well played and extremely well recorded: Saint-Saëns (Carnaval
des animaux) and Tchaikovsky (Swan Lake) conducted by Jonel Perlea:
original R-199-11 Scheherazade recording of H. Arthur Brown which
was to be replaced by the Karl Rucht performance.
The second cover
was used for both the H. Arthur Brown and Karl Rucht releases with
the same reference number.
the release of R-199-172 in a new cover.
Rasher around 1950.
Bertelsmann Schallplattenring 8135 a variety of Remington artists can
be heard: Wolfgang Sawallisch, Alexander Jenner, Karl Rucht and Laszlo
Martzy plays Violin Concerto of Antonin Dvorak on LPM 18152
'Stabat Mater' and Kodaly 'Psalmus Hungaricus' on 2 LPs: 18 203/04 LPM
later release of Kodaly 'Psalmus Hungaricus' on a single disc coupled
with Symphony of Psalms - LPM 19073
(Gypsy Airs) Op.20 (Pablo de Sarasate) and 'Hejre Kati' (Jenö Hubay)
on 45 RPM - 30 089 EPL and on 17 071 LPE (coupled with Polovetsian Dances
from Prince Igor - Borodin)
in the September 1954 edition of High Fidelity Magazine the first
Remington record with the RIAS Symphony Orchestra was reviewed, many
a critical music lover was surprised to find that an orchestra of
this stature was recording for Don Gabor's Remington Records.
The RIAS Symphony
(Symphonie-Orchester) had actually been Ferenc Fricsay's orchestra
and, since 1948, had been molded and shaped by this great Hungarian
conductor into an excellently sounding and performing group of musicians.
By 1953 the orchestra had already made recordings for the Deutsche
Grammophon label and was going to make many more.
What were the
circumstances leading up to the appearance of the RIAS Symphony Orchestra
on a budget label like Remington Records?
CHOOSE A SUBJECT
Berlin, on the 7th of February 1946, the "Drahtfunk im Amerikanischen
Sektor" (DIAS) is founded. Initially radio broadcast programs are
transmitted via the telephone cable. But many telephone lines had
been destroyed. So it is decided that as of September of that same
year the programs are being broadcast over the air, and DIAS is renamed
RIAS (Radio In The American Sector/Radio im Amerikanischem Sektor).
This radio station is in need of an orchestra for broadcasting music
World War II in all regions ("Länder") of Germany existing
orchestras are being regrouped and new orchestras are founded on the
instigation of the Allied Forces which are in control of public life
and many institutions.
In Hamburg 'das Sinfonie-Orchester des Nordwestdeutschen Rundfunks'
with conductor Hans-Schmidt-Isserstedt is founded.
early image of Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt and "his" NWDR
Edited image from the cover
of the recording of Dvorak's New World Symphony -
Telefunken LE 6505 from 1954.
Stuttgart the new orchestra is the Symphony Orchestra of the Southwest
Radio (Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR - Südwestfunk).
In Bavaria it is the Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio (Symphonieorchester
des Bayerischen Rundfunks). Just to mention two.
Berlin it is the 'RIAS Symphonie Orchester', founded on the
15th of November 1946. It is the radio orchestra which has its home
in the American Sector of Berlin and it is financed by the Americans,
in fact the US governement. After nearly a year of selecting musicians
and rehearsing, the first concert is given in the Titania Palast.
The conductor is Walter Sieber, composer of many film scores.
Some time later Sergiu Celebidache conducts "an all Gershwin
program" which immediately puts the orchestra on the map.
edited picture of a RIAS microphone was taken from Europäischer
Phonoklub Opera release 3112. It is the recording of violinist
"Adolf Wreege mit seinem RIAS -Orchester". The microphone
is probably a Neumann CMV3.
of the classical music division of the radio station is Elsa Schiller
who later became the famous recording producer for Deutsche Grammophon
Gesellschaft. She persuades Ferenc Fricsay to come to Berlin. Ferenc
Fricsay not only has a taste for the works of a variety of classical
composers - and especially Beethoven and Mozart - but he also is the
man who establishes a modern repertory with compositions of Bartók,
Berg, Blacher, Hindemith, Kodaly, Schönberg, Stravinsky, Von Einem,
Egk and Tcherepnin.
the RIAS Symphony Orchestra also becomes the exemplary institution
to perform what was then regarded as "contemporary music".
No wonder that works of most of these composers can be found on early
recordings of the Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft label. Already
in those days several recordings were made in the Jesus Christus Kirche,
not just because of its acoustics but also because that was probably
the only alternative to the Titania Palast which was also in use by
the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Fricsay performs with his
RIAS orchestra in concert with pianists Géza Anda, Claudio Arrau,
Walter Gieseking, Friedrich Gulda, Margit Weber, and Clara Haskil;
with violinists Yehudi Menuhin, Wolfgang Schneiderhan and Tibor Varga;
with violoncellist Pierre Fournier; and with singers like Maria Stader,
Rita Streich, Josef Greindl, Ernst Haefliger and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.
1947 Yehudi Menuhin performed with the Berlin Philharmonic
Orchestra under conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler. This performance
by a Jewish violinist just two years after the war had ended
and of all places in the former center of the NAZI government,
was regarded as very controversial and received severe criticism.
But by performing in the destructed city of Berlin, Yehudi
Menuhin sent a strong message to the world: We have to look
forward. Not only that, but he certainly indicated that many
suffered and were opposed to the fascist regime. In 1949 Yehudi
Menuhin again performed in Berlin, but now with the RIAS
Symphony on August 23, when he played the solo part in
Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, Ferenc Fricsay conducting.
This historical performance was a radio broadcast.
It was later issued on LP No. 29 in the Italian series
produced by Longanesi Periodici "I grandi Concerti".
recordings for Electrola (EMI) of the Beethoven Violin Concerto
in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Mendelssohn
Concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker, both conducted
by Wilhelm Furtwaengler, were a natural consequence
of his stance.
