Discussion:
Download: The Cleveland Orchestra's first recording - 1812 Overture (abridged)
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Bill Anderson
2007-01-10 04:22:53 UTC
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"Great oaks from little acorns grow"

Hello and Happy New Year to the group -

I was going through some back issues of the ARSC journal and found a
review of the book "The Cleveland Orchestra Story - Second to None" by
Donald Rosenberg. Included in the review was a brief but informative
description of the first recording the orchestra made. By happenstance,
I had transferred this disc a few months ago for my own amusement,
unaware of its importance.

Then-music director Nikolai Sokoloff edited the 1812 Overture to fit
onto one 12 inch record. The disc, Brunswick 50047, was recorded in
January 1924, when the orchestra had been in existence for just over 5
years. According to Rosenberg, the performance "...flies like the wind
to cram itself into less than nine minutes...the playing has enormous
energy, as if the musicians were aware that this was a historic
moment...".

Available for the next seven days.

http://download.yousendit.com/69357D43404FF463

- Bill
makropulos
2007-01-10 19:48:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Anderson
"Great oaks from little acorns grow"
Hello and Happy New Year to the group -
I was going through some back issues of the ARSC journal and found a
review of the book "The Cleveland Orchestra Story - Second to None" by
Donald Rosenberg. Included in the review was a brief but informative
description of the first recording the orchestra made. By happenstance,
I had transferred this disc a few months ago for my own amusement,
unaware of its importance.
Then-music director Nikolai Sokoloff edited the 1812 Overture to fit
onto one 12 inch record. The disc, Brunswick 50047, was recorded in
January 1924, when the orchestra had been in existence for just over 5
years. According to Rosenberg, the performance "...flies like the wind
to cram itself into less than nine minutes...the playing has enormous
energy, as if the musicians were aware that this was a historic
moment...".
Thank you, Bill. That's fascinating and I greatly look forward to
listening to this evening.
Post by Bill Anderson
Available for the next seven days.
http://download.yousendit.com/69357D43404FF463
- Bill
a***@att.net
2007-01-10 20:06:56 UTC
Permalink
Bill,

thanks for this very interesting recording. Amazing for a 6 year old
orchestra. Far superior to some of the European orchestras of the same
vintage.

AB
Post by Bill Anderson
"Great oaks from little acorns grow"
Hello and Happy New Year to the group -
I was going through some back issues of the ARSC journal and found a
review of the book "The Cleveland Orchestra Story - Second to None" by
Donald Rosenberg. Included in the review was a brief but informative
description of the first recording the orchestra made. By happenstance,
I had transferred this disc a few months ago for my own amusement,
unaware of its importance.
Then-music director Nikolai Sokoloff edited the 1812 Overture to fit
onto one 12 inch record. The disc, Brunswick 50047, was recorded in
January 1924, when the orchestra had been in existence for just over 5
years. According to Rosenberg, the performance "...flies like the wind
to cram itself into less than nine minutes...the playing has enormous
energy, as if the musicians were aware that this was a historic
moment...".
Available for the next seven days.
http://download.yousendit.com/69357D43404FF463
- Bill
Michael Schaffer
2007-01-10 22:44:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@att.net
Bill,
thanks for this very interesting recording. Amazing for a 6 year old
orchestra. Far superior to some of the European orchestras of the same
vintage.
AB
Except that the orchestra members were probably all or mostly European
immigrants. Oops.
bpnjensen
2007-01-10 22:23:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Anderson
"Great oaks from little acorns grow"
Hello and Happy New Year to the group -
I was going through some back issues of the ARSC journal and found a
review of the book "The Cleveland Orchestra Story - Second to None" by
Donald Rosenberg. Included in the review was a brief but informative
description of the first recording the orchestra made. By happenstance,
I had transferred this disc a few months ago for my own amusement,
unaware of its importance.
Then-music director Nikolai Sokoloff edited the 1812 Overture to fit
onto one 12 inch record. The disc, Brunswick 50047, was recorded in
January 1924, when the orchestra had been in existence for just over 5
years. According to Rosenberg, the performance "...flies like the wind
to cram itself into less than nine minutes...the playing has enormous
energy, as if the musicians were aware that this was a historic
moment...".
Available for the next seven days.
http://download.yousendit.com/69357D43404FF463
- Bill
Just delightful, Bill - thanks for sharing this!

