|CENTENAIRE EUGEN JOCHUM (Volume I)
WAGNER: Tannh”user Overture (BPO,1933). BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5 (BPO, live 1945). Symphony No. 7 (BPO,1938). BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1 (BPO,1938). Symphony No. 3 (HPO, 1939). CORELLI: La Follia (HPO, 1944). MOZART: Symphony No. 40 (ACO, 1943). Symphony No. 41 (BPO, 1941). REGER: Serenade (ACO, 1943).
Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Hambourg Philharmonic Orch/Eugen Jochum, cond.
TAHRA TAH 466-469 (4 CDs) (F) TT: 4 hrs. 28 min.
CENTENAIRE EUGEN JOCHUM (Volume II)
CENTENAIRE EUGEN JOCHUM (Volume III) (all live ACO recordings)
ORFF: Carmina Burana, Catulli Carmina. Trionfo di Afrodite.
Continuing their fine series of historic reissues, TAHRA has released four important sets featuring conductor Eugen Jochum, mostly live performances including initial CD releases of a number of works the conductor never recorded commercially - along with some very special documentary information. Three of the albums contain four CDs (each set with two double-CD jewel cases); the fourth is devoted to performances by the conductor's daughter, pianist Veronica Jochum.
The first volume contains seven Telefunken recordings made from 1933 to1943, with the Berlin Philharmonic playing Wagner's Tannh”user Overture, Brahms Symphony No.1, Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, and Mozart's No. 41. For Mozart's No. 40 and Reger's Serenade Jochum directs the Concertgebouw. The two radio recordings are Corelli's La Follia recorded live in Hambourg, and Beethoven Symphony No. 5 with the BPO. I'm very pleased with the transfers of the Telefunken recordings. There is some surface noise to be sure, but important balances are kept and there is a splendid full sound. These sound like good, solid 78s. Of great interest is the accompanying booklet which contains a "complete" lengthy chronological discography of Jochum's recordings, both commercial and live. Of course it is not complete - doubtless many radio and TV performances have yet to surface, but what is here is fascinating indeed. Dates, locations, orchestras, 78 rpm, LP and CD issues are identified. Expert recording historian Michael Gray participated in this major project, invaluable for the collector.
Volume II contains many treasures, notably a grand live performance of Brahms' German Requiem recorded live in Munich in 1951, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9 with Clara Haskil as soloist recorded by the Bavarian Radio in 1954, and three Concertgebouw Mozart performances from the 1961 Montreaux Festival: Mozart's Symphony No. 33, Serenade No. 13 and a stunning virtuoso performance of the Oboe Concerto with ACO principal oboist Haakon Stotijn. As the latter three were recorded on tour there is little of the "Concertgebouw sound," but of course the playing is superb. Another performance of Mozart's Symphony 33 is in the set, this one with the Berlin Philharmonic recorded live in 1948; the famed orchestra isn't at its finest in that performance, but they surely are in Beethoven's Pastorale, a l951 studio recording. Kim Borg's powerful Songs and Dances of Death is another welcome CD premiere. With this Volume TAHRA supplies a comprehensive list of Jochum's repertory with some fascinating statistics: during his career he conducted 886 performances of Beethoven symphonies and 650 of Bruckner symphonies! Other works one might never have suspected Jochum would conduct include Prokofiev's piano concertos 2 and 3, Respighi's Roman Festivals, and all sorts of repertory seldom, if ever, heard today: concertos for piano by Wolfgang Jacobi, Hermann Reutter, Joseph Rosenstock and Woytowicz, for violin by Kletzki and Karl Marx, and for cello by Werner Th”richen. He never conducted any of Dvorak's symphonies. The only Mahler symphony he conducted was No. 4 (although he made a superb recording of Das Lied von der Erde). He programmed Stravinsky's Firebird, Pulcinella and Jeu de cartes, but never Sacre du Printemps
With the exception of Schubert's Symphony No. 9 recorded with the RIAS Orchestra in Berlin, all recordings in Volume III are live performances with the Concertgebouw Orchestra dating from 1963 to 1979. The Parsifal and Meistersinger excerpts are glorious. Debussy's Nocturnes is another example of repertory unusual for Jochum. Always dependable soprano Elly Ameling is heard in the Bach Wedding Cantata, pianist Emil Gilels in Grieg's Piano Concerto (which previously was issued on TAHRA coupled with Schumann's concerto with Claudio Arrau). There is a minor technical gaffe in the tracking for Brahms Symphony No. 4; the final movement actually begins about half-way through track 3, but this is a very minor problem indeed.
"The Art of Veronica Jochum" is actually the second TAHRA set devoted to her. The first, a 2-CD set (236/237) contains Mozart's Concertos 14 and 20 and the third concertos of Beethoven and Bartók. This new disk contains Mozart's Concerto No. 6 recorded Oct. 29, 1969 with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra conducted by Martin Turnovsky, and Schumann's Concerto with the French National Orchestra conducted by her father from a concert May 14, 1982.
All of these are welcome additions to the CD catalog. We are indebted to TAHRA for undertaking this commendable task. At this time TAHRA has no distributor in the United States. If you are interested in purchasing any of these, send an e-mail to: MyriamScherchen@compuserve.com
Also pictured above is a welcome reissue of Jochum's
pioneering Orff recordings, 2-CD set from DGG (two CDs
for the price of one) containing the 1953 Carmina Burana as well as Catulli
Carmina and Trionfo di
Afrodite, recorded 1954-1955, all with the composer present. Carmina was written in 1937, Catulli five years later, and Afrodite in 1953. Orff
was a close friend of the conductor, who apparently had some reservations
of the trilogy. Jochum, a devout Catholic, once asked his friend, Italian
theologian Romano Guardini (1885-1968), if the text of Trionfi was
not in contradiction with the Catholic religion. Assured by Guardini
he could "conduct this work without further worry," Jochum
made these recordings. He would record Carmina Burana again
in 1968 in stereo with a more glamorous list of soloists: Gundula
Janowitz, Gerhard Stolze and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; however, Janowitz,
splendid artist that she is, and in fine form for most of her part, simply
can't negotiate the high F in Dulcissime.
R.E.B. (February 2003)