The image shows Yehudi Menuhin and Wilhelm Furtwaengler listening
to a playback. The photograph was taken by Alice Pashkus whose
walking stick (that she used after suffering in a car accident)
shows up in the photograph as a shadow on the wall. (Image
courtesy Yorgos Manessis from Greece.)
it appears that maintaining this orchestra is a costly affair, despite
the fact that the general economic situation improves somewhat. The
orchestra has an enormous deficit. On top of that the Americans
do realize that their RIAS Symphony Orchestra is in fact the only
orchestra which is subsidized by the American government. Subsidizing
an orchestra is simply not done in the USA.
July 1953 they decide to cut the budget. In fact they stop financing
the orchestra. That is why from 1954 on Fricsay is forced to give
up his post of principal conductor because the orchestra is simply
no longer in the position to pay his salary. Fricsay takes up the
post of conductor of the Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio (Sinfonieorchester/Symphonie-Orchester
des Bayerischen Rundfunks) which was founded by Eugen Jochum in 1949
Several musicians leave the RIAS orchestra and those who remain get
paid only for rehearsal time and performances.
Streich sings with the RIAS Children's Chorus (Kinderchor) and
the RIAS Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kurt Goebel "Von
Hirten und der Heiligen Nacht" on Deutsche Grammophon 45
RPM Variable Grade (Extended Play) 30062.
recording of Rita Streich with the RIAS Symphony on a 7"
Deutsche Grammophon 30 401 EPL is of "Schon ein Mädchen
von fünfzehn Jahren" (Mozart, Zauberflöte - Herbert
Sandberg conducting). "Kommt ein schlanker Bursch gegangen"
(Weber, Der Freischütz - Artur Rother, conductor), and
"Gleitender Mond" (Dvorak, Russalka - Kurt Gaebel
only way to keep the RIAS Symphony Orchestra alive is by hiring
guest conductors for singular concert performances and by earning
extra money through commercial recordings with record companies. One
of these is the Hannover-based Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft
who continue to make recordings with the orchestra, generally
with Fricsay, but also a few with Herbert Sandberg, Artur Rother,
Wolfgang Rennert, Ferdinand Leitner, Richard Kraus, Vilnus Komor and
A few recordings are made by Telefunken, again with Artur Rother (Liszt,
remarkable and rare recording is the Deutsche Grammophon issue with
Fritz Lehman and cellist Enrico Mainardi playing the
Cello Concerto of Robert Schumann. This recording is later attrubuted
to the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, probably because this recording
was issued in 1956 when the name of the orchestra had been changed.
However, the original Deutsche Grammophon disc LPM 18 222 mentions
RIAS logo designed by Rolf Schloesser as it was printed on the cover
of Kilenyi's recording of works by Franz Liszt.
as it may seem, there is another record company who makes use
of the RIAS Symphony and that is Don Gabor's Remington Records
Inc., New York. Gabor was tipped by US government people about
the possibility to hire the orchestra by the hour and making quality
recordings for relatively low fees. Every strong dollar is worth a
lot in Germany.
is that Don Gabor does not buy ready tapes, and if he buys a tape, it
is not of obscure and illegal origin, as so many music lovers and competitors
always suspected. In those early years of the long playing record, Gabor's
Remington Records is one of the largest (if not the largest) independent
label with a significant turnover. He is well able to hire this genuine
and well trained, virtuoso orchestra of professional musicians. Furthermore
able conductors and soloists are hired by the new Recording Director
The recordings are made under the
who, after a disagreement with the board of directors, left the New
York City Opera Company in 1952, the company he himself had founded
in 1943. Although Halasz was involved in earlier Remington productions,
he now officially is Recording Director of Remington Records. Many
a recording session is also attended by
is principal cellist of the RIAS Symphony Orchestra from as early
as the season of 1949/50 and he stays with the orchestra until 1995.
He witnesses the artistic rise of the orchestra under Ferenc Fricsay,
the financial troubles from 1953 on, and the resurrection of the orchestra
as Radio Symphonie Orchester (RSO Berlin). Mr. Köhler remembers the
many recording sessions for Deutsche Grammophon, and of course also
those for the Remington label. He recalls that in a three hour session
at least one hour ready music was to be recorded on tape by gthe Remington
people. This tight schedule led - at least at one time - to a more
or less hilarious happening with conductor Günther Wand. Mr.
a three hour session at least one hour ready music should
be recorded on tape. Unknown conductors acquitted with difficulty
their tasks. At one time Günter Wand stood in front
of the orchestra; already at that time he was a feared perfectionist.
He explained a lot of the music while rehearsing and he shaped
every detail. (Even at his old age his interpretations are
mind-blowing.) When Günter Wand wanted to record the
same passage again because he wanted a better take, recording
director Laszlo Halasz had enough of it and said: "Hey man,
we already have that on tape". Günther Wand put
down his baton, took his hat and coat, and left. The
recording sessions for Remington records had a rather business
like character. For example a work was played through and
recorded in the same session and the title was ready: The
next piece please!" - Heinrich Köhler
knew of course many colleagues and performing artists. In collaboration
with Bertelsmann Schallplattenring he hires a host of able conductors
and soloists. Relatively unknown to record collectors in the early
mono days are Wolfgang Sawallisch, Manuel Rosenthal (1904-2003),
George Sebastian (1903-1989), Georg Ludwig Jochum (1909-1971;
brother of famous Eugen Jochum), Otto Matzerath (1914-1963),
and Jussi Jalas (1908-1985; born Armas Jussi Veikko Blomstedt,
changed his name to Jussi Jalas in 1943 and married Margareta, daughter
of Jean Sibelius).
The only real veterans are Jonel Perlea (1900-1970), Anatole
Fistoulari (1907-1995) and Leopold Ludwig (1908-1979),
one could say.
After the first sessions have resulted in satisfying recordings, Laszlo
Halasz - like so many other artists and conductors - signs Heinrich
best wishes to a great orchestra and hope for a long and happy
association - Sincerely, Laszlo Halasz, Febr. 20. 1954.
date Halasz writes is February 20, but it is suspected that recording
started already in the Fall of 1953.
