Joseph Keilberth ∙ German Radio Recordings 1942-1945


Joseph Keilberth is a figure of cult in Germany, with a reputation of authority in the German repertoire. Keilberth was part of the German conducting tradition, in which a straightforward and dynamic presentation of the work in question was achieved with limited subjective intervention. None of these rare World War II performances for German Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft have been published before.

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JOSEPH KEILBERTH conducts Mozart, Haydn and Dvorák

Mozart: Symphony No 33 in B-flat Major, KV 319
Recorded ∙ 03 September 1942 ∙ Vienna ∙ Sendesaal ∙ Reichssender Wien ∙ Radio Studio Recording

Haydn: Symphony No 55 in E-flat Major, Hob.I:55
Recorded ∙ 07 July 1943 ∙ Prague ∙ Karolinenthal ∙ Reichssender Prag ∙ Radio Studio Recording

Mozart: Serenade ‘Eine kleine Nachtmusik’ in G Major, KV 525
Recorded ∙ 03 July 1944 ∙ Prague ∙ Rudolfinum ∙ Reichssender Prag ∙ Radio Studio Recording

Mozart: Serenade in D Major, KV 239
Dvorák: Scherzo capriccioso, Op 66

Recorded ∙ 08 January 1945 ∙ Prague ∙ Rudolfinum ∙ Reichssender Prag ∙ Radio Studio Recording

Deutsches Philharmonisches Orchester Prag
Joseph Keilberth ∙ conductor

Article number: MC 5004
UPC barcode: 791154054222
Recording dates: 1942-1945
Release date: March 2015
Total timing: 79:02
Booklet: 8 Pages
From the Original Masters ∙ © 2015 Meloclassic

May 2015 ∙ Audiophile Audition ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ Joseph Keilberth conducts Mozart, Haydn and Dvorák
This MeloClassic transfer includes concert materials from 1942-1945, opening with a brisk interpretation of Mozart’s Symphony No. 33 in B-flat Major, K. 319 (3 September 1942, Vienna) that includes a deliberate, melodically lush reading of the Andante moderato second movement. The Haydn so-called “Schoolmaster” Symphony No. 55 in E-flat Major (7 July 1943) takes us into the sturm und drang period in music with a potently driven Allegro di molto led by a firm hand. The finger-wagging second movement – a theme with seven variations – Adagio: ma semplicemente presents a muted-strings, two-part melody in B-flat Major. The sudden outbursts erupt from, alternately, staccato and legato presentations of the variations on the theme. The pedantic cast of the music soon gives way to a con amore sensibility that Keilberth applies with canny nuance. The Trio of the ensuing Menuetto employs a chamber music medium, a concertino of two violins and cello. The Finale: Presto combines rondo and variation forms in bravura fashion, including some perky and rustically humorous riffs in the low winds. Despite some distant-sounding acoustics, the Eine kleine Nachtmusik Serenade (3 July 1944, Prague) exudes its usual charms and happy application of Classical form. The Romanze movement makes a persuasive testament to Keilberth’s lyrical sway with his Deutsches Philharmonisches’ string section. The 1776 Serenata Notturna and Dvorak’s infectiously colorful 1882 Scherzo capriccioso derive from the same Prague concert of 8 January 1945. The former piece, that by Mozart, takes an audacious turn at the traditional cassation or outdoor music staple, reducing the scoring to opposing martial and lyrical concertinos, and they include the active tympani. I suppose we must accept a Joseph Keilberth reading of the Dvorak in lieu of an “authentic” Prague performance from Vaclav Talich, but our delight in the composer’s astonishing rhythmic buoyancy never wanes, and the coda justifies the admission price.
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