Discussion:
Szigeti Complete Columbia Album Collection
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Randy Lane
2020-09-08 12:18:56 UTC
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17 CDs
Release Date 12/11/2020

https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/complete-box-set/hnum/9023806
drh8h
2020-09-08 13:10:26 UTC
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Post by Randy Lane
17 CDs
Release Date 12/11/2020
https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/complete-box-set/hnum/9023806
Hooray is all I can say, keeping in mind some of his records were made way to late.

DH
Al Eisner
2020-09-08 20:22:37 UTC
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Post by drh8h
Post by Randy Lane
17 CDs
Release Date 12/11/2020
https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/complete-box-set/hnum/9023806
Hooray is all I can say, keeping in mind some of his records were made way to late.
DH
Seconded. The link gives a date range of 1940 to 1956, but no dates
on individual performances. What fraction of this still had Szigeti
in reasonably good form?
--
Al Eisner
Randy Lane
2020-09-08 20:49:53 UTC
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Post by Al Eisner
Post by drh8h
Post by Randy Lane
17 CDs
Release Date 12/11/2020
https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/complete-box-set/hnum/9023806
Hooray is all I can say, keeping in mind some of his records were made way to late.
DH
Seconded. The link gives a date range of 1940 to 1956, but no dates
on individual performances. What fraction of this still had Szigeti
in reasonably good form?
--
Al Eisner
At least it will not feature the Mercury Brahms Violin Concerto from 1959.

That recording was reissued in Japan only in 1992.

Wilma Cozart Fine refused to reissue it with the official Living Presence reissues when she had control of those.
Tom Fine shared the disgust the family had when the Japanese reissued the recording; the recording was made over objections from many family members, knowing how far past his prime Szigeti was then.
I have the Japanese CD and can confirm the family's opinion.
wkasimer
2020-09-08 21:01:14 UTC
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Post by Al Eisner
Seconded. The link gives a date range of 1940 to 1956, but no dates
on individual performances.
The Prokofiev VC#1 was issued by Columbia in their 6 LP Szigeti set, and it dates from 1935.
Al Eisner
2020-09-09 00:46:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by wkasimer
Post by Al Eisner
Seconded. The link gives a date range of 1940 to 1956, but no dates
on individual performances.
The Prokofiev VC#1 was issued by Columbia in their 6 LP Szigeti set, and it dates from 1935.
But it's not on the list at the jpc link. I think there is also some
more 30's stuff also originally on Columbia. It's puzzling that the
stated date range starts at 1940 in a "complete Columbia" release.
It may be that the contents list is not accurate.
--
Al Eisner
drh8h
2020-09-09 00:54:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Al Eisner
Post by wkasimer
Post by Al Eisner
Seconded. The link gives a date range of 1940 to 1956, but no dates
on individual performances.
The Prokofiev VC#1 was issued by Columbia in their 6 LP Szigeti set, and it dates from 1935.
But it's not on the list at the jpc link. I think there is also some
more 30's stuff also originally on Columbia. It's puzzling that the
stated date range starts at 1940 in a "complete Columbia" release.
It may be that the contents list is not accurate.
--
Al Eisner
Warner owns practically all the Szigeti records up to 1939 and even a few after the war, such as the Bartok and Berlioz he recorded with Lambert.

DH
Al Eisner
2020-09-09 18:45:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by drh8h
Post by Al Eisner
Post by wkasimer
Post by Al Eisner
Seconded. The link gives a date range of 1940 to 1956, but no dates
on individual performances.
The Prokofiev VC#1 was issued by Columbia in their 6 LP Szigeti set, and it dates from 1935.
But it's not on the list at the jpc link. I think there is also some
more 30's stuff also originally on Columbia. It's puzzling that the
stated date range starts at 1940 in a "complete Columbia" release.
It may be that the contents list is not accurate.
--
Al Eisner
Warner owns practically all the Szigeti records up to 1939 and even a few after the war, such as the Bartok and Berlioz he recorded with Lambert.
DH
Ah, thanks. So perhaps the album title should be "Complete Columbia
recordings which are still owned by Sony".

Those 30's concertos are great (I'm thinking of the Prokofiev,
Mendelssohn, Brahms), but as you noted are already well-served on Naxos.

