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4 Oct 2015

Willem Mengelberg / New York Philharmonic - Richard Strauss. Ein Heldenleben - Victor 1928

Richard Wagner "The Flying Dutchman" - overture

Richard Strauss:  "Ein Heldenleben", op.40  
FLAC  Mega Download
The Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York  conducted by  Willem Mengelberg   
HMV  D.1089  ...  D.7321-5  Auto   (D.1711-5)  Album no.122.    c.1936 pressings  
Victor matrices: A29791 -6 / A29922 -7 ...  A47925-34 (1/4/2/2/1/2/3/2/2/2)    Recorded: 6 October  1925 - New York /  11-13 December 1928 - Carnegie Hall, New York.  Oct 2014 raw dubs re-edited Oct 2015

20 comments:

  1. I will download it and let you know my views. I've never heard this alleged classic performance. At the moment I tend to agree with your view of Beecham's gem of a performance.

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    1. I'm certainly left wondering 'why I bothered'!!

      More conductor-fetishism, IMO; and not a patch on those Beethoven/COA concert performances..

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    2. Your advanced skills in sound editing have been demonstrated once agani!. The sound is fine to me..especially given its vintage. Your edition definitely sounds as though the orchestra and conductor are performing/responding in a distinct acoustic. By that of course...I mean the one in which they actually were on the day of recording!! Many thanks

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  2. Thank you so very much for your splendid transfer of the greatest recording ever of Heldenleben and, IMHO, the greatest recording ever of any work by Richard Strauss. May I say, also, that your transfer is the best I have ever heard, whether on LP, or CD, or any other source on the Internet. Thank you, sir, for taking your time and trouble to share your work with us.

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    1. Blimey!!
      Makes me somewhat interested in hearing any other transfers - except the Japanese/RCA LP from 1975 (UK pressing SMA7001) which I bought as a £1 deletion a year or so later).
      Are any available for 'free download' - as can only assume that (given my hardly enthusiastic 'critique') they must have also been 'neutered' - to make this 'commercially acceptable' - and think that Marston/Obert-Thorn had a bash - presumably derived from yummy RCA shellac (one of them, I think, 'tampered' with the recording-levels (have only done a very swift Google beforehand) - but I didn't hear much evidence of them being cut-back @ climaxes (except right at the end?) - more a case of the electronics 'fading' at various points.

      Anyway..there you now have it - warts'n'all !!

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  3. Could be I did something wrong, but I've never heard this and I've been curious for years. So I downloaded. After the download what should appear on my desktop but the page I am now commenting on. No music, though. I think I might have to go back to the Concertgebouw, on Dutton. Not a great favourite - the two I remember are the first mono Beecham of 1947 and Reiner in 1954. Strauss himself, of course, is well worth close attention - as is the detail of something like his 1929 Don Juan. The accaciature are like no-one else's, yet what he does is clearly stylistically correct. This must have been how Bulow timed them. A whole string of mid-twentieth century giants grew up while Strauss was alive, and took next to no notice of how he conducted. Road-hogs, all of them. Strange profession.

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    1. Needless to say I have no idea what you are describing (or at least, how you 'achieved it'..).
      NB: I am assuming that you clicked on the 'Mega Download' link...
      ....and I've uploaded to this post the page you will then see (using Firefox) - and you simply need to download the 103MB file - then 'save' when a dialogue-box asks you 'what to do'....

      Anyway, in the '70's, I had 10x 'Heldenleben's' on LP - and heard Barbirolli's live BBC Radio broadcast (Sunday matinee) from the RFH in 1968...

      I'm not sure if there's a great wealth of difference between them and don't consider the Reiner especially 'special'...

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  4. Further comment re download of Mengelberg New York Heldenleben - Mega seems to want me to download browsers I already have in versions I already have rather than download ANYTHING musical to them. Penalty for using a Mac? I shall have to try a PC with this download - if it stays around. Many thanks for making it available, though.

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  5. Thanks for the help - I've now got it on the Mac! I still don't know how I downloaded this page, but that's a minor problem. Won't be able to play it for a fortnight, as I have to be away. I actually got to know the piece from the 1954 Reiner - in 1955. I haven't heard the Reiner since, but for the time it was well-recorded, I think. I once knew a trombonist from Rochdale who had played for Barbirolli in Ein Heldenleben at Belle Vue in 1946, borrowed from the BBC Northern. (He had also played for Harty - in the Berlioz Requiem at the end of the 1920s). "Fifty rehearsals for Ein Heldenleben! We laid bets on how he would bring us in on the night. And do you know how he brought us in? With his head!" I won't repeat what he said about Horenstein.

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  6. This MAC problem (albeit described 'differently'...) has cropped-up previously - and (although I don't use it) mentioned 'jdownloader' - and if you are a member of 'Symphonyshare' there was a recent similar recommendation for that gizmo to solve the MAC/Mega problem (the only Mega glitch I would get would be an 'offer' to download their own 'gizmo' - and which required that message to be deleted - then one could download, as per the screen shot...