Bruce Jensen
francis
2007-01-11 00:37:14 UTC
Permalink
My thanks, too, as usual Bill. I'd never heard this, but it reconfirms
the positive impression I'd formed of a far more important recording by
Sokoloff and Cleveland; the first recording (Brunswick electrical) of
the Rachmaninoff Symphony No 2. First, that is an exceptionally fine
and disciplined performance--a discernable advance in execution from
this Tchaikovsky recording and has two recommendations:

1. Rachmaninoff collaborated with Sokoloff on several occasions and
coached him in the preparation of a performance of the e minor (though
not specifically for the recording).
2. There is a letter in the Rachmaninoff archive at the LofC from the
composer to Sokoloff praising the recording. In fact, I've always
found this letter amusing, as he was writing following having heard the
recording played on the radio--a medium of which he famously didn't
approve for serious music. So he added that he'd overheard the
recording playing on a radio in another room.
The Sokoloff Rachmaninoff Second is in the Cleveland Orchestra's 75th
Anniversary collection--not unfortunately out-of-print, but well worth
obtaining by hook or crook. One especially interesting feature: the
cuts in the symphony are less substantial than those taken by
Ormandy--and imitated by practically everyone else from the 40s to the
70s, when--thanks be to God--everyone woke up to the fact that no cuts
at all were needed.

Is there a Sokoloff discography around? He left Cleveland in 1933, a
relatively young man--to be succeeded by Rodzinski--returning only
once--for the orchestra's 1942-43 25th Anniversary season. He spent
some years as music director in Seattle and I see his name attached,
from time to time, with various depression-era WPA orchestras. Did he
record anywhere after his Cleveland tenure?

This not in the Rosenberg book, but is in Robert Marsh's hagiographic
history of the Cleveland O. from it's 50th anniversary observances in
'67: a reminiscence of Szell--a virtually unemployed refugee in NY City
around 1940-41--hearing a concert in Carnegie Hall by Rodzinski and the
Cleveland. Szell's wife Helene remembers him being most
enthusiastic--a fine orchestra that played with discipline. From
listening to this 1812, it's apparent that Rodzinski could have
reported the same a decade before about his predecessor. Thanks,
again, Bill.

fc
D***@aol.com
2007-01-11 22:16:53 UTC
Permalink
makropulos
2007-01-11 23:05:34 UTC
Permalink
[Edited]
Is there a Sokoloff discography around? ?He left Cleveland in 1933, a
relatively young man--to be succeeded by Rodzinski--returning only
once--for the orchestra's 1942-43 25th Anniversary season. ?He spent
some years as music director in Seattle and I see his name attached,
from time to time, with various depression-era WPA orchestras. ?Did he
record anywhere after his Cleveland tenure?
A hard-back discography of the Cleveland and Cincinnati orchestras
was published around 1979 by (I think) The Greenwood Press. I never got
one, to my regret. It would list all of Sokoloff's Cleveland
recordings. I think Greenwood Press has a website. Perhaps they still
have some copies. The only other Brunswick album set (in addition to
the Rachmaninoff) was Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony. Everything else
were single 78s.
Sokoloff was also associated with the Musical Arts Society of La
Jolla (California) after 1942. I know of two early LPs he made with its
ALCO-1001 (10") Dello Joio: New York Profiles (Suite for Orchestra)
ALP 1211 (12") Martinu: Sinfonietta "La Jolla";
Britten: Les Illuminations (Alice Mock,
sop.)
The notes state that the Dello Joio and Martinu works were
commissioned by the Musical Arts Society of La Jolla and that Sokoloff
conducted their premieres on August 21, 1949 and August 13, 1950
respectively. ALP 1211 was released in January 1951; I don't know about
the Dello Joio record, but it was probably released in 1950. Both LPs
have good sound and the performances are good too -- thoroughly
professional. In his 2002 auction catalogue Lawrence Holdridge stated
that Alice Mock was a Californian who sang at the Chicago Opera for
three years after 1928, mainly in lyric soprano roles, and that this
might be her only commercial recording. She sings well.
Sokoloff might have made other recordings after Cleveland, but I
can't recall any. Perhaps there were more for Alco.
That turned into a lot of information! Anyway, I hope it's helpful.
Don Tait
If you've ever seen "The Great Waltz" then you've certainly heard Alice
Mock's voice as she's the uncredited "ghost" for Miliza Korjus. I think
she did quite a lot of work in Hollywood, but I've also an idea that
originally she might have been French.
D***@aol.com
2007-01-11 23:29:58 UTC
Permalink
Bill Anderson
2007-01-12 01:16:20 UTC
Permalink
Hello Francis and Don -

