More history this week, by way of the legendary Berlin Philharmonic who, at the time of this concert in 1982 were busily celebrating their centenary with a series of notable concerts,featuring many works the orchestra had premiered, and many soloists who have worked with the orchestra throughout their careers.
The concert starts with the Overture to Benvenuto Cellini by Berlioz – Claudio Arrau joins the orchestra in the Konzertstück by Carl Maria von Weber. And in the second half and on the player just below the first one, Arrau joins the orchestra again in a performance of the Burlesk by Richard Strauss and the orchestra finishes off the concert with a performance of Matis der Maler by Paul Hindemith. The Hindemith was premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic in 1934 with then-Music Director Wilhelm Furtwangler.
A lively and varied concert, keeping with the wide range of the orchestra, as they have been throughout their history. Stein had a distinguished career, with posts in Hamburg, Vienna, Mannheim and Berlin. He began his career in the mid-1950s, conducting regional opera and in 1961 came to Berlin where he first conducted the Berlin Philharmonic. Stein died in 2008. He left behind an impressive legacy of highly regarded recordings, including a series of works by Max Reger and Anton Bruckner, both of whom he had a special affinity for.
Claudio Arrau is no stranger to these pages, having featured a concert with him just a few weeks ago. In typical Arrau fashion, he displays brilliant talent and mastery, adding a luster to the proceedings of Weber and Strauss.
There are a couple of iffy sounding spots on this deteriorating tape, but they only last a fraction of a second – however, they are in very obvious spots, so I had to mention them. Otherwise, here is another rare concert recording to hang out and relax with and enjoy.