible , and able to change their sound and style depending on th nationality of the composer and the period in which the music was written.
Much of that Ormandy "Philadelphia Sound" stuff was, IMO, generated in the recording process - lush, rich strings, recessed woodwinds and brass....but the orchestra did not sound that way live. I heard them many times, in several different venues, and the orchestra sounded great - plenty of brass and woodwinds, wonderful ensemble - it did not have that doctored, phony sort of sound that affected so many of the recordings...

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Re: Nikolai Sokoloff & the Cleveland Orchestra: Complete Recordings

Post by John F » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:15 am

The Philadelphia Orchestra certainly didn't sound like its Columbia recordings when they performed in the Academy of Music - an acoustic so dry that it made NBC's notorious Studio 8H sould like Carnegie Hall. I always believed the orchestra's voluptuous string sound was developed to compensate for the Academy's dryness. But I didn't hear them often because I didn't live in Philadelphia and didn't think much of Ormandy anyway. Most of his recordings that I have are concerto accompaniments.
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Re: The Cleveland Orchestra marks its 100th this week at Carnegie Hall

Post by maestrob » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:24 am

Heck148 wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:52 am
THEHORN wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:12 pm
As far as I can tell, the Philadelphia orchestra is still capable of sounding every bit luxurious as it used to , but not all music calls for smooth plush sounds . Ormandy tended to apply that plush "Philadelphia sound " to whatever he conducted in a kind of one size fits all manner. But orchestras should be flexible , and able to change their sound and style depending on th nationality of the composer and the period in which the music was written.
Much of that Ormandy "Philadelphia Sound" stuff was, IMO, generated in the recording process - lush, rich strings, recessed woodwinds and brass....but the orchestra did not sound that way live. I heard them many times, in several different venues, and the orchestra sounded great - plenty of brass and woodwinds, wonderful ensemble - it did not have that doctored, phony sort of sound that affected so many of the recordings...
I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, and during my high school years, attended many (free) concerts by the Philadelphia Orchestra in their then home the Academy of Music on Broad Street. From what I recall, the acoustics were quite dry (The hall was originally intended to be for operatic performances.) and Ormandy and Stokowski before him had the strings play a very full, lush sound to compensate. They then took that sound into their preferred location for recording (I've forgotten the name) which had an acoustic more sympathetic to the microphone in the 1960's. Unfortunately, the sound did not translate well into Beethoven's Symphonies, for example, but did work well in XXth century music (Bartok, Shostakovich, Debussy (!), Mahler, Hindemith, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Sibelius. RCA tried in its initial release of six albums when Ormandy switched labels in 1971, to record in the Academy but the results were poor so they also moved to recording Ormandy outside the Academy.

In MHO, I think that Ormandy's recordings of XXth Century repertoire are stellar, and they remain a cornerstone of my collection.

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Re: Nikolai Sokoloff & the Cleveland Orchestra: Complete Recordings

Post by John F » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:18 pm

Stokowski and Ormandy got a somewhat different sound from the Philadelphia strings, Ormandy more consistently plush and Stokey somewhat more lithe. That may be because some of his recordings were made in the Academy of Music, some in Victor's Camden studios. The Franck symphony (I grew up with this recording) was made in the Academy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFoALTDhRdQ
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Re: Nikolai Sokoloff & the Cleveland Orchestra: Complete Recordings

Post by Heck148 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:17 pm

John F wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:18 pm
Stokowski and Ormandy got a somewhat different sound from the Philadelphia strings, Ormandy more consistently plush and Stokey somewhat more lithe. That may be because some of his recordings were made in the Academy of Music, some in Victor's Camden studios. The Franck symphony (I grew up with this recording) was made in the Academy
Also - Stokowski allowed free bowing in his orchestras, which would certainly produce a different quality from Ormandy's.
I heard Ormandy/Phila in several different venues in those years - LIncoln Center, SPAC [Saratoga Performing Arts center], and Eastman Theater [Rochester]. They always sounded terrific, not really string heavy and lush, but full and well-balanced.

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