24/48: Willem Mengelberg / New York Philharmonic - Beethoven. Symphony 3 - RCA Victor 1930

Ludwig van Beethoven:
Symphony no.3 in E flat major, op.55  - "Eroica"    
I: Allegro con brio  ~   II: Marcia funebre (Adagio assai)   ~   III: Scherzo (Allegro vivace)   ~  IV: Finale (Allegro molto)    
16/44 FLAC Mega Download        24/48 FLAC Mega Download
The Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York  conducted by  Willem Mengelberg  
HMV  DB.1599-1605  Album no.153   RCA matrices: A58152-62 (3,6,3,3,3,2,2,1,2,1,1)  //  mvt.IV: A58172-4 (2,2,2)
Recorded: 4/9 January 1930 - Liederkranz Hall, New York.  1933 set
Superb performance in rather decent RCA sound (this transfer has more clarity than 2013's CD-RW) - and any shellac 'hash' isn't too distracting.    
The last 2 sides are transferred @ 1dB less.   Mengelberg's 1940 Concertgebouw Beethoven recordings 


  1. Despite myself being a big fan of Mengelberg I still haven't heard this particular performance. Thanks for the upload!

    1. Neither had I...

      Nothing I can do about the electronic/'cutter non-linearity' distortions- but it sounds more enjoyable now (although didn't overly enjoy whilst editing).

      Also too late if a couple of side-joins could've been better done as have dumped the original dubs : but the US engineers didn't make them easy to disguise (at least for moi).

      Aside from the 'Alcina' that I broke a disc, have the HMV's (new/original discs) of Heldenleben/JC Bach Sinfonia/F.Dutchman..

  2. Thank you for such a fine resurrection of this historic Mengelberg Beethoven recording. The Mengelberg New York Heldenleben is one of the greatest recordings of classical music. I anxiously await your transfer, should you be so kind to share it with your fans. Many thanks again for all the treasures you have shared with us.

    1. Hello Eliot,
      Providers of blogs, such as these, might be shocked to be told they have any Fans; 'Secret Admirers', perhaps..

      l'll have a check on the Heldenleben, etc; but, despite how 'mint' my HMV's might appear, the groove noise-level can be ruinous - and I retain much more Treble than those commercial (or other peoples...) dubbings..) which is best obtained from the type of shellac I don't have access to..

      I think this Eroica is 'OK': the EQ chosen was one of 3 that apparently RCA used from 1925 (with the slightly less bass/treble enhancement) - but difficult to tell with all the 'various distortions' around....

  3. I'm also a big fan of Mengelberg and haven't heard this recording before. I'm looking forward to hearing it.

    The Mengelberg NY Ein Heldenleben is my favorite recording of this, although a bit too agitated for my everyday listening. I also have multiple transfers of the 1941 Concertgebouw Heldenleben.

    Thanks so much for all the time and effort you put into these transfers. Greatly appreciated!

    1. The pro 'de-click' software leaves a 78 end-result that doesn't need too much work (after removing 1.5million 'things', in this case) and side-joins normally take me 'seconds'.

      Using UK shellac I can't match the result of the (Jap) transfer that appeared on RCA LP in the early '70's - but the Brass/String-Harmonics are more faithfully revealed, here, I suspect; at least without checking.

      I had 10x Heldenleben LP's - rather OTT - in the 70' s- but Beecham's1947 is possibly my favourite (on WRC LP) Barbirolli's is possibly the worst (knew 'something was wrong' whilst hearing a live Sunday matinee relay in Sept.1968...even though never heard it previously)..

  4. Just to mention - this was the first recording of the Eroica to include the first movement exposition repeat.

    And the last until de Sabata's 1946 LPO recording.

    1. Walter Legge's 'analytical notes' don't mention that (they focus more on the 'history'); and haven't really listened to de Sabata's (had the 78's - which, as with post-war Decca's, seemed to 'self-destruct') - but suppose there might be some interest in the mid 70's Decca 2LP set; though the performance was 'savaged' by EMG.

  5. Look forward to listening to this and hope you decide to try your hand at the Heldenleben.

    1. I'll see how it compares to my (now, less than mint) RCA LP transfer.
      If it's acceptable then will probably upload with the Wagner/Bach

  6. Great job on your transfer! I have the Biddulph CD that ncouples this with Mengelberg's NYPO Beethoven 1 and this beats it hands down. So much more of the presence and breadth of sound from the original recordings are preserved here. The Biddulph transfer sounds anemic in comparison.

    Speaking of the NYPO Ein Heldenleben, have you heard the Opus Kura transfer of that recording? Quite fine; very much a non-interventionist transfer. Sounds much better than previous reissues on RCA Gold Seal and Pearl.

    1. Thanks for that!
      I haven't played this through my Hifi's (only listened properly to the Brahms 4/Walter) as wasn't equipped until a few weeks back to do so..and that one certainly sounds 'ballsy'...and the surface hiss is kept within reasonable bounds.

      Non-UK (US/French/Oz) shellac would allow me far less 'de-click' - so this Eroica potentially is finer than I can offer.

      I may have problems if I do the Heldenleben - as general surface fizz seems higher than here (maybe partially due to the original processing of the matrices?).
      By comprison the 70's UK LP is missing lots of detail/'punch'...but my CD 'Collection' is only slightly larger than my # of 'CD-Players' - so no idea about the Jap version: but no reason why it (as Jap pressings?) shouldn't sound decent (within the constraints of the recording; which is nowhere as good as sometimes claimed for this issue) with current editing software.