    The Reiner originally was UK issued on mono HMV - and saw (over 25years back: but I don't have that release) it was from US RCA metalwork: my copies are the German RCA (Meister Speilen..2LP - with Zara/Juan) bought 1979 as a deletion - and the 1967 Decca-mastered RCA Victrola (which sounds excellent) + the '0.5' 'US RCA half-speed issue. (sadly utilising 'Dolby' Noise-reduction (sic)...

    The Barbirolli/LSO was very slow in parts (the 'battle' sequence probably @ half Mengelberg's tempi): perhaps EMI didn't ask him to record it earlier (in the '50's) due to the Reiner - as he'd already recorded an obscure R.Strauss suite (have a new copy of that Halle ALP)...

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  7. Barbirolli in his later years liked to get as much precision as he could, and was prepared to be pedantic about it - whatever the consequences for tempo. Sometimes in the hall it could work very well - I remember some of his Brahms in the 1960s, especially as good a performance of the Haydn Variations as I've ever heard, in the old Free Trade Hall. And a Walkure Act 1 which suddenly struck precision at the start of Siegmund's narration and kept ti to the end. But in Vienna on disc he seems just to want to hear the Philharmonic play. He should certainly have been recorded more frequently in the 1950s.

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    1. ASD 2432 (Brahms 3/Haydn Var) was the first full-price LP I bought (actually, a replacement for a noisy copy of Stokowski's Tchaikovsky 5 - from the Army & Navy Stores..) and have always loved the performances/orchestral playing (better captured by EMI than Decca, IMO); the 2/4 were relatively failures - though still retain no.1.

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  8. Wonderful that you decided to resuscitate the "Collector's Corner" portion of your site. I'm now listening to the download via headphones at the computer. What playing by the orchestra and what a fine sound you've achieved! I may have, long ago, mentioned to you that a friend once interviewed Lotte Lehmann. She said that early in her career she made records without much thought and whenever she needed some money for a holiday. Lehmann then called records compote in a can. If all we have is "canned compote", we can still be happy; but we must understand that the effect "fresh" in the hall must have been astounding if we can still get so much out of a "canned" product - such as this one from 1928!
    With much thanks and with best regards from over here,
    David Mendes

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    1. Hello David,
      It was your comment + one asking for the Toscanini which tempted a few re-uploads.

      I feel a bit sorry for your ears...I either need to use my QUAD ESL57 speakers - or the big Cambridge R50 T-L's to avoid 'listener fatigue' that the surface-noise causes - but I can't reduce it much further (or limit the frequency: the Trumpet 'solo' has harmonics to 14kHz - which is surprising)...but this file is a bit more 'open/dynamic' - and took ages to dub - as it was done at 'LP' speed..

      I'll have a listen to the 1929 New York J.C.Bach Sinfonia, etc on HMV D.1988-9...bought all these nearly 3 decades back...and wish they were early Victor pressings!

      You never mentioned the Lehmann - but read decades back about her approach to record-making!

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  9. This looks nice. I download using Linux (Linux Mint) in an effort to avoid Windows viruses. And I use a Firefox add-on called NoScript which helps trapping dodgy Java scripts (NoScript also runs on the Windows version of Firefox.)

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  10. Thank you for restoring this section. There are great performances here. Are the links still available on your site?

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    1. I retain all the original files - but have removed many earlier posts hereabouts; also don't have much space on 'Mega' (max 2GB if I transfer remaining 24/96 stereo files to Fichier
      In the case of this Mengelberg I'd been 'toying' with the original raw files - but HMV shellac crackle defeats any attempts with software I've to hand to separate that from the signal whilst retaining dynamics/detail..without introducing unacceptable (to me) artifacts -or dulling the sound - so am rather frustrated - as these dubs are also For Me!

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  11. It would seem that when I hear surface noise, I can usually "tune it out" and focus on other things. That happened today with your transfer of the Schalk Beethoven 6 and - in the past - with your transfer of Ein Heldenleben. Such a pleasure to see "Collectors Corner" pop-up! I hope you'll post this Strauss again - it's just amazing what they put in those grooves 87 years ago. Scipione Guidi - concertmaster, Simeon Bellison - clarinet, Bruno Jaenicke - horn, Harry Glantz - trumpet and the rest of the orchestra along with Mengelberg are still alive! What a performance!
    With best regards and much thanks from over here,
    David Mendes

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    1. Depends on the speakers -Electrostatics are kind to 78 hiss/scratch transients..but seriously doubt this degree of detail (hall acoustic and twiddly-bits from various sections) can be retained using NR ...and as you can see (via Foobar) there's a lot of treble energy..so, in its own way, it's highly 'accurate'...possibly Mr Pristine's 'sample', tomorrow, will enable you to hear 'whats gone missing'....but I anyway wanted this - as Satyr's earlier dub is too 'interventionist' for me...

      I seem to have deleted the raw files - and am not now too happy with the previous uploaded files (not 'open' enough - due to attempts to minimise the 'scratch') so will re-dub the discs - but would prefer a quieter shellac!!!

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