Los Angeles Philharmonic. Lawrence Foster, conductor – Pierre Amoyal, violin – Nathaniel Rosen, cello – Mona Golabek, piano – George Shirley, Tenor – Yvette Mimieux, Narrator – Pacifica Singers, Paul Vorwerk, conductor – Hollywood Bowl – August 13, 1968 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Something historic, long-lost and never-before-heard this week. A concert from the 1968 Hollywood Bowl “Symphonies Under The Stars” season from August 13th – With Lawrence Foster guest conducting The Los Angeles Philharmonic, featuring Pierre Amoyal, violin, Nathaniel Rosen, Cello – Mona Golabek, piano. Along with Tenor George Shirley, Yvette Mimieux, Narrator and the Pacifica and Gregg Smith Singers conducted by Paul Vorwerk in music of Mozart, Beethoven and Stravinsky.
Starting off with the Marriage of Figaro overture by Mozart. Followed by the Beethoven Triple concerto op.56 with Amoyal, Rosen and Golabek as soloists. Following intermission, the second half of this concert is a single work; Stravinsky’s Persephone with George Shirley, Tenor and narrated by the legendary Yvette Mimieux with The Pacifica and Gregg Smith Singers, conducted by Paul Vorwerk.
I don’t think you would see this concert at the Hollywood Bowl today. Maybe I’m wrong, but Classical music and adventuresome programming, even with something like Stravinsky’s Persephone, which is not a controversial piece, would likely never be performed at the Bowl in 2019. But it was in 1968. However, audiences were different then, musical tastes were probably a bit more far-reaching than they are now (although some would beg to differ) – and a challenging pairing of musical works with something of the meat-and-potatoes variety was potentially more likely then, than it is now. And to have it topped off with an appearance by a well-known Hollywood personality at the time (Yvette Mimieux was a household name back then) was just one more element in tossing things together that, despite appearances, fit like a glove. I will say the whole concert is pretty top-notch and this is a wonderful gathering of soloists under one roof (well …one sky, actually). I do not believe this performance was ever duplicated and I don’t think it was ever broadcast. It is a fascinating and rare document.
Give it a listen.