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James Jolly considers what makes a conductor 'great', introducing recordings by Fritz Reiner, George Szell, Eugene Ormandy, Pierre Monteux, Bruno Walter and John Barbirolli.

Our perception of a great conductor is not only shaped by the skill for great music making but by the ability to grab the public's attention and imagination. In two programmes James Jolly revels in the music making of some of the giants of the art who have thrived in an age of mass media.

For the first of two programmes, James begins his reflection with a choice of outstanding recordings by conductors from the East and West, who were at their height during the period of the Cold War. Including a triumvirate of Hungarians in America: Fritz Reiner, George Szell and Eugene Ormandy; veterans such as Pierre Monteux and Bruno Walter; Carlo Maria Giulini and John Barbirolli in Europe; and Yevgeny Mravinsky in the Soviet Union.

2 hours

Music Played

  • Dmitri Kabalevsky

    Colas Breugnon - Overture

    Conductor: Fritz Reiner Performer: Chicago Symphony Orchestra

    • RCA.
    • 09026619582.
  • Béla Bartók

    Concerto for orchestra - 2nd movement - Scherzo (Giuoco delle coppie)

    Conductor: Fritz Reiner Performer: Chicago Symphony Orchestra

    • RCA.
    • GD60175.
  • Johann Strauss II - An der schönen, blauen Donau, Op.314

    Conductor: Fritz Reiner Performer: Chicago Symphony Orchestra

  • Franz Schubert

    Symphony no. 5 in B flat major D.485 - 1st movement; Allegro

    Conductor: Bruno walter Performer: Columbia Symphony Orchestra

    • CBS.
    • MK42048.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Symphony no. 5 in B flat major Op.100 - 1st movement; Andante

    Conductor: Georg Szell Performer: Cleveland Orchestra

    • SONY CLASSICAL.
    • MHK-63124.
    • -1.
  • Richard Strauss

    Wiegenlied Op.41 No.1

    Conductor: Georg Szell Performer: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf - Soprano Performer: London Symphony Orchestra

    • EMI.
    • CDC7472762.
  • Richard Wagner - Die Walküre - Act 3; Magic fire music

    Conductor: Georg Szell Performer: Cleveland Orchestra

  • Claude Debussy

    Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune

    Conductor: Pierre Monteux Performer: London Symphony Orchestra

    • DECCA.
    • 475-7798.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    Il Signor Bruschino, ossia Il figlio per azzardo - Overture

    Conductor: Carlo Maria Giulini Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    • EMI.
    • CDM 7690422.
  • Gustav Mahler

    Symphony no. 5 in C sharp minor - 4th movement; Adagietto

    Conductor: Rafael Kubelik Performer: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

    • Deutsche Grammophon.
    • 429519-2.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Concerto no. 3 in D minor Op.30 for piano and orchestra - 2nd movement; Intermezzo (Adagio

    Conductor: Eugene Ormandy Performer: Sergey Rachmaninov - Piano Performer: Philadelphia Orchestra

    • RCA.
    • 85997.
    • -5.
  • Samuel Barber

    Essay no. 1 Op.12 for orchestra

    Conductor: Eugene Ormandy Performer: Philadelphia Orchestra

    • SONY CLASSICAL.
    • SBK-63034.
    • -13.
  • Edward Elgar

    The Dream of Gerontius Op.38 – Part 2; Praise to the Holiest

    Conductor: John Barbirolli Performer: Janet Baker - Mezzo-soprano Performer: Richard Lewis - Tenor Performer: Ambrosian Singers Performer: Halle Choir Performer: Halle Orchestra Performer: Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

    • EMI.
    • CDM 7631852.
  • Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Symphony no. 6 in B minor Op.74 (Pathetique) - 4th movement; Finale

    Conductor: Yevgeny Mravinsky Performer: Leningrad Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra

  • Jean Sibelius

    Lemminkainen suite Op.22 - No.4; Lemminkainen's return

    Conductor: Eugene Ormandy Performer: Philadelphia Orchestra

    • EMI.
    • CDC-747612-2.
    • -4.

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