'From the New World' on five 45 RPM discs.
billboard of the 1943 concert when George Singer conducted the Palestine
(Coriolan), Mendelssohn (Ruy Blas), Liszt (Les Preludes) conducted by
George Singer. The orchestra now named "European Symphony Orchestra"
- Merit M1-16.
1812 Festival Overture (Ouverture Solonelle) was issued on 2 x 45 RPM
7" discs with Smetena's Moldau by George Singer (reference RB-4-003).
By mistake the box mentions George Singer as the conductor for the Tchaikovsky
piece, whereas the factual conductor was Kurt Wöss.
already conducted the Palestine Orchestra (Eretz Israeli Orchestra)
before it became the Israel Philharmonic in Tel Aviv. When rehearsing,
he would keep much of the energy of the players for the actual performance
which would often have great intensity. He was a great conductor which
is obvious from his recordings. Daniel Barenboim said in an interview
in the April 2000 issue of Gramophone: "He was an undisciplined,
fiery personality, but a wonderful musician". Yet an entry in
an encyclopedia on George Singer was rarely found. That explains why
critic and reviewer Irving Kolodin initially thought that the name
George Singer was a pseudonym.
all artists who appeared on Remington records were really known. Many
times record buyers suggested that a name was a fake. One of those
"unknown" Remington artists was conductor George Singer
who - as research shows - was born in Prague on August 6th, 1908.
Singer studied at the Prague Conservatory under Alexander von Zemlinsky
(1872-1942), brother in law and teacher of Arnold Schönberg,
and under Fidelio Finke (1891-1968). While Zemlinsky fled to the US
in 1934, Singer migrated to Palestine in 1939 and on December 5th
of that same year he conducted Borodin (Symphony No. 2), Dvorak (Serenade
for Strings), and Mussorgski (Pictures at an Exhibition). Singer traveled
to many European countries to perform. Israel was the country where
he died on October 1st, 1980.
Singer around 1950.
Singer is specifically known for his recording of Dvorak's Fifth Symphony
with the title 'From the New World'. Since the mid nineteen
sixties the symphonies of Dvorak were twice renumbered. In the end
Symphony No. 2 became the 7th, and the popular Fifth was renumbered
Ninth. George Singer conducts the Austrian Symphony Orchestra, also
referred to as Viennese Symphony Orchestra and as Niederösterreichisches
Tonkünstler (Tonkuenstler/ Tonkunstler) Orchester on Remington
That same performance of 'From the New World' was released on five
45 RPM discs in a handsome box, reference RB-5-002.
his repertory stretched from Beethoven to Bruckner, from Schubert
to Shostakovitch, from Haydn to Mahler, from Franck to Stravinsky,
and many names and idioms in between, several Israeli composers included,
Paul Ben-Haim, Yehuda Wohl, Menahem Avidom. He accompanied many soloists,
Pnina Salzman, Ella Goldstein, Frank Pollak, Josef Kaminski, Josef
Bernstein, Yehudi Menuhin, William Primrose, Arthur Rubinstein, Maurice
Gendron, Shura Cherkassky, and Michael Rabin.
George Singer (who was also a composer) led the Opera of Prague,
as well as the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra
of the Prague Spring Festival. He conducted the Israel Philharmonic
Orchestra on a regular basis and also the Hebrew National Opera.
He contributed to Israeli culture by premiering several works
from contemporary, Israeli composers.
spent several months of the year outside Israel appearing in
front of important European orchestras like the Berlin Philharmonic
and the Suisse-Romande Orchestra (l' Orchestre de la Suisse-Romande).
He conducted the Santa Cecilia Orchestra of Rome and spent time
in Vienna with the Austrian Symphony Orchestra, in Leipzig with
the Radio Orchestra (Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig - MDR
- Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk), the Symphony Orchestra of Radio
Hamburg (Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Hamburg) and the Bamberg Symphony
Orchestra (Bamberger Symphoniker).
Singer was the first Israeli conductor to perform in the USSR.
He already conducted the Palestine Orchestra (Eretz Israeli
Orchestra), long before it became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
The orchestra was founded by violinist Bronislaw Huberman in
1936 with the support of Arturo Toscanini who conducted the
1939-1940 season of subscription concerts of the Israel
Philharmonic Ortchestra, Tel Aviv, with George Singer conducting
Borodin (Symphony No. 2); Franck (Symphonic Variations);
Dvorak (Serenade for Strings); Moussorgsky (Pictures at
an Exhibition); Gluck (Overture to Iphigenia in Aulis);
Schubert (Symphony No. 4); Mahler (Symphony No. 4).
from the start of the orchestra's existence famous conductors
and soloists travelled to Yeretz Israel - Mandatory Palestine
to give concerts, and national celebrities performed with
the orchestra. To mention a few: Arturo Toscanini, Malcolm
Sargent, Benno Moiseiwtisch, Jacob Bernstein, Issay Dobrowen,
Eugen Szenkar, Oda Slobodskaya, Herman Scherchen, Ignaz
Neumark, and George Singer.
the many concerts of George Singer, one memorable took place
on Monday, June 7th, 1943, in the midst of the Second World
War, in the so called Edison Hall. On the program was Beethoven's
Prometheus Overture and Pastoral Symphony, and after the break
pianist Lance Dossor was the soloist in Brahms's Piano Concerto
No. 2 in B flat Major. Another memorable concert with George
Singer conducting was during the 1963/1964 season. On the program:
Paul Ben Haim's 'Dance and Invocation', Brahms's Double Concerto
(with Endre Wolf, violin, and Adolfo Odnoposoff, cello), and
after the intermission Dvorak's 3rd (7th) Symphony. Singer conducted
works of many Israeli composers. Especially known are the performances
of the music of Arthur Gelbun (on texts by Leah Goldberg) with
the Israel Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra & Choir.