Not well known is conductor Karl Rucht. And the name of André
Gabriel was for a long time surrounded by mistery.
Spivakovsky plays Glazunov?
and cover of the disk with Glazunov's Violin Concerto mention
André Gabriel as the performing violinist, but the name
cannot be traced and connected to a specific artist. There are
no catalogs that list André Gabriel. The name appears to be
a pseudonym, but for who? For violinist Janine Andrade
- who later made a recording in Germany with conductor Hans
Jürgen Walter of the Tchaikovsky Concerto Op. 35 and also of
Mozart Concertos with Kurt Masur? Or maybe Gerhard Taschner?
Or Rudolf Schulz, first violinist (leader) of the RIAS
Symphony who may be the violinist in the Remington Swan Lake
and Carnival of Animals recordings with Jonel Perlea and is
of course the violinist in the Fricsay recording of Scheherazade?
But attributing this thoroughbred performance to him would not
be logical. Sure is that the unknown violinist would have been
an artist who did not want his name mentioned because of personal
or legal (contractual) issues.
Catalog (Complete Alphabetical Listing By Composer) issued in
the Fall of 1953 could give a hint in this matter. On the last
page it is mentioned that there are plans to make recordings
with Tossy Spivakovsky, with harpsichordist Sylvia Marlowe
and singer Mack Harrell. Recordings with Sylvia Marlowe and
with Mack Harrell were made and released. But a Spivakovsky
disk labelled as such cannot be found. Spivakovsky - who had
come to live in the US (first in New York) in 1940 - may have
been contacted by Recording Director Laszlo Halasz.
my research did not result in a definite conclusion because
there was no Glazunov Violin Concerto issued on the Bertelsmann
label, nor on the Opera label on which at least Albert Spalding's
Remington Recital with Anthony Kooiker was released in Europe.
And there is also no Glazunov Violin Concerto on the Tefifon
Schallbänder (Sound Film), the medium that bore many of the
Bertelsmann-Remington recordings. No Spivakovsky or Gabriel
(or any other name mentioned above) is printed in the catalogs
of these German firms.
It is plausible that Spivakovsky is the soloist, there is yet
another possibility and that is Bronislaw Gimpel. His style
of playing comes somewhat close to that of André Gabriel.
Yet there are differences.
ago my first guess was Roman Totenberg who toured Europe
at the time the RIAS recordings were made. Muza and Heliodor
recordings were proof of his traveling Euope. proThat proof
He was Old records Polish and HHeinrich Köhler's scrapbook
was signed in 1954 by both Bronislaw Gimpel and Roman Totenberg
as Doris Köhler, daughter of the cellist, told me. She
sent Roman Totenberg's autogram from February 1st, 1954. And
Georg Ludwig Jochum did sign the book on the following day.
Seen the differences in execution, I do suspected that Totenberg
could be the soloist on R-199-191 which was first released in
the Spring of 1955.
first pressings of the Concerto have a black-gold label.
Remington disc contains a wonderful and also fascinating performance.
It is not a dragging account with too many phrases played legato
as if most of the concerto has to be executed in one endless
stroke as some recordings evoke. The Remington performance has
a wonderful dramatic concept with depth, detail, and the result
clearly shows a thourough understanding of the work, not only
by the virtuoso violinist but also by the very able conductor
Georg Ludwig Jochum. His structured rendering of the
score is in contrast to the somewhat less firm approaches of
Ferenc Fricsay with Erica Morini and Vaclav Smetacek with Ida
Haendel for instance. Totenberg is also in contrast with the
lyrical and melodious Nathan Milstein with William Steinberg.
But like Steinberg, Georg Ludwig Jochum understands very well
the orchestral part though he is more strict. And Roman Totenberg
knows how to re-create the score with its varying moods in a
very expressive and at times humble, yet effective way. Here
the old - but magnificent - school is talking to the listener.
for a Sound Clip of Cadenza and the beginning of the Third Movement
of the Glazunov Violin Concerto
On January 9, 2012, Allan Evans of
Records, who interviewed Roman Totenberg extensively
and prepared the 2 CD set "The Art of Roman Totenberg from
Bach to Webern", confirmed that the Remington recording
is indeed of Roman Totenberg. He wrote:
"Totenberg laughs about how he had to coin this pseudonym
in order to have an extra recording out. He was an Allegro artist
then, and couldn't have his name on Remington. The original
tape is with German radio (...)".
explains why the sound has the typical characeristisc of Frequency
Modulation Radio (FM) which differs substantially from the other
Musirama recordings made with the RIAS Orchestra. As early as
1950 FM radio was in use. The sound characteristic means that
this recording was not done by the Remington-Bertelsmann team,
although Laszlo Halasz may have attended this Radio In American
Sector recording as well. It is not a live recording. - R.A.B.
Totenberg who was born on January 1,1911, in Lodz, Poland, passed
away on May 8, 2012.
Remington recordings with the RIAS Symphony are all in the new MUSIRAMA
presentation except for one which is not presented as such and that
is the new recording of Rimsky-Korsakoff's Scheherazade. On
Remington R-199-11 originally an early recording of the Viennese Symphonic
Society Orchestra conducted by
H. Arthur Brown
(founder of the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor from 1948
till 1958) is released. When problems arise between Brown and the
union, Gabor stops the pressings of Brown's Remington recordings and
some of these are shifted to the Plymouth label. Now it is time to
acquire a new Scheherazade recording as no record label can do without
this best selling score. The new recording is the one with the RIAS
Symphony Orchestra under Karl Rucht.
a long time it was not certain if this recording was the same as the
Urania 7133 (=Urania 7-19) recording with 'Symphony Orchestra of Radio
Berlin'. This recording was already listed in 'The Long Player' of
December 1953 while the Remington with the RIAS Orchestra under Rucht
was released in the following year. Ernst Lumpe who investigates many
recordings bootlegged by Eli Oberstein and released on
compared the Urania Scheherazade to the Remington RIAS and
found that these are different recordings.
to keep the appealing Steinweiss cover as it originally was used for
the rec ording with H. Arthur Brown, no MUSIRAMA emblem was printed
on it in the right lower corner as this would have spoiled it. Also
the label does not have the MUSIRAMA lettering.
