BEETHOVEN: The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43
'VIRTUOSI DI PHILADELHIA'
American conductor Louis Lane had the tough task of being associate to tyranical George Szell in Cleveland, and did his job admirably. Szell already had recorded for Epic/Columbia all of the Beethoven symphonies and five piano concertos (with Leon Fleisher) to great and just acclaim. One would have thought he also would conduct this recording of Beethoven's ballet The Creatures of Prometheus, but, for whatever reason, Louis Lane did the job April 7, 1967. The Cleveland Orchestra is in top form and from this brilliant performance one could easily imagine Szell was on the podium. It is quite amazing how much sound was on this Columbia LP (M 30082), which has been masterfully transferred to CD. There are other recordings of this music, particularly those with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Nickolaus Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, but this fine issue is highly competitive—and particularly attractive at its modest price. No program notes, just a listing of the 18 tracks.
After leaving Cleveland, Louis Lane was co-conductor of the
Atlanta Symphony from 1977 to 1983, principal guest conductor
from 1983 to 1988. He
has also held positions with the Dallas Symphony, Akron
Symphony and the Johannesburg Symphony in South Africa. Currently
Lane is on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music, and resides
in Atlanta.It's good to have one of his finest recordings available again—and
in such a superb transfer.
R.E.B. (October 2003)