Saturday, April 10, 2010
Mitropoulos/ NYPO and Reiner/Pittsburgh Shostakovich Symphonies
These two recordings, to the best of my knowledge, are not currently available on CD. The Reiner Masterworks Heritage CD containing this recording is listed on Amazon for absurdly high prices, indicating it is not longer in the catalog. It is a brilliant remastering and I would strongly recommend getting the CD if you can find it at a reasonable price. Though I own it, I have used my well used, thrift store LP for the renovation, in line with my stated intent not to post other's digital work. It cleaned up rather well.
The Mitropoulos recording of the Fifth Symphony, with the "Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York", was the first performance of the first Shostakovich piece I ever heard, when I checked the record out of the Thayer Public Library in Braintree, Massachusetts as a sophomore or junior in high school. (Many thanks to that library for its small but sterling collection of classical records which introduced me also to the Oistrakh/Mitropoulos recording of the Violin Concerto of the same composer and so many other great recordings.) After all these years, it is still my favorite performance on record, despite the less than brilliant sonic properties of the Columbia LP, which I have tried to improve as much as I felt was prudent.
Unfortunately, Mitropoulos, one of the very greatest musicians of the last century, more often than not suffered from poor or, at best, mediocre recording. The recording of the 6th symphony with Reiner predates by several years that of the 5th by Mitropoulos, and was issued originally on 78s; it is nonetheless superior sonically.
Both of these records contain performances of reference of the works in question, and it has been a pleasure and privilege to restore them for this post.
Link to all files