second cover of Remington R-199-11 with Scheherazade conducted by Brown
was created by Alex Steinweiss. The same cover was used for the RIAS
recording, Karl Rucht conducting.
signature of H. Arthur Brown as it was printed in People and Pianos
by Theodore E. Steinway, New York, 1953.
is mentioned that Brown did study the violin with Russian born violinist
and teacher Moritz Rosen for 13 years in Seattle. At Juilliard Brown
studied with Paul Kochanski (1887-1934) who was from Odessa and had
become a teacher at Juilliard in 1924. He also studied with American
violinist, conductor and composer Albert Stoessel (1894-1943), and
with famous composer and pedagogue Rubin Goldmark (1872-1936).
several early Remington covers a short biography of conductor Hine
Arthur Brown can be found:
Arthur Brown was born in New York City and grew up in Seattle,
Washington, where he attended the University of Washington
before winning a three-year fellowship to the Juilliard Graduate
School, followed by a scholarship for further study in Fontainebleau
and Paris, France. He has conducted many important American
orchestras and ranks among the leading conductors of today.
Outstanding in his development of symphony orchestras in the
Great Southwest, he is now permanent musical director of the
Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
H. Arthur Brown brings to his Remington recordings the profound
musical understanding and dynamic qualities which have earned
for him an international reputation.
Arthur Brown - "A portrait in oil" (Artistic rendering by R.A.B.
of a portrait.)
Fontainebleau Brown studied at the American Conservatory (founded
in 1921) under no less than famous organist, composer and pedagogue
(Paris, September 16, 1887) started of as professor in 1921 and in
1950 she was appointed director of the American Conservatory, a position
which she held until her death on October 22, 1979 (she was 92).
She counted Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, Walter Piston, Lennox Berkeley,
and also Jean
returned to New York City in 1930 but soon took up the post of violin
teacher at New Mexico's "College of Agriculture and Mechanical
Arts" (which today is called New Mexico State University, Las
Cruces) located at a short distance from El Paso.
He started to reorganize the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and
gave the first concert in 1931. Two years later he was conducting
the Louisville Symphony Orchestra as well. He conducted the
El Paso SO until the scheduled season of 1951/52.
Brown was an ambulant conductor. He not only traveled the large distance
between El Paso and Louisville, but in the last years of his appointment
in El Paso he traveled to yet another city in the South West, Tulsa
that is, and founded the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra. That
was in 1948. He stayed music director in Tulsa until 1958.
Tulsa, A Symphonic Portrait in Oil
1950 H. Arthur Brown traveled to Vienna to conduct the Orchestra of
the Viennese Symphonic Society, also known as the Austrian
Symphony Orchestra, the Nieder Oesterreichisches Tonkünstler
Orchester, and whatever name the orchestra was given on the various
Remington (and Plymouth) records.
recordings of conductor H. Arthur Brown took place in the Musikverein
on Monday, September 4, 1950 at 2.30 p.m. and at 7 p.m., on Thursday,
September 7 at 6 p.m., on Friday, September 8, starting at noon, and
on Saturday, Sptember 9, 1950 at 9.00 a.m. and on Tuesday, September
12, 1950 starting at 9 a.m. in the Musikverein.
The following year another series of recording sessions with H. Arthur
Brown took place, on Monday, September 10, 1951, starting at 9.00
hrs. and again at 4 p.m. On Tuesday, September 11, at 9.00 a.m. and
at 4.45 p.m. And again on Wednesday, September 12, starting at 8 o'clock
in the morning. All data taken from the historical files of the Tonkuenstler
Don Gabor released
the conductor's performances of symphonies by Brahms, Schubert and
Tchaikovsky, orchestral pieces by Rimsky-Korsakov, Grieg, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
and Strauss, on 12 inch Long Playing discs. And there was the ten
inch record with a composition written by Don Gillis: "Tulsa,
A Symphonic Portrait in Oil", oddly enough also recorded
with the Austrian SO for the Remington label and not with the Tulsa
Gillis (Donald Eugene Gilles, 12 June, 1912 - 10 January, 1978),
trumpeter, trombonist, and composer of the generation to which Morton
Gould, Lou Harrison, Ulysses Kay, William Schuman and Robert Ward
belong, was from 1944 on program director and producer for NBC in
New York. Gillis wrote no less than 7 symphonies, several rhapsodies,
piano concertos and orchestral suites, and several choral works.
"Tulsa, A Symphonic Portrait in Oil", completed July 7th,
1950, was commissioned by the First National Bank and Trust Company
of Tulsa to be performed by conductor H. Arthur Brown and the
Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra at the occasion of the formal opening
of the bank's new building on July 29th, 1950. Mr. Brown and the Tulsa
Philharmonic Orchestra were engaged to play it in an outdoor concert
in a specially constructed shell positioned in front of the bank.
