Carl Schuricht And The Stuttgart Radio Symphony – 1954 – Past Daily Weekend Gramophone

Carl Schuricht
Carl Schuricht – one of the great practitioners of the Classic tradition in Conducting from the 19th century.

Carl Schuricht and The Stuttgart Radio Symphony – 1954 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Classical music enthusiasts and record collectors know the name of Carl Schuricht. He was one of that group of conductors who believed in a certain style of interpretation; one that was actively practiced during the 19th century, and had all but died out by the beginning of the 21st.

You could say Carl Schuricht belonged to a dying breed – when the conductor was the closest thing to a dictator an orchestra was going to get, and one who painstakingly adhered to every note and nuance in a score, because it was intended to be played that way by the composer.

Needless to say, if you aren’t used to hearing older recordings (older, as in 1920s) performed by these celebrated conductors, it may be a little jarring and you may find yourself wincing in spots. Sort of like listening to a string section use Portamento, which is almost never used now.

But as I said in my earlier post regarding Bill Evans, Classical music differs greatly from Jazz in that improvisation is almost unheard of, but point of view exists on interpretation of the notes and the tempo. Carl Schuricht approached each piece of music from the mindset of the composer, and it makes for very interesting listening. One of my favorite series of Beethoven Symphonies was the set Schuricht made in 1956 with the Paris Conservertoire.

It’s not a case of choosing one over the other; it’s a case of liking a particular point of view and wanting to hear it again – that’s why there are so many different recordings of the meat-and-potatoes classical repertoire.

Anyway – what is on the player are two works – starting with the Overture, Scherzo and Finale by Robert Schumann and the Hebrides Overture by Mendelssohn. Both works were recorded by South German Radio in 1954.

Works performed by Carl Schuricht are big in collectors circles, and several labels in Europe have been releasing much of his live material from the late 40’s all the way up to the early 1960s (Schuricht died in 1967). So it’s possible this has been issued in one form or another over the years. I got this from a German radio broadcast in the 1970s, where historic performances were routine.

Enjoy – and if you aren’t used to it (the Hebrides Overture is molasses slow). give it a couple hearings to make your mind up.

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