C0052. WILLEM MENGELBERG Cond. Concertgebouw Orch.: Symphony #5 in c, recorded 5 April, 1937; 'Pastorale' Symphony #6 om F, recorded 22 Dec., 1937 (both Beethoven). (Germany) Telefunken Legacy 28408. Gatefold Jacket has Brochure, archival photos; Disc has original Telefunken 78rpm label & record sleeve. Transfers by Bryan Crimp. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 639842840828
“Mengelberg is not for purists, who sometimes still call him ‘Mangleberg’. His tempos are fluid, to say the least, and he has no hesitation about slowing down or speeding up in mid-phrase to make an (almost always exciting, almost never illogical) interpretive point. He was one of the most emotional conductors of the period; Leonard Bernstein took a page or two from his book. His Beethoven is irrepressibly swaggering and masculine except when it is meltingly tender. And like many of his contemporaries - including, one should add, Arturo Toscanini - Mengelberg made adjustments to Beethoven's scoring and dynamics. Usually, this was done to bring out details normally buried by modern instruments playing in modern concert halls. Limitations in the recording process probably were a factor too. Those who are interested in changing instrumental techniques over the course of the 20th century will hear a sterling example of the old way of doing things in the Concertgebouw's marvelous playing. String vibrato is less prominent in these recordings, and portamenti are used both for expression and to create a living legato. Basic repertoire burnout is always a danger, particularly where historic recordings are concerned, but with Mengelberg on the podium, even the unconverted are bound to stay awake"
- Raymond Tuttle, Classical.Net