Composer Don Gilles explained the music as follows:
is a symphonic poem in four sections, the first of which is
a pastoral movement depicting the land before the settling
of the white man. This moves without a pause into a rather
violent struggle for possession (marked at the beginning of
the movement by the bugles and cannon shot that officially
opened the territory) - this struggle, filled with the energy
and passion of frontier civilization, ends in victory as the
land is transformed from wilderness to homestead and then
to a modern city. The third movement attempts to 'bring in'
an oil well, and is graphic in its portrayal of the violence
of a gusher. The final section is a celebration in which the
population joins in a shirttail parade and square dance in
the streets." - Don Gillis
with so many Remington recordings the question remains what the interpretations
would have been like if the orchestra and conductor had more time
for rehearsals and if the technical quality of the recording was of
a higher standard. Nevertheless the abilities of the artists who performed
for the Remington label are clear. Also in the case of H. Arthur Brown,
who, it is reported, conducted many works from memory, without a score.
Listening to his Scheherazade recording one wonders what the
distinction is between a broad line and a too slow tempo. Brown generally
takes all the time and gives the solo violinist ample opportunity
to present the theme and the music looses its organic coherence. Only
in the second part of the second movement ("The Story of the
Kalendar Prince") and in the fourth movement ("The Festival
at Bagdad"), Brown gives the music more urgency.
The question is: To what extend is a conductor (or any artist) able
to convey the energy of the music to his audience. While Scheherazade
lacks tension, in Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony Brown reaches
a high level of conviction. In the first movement he allows drama
to develop and shows full understanding of the score. Despite irregularities
in the execution, there is some sensitive playing by the orchestra
in the other movements as well. The finale shows that Brown is in
command while demanding the utmost virtuosity of the players.
R-199-13 with Hine Arthur Brown conducting the Austrian Symphony
Orchestra in Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony in the second cover
designed by Einhorn.
first movement of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony (Pathétique)
is executed with care, alternating tension and lyricism, with hardly
acceptable string tone which can be softened depending on the equipment
the record is played on. The technical aspects of the disk and therefor
the first movement may lack some of the deep grievance and suffering,
yet Brown and his players come to terms with the severity and the
dramatic atmosphere of the first part of the symphony. The Allegro,
Second Movement, starts as a simple ditty but gradually comes to life
as well. The March (Third Movement) is played in a virtuosic manner.
It is clear that Brown is fully in command. The last movement - adagio
lamentoso - gets all the time to develop, but the tension is somewhat
In his Tchaikovsky discography of the concertos and symphonies in
High Fidelity of August, 1954, reviewer J.F. Indcox wrote:
"Mr. Brown believes in unabashed sentiment, his first and
last movement being particularly cloying, and Remington's sound
is no more than fair, with an insufficiency of string tone apparent."
- J.F. Indcox, 1954
the recording shows that Brown knew what he was doing and he knew
how to get some good music making out of the orchestra.
Arthur Brown later conducted various orchestras and one of these was
the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1959.
Remington recordings of H. Arthur Brown:
- Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1
Cecil Smith remarked in New Republic:
"Brahms's First Symphony, played by the Viennese Symphonic Society
under H. Arthur Brown, conductor of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, Philharmonic
Orchestra, is a creditable job; (...)."
cover of the early release of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade
which was superseded by the performance conducted by Karl Rucht
The second cover was used for both the H. Arthur Brown and Karl
- Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade
(In 1957 this recording was replaced by the performance of the
Symphony Orchestra under Karl Rucht, but the reference number
remained the same.)
- Don Gillis: Tulsa, A Symphonic Portrait in Oil + Richard
Strauss: Waltzes from Der Rosenkavalier
(Varèse Sarabande 81046 from 1980 contains the same performance
of Gillis's "Tulsa", together with Remington recordings
of works of Glanville Hicks and Rudhyar).
- Peter Iljitch Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6
release of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, Pathétique
(R-199-13) in a paper sleeve.
- Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 8
(with the Salzburg Festival Orchestra)
- Peter Iljitch Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4
Schubert 8th Symphony on the Merit label. The cover mentions
Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra. The label of the disk says "European
- Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdi: A Midsummer Nights Dream
Arthur Brown's recording of Mendelssohn-Bartoldy's Midsummer Night's
Dream was later issued on the Masterseal label around 1958. However
as conductor was mentioned Kurt Wöss.
MSLP 1055 also contained Jean Morel's recording of Prélude
à l'après-midi d'un faun (Debussy) where as conductor
was also mentioned Kurt Wöss. The names were probably changed
to avoid copyright issues after Brown had fallen from grace and
possibly claims from Morel.
- Edward Grieg: Peer Gynt
coq d'or (Rimsky-Korsakov) conducted by George Singer, coupled
with Peer Gynt conducted by H. Arthur Brown.Both suites from Peer
Gynt were later released on the Vibraton label and there it is
stated that both Suites were directed by Georges Singer.
of these recordings were evaluated by Warren DeMotte in his
Playing record Guide (1955), although the Schwann did list
the Brown recordings in 1951 and in later issues, up to and including
Schwann's Artist Listing of 1958. However, by then the listing of
Brown's Scheherazade is not correct. It should have been mentioned
as being the later recording of
The RIAS Symphony
with Karl Rucht, recorded about 1954.
Arthur Brown died on May 27, 1992, at age 86, and was burried in El
Paso's historic cemetry.
A. Bruil Page first published March 6th, 2006