Rucht and the RIAS Symphony give a far better rendition than H. Arthur
Brown does with the orchestra from Vienna - not only because the RIAS
seems a superior orchestra, but also because Brown takes tempi far
too slow and it seems that he does not completely understand what
the music is about. It is likely to assume that the violinist in the
Rucht Scheherazade is Rudolf Schulz. When the Rucht version
was later released on Masterseal MSLP 5012 for conductor the
name of Kurt Wöss is mentioned. The change of the name
is probably made because the contract with Bertelsmann had been breached
and had ended prematurely. A later re-release with the name Rucht
could have been unlawful.
I only found Karl Rucht listed in early editions of Schwann
Long Playing Record Catalog conducting Scheherazade on Urania.
In a French catalog he was listed on Concerteum CT 263/4 (later
issued on Musidisc 842/843) conducting Bach's Brandenburg Concertos
played by the Berlin Chamber Orchestra. There is also Urania
7146 (Request Series) with Polovetsian Dances from Prince Igor,
and Urania 7149 with Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1 performed
by pianist Helmut Roloff (coupled with Beethoven's Piano
Concerto No. 1 in C Op. 15 with eminent Beethoven pianist Hugo
Steurer and conductor Gerhard Pflueger). And there
are also Remington R-199-218 with Liszt and Brahms, and a Masterseal
release with excerpts from Gayaneh by Khatchaturian. Heinrich
Köhler told me that Karl Rucht was a trumpeter in the Berlin
Philharmonic who started to take up conducting..
(Image taken from Berlin Philharmonic catalogue of concerts.
Image supplied by Ernst A. Lumpe.)
Scheherazade on Remington Musirama not only shows excellent
ensemble playing but a good recording technique (which applies
to all MUSIRAMA recordings made in Berlin). Not just for Remington
standards but it is in principle also superior if compared
to the recording technique used by Deutsche Grammophon
at the time.
more data regarding Karl Rucht have been published and it appears
that Karl Rucht (1918-1994) was more than the trumpet player
in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra from 1944 till 1949. He
was chief conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Pfalz
(Philharmonisches Orchester der Pfalz) in Mannheim - later renamed
Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz - from the beginning
of season 1951/1952. He was conductor of the Heidelberg Philharmonic
Orchestra (Philharmonisches Orchester der Stadt Heidelberg)
from 1954 until 1960. This means that he led two orchestras
simultaneously in the years 1954 till 1957. Being the conductor
of these two orchestras in the same region made it possible
to perform large orchestral works by "borrowing" musicians
from his other orchestra. - R.A.B.
virtuoso quality and discipline of the RIAS Orchestra can also be
witnessed on many other Remingtons, but in particular the Jonel Perlea
disc with excerpts from Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky) and Le carnaval des
animaux (Saint-Saëns) in which Heinrich Köhler plays
the cello part (The Swan/Le cygne).
Georges Sebastian's 'Symphony fantastique' (Berlioz) is also a very
skillful and sensitive performance. And the recordings by Edward Kilenyi
of works by Liszt do have the right intensity and the perfect balance
between soloist and orchestra. However in the first notes of the Glazunov
Violin Concerto played by André Gabriel there is some wow in
the recorded sound. It is possible that the tape did not reach the
correct speed when the recording started or the cutting lathe did
not yet reach the right speed when the laquer was cut and no second
laquer was cut.
made with the RIAS Symphony Orchestra and released on the Remington
Scheherazade (Rimsky-Korsakov) - Karl Rucht, conductor.
La boîte à joujoux - The Box of Toys (Debussy) - Jonel
Carnival of Animals - Carnaval des animaux (Saint-Saëns))
and Excerpts from Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky) - Jonel Perlea, conductor.
for a Sound Clip of 'Le cygne' (The Swann) from 'Carnival of Animals'
performed by cellist Heinrich Köhler.
the highest admiration for the very excellent Rias orchestra,
Jonel Perlea 27/8/53
Mit höchster Bewunderung für das ganz vozügliche
Jonel Perlea 28/8/53
Piano Concerto No. 2 (Brahms) - Edward Kilenyi, pianist and Jonel
Piano Concerto No. 1 and Totentanz (Liszt) -
pianist and Jonel Perlea, conductor.
Orchestral medleys from The Merry Widow (Lehar) and One Night in Venice
(Strauss) - Gerhard Becker who was in his early thirties then was
the conductor. Gerhard Becker (19191973) was also a composer
and arranger in the lighter trade. He composed music for tv-series
and movies and made several recordings in the nineteen sixties as
well. One of these is of Franz Lehar's operetta Paganini
with soloists and the Fürsten Feldbruck Orchestra and the RIAS
Chamber Choir, and Max Kayser playing "Paganini's violin".
R-199-172 Gaité parisienne (Offenbach) - Manuel Rosenthal,
conductor. Later released in a new disguise as R-199-254. The same
recording was issued on Rondolette A8 around 1958. Were the tapes
acquired via Don Gabor? Or was Rondolette another of Don Gabor's labels
or (partly) owned by him?
Orchestral excerpts from Wagner operas -
of George Sebastian taken from an advertisement for Remington MUSIRAMA
Symphonie Fantastique (Berlioz) - George Sebastian, conductor. In
Germany released on the Diamant label, reference
BL 733. The recording was probably made in the Fall of 1953.
my good friends and colleagues of the wunderful, magnificently
sounding RIAS orchestra. My thanks for making harmonious music
together and all best wishes for a great future. January, 1954,
Berlin. Georges Sebastian.
vielen Freunden und Kollegen des wunderbaren klanggrossartigen
RIAS Orchester (...). Dank für harmonischem Zusammen Musizieren
und alle besten Wünsche für eine grosse Zukunft. Januar,
1954, Berlin. Georges Sebastian.
my dear RIAS Orchestra - with sincere thanks for professional
music making. November/January 1953/54. Otto Matzerath.
lieben Rias Orhester - mit herzlichen Dank für professionelles
Musizieren. November/Januar 1953/54. Otto Matzerath.