Francis, I am glad that you found the disc interesting and appreciated
the additional data regarding Cleveland, Sokoloff and Rachmaninov.
Sadly I have not heard Sokoloff's performance of the Second though I
knew it was reissued in the big Cleveland box.

As in the past, Don's knowledge and references are of great, great
interest. Thank you for this information, especially on Sokoloff's
unusual post-Cleveland recordings. (I remember you and I discussing
them a while back, but could not remember the particulars.)

- Bill
Brendan R. Wehrung
2007-01-13 01:30:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Anderson
Hello Francis and Don -
Francis, I am glad that you found the disc interesting and appreciated
the additional data regarding Cleveland, Sokoloff and Rachmaninov.
Sadly I have not heard Sokoloff's performance of the Second though I
knew it was reissued in the big Cleveland box.
I thought it was pretty good, although those reviewing the box didn't
agree with me. There are several cuts.
Post by Bill Anderson
As in the past, Don's knowledge and references are of great, great
interest. Thank you for this information, especially on Sokoloff's
unusual post-Cleveland recordings. (I remember you and I discussing
them a while back, but could not remember the particulars.)
- Bill
Holmes' book also mentions a Rosza Serenade for orchestra with the La Jola
Orch.

Brendan
Bill Anderson
2007-01-13 01:52:57 UTC
Permalink
More interesting things to look for!

Thanks, Brendan.
Paul Penna
2007-01-11 01:25:08 UTC
Permalink
Fascinating, thanks. Surprisingly good sound for an acoustical.

I wish all 1812s were as exciting. By coincidence, Solti's CSO version
popped up in random shuffle on my iPod today and I skipped it after a
few minutes of boredom. Cutting helps (although this is more than I'd
normally want, of course). That's why my favorite 1812 is Reiner's,
which cuts a big chunk of the development (or noodling). Plus, no
cannons.
j***@gmail.com
2007-01-23 12:54:24 UTC
Permalink
Bill,
Any possibility of reposting this file? I missed it first time around.

jserraglio
Post by Bill Anderson
"Great oaks from little acorns grow"
Hello and Happy New Year to the group -
I was going through some back issues of the ARSC journal and found a
review of the book "The Cleveland Orchestra Story - Second to None" by
Donald Rosenberg. Included in the review was a brief but informative
description of the first recording the orchestra made. By happenstance,
I had transferred this disc a few months ago for my own amusement,
unaware of its importance.
Then-music director Nikolai Sokoloff edited the 1812 Overture to fit
onto one 12 inch record. The disc, Brunswick 50047, was recorded in
January 1924, when the orchestra had been in existence for just over 5
years. According to Rosenberg, the performance "...flies like the wind
to cram itself into less than nine minutes...the playing has enormous
energy, as if the musicians were aware that this was a historic
moment...".
Available for the next seven days.
http://download.yousendit.com/69357D43404FF463
- Bill
Bill Anderson
2007-01-26 02:46:20 UTC
Permalink
Hello -

For those interested, the Sokoloff - Cleveland 1812 is again available
for the next 5 days...

http://download.yousendit.com/1119CA5545E77F6A

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