Remington recordings of George Singer:
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, 'From the New World, released December
1950 (reissued on Masterseal MSLP 5014 in 1957). This recording was
by mistake attributed by Kurt Wöss in a listing on the back of
an early cover.
for a Sound Clip of a fragment of the Second Movement of Antonin
Dvorak's New World Symphony conducted by George Singer.
Bizet: Carmen Suite and Smetena: The Moldau - released December 1950.
Rimsky-Korsakov: Le coq d'or (orchestral suite) - released in the
Spring of 1951
Music critic Cecil Smith wrote in New Republic that the performance
of Rimsky-Korsakov's glittering Suite from "Le Coq d'Or" recorded
by George Singer and the Symphony Orchestra of the Viennese Symphonic
Society was "a creditable job", which means that the Suite
is performed with imagination and nuances.
Liszt: Les Preludes (+ Enesco Rumanian Rhapsody No. 2, George Enesco
conducting) (Varèse Sarabande VC 81042 -1978) - released in
the Fall of 1951
Mendelssohn: Ruy Blas Overture (+ Beethoven Egmont Overture, Hans
Wolf conducting) - released in September of 1952
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 - released in the Fall of 1951
Rimsky-Korsakov: Le coq d'or (orchesral suite) originally released
on a 10 inch disc is now coupled with Tchaikovsky's 'Tempest' conducted
by Zoltan Fekete - released in the Fall of 1951
Steinweiss designed the cover for the recording of Dvorak's Slavonic
Dvorak: Slavonic Dances Op. 46 - Released in April, 1954
Schubert: Symphony No. 3 and Haydn: Symphony No. 93 - Released in
Mozart: Symphony No. 29 (+ Weber: Symphony No. 2 conducted by Günther
Rabhuber) - Released in May, 1954
George Singer conducting Dvorak (Largo from New World Symphony), Rimsky-Korsakov
(March from Le coq d'or), Erasmo Ghiglia conducting Rossini (Barber
of Seville Overture); coupled with excerpts from The King and I with
Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra - released in 1954
Symphony No. 29 conducted by George Singer and Carl Maria von
Weber's : Symphony No. 2 conducted by Günther Rabhuber.
early release of Le Coq d'Or (Rimsky-Korsakov) conducted by
George Singer, coupled with The Tempest (Tchaikovsky) conducted
by Zoltan Fekete.
of the recordings were released later in different couplings. The
best example is the Suite 'Le coq d'or' by Rimsky-Korsakov which was
released on R-199-68 together with Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 conducted
H. Arthur Brown.
The release dates of the recordings were taken from Schwann Record
Catalog and The Longplayer. In certain instances Schwann listed a
recording later than The Longplayer did.
from Jerusalem played under George Singer. He remembers:
was Czech - like my mother. He was a fiend at playing scores
on the piano - he could read anything. A conductor of great
inspiration. The orchestra that I played in for a year when
I was 19 - the Israeli Radio Orchestra in Jerusalem - liked
only two conductors - George Singer and Carlo Zecchi. Singer
because he never had patience for thorough rehearsal. He would
always say: "In the evening", meaning that things
will work out in the concert. The orchestra played really well
for him if compared to the abysmal playing for others. I knew
of two people in Israel who were able to put an orchestral score
in front of them and play anything and everything on the piano.
The composer Yosef Tal (...) was one, and George Singer was
the other. Singer's love for Czech composers was legendary,
and he would include a Dvorak work in each program, if possible."
- Raanan Eylon. 2007.
archives of the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Radio Central Germany -
MDR) contain various recordings. Among these:
Sechs deutsche Tänze (Six German Dances) KV 567
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig (MDR) - George Singer, conductor
- Catalog number: 39851/audio - Date: 1967-03-30.
Studio/Leipzig, Funkhaus Saal 1
February and March 1960, George Singer conducted performances of OTELLO
(Giuseppe Verdi) and La Bohème (Giacomo Puccini) in the Amsterdam
Municipal Theatre (Amsterdamse Stadsschouwburg). Stars in Otello were
Mimi Aarden, Scipio Colombo and Ramon Vinay (Otello), Angela Vercelli,
Leonard del Ferro and Rudolf Knoll (second performer of Otello). In
La Bohème were starring Mirella Freni, Marilyn Tyler and Ettore
Babini. The picture of George Singer in action appeared in Issue 1960/2
of Dutch Opera Magazine.
also exists a recording with the Bamberger Symponiker of W.A. Mozart's
Rondo for Violin and Orchestra KV 373 with Zvi Zeitlin (violin),
George Singer conducting.
there is a recording with Excerpts from Nabucco (Verdi) with
Norma Giusti (soprano), Erika Wien (Mezzo-Soprano), Giuseppe Savio
(tenor), Lawrence Winters (baritone), Nicola Rossi-Lemeni (bass),
the Radio Chorus and the Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra (Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester
Hamburg), George Singer conducting.
ETERNA Stereo 825364 (1974)
Text and research
Rudolf A. Bruil. Page first published on February 12, 2007