Wagnerian Overtures - Leopold Ludwig, conductor.
Symphony No. 1 (Schumann) - Otto Matzerath, conductor - released
Light French Opera Overtures: Von Suppé, Adam, Aubert, Maillart
- Gerhard Becker, conductor.
Music by Offenbach "Offenbachiana" arranged and conducted
by Manuel Rosenthal.
Sinfonietta (Rudhyar), Gymnopedia (Glanville-Hicks) -
conductor (coupled with Henry Brant's Saxophone Concerto performed
by Sigurd Rascher (saxophonist of the New York Philharmonic)
here with the Cincinnati Symphony conducted by Thor Johnson) - released
Can Can (Offenbach) - Manuel Rosenthal, conductor (coupled
with selections from the musical Can Can played by Tony Osborne and
Violin Concerto (Glazunov) - André Gabriel, violin and Georg
Ludwig Jochum, conductor (coupled with The Origin of Fire (Sibelius)
Helsinki University Chorus
and soloist Sulus Saarits, baritone, and Pohjolas Daughter,
Op. 49 (Sibelius). Probably recorded in February, 1954, when Georg
Ludwig Jochum signed the scrapbook of cellist Heinrich Köhler.
heartely thank you to the outstanding RIAS Orchestra for many
and fine hours of faithfull following. Georg Ludwig Jochum. February
augezeichneten RIAS-Orchester einen herzlichen Dank für viele
und schöne Stunden treuer Gefolgschaft. Georg Ludwig Jochum.
2 - 2 - 1954
he signed after conducting Symphony No. 7 of Anton Bruckner.
The date is not mentioned.
Orchestral medley from The Beggar Student (Millöcker) -
Gerhard Becker, conductor.
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 (Bach), Concerto Grosso No. 5(Handel)
Piano Concerto No. 1 (Tchaikovsky) -
pianist and Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor.
Symphony No. 5 (Sibelius) - Jussi Jalas, conductor.
Francesca da Rimini (Tchaikovsky) and Theme and Variations (Tchaikovsky)
- Anatole Fistoulari, conductor.
my thanks for the recordings! And You personally all the best
Yours Wolfgang Sawallisch.
Dank für die Aufnahmen! Und Ihnen persönlich alles Gute
Ihr Wolfgang Sawallisch.
Variations on a Theme by Haydn (Brahms) - Wolfgang Sawallisch
conducting. Coupled with Tragic Overture (Brahms), Academic Festival
Overture (Brahms) with conductor Otto Matzerath.
Jalas recorded works of his father in law Jean Sibelius: Symphonies
Nos. 1, 2 and 5 and Five humoresques for violin solo and orchestra
with violinist Anja Ignatius. Only Symphony No. 5 was released
on Remington. Below Leopold Ludwig.
Choros No. 6 (Villa-Lobos) - conducted by Villa-Lobos himself,
coupled with the older recordings of Enesco's Rumanian Rhapsodies
Nos. 1 and 2, conducted by Enesco. The coupling probably in remembrance
of George Enesco who died in 1955.
Suites from Sylvia and Coppélia (Delibes) - Anatole Fistoulari
and George Sebastian, conductors. In 1967 these performances
were reissued in 1967 on Everest 6116 (mono) and 3116 (stereo). This
that the recordings were made in stereo, though not on 35 mm film
which most certainly was not used for the dubbing of the tape either.
The Everest release not only shows that the sound of these recordings
was basically excellent for those days standard, but also the performances
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 and No.14 (Liszt), Hungarian Dances No. 1
through 6 (Brahms) with Karl Rucht conducting; the same program
of rhapsodies and dances was later re-released on the Paris-label
(Album 12) and pressed on better vinyl. Although I saw the cover of
199-218 once, various Schwann catalogs, the 1956 Artist Listing and
the Artist Issue of 1958 included, do not have this recording listed.
It may have had a very short life span as a Remington release, because
after the last releases starting at 200, the label soon was suspended
and the recordings were released on Gabor's other labels like Paris,
Buckingham and Webster and were not listed any longer in the serious
record catalogs: Schwann and The Longplayer as they were now sold
in convenient stores and gaz stations.
were also recordings made in cooperation with Bertelsmann with the
Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Remington R-199-209) with works
by Hindemith (Mathis der Mahler), Schumann (Manfred Overture), and
Von Weber (Euryanthe Overture), all conducted by Leopold Ludwig.
And with the Dusseldorf Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Eugen
Szenkar (1891-1977) released on Remington R-199-212, with
works by Igor Stavinsky (Firebird Suite) and Sergei Prokofiev (Classical
Symphony). These were also listed in the Tefifon catalog.
Tefi Schallbänder - Tefi Sound Films.
of the recordings made with the RIAS Orchestra are listed in
the catalog of the Tefi Schallbänder (Tefi Sound Films).
Tefi Sound Films were to be played on the Tefifon and other
special Tefi reproducers (Tefi Geräte).
The Tefi Schallband was an alternative to the gramophone record,
the wire recorder, tape recorder and the
Miller Sound Recording System.
Tefifon was invented by Dr. Karl Daniel (1905-1977).
The sound was engraved on an endless film and was originally
read by a crystal pick up cartridge and in later years by a
moving magnet (MM) cartridge incorporated in the designs. The
principle of this system had been devised by Oberlin Smith,
the man who also had the idea for magnetic recording in 1889.
Tefi cassettes were available from 1950 until 1962. A great
advantage of the system was that it was really a long play
medium as one Tefi Schallband (sound tape) could easily
have one hour of music at a speed of 19 cm/s. And it was also
suitable for stereo. When stereo was introduced the ceramic
cartridge was replaced by a better phono cartridge which then
read the endless groove (loop).
