Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Richard Strauss, Weber
CD No: IMG Artists CZS 5 75103 2 (2 CDs) Duration: Reviewed: August 2002
Great Conductors - Fritz Busch
Reviewed by Bill Newman
I was travelling down on a 48 weekend pass by coach to London from Hereford during my RAF training in 1951. Looking forward to hearing the Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, I heard the radio announcement of conductor Fritz Buschs passing. Erik Tuxen, Launy Grøndahl and Thomas Jensen assumed the responsibilities for the concerts ahead.
HMV Plum label 78rpm discs EMI being far behind Decca in the LP stakes were issued under Buschs superb direction. He had brought the Danish Orchestra to the height of international excellence, and it is correct that Brahmss Symphony No.2 (1947) and Haydns Sinfonia concertante be included here, excepting their release on other labels.
Live recordings of exceptional interest utilising the same forces provide the listener with examples of the conductors perfected mode of approach in well-tried repertoire: Beethovens Leonore II Overture, Mendelssohns Italian Symphony and Brahmss Tragic Overture all recorded in 1950 and offering a well-spring of fresh inspiration, moulded phrasing and superb response from the Danish players. Mozarts Linz Symphony (1949) is also an advancement on the dim-sounding BBC Symphony version, while the 1948 Weber Der Freischütz overture is magnificent.
Strausss Don Juan with Beechams London Philharmonic is also a marvel of feathery-light articulated playing with its moments of perfectly judged drama.