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The Big Five II: New York Philharmonic, Part I

Bill begins a two-week series on our oldest orchestra, the New York Philharmonic. Their doors opened December 7, 1842 and Bill plays several pieces the Philharmonic included in its opening season— the overture to Weber’s Oberon and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. This orchestra was conducted and cultivated by Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss, and Gustav Mahler, and their influence along with many other musicians is still heard in every note the orchestra plays. Many of the works they premiered have become standard orchestral literature.  Bill interviews musicians, explores the orchestra’s archives, and features some of its most memorable performances.

Program 1

We begin at the opening of the New York Philharmonic on December 7, 1842. Bill plays several pieces the New York Philharmonic included in their opening season, using modern recordings, including the overture to Weber’s Oberon and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

Bernstein: Candide (excerpt}
New York Phil Orch/Bernstein
Sony 63085

Weber, Carl Maria Von: Overture Oberon (excerpt}
New York Phil/Bernstein
Sony 47601
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, 2. Andante (excerpt)
New York Phil/Masur
Teldec 77313
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, 1. Allegro Con Brio
New York Phil/Masur
Teldec 77313
Beethoven: Fidelio, “Gott Dunkel hier!”
Berlin Phil Orch /Jon Vickers,t./Karajan
EMI 69290
Hummel: Piano Quintet in E-flat, Op.87, 3. Largo 4. Finale
Sestetto Classico
M D &G 3080067
2:08 Largo
4:57 Finale
Rossini: Armida- Act.2
1. “D’amor Al Dolce Impero”
2. “Gil Augei Tra Fronde E Fronde”
3. “La Fresca Eta Sen Fugge”
4. “Ah! Si,Godete Amandi”
Renée Fleming,s. Patrick Summers/ Orch. of St. Lukes
Decca 467101 
Kalliwoda: Cocerto in C Major for Oboe, Op.110 3.Vivace
Burkhard Glaetzner, Oboe
Berlin Sinfonie-Orchestra,/Claus Peter Flor
Traditional: Tyler and Tippecanoe (1840)
Oscar Brand
Election Songs of the United States
Beethoven: Symphony No.5 in C minor, 3.Scherzo (excerpt)
New York Phil/Masur
Teldec 77313
Program 2

Bill discusses earlier attempts to create a New York Philharmonic before its final incarnation and the effort to build the Philharmonic a new concert space. We travel back to those early days with Arturo Toscanini conducting Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and a modern recording of the finale of “Ode to Joy,” which the was performed in America for the first time by the New York Philharmonic in 1846.

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7, Op. 92 3. Presto
New York Phil/Toscanini April 9 1936
BMG 60316

Mendelssohn:Symphony No. 3 in a minor,"Scottish" 1. Andante Con Moto
NY Phil/Bernstein
Sony 47591
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in d minor, Finale “Ode to Joy
NY Phil/ Masur
Special Edition NYPO105A/B
Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.21 Scherzo
New York Phil/ Toscanini
BMG 60316
Program 3

We enter a tough period for the New York Philharmonic due to increased competition from European orchestras, the financial panic of 1851 and the American Civil War. Carl Bergmann took over as conductor in 1855 until 1876, and managed to shift the New York Philharmonic into a more nuanced ensemble group. Bill plays Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2, which the Philharmonic debuted in 1881, and the second symphony of Anton Rubinstein.


Beethoven: Symphony No.9 in d minor, Finale “Ode to Joy” (excerpt)
NY Phil/ Masur
Special Edition NYPO105A/B

Beethoven: Symphony No.5 in C minor, 21. Allegro Con Brio (excerpt)
New York Phil/Masur
Teldec 77313
Stonewall Jackson's Way
More Songs and Music from Gettysburg (Sound Track}
Milan Records B0000015HF
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Op 14, 4. March Au Supplice
New York Phil./Bernstein
Sony 47525
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto, No. 2 in G Major, Op.44
New York Phil./Leonskaja,p./Masur
Teldec 95069
A. Rubenstein: Symphony No. 2 in C, Op 42 "Ocean"
Slovak Phil Orch/Guzenhauser
Naxos 8555392
Brahms: Concerto for Piano and Orch., No. 2 B-Dur Op. 83 3. Andante
Sony 47539
Berlioz: La Damnation De Faust. Op. 24- Rakoczy March
New York Phil./ Bernstein
Sony 47525


Program 4

Carl Bergmann’s passing in 1876 was a low point for the New York Philharmonic.  Bill plays a modern recording of Brunnhilde’s Immolation Scene from Wagner’s Gotterdammerung, which Leopold Damrosch premiered in New York when he took over as the Philharmonic’s conductor. Damrosch’s programming was too adventurous for the public, so Theodore Thomas took the podium before leaving for Chicago. We close with modern recordings of the fourth symphony of Brahms and the ninth symphony of Dvorak.

Wagner: Tannheuser
New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Boulez
Sony 64108

Wagner: Brunnhilde's Immolation Scene (Finale Act III, Scene 3/ Gotterdammerung
New York Philharmonic Orchestra: Eileen Farrell/Leonard Bernstein
Sony 47644
Pytor Tchaikowsky: Serenade for String Orchestra (Op. 48), II. Waltz
New York Phil Orch/Bernstein
Sony 47637
Johannes Brahms: Symphony #4 In E Minor, Op. 98 -
4. Allegro Energico E Passionato, Più Allegro
New York Philharmonic Orch/Masur
Teldec 0630-13695
Antonin Dvorak: Symphony #9 In E Minor, Op.95"From The New World" II. Largo
Thomas Stacy, Eng. horn, New York Phil Orch/Masur
Teldec 9031-73244
Program 5

We reach the end of the 19th century, as Anton Seidl brought back the music of Wagner to the New York Philharmonic until his unexpected death in 1898. Bill plays the 1945 recording of Bruno Walter conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, Bernstein conducting a Sibelius violin concerto in 1963 and Eugene Ormandy conducting Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto #3.


Victor Herbert: Cello Concerto #2 In E Minor, Op. 30 -
2. Andante Tranquillo (excerpt)
Yo-Yo Ma,c New York Phil./Masur
Sony 67173

Richard Wagner: Siegfried's Death and Funeral March from Götterdämmerung
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Tennstedt (excerpt)
EMI 68616
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Sym. No. 6 h-moll op.74 "Pathétique" 
4. Finale : adagio lamentoso - andante
New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernstein
Sony 47635
Mahler Symphony No. 4 - IV. Sehr behaglich - 7:49
Halban, NYPO/ Bruno Walter, Carnegie Hall, May 10, 1945
Sony 64450
Jean Sibelius(1865-1957) Violin Concerto in d min., Op 47 -
3 Allegro ma non tanto
Francescatti,v. NYPO/Bernstein, Philharmonic Hall, 1/15/1963
Sony 47540
Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto #3 in D minor, Op. 30 -
3. Finale: Alla breve
New York Phil. Orch./ Horowitz, p. Ormandy,c
RCA 12633



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