C0248. HISTORIC UNISSUED RECORDINGS OF GERMAN RADIO, 1939–45, incl. ABENDROTH Cond. Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch.: Bach, d’Albert (the latter’s Cello Concerto, Op.20, w.Adolf Steiner), Humperdinck & Beethoven (the latter’s Concerto #4 in G, w.WILHELM KEMPFF); JOCHUM Cond. Berlin Phil. & Hamburg Staatsorch.: Symphony #3 in d (Bruckner); w.FRIEDRICH WÜHRER: Variations on a Theme by Beethoven (Schmidt); KABASTA Cond. München Phil., w.ARTHUR TRÖSTER: Cello Concerto in a (Schumann). (France) 4-Tahra TAH 382/85, Broadcast Performances, 1939-45. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 3504129038212
“Hermann Abendroth (1883–1956) deserves a greater reputation than he has. His neglect is largely due to the fact that he was active in a generation of giants, being a contemporary of Furtwängler, Klemperer, Toscanini, Stokowski, Walter, Beecham, Mravinsky, and Mengelberg, to single out just some of the leading lights. He held the post of Kapellmeister of the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne from 1914 to 1934 but was removed by the Nazi authorities because he was found to be too sympathetic to Jews. However, he subsequently had a thriving career. He was appointed Kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus, to replace the Jewish Bruno Walter, and he remained there through the Third Reich while regularly conducting the Berlin Philharmonic and appearing at Bayreuth in 1943 and 1944. After the war Abendroth found himself in East Germany, and because of his Nazi associations he was barred from conducting briefly. He protested that he had never attended any political rally or meeting, which ultimately led to his name being cleared. The Communists appointed him as head of the Radio Orchestra in Leipzig. The bulk of his late career was spent in Communist-controlled countries, including Russia and Czechoslovakia, but also Scandinavia.
Abendroth’s style is not easy to pigeonhole. He tended to favor extremes of tempo, so slow movements (or sections of movements) might be slower than the norm, and conversely quick tempi tended to be on the fast side."
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE
“German conductor Eugen Jochum is considered by many to have been the foremost Bruckner conductor of the mid- to late twentieth century; he producing many outstanding recordings of Bruckner's symphonies (as well as worthy interpretations of a great many other composers). He also left to posterity a number of written articles on the interpretation of that composer.
Musical studies began in early childhood (both of Eugen's brothers, Otto Jochum and Georg Ludwig Jochum, went on to become successful musicians in their own right), and Jochum attended the Augsburg Conservatory until he was 20 years of age. He enrolled in the Munich Academy of Music as a composition student of Hermann von Waltershausen, but soon diverted his energies to conducting (working with Siegmund von Hausegger). He worked as a rehearsal assistant at the Munich National Theater, and, after a successful Munich debut in 1926, was invited to join the conducting staff at the Kiel opera. In 1926, having developed a sizable operatic repertory, he moved to Mannheim (1929-1930) and then to Duisburg (1930-1932). Although relatively young, he was asked to serve as music director for Berlin Radio in 1932, and while in that city built an association with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra which would led to many guest conductor appearances in the following decades.
Jochum became music director of the Hamburg opera (and, along with that title, principal conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic) in 1934, remaining at that post until 1949 -- effectively avoiding Nazi interference with his musical activities. During the 1930s, Jochum continued to champion a number of contemporary composers who had been officially banned by the Nazi party (such as Hindemith and Bartók), though his great love remained the late Romantic repertory.
After forming the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1949, Jochum spent the 1950s developing that organization (in conjunction with his new role as music director for Bavarian radio) and building his stature as a guest conductor around Europe; his Bayreuth debut was in 1953, and he took partial charge of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam from 1961-1964. He conducted the Bamburg Symphony orchestra from 1969 to 1973, and was appointed conductor laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra for the 1978-1979 season. From 1950 on Jochum served as the president of the German chapter of the International Bruckner Society.
Jochum's conducting was marked by a fluent, lyric approach (which nevertheless proved capable of drawing tempestuous results from his players when necessary). Above all else he valued a rich, warm sound perfectly suited to the music of Bruckner and Wagner, though recordings show a wealth of insight into the music of other German masters, notably Beethoven, Bach, and Haydn.”
- Blair Johnston, allmusic.com
“Many a talented classical musician's reputation has blossomed from being ‘on the right side’, politically speaking. Conductor Osvald Kabasta's story is a sad example of what can happen when a musician ends up on the wrong side, either through choice or circumstances. In the 1930s, Kabasta joined the Nazi party, and the Munich Philharmonic became known as ‘The Orchestra of the Capital of the Political Movement’. Kabasta started signing his official letters with the words ‘Heil Hitler’. As went the Third Reich, so went his fortunes. He remained a respected and successful figure in German musical life throughout the 1930s and into the early 40s, and an advocate for the works of composers not necessarily sanctioned by the government. Then, difficulties with the Philharmonic's management, and an Allied bombing of its performance space, took a toll on Kabasta's physical and emotional health, and he was forced to step down for a period of recuperation. By the time he had recovered, the war was over, the Allies were in control, and Kabasta tried to return to his orchestra. It was not to be. The occupation government was unsympathetic to Kabasta and his Nazi affiliation, and he was barred from pursuing a musical career in the fall of 1945; Hans Rosbaud was installed instead. In despair, Kabasta self-administered a lethal dose of the anesthetic Veronal on February 6, 1946. Although Munich continued to honor its former Generalmusikdirektor, Kabasta was quickly forgotten by most of the world. There is little doubt that his Nazi ties scuttled his career while he was alive and sullied his reputation after his death.
Whatever he conducted, Kabasta seemed concerned with driving the music forward – but not inexorably – and with obtaining the greatest clarity of textures. The weight came from accents and the interpretation's fire, not from thick orchestral playing or slow tempos."
- Raymond Tuttle, Classical.Net