18 Sep 2011

Bruno Walter / New York Philharmonic - Schubert. Symphony 9 -&- Dvorak. Symphony 8 - CBS 1946/7

Franz Schubert:  Symphony no.9 in C major - "The Great"
I:  Andante - Allegro ma non troppo  ~  IIAndante con moto  ~ III:  Scherzo (Allegro vivace)  ~  IVAllegro vivace     
Philips  GBL 5609   1962 UK reissue/matrices: G03588L 1L -3 / 2L -2.   Recorded: 22 April 1946 - Carnegie Hall, New York.
The US tape dubbing is rather lacking in frequency-range. Very slightly re-edited July 2012 with + ~2dB upper treble enhancement.
Antonin Dvorak: Symphony no.8 (4) in G major, op.88     
I:  Allegro con brio  ~  II:  Adagio  ~  III:  Allegretto grazioso   ~  IV:  Allegro ma non troppo    
EMI / Columbia  33CX 1036   Original 1953 LP.  EMI matrices: XLP 443 -6N / XLP 444 -5N    Recorded: 28 Nov.1947 - Carnegie Hall, New York.
July 2010 files extensively re-edited July 2012. Now single file. Side 2 amplified by +2.4 dB so as to match Side 1.
The sound is somewhat 'crumbly'  due to the original CBS discs-to-tape transfer.. see:  IDIS 6509 - MusicWeb 2007
2 files zip FLAC  Mega Download
New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra  conducted by  Bruno Walter      Schubert Sleeve/sleeve-note >>>   


  1. Sorry. I've just found the proper way to do this.

    I've just caught up with your response (many thanks) and the comment on the performance. I have a suspicion - I never heard him "live" though I do just remember a live broadcast of the Bruckner 9th from London in the fifties - that Walter is probably unfairly treated by some of his discs. Heard once in the concert hall the tempo variations (not as portentous or extreme as Furtwangler's, or as wooden as Szell's occasional attempts to use tempo as an expressive device) would probably have worked very well - they are skilfully prepared. The 1962 stereo recording I find doesn't work at any level. This one does have life and urgency throughout. Many thanks for putting it up.

  2. You may get the corrected file/s by tomorrow - as just now transferring that side.
    I'm the one who's sorry - as thought I wouldn't make the mistake (happened on the Mercury/Hanson's on 'Pristine') again: but by bumping-up the Audacity volume I can detect numerous (very) small defects that otherwise wouldn't hear - now use the 'new' speakers to detect other 'types' not audible on the laptops speakers - but they don't need the volume-boost.
    I sold the SBRG pressing (Columbia SO) many years ago - but wasn't 'thrilled', as I recall; but, as with the Dvorak NYPO no.8, (on the main blog: am re-editing the files currently - edited on the previous desktop, originally) there are disruptive tempo-changes: more 'appropriate' ('exciting') for Dvorak!

  3. Thank you for the corrected file as well as for the back cover.
    As I've written elsewhere I usually make comments after listening to the performance and I've listened to this Ninth a couple of days ago as background music while working, so I couldn't have a strong opinion about it.
    I've listened to it more carefully and I think that it's a wonderful performance, even if it's more controlled than the live recording from 1950. I agree with Abersnecky that Walter's live perfomances are often better than his studio output and that sometimes his studio recordings don't make full service to his art.
    I still continue to admire Furtwangler and Krauss's ultra-Romantic freedom in tempi and dynamics, or Tennstedt's ultra refined orchestral balance. But this version is a nice add to my collection of performances of this masterpiece (a personal favorite).

  4. Not too sure that I've ever listened to the Furtwangler (DGG 1951) - either in the 'In Memoriam' box from about 1963 (seen that listed @ $650 !!) - or the 1977 reissue - or the Tennstedt (presumably the digital/BPO - also reissued on EMI Eminence LP) - which is the problem encountered when one accumulates numerous performances.

    I was quite happy with just the one, as a schoolboy: Boston/Munch - on Victrola (now have on mono/stereo original Decca/RCA's).

    Surprisingly the Concertgebouw/Krips [various new copies from about 1952 - late '60's] hasn't made it to CD: a nice performance - and better-recorded than the 1946 Walter (because of the time spent editing I tend to be aware of any 'deficiencies' in that dept. - which probably colours my opinion about the performance!).

  5. *SORRY* I was referring to Tennstedt's live recording on Testament.
    I know many performances from Furtwangler: the 1951 studio performance, a 1944 live and the famous 1942 live performance in the DG boxset. I like them all, for different reasons.
    I like Mengelberg's broadcast recording quite much indeed.
    But I agree with you - too many performances, I feel a bit congested when speaking of this symphony :D :D :D

  6. Dear Tin Ear,
    You should perhaps not be too offended if faults go unreported. Many of us were accustomed to LPs being deleted without warning so we download anything interesting (such as most of your items) as soon as we possibly can, but time is at a premium and we store them up for future listening so may not notice a fault for some time. I still have many items from you which remain to be heard. There is the further thought that I for one would be unwilling to criticise your considerable efforts in order not to appear ungrateful (how very English of me - rather like the curate not criticising the bad egg). Please accept my blanket thanks for everything you post - I for one am extremely grateful and if there are faults I probably do not notice them, just as I never seem to notice hiss and crackle on my old LPs; I hear the music, not the carrier.

