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AX 0224
DVORAK, A.: Symphony No. 8 / BRAHMS, J.: Symphony No. 1 (Czech Philharmonic, Swiss Festival Orchestra, Szell) (1962, 1969)

DVORAK, A.: Symphony No. 8 / BRAHMS, J.: Symphony No. 1 (Czech Philharmonic, Swiss Festival Orchestra, Szell) (1962, 1969)

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2013

Originally recorded in 2013


Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi Chamber Orchestra


George Szell


Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi Chamber Orchestra



Liver recording


Live Recording


Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 81:01
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DVORAK, A.: Symphony No. 8 / BRAHMS, J.: Symphony No. 1 (Czech Philharmonic, Swiss Festival Orchestra, Szell) (1962, 1969)

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Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88, B. 163

1 I. Allegro con brio 10:50
2 II. Adagio 10:33
3 III. Allegretto grazioso - Molto vivace 06:36
4 IV. Allegro ma non troppo 09:58
 Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi Chamber Orchestra Orchestra



Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

5 I. Un poco sostenuto - Allegro 13:28
6 II. Andante sostenuto 09:07
7 III. Un poco allegretto e grazioso 04:25
8 IV. Adagio - Piu andante - Allegro non troppo ma con brio - Piu allegro 16:04
 Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi Chamber Orchestra Orchestra
 George Szell Conductor

 Rhythmic precision, formal awareness, absolute faithfulness to the work and razor-sharp orchestral control: George Szell (1897-1970) is seen as one of the great "orchestral disciplinarians" of the twentieth century, as a superior musical director and an uncompromising perfectionist - a reputation which he gained, first and foremost, during his twenty-four years as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, which he formed into one of the world’s finest ensembles. The musical roots of the Hungarian-born conductor, however, are in the "Old World", and after the Second World War he was one of the first musicians in American exile to return to Europe for concerts. During the Fifties and Sixties, George Szell regularly appeared at LUCERNE FESTIVAL. The concert recordings presented here - both of which are first releases - encompass two works central in his repertoire: in 1962, the "anti-romantic and master of precision" (Harold C. Schonberg), alongside the Swiss Festival Orchestra, achieved a powerful and intensely determined interpretation of Brahms’ First Symphony, whose transparently played, chamber-like middle movements are framed by outer movements full of suspense. In the summer of 1969 - one year after the violent defeat of the "Prague Spring" - Szell was reunited with the Czech Philharmonic in Lucerne. He had worked with the orchestra as early as the 1930s during his tenure at the New German Theatre in Prague. His thrillingly energetic reading of the Eighth Symphony by Antonín Dvorák enthused the audience and critics in equal measure - according to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung "Szell’s art of expressive tempo modification, preparing, building towards and resolving formal and dynamic tensions was demonstrated to such an extent that the entire symphony, from the beginning, seemed to have been lifted onto a higher level". Both recordings demonstrate that Szell’s concert recordings are particularly appealing, thanks to their preparedness to take risks, lively musical flow and a heightened emotional content, in contrast to his perfectly balanced studio recordings. 

In cooperation with audite, LUCERNE FESTIVAL presents outstanding concert recordings of artists who have shaped the festival throughout its history. The aim of this CD edition is to rediscover treasures - most of which have not been released previously - from the first six decades of the festival, which was founded in 1938 with a special gala concert conducted by Arturo Toscanini. These recordings have been made available by the archives of SRF Swiss Radio and Television, which has broadcast the Lucerne concerts from the outset. Carefully re-mastered and supplemented with photos and materials from the LUCERNE FESTIVAL archive, they represent a sonic history of the festival.

“…This new series from the Lucerne Festival Archives on Audite promises much to discerning collectors. This is a great start. Interesting and intelligent program notes accompany the disc.”

Henry Fogel - Fanfare – March/April 2015


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