OUT NOW | “Eugene Ormandy Conducts the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra” Full Album Collection
Released on Sony Classical, the recordings culminate in an 11-disc box set
The complete RCA album collection of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra and Hungarian-American conductor Eugene Ormandy comprises, for the first time, 10 hours and 48 minutes of recordings on 11 CDs.
Ormandy served as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra for 44 years, from 1936 to 1980. Prior to that role, he conducted the Minneapolis Symphony between 1931 and 1936 — a period, while brief, proved just as pivotal in his career.
By 1931, Ormandy had been a violinist in New York’s Capitol Theater for 10 years, and also later conducted the orchestra. His first real break in the U.S. came when the Philadelphia Orchestra asked him to stand in for his idol, Italian conductor, Arturo Toscanini.
His next major performance opportunity was stepping in on short notice for Henri Verbrugghen, the indisposed chief conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony, whom Ormandy was subsequently appointed to succeed.
Ormandy was further propelled to recognition when he stepped in for Toscanini yet again in Philadelphia, where an RCA Victor (a Sony Classical subsidiary label) executive, who was in the audience, invited Ormandy to record with them.
When contractual terms prevented Philadelphia Orchestra from participating, Ormandy suggested that RCA transfer the project to Minneapolis Symphony, where Ormandy established himself and the ensemble as one of America’s most admired.
For the first time, Sony Classical presents the complete Ormandy/Minneapolis discography in a single collection. The box set contains major symphonic works including Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony, Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Sibelius’s Symphony No. 1, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, and those by Beethoven.
The set also comprises world premières of Kodály’s Háry János Suite, the string-orchestra version of Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and Honegger’s Concertino for piano and orchestra.
Ormandy’s only recording of Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 and his first recording of Beethoven’s Fourth is included, as is Brahms’s Hungarian Dances, the Strauss family’s dances and overtures, Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Smetana’s Bartered Bride, and Percy Grainger’s British folksong arrangements.
American works by Roy Harris, Charles Tomlinson Griffes, and John Alden Carpenter are also featured, as well as works by Zádor, Enescu, Sowerby, Dvořák, Kreisler, Délibes, Wolf-Ferrari, Gounod, Ravel, Zamachson, Tchaikovsky, Paganini, and J.S. Bach.
To listen to and purchase the complete album, click here.