Thursday, December 23, 2010

Great conductors of the 20TH century EMI VOL.7 - Ferenc Fricasy

  CD1 [79:35]

Dukas: L'Apprenti sorcier

Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Sendesaal, Sender Freies Berlin (Live); November 1961

Kodály: Dances of Galanta
Wiener Philharmoniker; Salzburg Festival (Live); August 1961

Shostakovich: Symphony No.9
RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem (Live); April & May 1954

Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Weber
RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem (Live); June 1952

J. Strauss: Künstlerleben (Walzer)
RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem (Live); June 1950

CD2 [77:32]

Beethoven: Overture 'Leonore' No.3

Beethoven: Symphony No.3 'Eroica'

Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Sendesaal, Sender Freies Berlin (Live); February 1961

Mozart: Così fan tutte: Overture
RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem (Live); January 1951


Ferenc Fricsay began studying music at the tender age of five at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, where the rigorous syllabus included playing an instrument, composing and conducting. In Szeged, he was appointed military bandmaster in 1933, took charge of the Philharmonic Orchestra in 1934 and established the opera department at the Theatre in 1939. Forced to flee the Gestapo in 1944, he and his family went into hiding in Budapest. The following year he became leader of the city's Metropolitan Orchestra and conductor of the Budapest Opera. His international breakthrough came in 1947 at the Salzburg Festival and led to a post as guest conductor with the Vienna State Opera. Subsequent stages in his career included the City Opera House in Berlin (1948-52), the RIAS Symphony Orchestra (1948-54), which he honed into an ensemble of world-class standing, Munich's Bavarian State Opera (1956-58) and the Deutsche Oper Berlin (1961-63). He died tragically early, aged only 48, in 1963.
Fricsay's catalogue of commercial recordings is huge, but this compilation is made up entirely of broadcast performances, chosen by the Ferenc Fricsay Archive and unavailable on disc before. Furthermore, some of these performances (including Shostakovich's Symphony No.9 [from 1954], Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Weber [from 1952] and Dukas's Sorcerer's Apprentice [the conductor's last surviving recording from 1961]) do not duplicate studio recordings, so their appearance will be a major priority for collectors. The recording of Kodály's Dances of Galánta with the Vienna Philharmonic, an orchestra Fricsay did not record with commercially, is live from the 1961 Salzburg Festival. Fricsay's core Classical repertory is represented by Beethoven, whose works were an artistic challenge to him all his life, and a taste (the overture) of a planned but never completed recording of Mozart's Così fan tutte.

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