And maybe some of the fairly late recordings are nonetheless pretty good.
(I'm very fond of his complete Bach solo set - not Columbia - which
was from, what, 1950?)
--
Al Eisner
vhorowitz
2020-09-09 20:04:55 UTC
Permalink
Al, those earlier recordings you mention haven’t been owned by Columbia (and never Sony) for decades! Even the 1972 released 80th birthday LP set mentions “All except Record 1, Side 1, reproduced by kind permission of Angel records, and Electric and Musical industries, Ltd.” Seems a bit strange to be chiding them for omitting them at this point. It certainly would be nice to have a comprehensive set of those earlier recordings since those Biddulph sets are long gone.
Al Eisner
2020-09-09 22:18:28 UTC
Permalink
Al, those earlier recordings you mention haven’t been owned by Columbia (and never Sony) for decades! Even the 1972 released 80th birthday LP set mentions “All except Record 1, Side 1, reproduced by kind permission of Angel records, and Electric and Musical industries, Ltd.” Seems a bit strange to be chiding them for omitting them at this point.
I'm not - just suggesting (somewhat jokingly) honesty in titling the set.
It certainly would be nice to have a comprehensive set of those earlier recordings since those Biddulph sets are long gone.
Yes.
--
Al Eisner
vhorowitz
2020-09-09 22:38:19 UTC
Permalink
Haha, yes you've got a point. If Sony puts out an Adolf Busch/Busch Quartet set it would have to be something like "the Complete Columbia recordings plus or minus the ones that Warner forgot or couldn't remember were ours or theirs"
Post by Al Eisner
Post by vhorowitz
Al, those earlier recordings you mention haven’t been owned by Columbia (and never Sony) for decades! Even the 1972 released 80th birthday LP set mentions “All except Record 1, Side 1, reproduced by kind permission of Angel records, and Electric and Musical industries, Ltd.” Seems a bit strange to be chiding them for omitting them at this point.
I'm not - just suggesting (somewhat jokingly) honesty in titling the set.
Post by vhorowitz
It certainly would be nice to have a comprehensive set of those earlier recordings since those Biddulph sets are long gone.
Yes.
--
Al Eisner
John Fowler
2020-09-10 19:07:37 UTC
Permalink
I think it would be helpful if everyone referred to the American record company as "Columbia Masterworks".
Although given the current political situation, we may have to drop the Columbia name completely.
Frank Berger
2020-09-10 19:30:31 UTC
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Post by John Fowler
I think it would be helpful if everyone referred to the American record company as "Columbia Masterworks".
Although given the current political situation, we may have to drop the Columbia name completely.
There are 29 places in the U.S. named Columbia. I don't
think private company names will be in danger until the town
renamings are accomplished. It's an easier target.
drh8h
2020-09-17 13:36:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by vhorowitz
Haha, yes you've got a point. If Sony puts out an Adolf Busch/Busch Quartet set it would have to be something like "the Complete Columbia recordings plus or minus the ones that Warner forgot or couldn't remember were ours or theirs"
Post by Al Eisner
Post by vhorowitz
Al, those earlier recordings you mention haven’t been owned by Columbia (and never Sony) for decades! Even the 1972 released 80th birthday LP set mentions “All except Record 1, Side 1, reproduced by kind permission of Angel records, and Electric and Musical industries, Ltd.” Seems a bit strange to be chiding them for omitting them at this point.
I'm not - just suggesting (somewhat jokingly) honesty in titling the set.
Post by vhorowitz
It certainly would be nice to have a comprehensive set of those earlier recordings since those Biddulph sets are long gone.
Yes.
--
Al Eisner
There might be enough Walter Trampler material owned by Sony to make a small box. That would be welcome, while we are talking about string masters.

DH

drh8h
2020-09-09 20:46:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Al Eisner
Post by drh8h
Post by Al Eisner
Post by wkasimer
Post by Al Eisner
Seconded. The link gives a date range of 1940 to 1956, but no dates
on individual performances.
The Prokofiev VC#1 was issued by Columbia in their 6 LP Szigeti set, and it dates from 1935.
But it's not on the list at the jpc link. I think there is also some
more 30's stuff also originally on Columbia. It's puzzling that the
stated date range starts at 1940 in a "complete Columbia" release.
It may be that the contents list is not accurate.
--
Al Eisner
Warner owns practically all the Szigeti records up to 1939 and even a few after the war, such as the Bartok and Berlioz he recorded with Lambert.
DH
Ah, thanks. So perhaps the album title should be "Complete Columbia
recordings which are still owned by Sony".
Those 30's concertos are great (I'm thinking of the Prokofiev,
Mendelssohn, Brahms), but as you noted are already well-served on Naxos.
And maybe some of the fairly late recordings are nonetheless pretty good.
(I'm very fond of his complete Bach solo set - not Columbia - which
was from, what, 1950?)
--
Al Eisner
1955-56. As with the Mozart Sonatas, I believe this was recorded by Columbia.

DH
drh8h
2020-09-09 00:51:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by wkasimer
Post by Al Eisner
Seconded. The link gives a date range of 1940 to 1956, but no dates
on individual performances.
The Prokofiev VC#1 was issued by Columbia in their 6 LP Szigeti set, and it dates from 1935.
There are four discs of Szigeti, mostly concertos, on Naxos, and various largely out-of-print sources (Biddulph, Andante, Opus Kura) for EMI recorded sonatas and short pieces. With almost no exception, these pre-1940 discs are beautifully played and the musicianship in a league of its own. Try back-to-back listening of the 1932 Beethoven Concerto with the Heifetz-Toscanini. For phrasing, timing, imagination and conception, no comparison.

