C0147. HERMANN ABENDROTH Cond. Reichsenders S.O., Breslau, Gewandhausorchester, Leipzig & Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester, Leipzig: Symphony #8 in F (Beethoven); Symphony #2 in D (Brahms); Symphony #8 in c (Bruckner). 2-Music & Arts 1099, Broadcast Performances, 1939-49. Transfers by Maggi Payne. Final Copy! - 017685109928
“This is one of the most distinguished and most desirable issues dedicated to the art of Hermann Abendroth….These extraordinary performances are knowledgeably placed within their historical and musical contexts by Mark Kluge’s notes, an object lesson in the genre. As well as providing a useful biographical outline and numerous photographs, Kluge describes the immediate circumstances surrounding each performance and relates them to Abendroth’s established recorded legacy….Music & Arts has done much to assist the re-establishment of Abendroth, but few issues can have been as important or as rewarding as this one. The recordings are amazingly clear for their respective ages.”
- David Patmore, CLASSIC RECORD COLLECTOR, Autumn, 2003
“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
"...[Abendroth] was a bright star in the constellation of German musicians. His recordings are less rare than little known, especially in the West. Though most are late, they are all in the old manner and warrant attention from anyone with an interest in musical traditions."
- David Radcliffe, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Jan./Feb., 1996