    Andrew Smith (Technoklutz) who will one day work out how not be Anonymous.

  7. ...and a rider: please carry on uploading the highest quality - even if I don't always hear that it is, I need the reassurance that it is.
    (I imagine that's a known syndrome and there are analysts out there who think I need counselling).

    Andrew Eponymous Smith

  8. Hello Andrew.
    Oh yes: do realise these (like so many of my LP's bought years back 'in bulk') can go un-listened to for a while/ever: but, though it's my fault (now recall I re-checked the opening minute of the side: where 'little ticks' reside - then promptly forgot I'd adjusted the 'volume'!) it was the sheer number of 'faulty downloads' that annoyed me before I became aware of the fact.

    There is a slight sound-difference between the sides (I increased the volume on side 1 by something less than a decibel as it never peaked as high as side 2 (still doesn't)) but it sounds 'brighter' than side two..which is much shorter..).
    I did previously consider it a 'dull' transfer (like the full-price Philips Walter/NYPSO Beethoven 'Triple') - mentioned it about a year back.

    Having listened a few more times 'as background' I like the performance even less (Edward Greenfield pointed out the 'faults' which irk me - before I'd read that review..)!!

    Re: 'Anon': whilst signed-in with your Google account (ie as used for Sympathyshare) access this blog, and click 'sign-in' (top RH corner)..you'll then be taken to a 'Sign up for Blogger' page.

  9. I would like to point out that there is a passage of a few seconds' duration near the end of the first movement that reveals some severe tape phase distortion. My guess is that a full track tape was being played by a half track stereo head and the output summed; the tape was slightly warped and the phase distortion was induced by severe variable HF cancellation. This weird 'squishy' sound is not audible in the same place on the Lys CD transfer nor on ML 4093, the first microgroove release--and of course it's not evident on the 78s. The master was a series of 33.3 laquer transcription disks and the early LP was either compiled "on the fly" by direct playback of those disks onto a microgroove lathe, or from a tape dubbing that was properly done without the phase distortion (being obviously a monaural head in both record and playback mode.) CBS/Philips obviously had access to an old archival tape transfer and did not do a very good job in producing the LP. Furthermore, a considerable amount of artificial reverb has been added, which I find obnoxious; so either the Lys transfer or ML 4093 sound superior to me, with greater presence and realism and solidity. I am sorry I did not discover the phase distortion spot before I had burned two copies from your upload; I would not have bothered to save it.

    1. Please note that another blog has made a transcription from M4093 and it has the defect, but the sound is better defined, and that yet another blog has made a transcription from MM379 (78rpm) and, as you say, it has not the defect, but the sound is dull.
      GNL03588L is in between. just too bad because this British series of Walter reissues is generally excellent.
      So, we might well say with Columbia: "never twice the same sound"!

    2. Normally this early '60's series (GL/GBL) will be 'bright' (ie: Beecham/RPO are noticeably brighter than earlier 'Fontana' CFL or even earlier Philip ABL issues).

      The (possibly not on CD) Ormandy Dvorak 9/Carnival is likewise very clear - but the Schubert 78/tape/UK LP transfer limits what can be extracted from this particular GBL - and I used a high-quality pickup cartridge.......with the treble here being later additionally 'boosted'..as noted, and subsequent to the above comment.
      Not much more that I can do, in this case........

  10. I transferred/uploaded this as the limited-circulation United Archives CD (source being:??) wasn't available.

    I have stated the sound quality was not optimum: have also heard 'phase effects' on some other material originating from Columbia @ this time.

    Hardly my fault, Mr Anonymous.

    There have been some 450 'complete' downloads: doubtless you will be happier-still with the UA CD if/when it makes a re-appearance.

  11. The 1952 Krips Concertgebouw Schubert 9 was issued on CD at the end of 2011: Eloquence 4802802 – with the wonderful 1953 Beethoven Symphony 4. I was lucky enough to discover an unplayed LXT of that in a London charity shop just before Christmas! Lovely cover artwork too...

  12. Yes: noticed that 'in time' - have both on LP. ..

    The original sleeve design looks especially lovely as a crisp/undamaged original screen-print sleeve - with its dark-blue, etc un-dimmed.
    Actually, the later Ace of Clubs pressing I have sounds the best. ..

    Krips' Schubert Symphony 6 (LSO) has never been on CD - but that must be from 78's - and even the ACL pressing is below-par -- but could team it ip with the ACL of Franck's Symphony (Paris/Munch) as that sounds reasonably OK (the LXT is grotty) - though the fillu-p of the Symphonic Variations (Eileen Joyce) is 'beyond redemption'....

  13. Looks promising indeed, thanks for reposting! A nice introduxion to Bruno Walter...

    1. I think that I 'promised' to re-edit the Dvorak around September 2011....!!!