Tefifon Schallband with the Second Symphony and Five Humoresques
of Jean Sibelius, conducted by Jussi Jalas, with violinist
Anja Ignatius as issued in Germany. The
recording of the Five Humoresques was in fact the world
premiere recording and was never issued by Don Gabor though
he and Laszlo Halasz supervised these recordings in Berlin.
J. Radnuz was the recording engineer.
above image of the Tefifon cassette and information
on the Tefifon Schallbänder were submitted by Dr.
Klaus Holzapfel from Germany.)
Only the recording of the 5th Symphony of Jean Sibelius
was issued in the MUSIRAMA Series. The recording of the
Symphony No. 1 was released together with Five Humoresques
Varèse Sarabande VC
81043 in 1978. Varèse-Sarabande mentions 'Radio
Symphony Orchestra' instead of the RIAS Symphony. This
is incorrect as the recordings were made in January of
1954 and the RIAS orchestra was renamed Radio Symphony
Orchestra (RSO) only in 1956.
Tefi Schallbänder catalog (Tefifon Schallband Katalog)
shows several of the titles which also appeared on Remington:
Edward Kilenyi playing Franz Liszt's Concerto No. 1 and
Brahms's No. 2 with Jonel Perlea, Conrad Hansen playing
Tchaikovsky's Op.23 with Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Karl Rucht
conducting Scheherazade, Hungarian Rhapsodies and Gayaneh, and
Anatole Fistoulari conducting Tchaikovsky's Francesca
da Rimini, just to mention a few.
The collaboration with Bertelsmann in Germany officially started in
1953 and some 200 recordings were planned to be made in the new MUSIRAMA-technique
with the RIAS Symphony Orchestra. In Germany they were of course released
on Bertelsmann's Phonoring or Schallplattenring as well as on the
Tefifon tapes. Don Gabor wanted to release the older recordings from
Austria and several American recordings in Germany too. For that he
created the German Diamant label already in 1953 right after
the Bertelsmann deal had been signed.
Diamant releases are pressed from Remington plates, probably
in the Webster plant in Massachusetts, although there is mention in
Billboard magazine that Gabor was setting up a pressing plant in Berlin.
From the way the covers are printed and manufactured, I assume that
the covers are made in the printing division of Remington's Webster
pressing plant as well because that would be cheaper than having them
manufactured in Germany. On the label is printed "Licensed by Remington
Records." The German covers had no liner notes. There was probably
no time to write these, or a correct translation of the American notes
would take up time and would make the releases more expensive. All
covers have a standard pattern of yellow-light and blue-white colored
stripes. On the front are printed the name of the composer, of the
work(s) and the names of the performers, and there is a reference
number for ordering the record, in German, "Best. Nr." (Bestell Nummer).
the Diamant label appear older recordings made in Vienna like Franck's
Symphony in D conducted by Hans Wolf (BL 743), Astrid Varnay
singing Wagner arias (BL 737) and Gaspar Cassado performing
Dvorak's Cello Concerto with conductor Kurt Wöss (BL 745).
This is all as planned.
But also Symphony Fantastique (Berlioz) with the RIAS Orchestra under
Georges Sebastian in the new Musirama sound is released as
BL 733 while this recording is also released by Bertelsmann and on
the Tefifon Band (celluloid tape). Distributing the Diamant releases
in Germany is of course against the terms agreed upon between Gabor
and the Bertelsmann firm. Cellist Heinrich Köhler told me that
there was a law suit: Bertelsmann v. Remington (Don Gabor).
The outcome was that the contract with the RIAS Orchestra and Bertelsmann
was prematurely ended. That is why many more recordings made with
the RIAS Symphony are not issued in the US. Also the later stereo
recordings were excluded.
breach of contract with Bertelsmann prevented the release on
Remington of many more recordings made with the RIAS Symphonie-Orchester
which were released in Germany on Tefi casettes (Tefifon Schallbänder).
If the cooperation had volved satisfactorily, also recordings
with other orchestras could have been made. The Tefifon recordings
If I were King - Gerhard Becker
*Auber: Fra diavolo - Gerhard Becker
*Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 - Georg Ludwig Jochum
*Berlioz: Ballet Music - Wolfgang Sawallisch
*Bizet: Sylvia - Anatole Fistoulari
*Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia - Anatole Fistoulari
*Delibes: Coppelia - George Sebastian
*Glinka: A Life for The Tsar Overture - Anatole Fistoulari
*Glinka: Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture - Otto Matzerath
*Glinka: Waltz Fantasy - Anatole Fistoulari
*Gounod: Ballet Music from Margarethe - Wolfgang Sawallisch
*Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Symphony No. 4 - Otto Matzerath
*Ponchielli: Dance of the Hours - Wolfgang Sawallisch
Russian Easter Overture - George Sebastian
*Saint-Saëns: Danse macabre - George Sebastian
*Saint-Saëns: Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah - George
*Schubert: Symphony No. 2 - Otto Matzerath (recorded
on February 19, 1954, according to another entry by Laszlo Halasz
in Heinrich Köhler's scrapbook).
*Schubert: Rosamunde Overture - Otto Matzerath
*Sibelius: Symphony No. 1 - Jussi Jalas
*Sibelius: Five Humoresques- Jussi Jalas (and violinist
*Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 - Jussi Jalas
The entry in the Tefifon catalog of the One Hour Tape (Tefi-Stunden-Band)
with the 2nd Symphony of Jean Sibelius and the Five Humoresques.
*Strauss: Don Juan - Otto Matzerath
*Strauss: Til Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks - Otto Matzerath
*Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien - Anatole Fistoulari
*Tchaikovsky: Marche Slave (Slavomic March) - Karl Rucht
*Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings - H. Charlier
*Weber: Invitation to the Dance - Otto Matzerath
could probably also have been made for the release on Remington
of the 2nd Violin Concerto of J.S. Bach played by then 23 year
old violinist Helga Hussels who later (1969) was refused to
be a member of Karajan's Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. She
could have been the first woman in that famous sound body (Klangkörper)
but conductor, management and members wanted to keep the Berliner
Philharmoniker strictly a men's affair and Helga went to live
in Sweden and made a career as a soloist and as a member of
the Symphony Orchestra of Göteborg (Gothenburg Symphony
When she played with the RIAS Youth Orchestra conducted by Willy
Hanuschke, that performance was released on Bertelsmann LP 338089,
coupled with Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 performed by the RIAS
Symphony Orchestra conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch.
the Tefifon catalog the youth orchestra is just mentioned as
RIAS Symphony Orchestra. Conductor Hanuschke recorded also Georg
Wassermusik which was released later on Classique 13 160G (10").
