Another historic concert this week. This time featuring legends Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Sir Georg Solti, who leads the Chicago Symphony in music of Duparc and Mahler. The concert was broadcast on May 21, 1983 (recorded earlier, and I’m sure my CSO fans will have the performance date).
Beginning with Four Songs by Duparc in the first half and the second half given over to a performance of Mahler’s Symphony Number 4. It’s interesting to note that announcer Norm Pellegrini mentions a recording session for Decca records slated to take place days after this performance for an upcoming commercial release of the Mahler 4th. So that would indicate there was a separate session that took place, rather than the recording of a live performance – so this one is different, unlike some of the L.A. Philharmonic DG sessions which were live performances, touched up in places with overdub sessions. Now of course, live concerts are regularly issued commercially. I suspect it’s a cost-cutting measure for the labels, but there is a certain attraction to capturing a performance live rather than in controlled circumstances (unless the performance takes place during Cold and Flu season – where the Chorus of Consumptives can reek havoc)
In any case, it’s sumptuous music making all around and the forces involved are in top-notch shape.
Strangely, the Chicago Symphony broadcasts were available via a commercial radio station in Los Angeles (KFAC-FM) at the time, so the original recording is littered with commercials every few minutes. They have been edited out, as is the 15 minute detailed rundown of the Duparc Songs. But the commercials made for some frustrating listening at the time.
No worries about that here – it’s pure music making on its best terms. So you can crank it up and enjoy it without fear of running head-long into a 1983 Buick Commercial.