. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Erich Leinsdorf and The Rochester Philharmonic – April 4, 1949 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.
Something not completely rare tonight, but historic nonetheless. Erich Leinsdorf was Music Director for The Rochester Philharmonic between 1947 and 1955. Prior to that he had been Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra but World War 2 stepped in and he was drafted and out of commission for most of that tenure. Leinsdorf initially was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera, heading up their German repertoire, and had the good luck to be in the U.S. weeks before Nazi Germany took over his native Austria. Since he was Jewish, it was best to stay in the U.S., and with the help of freshman Representative Lyndon B. Johnson, Leinsdorf landed residency in the U.S. for the duration.
This concert, part of the Pioneers of Music series for NBC Radio features Leinsdorf and The Rochester Phil in a program of music by Czech composers – Smetana’s Bartered Bride Overture, the 2nd Movement from Dvorak’s 2nd Symphony. A performance of Martinu’s violin concerto No. 2 from 1943 with Concert Master Millard Taylor handling the soloist chores, and Weinbergers’s Polka from Schwanda The Bagpiper.
All pretty standard fare – with the exception of the Martinu Violin Concerto which was a relatively new piece, having had its World premier in the U.S. only six years earlier in December of 1943.
Still, an interesting concert, and the Martinu is a bonus for those of you interested in his music and early performances.
Here is that concert, as it was broadcast on April 4, 1949
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