And there is also no Remington disc of Beethoven's Symphony
No. 1 with Jonel Perlea conducting the Teatro la Fenice
which was released in Germany on a Tefi cassette. This recording
- which should replace the Viennese disc with "conductor
X" - was made at the time of Lucia di Lammermoor and of
music by American composers Brant, Glanville-Hicks, etc.
It is likely that several tapes with these recordings - which were
practically all supervised by Laszlo Halasz (in many cases together
with Don Gabor) were taken back to the US or were shipped to Don Gabor's
headquarters in New York but were not issued on record after the verdict
of the court. They probably were not discovered by Tom Null when he
was producing the Remington Series for the Varèse-Sarabande
label, or - if he found them - were all in a bad shape and could not
is printed on many a cover of the
Varèse-Sarabande Remington Series,
most recordings were supervised by both Don Gabor and Laszlo Halasz,
and the recording technician was J. Radnuz. Tape recorders with 30
IPS speed were in use to obtain high quality.
It is not sure if the orchestra was
also conducted by Laszlo Halasz. The release of Bertelsmann Schallplattenring
8135 indicates that Laszlo Halasz conducted the RIAS Symphony
in Hungarian Dance No. 6, which is of course one of the dances conducted
by Karl Rucht. This same Bertelsmann disc has excerpts from recordings
made by other Remington artists: Wolfgang Sawallisch, Alexander Jenner
and Karl Rucht. It is possible that Halasz did conduct the Hungarian
Dance and that his name was deliberately changed into that of Karl
Rucht or the opposite may have been the case.
An oddity is the recording with Karl
Rucht conducting Gayaneh by Khachaturian on a Masterseal release
with the Remington Musirama label and Remington matrix numbers which
were printed also on the label: 33 1637. I did not find a Remington
Musirama equivalent. Columbia Records had won the case against Don
Gabor, and the latter was no longer allowed to use the wording Masterworks
and the label name "Masterseal" - which easily could be
confounded with Columbia's Masterworks - was prohibited as well. Subsequently
many records were released with the Remington style labels and the
Masterseal logo was erased from the covers.
On Webster ST12 Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake Suite with Jonel Perlea
from R-199-160 is reissued together with Otto Matzerath's performances
of Academic Festival Overture and Tragic Overture (Brahms) which were
originally on Remington R-199-205.
Bertelsmann founded the Ariola Division, many of the "Remington
recordings" were released on their Classique label. To
mention a few:
13174H - Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 with pianist
Conrad Hansen and conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch.
16 087D - Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 conducted
by Wolfgang Sawallisch.
13153H - Hindemith: Matthis der Mahler performed by
the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leopold Ludwig.
made with the RIAS Symphony Orchestra and released on Deutsche Grammophon
1953 till 1956 there are many conductors who perform with the RIAS
Symphony Orchestra, especially during this 'period of draught' (when
the orchestra was short of finances): Karl Böhm, Georg Solti and Otto
Klemperer, Leo Blech, Hermann Abendroth and Eugene Ormandy. And there
were of course the lesser greats. One of them is Herbert Sandberg
who conducts Edvard Grieg's Holberg Suite on Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft
noteworthy event was when the Scala Opera Company visited Berlin
in 1955 and performed with the RIAS Symphonie-Orchester in
Lucia di Lammermoor conducted by Herbert von Karajan with singers
Maria Meneghini Callas (Soprano), Giuseppe di Stefano (Tenor), Rolando
Panerai (Baritone), Nicola Zaccaria (Bass-Baritone), Giuseppe Zampieri
(Tenor), Luisa Villa (Mezzo-soprano), Mario Carlin (Tenor), The Chorus
of La Scala Milan.
there are prominent soloists like pianist Michael Raucheisen.
And there is cellist Enrico Mainardi who performs Cello Concertos
of Haydn and Schumann with Fritz Lehmann conducting (LPM 18 222).
The conductors of the younger generation also swing the baton in front
of the orchestra and Ferenc Fricsay continues to conduct the orchestra
on various occasions, for concerts and for recordings as his discography
Fricsay (August 9, 1914 -February 20, 1963)
(Photo Copyright Schumacher/Deutsche Grammophon)
See the homepage maintained by Ferenc Fricsay's daughter
page about the RIAS Symphony Orchestra is certainly not complete if
the recordings by the original and eminent conductor Ferenc Fricsay
are not mentioned. He did make numerous recordings with the RIAS Symphony
Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon:
Concerto with Tibor Varga (18006 LPM), Bartok's Two Portraits Op.
5 with Violinist Rudolf Schulz (22248 LVM 78 RPM Variable Micrograde,
78 Langspielplatte, 78 rpm long playing record) - coupled with
Paganini Variations by Boris Blacher (16054 LP), Bartok's 3rd Piano
Concerto with Monique Haas (18223 LPM), his 'Music for Strings Percussion
and Celesta' (LP 16074), and
Two Portraits Op. 5 with Violinist Rudolf Schulz (22248 LVM
78 RPM Variable Micrograde (78 UpM Langspielplatte, 78
RPM long playing record). These were also available on 16 054
LP with on the other side Boris Blacher's Paganini Variations.
