GOLDMARK: Rustic Wedding Symphony.
DVORAK: Symphonic Variations
Royal PO/Beecham
IDLR 104 TT: 62:33


BERLIOZ: Te Deum. Les Frances-Juges
Overture. Waverly Overture
Royal PO/Beecham
IDLR 106 TT: 72:38

|
WAGNER: Excerpts from Parsifal, Die
Meistersinger, The Flying Dutchman, Götterdämmerung
Royal PO/Beecham
IDLR 110 TT: 51:47


BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1 in C Minor.
Tragic Overture. Academic Festival Overture.
NYP/Walter
IDLR 101 TT: 62:08


BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 1 in C.
Symphony No. 3 in E Flat
NYP/Walter
IDLR 107 TT: 71:05


BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9 (two finales).
Egmont Overture. Leonore Overture No. 3
NYP/Walter
IDLR 115 (2 CDs) TT: 65:35 & 44:58


MOZART: Symphony No. 35. Don
Giovanni Overture. Piano Concerto No. 25.
André Tchaikowsky, pianist; CSO/Reiner
IDLR 116 TT: 61:29


STRAUSS: Excerpts from Die Fledermaus
Munsel, Resnik, Stevens, Merrill, Melton,
Peerce; Orch/Reiner
IDLR 114 TT: 59:17


MENDELSSOHN: Midsummer Night's
Dream excpts. DEBUSSY: Petite Suite.
RAVEL: Le Tombeau de Couperin.
Robin Hood Dell/NBC SO/Reiner
IDLR 119 TT: 57:14

Pictured above are nine of twenty budget-priced CDs issued to date (February 2003) on the Idlewild Reissues label

I have the greatest admiration and respect for collectors who see a major gap in the CD catalog and do something about it - and, importantly, do it the right way.  Such is the case with Hubert Wendel, whose love for the artistry of Willem Mengelberg prompted him to issue many of the Dutch conductor's commercial and live recordings in transfers that do full justice to their musical/technical merit. (see REVIEW on this site). Pierre Paquin of Sound Dynamics has issued many memorable performances of Eduard van Beinum, Charles Munch and Hermann Scherchen. David Gideon of  Rediscover Classics has issued many important recordings of Scherchen, Paul Paray, Karl Ristenpart and William Steinberg.  Another fine private reissue series is "Locked in the Vault Reissues" which focuses on George Szell recordings but has many other worthy issues as well (NOTE: This label no longer exists, unfortunately). Collectors are encouraged to investigage all of these to be aware of the many treasures not available elsewhere. Of course keep in mind that Naxos is providing an invaluable service to collectors with their exemplary historic reissues at budget price.  

Now we have Idlewild Reissues, a project of John Wilson, whose primary interests are early LP issues by conductors Bruno Walter, Sir Thomas Beecham,  Fritz Reiner and Gennady Rozhdestvensky all of whom made many recordings in mid-century, issued on LP but seldom on CD. Idlewild has made a good start in correcting this omission with an initial release of 20 CDs, all in superb transfers taken from Columbia, Odyssey, Philips and RCA LPs.  These are all mono recordings but sound surprisingly good in these quiet, wide-range transfers. Of particular interest to me are the Beecham reissues already reviewed on this site. Fans of Fritz Reiner will wish to investigate the Mozart CD containing two performances never before on CD:  a mono recording of Symphony No. 36 recorded in 1953, and a stereo recording of the Piano Concerto No. 25 with André Tchaikowsky as soloist recorded in 1958.  Also included is the overture to Don Giovanni recorded in stereo in 1958 (which once was issued on CD).  Reiner's Robin Hood Dell Orchestra recordings (actually the Philadelphia Orchestra) and NBC Symphony LPs are very rare; it's good to have some of them back.  The Fledermaus highlights recording was made in September 1950 three months before Columbia recorded the operetta in the Met's hit new English production, which had lyrics by Howard Dietz, libretto by Garson Kanin, and an all-star cast conducted by Eugene Ormandy.  Reiner uses an English version by Ruth and Thomas Martin; this is a rarity for Reiner collectors.  Bruno Walter's NYP Beethoven and Brahms symphonies are of enormous interest; R.D. felt Walter's 1953 Brahms Third was perhaps the finest recording of the work.  Walter wasn't too happy with the finale of his 1949 Beethoven Ninth and persuaded Columbia to record it again in 1953; both versions can be found on IDLR 115, which also contains two overtures. 

Idlewild CDs are budget-priced ($6.50 per disk).  They have attractive front and back jewel-case information with tracks, timings and source information, but no program notes.  Two-CD sets cost just $1 more than a single CD, a remarkable bargain. There is no web site yet; for information write: idlewildreissues@earthlink.net

R.E.B. (February 2003)