DH
drh8h
2020-09-08 21:32:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Al Eisner
Post by drh8h
Post by Randy Lane
17 CDs
Release Date 12/11/2020
https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/complete-box-set/hnum/9023806
Hooray is all I can say, keeping in mind some of his records were made way to late.
DH
Seconded. The link gives a date range of 1940 to 1956, but no dates
on individual performances. What fraction of this still had Szigeti
in reasonably good form?
--
Al Eisner
Everybody's opinion about Szigeti and when and how much he deteriorated will differ, and he was a highly variable player even in his good days.* I am mostly hoping for state-of-the-art transfers of some of the 78-era material from original lacquers, including his stupendous Bach d-minor Concerto from 1940, a performance that might make you give up HIP forever. But this will likely be the first chance many people will have had to hear his remake ten years later with Casals. Much more interesting conducting, but oh, how the playing and conception have changed and not for the good. Seriously, anything after the mid-1940s can be dicey. Part of it may be early Columbia lp "hi-fi" sound which could be unflattering to more than just Szigeti.

Depending on one's tolerance for wide vibrato and souring tone, probably about half this set. The nadir allegedly occurred with the lp of Brahms 1 & 3, actually recorded years apart, if I remember. Supposedly, it is rare because it was quickly withdrawn. Not present of course are the complete Mozart Sonatas and Bach Unaccompanied sold outright to Vanguard, and never issued by Columbia except for one Mozart disc with Szell, deleted after a couple of years.

Nonetheless, I will be in line to get this one. Now, come on, Sony, how about a complete Columbia Casals, at least the early lp era--Prades, Perpignan, Puerto Rico, etc. Marlboro doesn't fit the alliteration, and besides, it has largely been issued, although I think the Haydn Symphonies only in JP on cd.

*I am certain the indefatigable David Mendes could provide us with copious quotes about Szigeti from B. H. Haggin, including his observations about attending a Szigeti recital (miss the first piece, and maybe get out during the last one! If I remember.)


DH
vhorowitz
2020-09-08 23:21:05 UTC
Permalink
The more faceless, cookie cutter modern fiddlers I hear, the more tolerance I have for Szigeti, even when he has the wobbles and the tone sours. He was always an absorbing musician, with something to say about everything he played. It’s high time we had this collection, and I’ll be there day 1.

I can’t agree about the Mercury recordings. There are still things to admire on many of them. At one time, I might have concurred they should be left un-reissued, but that’s ok....everyone to their taste.
meyers...@gmail.com
2020-09-13 16:57:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Randy Lane
17 CDs
Release Date 12/11/2020
https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/complete-box-set/hnum/9023806
Szigeti was bumped from the plane that killed Carole Lombard. At one of the stops along the way to Califirnia some military men wanted to join the flight and Szigeti was bumped. Lombard pulled her weight and was allowed to stay on.
Frank Berger
2020-09-13 17:41:08 UTC
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Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Randy Lane
17 CDs
Release Date 12/11/2020
https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/complete-box-set/hnum/9023806
Szigeti was bumped from the plane that killed Carole Lombard. At one of the stops along the way to Califirnia some military men wanted to join the flight and Szigeti was bumped. Lombard pulled her weight and was allowed to stay on.
Oy.
drh8h
2020-09-14 03:54:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Randy Lane
17 CDs
Release Date 12/11/2020
https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/complete-box-set/hnum/9023806
Szigeti was bumped from the plane that killed Carole Lombard. At one of the stops along the way to Califirnia some military men wanted to join the flight and Szigeti was bumped. Lombard pulled her weight and was allowed to stay on.
Oy.
There is an urban legend he missed other flights that then crashed and was investigated by the FBI. Rather farfetched, but the Lombard story is true and was documented at the time. In other words, instead of 1892-1972, it could well have been 1892-1942!

DH
meyers...@gmail.com
2020-09-14 12:11:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by drh8h
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Randy Lane
17 CDs
Release Date 12/11/2020
https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/complete-box-set/hnum/9023806
Szigeti was bumped from the plane that killed Carole Lombard. At one of the stops along the way to Califirnia some military men wanted to join the flight and Szigeti was bumped. Lombard pulled her weight and was allowed to stay on.
Oy.
There is an urban legend he missed other flights that then crashed and was investigated by the FBI. Rather farfetched, but the Lombard story is true and was documented at the time. In other words, instead of 1892-1972, it could well have been 1892-1942!
DH
Yes its described in some detail in Fireball - The Mystery of Flight 3. Its THE book on the ill fated flight
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