and Dance Suite (LPM 18153), Dvorak's 'New World Symphony' (18142
LPM), Stravinsky's 'Le sacre du printemps' (18189 LPM and
'Capricio' with pianist Monique Haas (18004 LPM), Préludes
and Ballet Music from Carmen (17092 LPE), Stravinsky's 'Symphonie
des Psaumes' and Frank Martin's 'Petite Symphonie concertante' (18035
LPM), Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony (18039 LPM), Werner Egk's 'Kleine
Abraxis-Suite' (30228 EPL) and 'Suite française pour orchestre'
(LPM 8401), a program of well-known compositions by Berlioz (Danse
des Sylphes from La damnation de Faust) and Borodin (In the Steppes
of Central Asia), coupled with 'Marche hongroise' performed with the
Berlin Philharmonic, and with the Lamoureux Orchestre (L'orchestre
des concerts Lamoureux): Dukas (L'apprenti sorcier) and Mussorgsky
(A night on Bald Mountain)(19061 LPEM), Stravinsky's 'Petrouchka'
(LPE 17003), Liebermann's 'Furioso' and 'Suite' (30113 EPC), Tchaikovsky's
Serenade for Strings (LPE 17036), Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies 1 and
2 (LPE 17055), Mozart's Symphonies Nos. 29 and 41 (18296 LPM), Dvorak's
Violin Concerto with Johanna Martzy (LPM 18152), Haydn's 'The Seasons'
(18025/28 LPM), Haydn
Symphonies 44 and 95 (18180 LPM) and 98 and 101 (18339 LPM), Rimsky-Korsakov's
Scheherazade (19075 LPEM), Hartmann's Symphony No. 6 (16401 LP), Rossini
Overtures (19041 LPEM), Rossini's 'Stabat Mater' with Maria Stader
and Kodaly's 'Psalmus Hungaricus' with Ernst Haefliger (18203/4 LPM,
released in February 1955; the Deutsche Grammophon CD is not the passionate
RIAS Orchestra performance recorded in mono but a later performance
with slower tempi by Fricsay with the Radio Symphony Orchestra from
a radio broadcast in stereo);Tchaikovsky's 'Overture Solennelle -
1812' Op. 49, with the Don Cossack Chorus/Don Kosaken-Chor, coupled
with Wagner's Overture to 'The Flying Dutchman/Der Fliegende Holländer'
(LPE 17022) - the complete opera with Josef Greindl, Annelies
Kupper, Wolfgang Windgassen, Sieglinde Wagner, Ernst Haefliger and
Josef Metternich, the RIAS Choir and Orchestra conducted by Ferenc
Fricsay was released on AK (automatische Kupplung = automatic sequence):18063/65
LPM and NK:18116/118 LPM. Then there are Kodaly's Maroszek Dances
and Dances from Galanta (LPE 17060), Respighi's 'La boutique fantasque'
(LP 17054), Mozart's 'The Magic Flute' (LPM 18264/266 NK) and 'Exultate
jubilate' (17027 LPE), Mozart Symphonies 26, 32 and 35 (18066 LPM),
Nos. 41 and 29 (18290 LPM), Verdi's 'Messa da Requiem' with Maria
Stader, Marianne Radev, Helmut Krebs, Kim Borg and the St.Hedwig Cathedral
Choir (18155/56 or 18157/58 LPM), Preludes and Overtures by Verdi
Zoltan Kodaly: Maroszek Dances and Dances from Galanta Ference
Fricsay and the RIAS Symphony Orchestra on LPE 17060.
"Symphonie Classique". Ference Fricsay and the RIAS
Zacharias plays Gypsy Airs (Sarasate) and Hejre Kati (Hubay) with
Ference Fricsay and the RIAS Sinfonie-Orchester on LPE 17071,
coupled with Borodin's Polovetsian Dances - with the RIAS Chamber
Choir (RIAS Kammerchor).
Atwell, who wanted to record Grieg's Piano Concerto with English Decca,
also famous violinist Helmut Zacharias had a wish to record more serious
compositions. He made a recording of 'Zigeunerweisen' (Gypsy Airs)
Op.20 (Pablo de Sarasate) and 'Hejre Kati' (Jenö Hubay) with
the RIAS Symphony conducted by Ferenc Fricsay, coupled with 'Polovetsian
Dances' from Borodin's opera Prince Igor (LPE 17071).
All the original releases of these recordings - except the Variable
Micro Grade 78 RPM pressings - had gatefold covers. Initially
these covers had the compartments taped at the edges with blue linen
tape. The later releases had the stitched compartments which then
became the the trademark of Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft for many
Lateron these same
recordings were re-released in single covers and the date on the back
of the cover at the end of the fine print tells when a particular
recording was pressed. Generally this is not the date of the actual
See the homepage
maintained by Ferenc Fricsay's daughter
in 1956 the orchestra becomes the official orchestra of "Sender
freies Berlin" (SFB), the orchestra's name is changed to Radio
Symphony Orchestra (RSO) Berlin and it keeps up its fine and high
standard of music making, thanks to the devotion of Ferenc Fricsay
who again is appointed as principal conductor in 1959, and thanks
of course to the members of the orchestra. By that time Don Gabor
has already stopped making recordings with the orchestra and also
the recordings with the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra and conductor
Otto Matzerath are history. With the advent of the stereo record Don
Gabor discontinues the Remington label altogether and starts to expand
his Masterseal label of which the first productions had already been
released in 1953.
My thanks to Mr.
Heinrich Köhler, cellist of the RIAS Symphony Orchestra, for
allowing me to publish several of the signatures he collected in his
scrapbook of conductors who recorded for the Remington label. Thanks
also to Doris Köhler, the cellist's daughter, for searching her
father's documents and providing the signature of Roman Totenberg
from February 1st, 1954.
I thank Dr. Klaus
Holzapfel from Stuttgart, Germany, for providing the technical data
about the Tefifon system and several Tefifon releases, the image of
the label of the Sibelius recording as issued on Varèse Sarabande,
and the image of conductor Jussi Jalas.
I also thank Mrs.
Marta Dobay-Fricsay, for linking to this page. She built and maintains
a stylish website in honor of her late father, conductor Ferenc Fricsay.
Text and research
Rudolf A. Bruil - Page created and first published in August, 2001.and