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WR 6049
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WR 6049
(this is a multiple CD album sold separately)
5 Music - CORELLI, A. / RAVEL, M. / SHOSTAKOVICH, D. / DEBUSSY, C. / TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I. (Koussevitzky) (1942)

5 Music - CORELLI, A. / RAVEL, M. / SHOSTAKOVICH, D. / DEBUSSY, C. / TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I. (Koussevitzky) (1942)

The Classical Shop
release date: July 2013


New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra


Sergey Koussevitzky


Sergey Koussevitzky



Live recording, Carnegie Hall, New York City, United States


Record Label
West Hill Radio Archives


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 141:10
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5 Music - CORELLI, A. / RAVEL, M. / SHOSTAKOVICH, D. / DEBUSSY, C. / TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I. (Koussevitzky) (1942)




Suite for String Orchestra (arr. E. Pinelli for orchestra)


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1 I. Sarabande 5:03
2 II. Gigue 2:33
3 III. Badinerie 1:12



Daphnis et Chloe Suite No. 2




Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47

5 I. Moderato 13:59
6 II. Allegretto 4:47
7 III. Largo 14:47
8 IV. Allegro non troppo 9:08

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La mer

1 No. 1. De l'aube a midi sur la mer 9:59
2 No. 2. Jeux de vagues 6:02
3 No. 3. Dialogue du vent et de la mer 9:09



Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

4 I. Andante - Allegro con anima 15:46
5 II. Andante cantabile con alcuna licenza 14:39
6 III. Valse: Allegro moderato 6:24
7 IV. Finale: Andante maestoso - Allegro vivace 12:22
 Sergey Koussevitzky Conductor
 Sergey Koussevitzky Conductor

The long-time dictator of the Boston Symphony appeared at Carnegie hall in early 1942 in a series of historic concerts that breathed new life into the moribund New York Philharmonic. TIME Magazine had nicknamed them “The Dead End Kids”, and Koussevitzky had just two weeks to whip this recalcitrant band of notorious musical delinquents into shape. The orchestra had flourished under Toscanini, but Barbirolli allowed performance standards to slip precipitously, and quite a few of the younger members had been called up for military service and were replaced by new players. Less than a year after Koussevitzky’s New York concerts, the Philharmonic fired 17 of the worst offenders, including the concertmaster and nearly all the reed and brass soloists.
As a guest, Koussevitzky didn’t have that kind of authority. Instead he requested—and got—extra rehearsal time. At first, everything went swimmingly. The honeymoon ended, however, when Koussevitzky found that the musicians were not following his directions very carefully. Just as Danny Kaye would be forced to do a decade later during a guest appearance with this same orchestra, Koussevitzky laid down the law. He would be obeyed without question or he’d walk out. There were no further problems. In the end even Koussevitzky’s most vocal critic, biographer Moses Smith, was thrilled with the results. While the ensemble “still did not achieve the perfection of the Boston orchestra… the Philharmonic did bear a close resemblance to the BSO after those two weeks… In other words, Koussevitzky had reconstructed the Philharmonic in his own image. It was the most dramatic proof of his genius as an orchestra builder during his entire American career.”
The musical selections that Koussevitzky chose for these New York concerts came from the very heart of his Boston repertory, with one major recent addition: the Fifth Symphony of Dmitri Shostakovich. Koussevitzky recorded all the music heard here in Boston for RCA—with the singular exception of the Shostakovich Fifth, which he had first conducted in Boston in 1941, and of which the present recording is an important addition to his discography.
Although the New York musicians were not on par with the Bostonians there is much to treasure here. Koussevitzky was a legendary recording artist, but he truly came alive in concert. His tempos here are nearly always slower than in Boston, which lends unprecedented intensity and expressive power to much of this music—especially the slow movements of the two symphonies. Perhaps most remarkable of all is the New York La Mer. Koussevitzky’s RCA recording is still a marvel of transparency and brilliance, the live concert here may be most explosive and powerful reading I the listener may ever encounter of tis work.. There is an immense power and sexuality that comes through that is overwhelming. Much the same can be said of the final dance of the Ravel. The dynamic range of these concert recordings is considerably wider than RCA’s commercial issues (most notably in the Corelli), and the sound is more transparent and easier on the ears than those old 78s.
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