COLUMBIA LP ML 4777: Johann STRAUSS - Felix WEINGARTNER - 1950s
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Background on this item -
Paul Felix von Weingartner, Edler von Münzberg (2 June 1863 – 7 May 1942) was an Austrian conductor, composer and pianist. He was born in Zara, Dalmatia, Austria–Hungary (now Zadar, Croatia), to Austrian parents, and the family moved to Graz in 1868. His father died that same year. He studied with Wilhelm Mayer (who used the pseudonym of W. A. Rémy and also taught Ferruccio Busoni).

Felix Weingartner, who did much to shape the modern art of conducting, studied piano and composition in Graz, Austria. On the recommendation of Hanslick, he received a stipend from the state, and in 1881 he went on to study philosophy at Leipzig University, later attending the Leipzig Conservatory where he made the acquaintance of Liszt. Liszt persuaded him to become a conductor and helped to produce Weingartner's first opera, Sakuntala, at Weimar in 1884. In the same year he began his conducting career in Königsberg.

Thereafter, Weingartner was constantly on the move: Danzig (1885-1887); as Hans von Bülow's assistant in Hamburg (1887-1889); Mannheim (1889-91); Berlin's Kaim Royal Opera Orchestra (1891-1898); the Vienna Opera, where he succeeded Mahler (1898-1903); Hamburg again (1912-14); Darmstadt (1914-1919); Vienna Volksoper and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (1919-1927). Over the same period, he toured Europe, making his first visits to London in 1898 and to the U.S. in 1905, where he conducted the Boston Opera Company for its 1912-1913 season. From 1927 to 1933, he was director of the Conservatory and Symphony Orchestra in Basel, Switzerland, and returned tp the Vienna State Opera from 1935-1936. In his second period with the Vienna Opera he appeared tired, and resigned at the end of the season. In 1939, Weingartner was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society in London.

As a conductor, Weingartner was the first to make commercial recordings of all nine Beethoven symphonies. In 1935 he conducted the world premiere of Georges Bizet's Symphony in C. His style of conducting was unlike those of many of his contemporaries; in contrast to Wilhelm Furtwängler, who conducted music in what is now considered a very "subjective" manner, with severe tempo fluctuations, Weingartner was more like Arturo Toscanini in insisting that his orchestras play the music as written. His 1935 recording of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 sounds much more like Toscanini's later, 1952 recording than like any of Furtwängler's.

Weingartner was among the first great conductors to insist on a meticulous interpretation of the composer's score and steady, moderate tempi. While in Hamburg, he clashed with Hans von Bülow, whom he criticized for romantic exaggeration and wayward performances. In 1895, Weingartner wrote a book, On Conducting, in which he accused von Bülow of "wanting to divert the attention of the audience from the music to himself."

His baton technique was refined and simple. The English critic Neville Cardus wrote this of his podium style: "Weingartner does not use the familiar gestures of the modern 'dictator' conductors; he retains the old fashioned belief that an instrumentalist understands how to play his notes correctly, and does not need illumination in the form of arts that scarcely belong to a conductor -- the arts of Terpsichore and declamation. His gestures are quiet; he is always dignified.... He belongs to the cultured epoch of music, the epoch of good manners, good taste and scholarship."

Weingartner's activities were not confined to conducting: he was also a prolific composer. His output includes eight operas, six symphonies, two concertos, chamber music and songs, though none of his works had more than a brief success. Together with Charles Malherbe, he edited the complete works of Berlioz and was one of the first to bring that composer's works back into public favor. Weingartner's arrangement of Weber's Invitation to the Dance was recorded four times by him, and he also recorded his own orchestral arrangement of Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" piano sonata, Op. 106, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Weingartner made his first recordings in 1910 with the American soprano Lucille Marcel, who became the third of his five wives. He recorded all the Beethoven symphonies, some several times, most famously with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1930s. In Japan, his Beethoven "Choral" Symphony sold over 100,000 copies, a remarkable achievement. Weingartner's immense reputation was obscured by the rise of the high-profile, much-recorded conductors of the 1950s and 1960s. However, CD transfers have been made of some of his finest Beethoven performances.

COLUMBIA Records LP item - PURPLE record labels with SILVER lettering - see pictures of actual item for more detail
Record Made in the USA
Pressing is in MONO
Record Speed: 33 rpm
Record Made in: circa 1950’s on heavy vinyl
Record Catalog Number: ML 4777

This listing is for a very rare, out of print LP featuring the music of -

Johann STRAUSS

Performed by -
Felix Weingartner, conductor
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
British Symphony Orchesta
The Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire, Paris

LP Title -
FELIX WEINGARTNER CONDUCTING STRAUSS

Track listings -
1. On The Beautiful Blue Danube
2. A Thousand And One Nights
3. Voices of Spring
4. Wine, Women and Song

CONDITION Details:
The JACKET:
The LP jacket is in EXCELLENT Plus condition! - superb condition given it's age!!
The jacket is almost completely intact with just a small seam split at the bottom seam. The jacket shows some shelf wear, primarily weakening at the corners and seams. Some light color fading is evident on both sides of the jacket, especially since silver was used as the primary color on the front of the jacket. Have a close look at the pictures and you will better see what we are referring to.
The jacket has NO drill holes or saw marks of any kind.
There is NO hand writing on either side of the jacket.
The cover has clean and sharp colors, just a bit of fading/staining due to age - see pictures with this listing for more detail.

The LP (vinyl) itself:
Please remember that we are talking about original, 1950's vinyl - product issued during this time period (the earliest life of the LP after moving away from 78s) was not what we would call audiophile quality! There seemed to always be some form of defect, like pressing bubbles and the like. The vinyl was always noisy, but a good cleaning did help with these rare, vintage LPs.
Given the foregoing, the LP is in NEAR MINT minus condition - a finer copy of this vintage LP would be very difficult to find.
The LP retains much of the original gloss and sheen - just has a bit of dust and a few finger prints on it!
The record has NO serious marks on it, obviously well taken care of.
The record labels have NO significant spindle marks on them - just a couple of light ones.
This is the superb copy you have always wanted in your collection - any super picky audiophile should be happy with this one!
This LP may have some light marks (spider marks mostly) which are caused by sliding the LP in and out of the inner sleeve and are usually not audible on most audio systems

Please understand that this is a vintage LP record - as such, one cannot expect the vinyl to sound like a brand new, audiophile pressing! Some noise is inevitable - for best results, always properly clean your LPs before playing them.

The LP is an audiophile quality pressing (any collector of fine MFSL, half speeds, direct to discs, Japanese/UK pressings etc., can attest to the difference a quality pressing can make to an audio system).

A Short Note About LP GRADING -
Mint {M} = Only used for sealed items.
Near Mint {NM} = Virtually flawless in every way.
Near Mint Minus {NM-} = Item has some minor imperfections, some audible.
Excellent {EXC} = Item obviously played and enjoyed with some noise.
Very Good Plus {VG+} = Many more imperfections which are noticeable and obtrusive.

Don't let this rarity slip by!!!

  • Item #: Columbia LP ML 4777 NM
  • Manufacturer: Columbia Records
  • Condition: Used

COLUMBIA LP ML 4777: Johann STRAUSS - Felix WEINGARTNER - 1950s

Price: $79.99
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