      I must say that I preferred listening to bits of the JC Bach Sinfonia; a work I first heard in Leppard's NPO recording reissued in a 1970 Philips Subscription box-set; so if the R.Strauss ends up a too noisy (not my fault) may do a few Columbia COA Mengelberg's instead - with that/+, maybe, F.Dutchman

    2. Hello TE,
      Many thanks for this splendid offering. Transfers of Mengelberg's NYPO recordings are not easily come by.and I have not heard this before. However there have been many Heldenleben transfers over the last few years offered on various companion sites of varying quality. This set seems to bring out lots of controversy in assessing the transfer quality. The British pressings in my collection, I have found to be crumbly and compressed at climaxes with distortion on brass competing with surface noise. I do not wish to influence your choice of transfer (since it may turn out to be the best of any ) but might you consider the Beethoven Symph 1 as a companion to No 3 which would make a nicely filled CD.? Best Wishes and thanks again ,

    3. You're out of luck re: the Mengelberg #1 - as only have the Toscanini/BBC HMV mid-30's album of that work..

      At least the HMV pressings aren't the wretched 'Hayes transfers' ('T1')..but you describe what I've heard after a few quick checks (my set is c.1937 Auto; cost 50pee).

      I've yet to find the F.Dutchman (in 'yet another' Wagner album )- and one of my immaculate Columbia laminates of the Bach 2nd Suite (COA) has got damaged (edge bash..).

      I got 'ticked off' by a Mr Dubin when I commented adversely on his transfer - as that recording isn't 'nearly HiFi'; but can imagine that some Victor shellac is less damaging....but the RCA LP really is 'lamed'...

  7. Thank you once again for some great music making.

    1. If there's the time (and the originating discs are OK for transfer..) I may soon upload a couple more Beethoven Symphonies - recorded in 1927.

  8. MENGELBERG Beethoven's Eroïca

    Four recordings of this work conducted by Mengelberg have survived:

    -The Victor recording of Jan 9, 1930 with the NYPO

    and three recording with the Concertgebouworkest:

    -a public performance of April 14, 1940, of which the 1st movement is missing.
    It accounts for the fact that Philips has not published it in its series "Documenta Musicae"or later.
    It is a pity because the quality of sound is astonishing!

    -a Telefunken recording of Nov.11, 1940
    The Telefunken recording sounds heavy and congested in comparison with the above.

    -and another public performance of May,6 1943, sometimes (mis?)dated March 5, 1942.
    The rather bad quality of the lacquer discs is consistent with what can be heard in the recordings on or after April 1943 (e.g. the Bonus below).

    You will find hereinbelow a link to a zip file comprised of a copy of the 3rd movement
    in each of these performances:

    Track 01: the 1930 NYPO recording as issued by Biddulph.
    The transfer is clearly inferior to the one on this blog (and the pitch is lower).
    You did a great job!
    Track02: the April 14 1940 public performance as issued by Hubert Wendel in his superb private edition of 32CDs of Mengelberg recordings:
    Track03: the 1940 Telefunken recording as reissued by Opus Kura.
    It has a lot of background noise but is significantly better than the Philips LP.
    Track04: the May 1943 concert directly dubbed from my broadcast tape

    Track05: BONUS = Egmont Ouv. April 29,1943 24bits/44Khz

    Link: https://www.wetransfer.com/downloads/5817d0c90bbf6742c2ded4daef10a29020131125140820/f3e15c

    1. Thank you for that - I've just downloaded the file - will listen a bit later 'with interest'.

      The Philips LP - I wondered if that was a Japanese transfer - as it seems 'quite similar' to the 5/8 Telefunken I also later uploaded.

      I might have used, for this, a slightly less extended HF after some transfers of early Western Electric (HMV/Columbia) - especially the latter - as then wouldn't have been tempted to add an additional low-pass filter; but getting the EQ 'correct' seems more complex due to some 3 differing standards that RCA employed - apparently from 1925. Not to mention various microphone/cutter anomalies - as outlined in Peter Copeland's British Library monograph.
      So all rather hit'n'miss....and these are also straight '78' transfers; done that way as it's easier for others to software-alter a known 'reference' if the playback speed might not be correct @ 78 (RCA vocals were apparently often recorded at about 77, I think - so 78 gives added 'brilliance').

  9. Came here while listening to the 1940 Mengelberg Beethoven set on Music and Arts, where the 1st movement of the Eroica has very weird missing beats toward the end of the movement. This work you did on this 1930 recording sounds SO good!!!! Thank you so much. Will look now to see if you've done more Beethoven.

    1. This Eroica was/is more 'an experiment in progress' - and wouldn't necessarily be done this way now (eg: would limit the frequency-range in just one-step)..and no way is HMV shellac comparable to RCA Victor - so higher 'declick' is required (you can hear the 'best' UK pre-1930/1 in terms of the Weingartner, above - laminated/pure shellac surface - not HMV's with added slate powder...) so I'm 'losing' some detail - which I'm careful not to do with LP transfers: hence the manual editing.

      Needless to say, my 2010 transfers of the Mengelberg/Philips LP's are pretty-good....but the M&A transfer of the 1940 may be from the, apparently, defective acetates - not considered suitable for the 1977 LP set.

      I've got a pending Weingartner 5/7 (don't have the 8) in the Columbia Acoustic series with the LSO..but I think the 5/6 above are pretty decent - especially if you compare to the linked 'sampler' of Obert-Thorn's transfers..