Another of those wonderful, massive New York City thunderstorms is under way. It started ratcheting itself as the quietest point in Liszt’s Les Preludes (the 1937 Polydor recording by the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Paul van Kempen, released in a very good transfer on Tahra) was playing on the stereo. The storm added gratuitous but welcome special effects, showing that once in a while these sonic juxtapositions are serendipitous.
First, some full disclosure: I’ve been a Wilhelm Furtwängler fanboy since my high school years.
The artists playing the mystery track of Sibelius‘s Tapiola? The Berlin Philharmonic conducted by someone more closely associated with Bruckner, Mahler and the Second Viennese School – Hans Rosbaud, from a studio recording for Deutsche Grammophon made in 1957 – just before the label began stereophonic recordings.