Henry Hadley, remembered today as a late Romantic composer, leads the New York Philharmonic in Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture, minus a huge cut in the introduction (hat tip: Richard Schneider). Keep in mind that at the time Willem Mengelberg was well into his tenure as the orchestra’s music director. Here is yet more evidence that puts the lie to the assertion that Toscanini built the Philharmonic into a virtuoso orchestra.
Yes, I know it’s from an Easter oratorio. Yes, you’d expect me to post an historically informed version. But no! Here’s a 1938 aircheck of the “Hallelujah” Chorus from Handel’s Messiah (in what sounds to me to be Mozart’s arrangement) performed by the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Tonkunstkoor conducted by Willem Mengelberg, with a little bit of audio restoration from a so-so source by yours truly.
Hear last year’s early electrical holiday cheer here.
Shortly after the 1962 release of Otto Klemperer’s EMI/Columbia (UK) recording of Mahler’s Symphony No.4, musicologist Deryck Cooke recorded a program for the BBC Third Programme comparing Klemperer’s recordings to others, particularly Bruno Walter and Willem Mengelberg, in search of an “authentic” interpretive approach to Mahler.