The Romantic Aspect of German & Austrian Classics / Keilberth
The Brahms Second and Bruckner Ninth are both solid, taken at normal tempos, nothing exaggerated or mannered. He is careful to allow for detail and avoid rushing little notes; the Bruckner, done in concert with the Berlin Philharmonic (1960 in Salzburg), shows the orchestra at its best, and the Schubert Eighth is warm and relaxed. Of all the symphonies, though, the best is the Schumann Fourth, which is fast and exciting. Unfortunately it has the worst sound (1952 concert with Cologne Radio), and the brass are too prominent.
The concertos are no less fine. Kulenkampff was a major violinist of the earlier 20th Century, and his Bruch concerto is beautifully done, though definitely in an older style. Annie Fischer is terrific in the Schumann. Her playing is impetuous, almost unpredictable, but her phrasing and touch are wonderful. Rosl Schmid has plenty of technique with which to handle the difficulties of Pfitzner's piano concerto very well.
Keilberth felt an attraction to Reger’s music, and we find four substantial works here. We also have some 82 minutes of Wagner excerpts. The selections are uneven. The two preludes from Siegfried are not very interesting out of context. The music from Tannhäuser goes nearly half an hour, while the Valkyrie Ride is less than three minutes, up through the arrival of only three Valkyries, and then is cut off. All of that aside, there is a lot of exciting Wagner here, and the best is the Lohengrin preludes, recorded not in Bayreuth, where the sound is murky, but in studio with the Hamburg Philharmonic. Everything here is instrumental, except for the three (unidentified) Valkyries.
The other bits and pieces tend to be very good, largely because they are studio recordings from the later 50s. In general I find his conducting bracing and energetic, more direct than contemplative.
– American Record Guide
Catalog Number: PH18019
Composer: Carl Maria von Weber, Franz Schubert, Hans Pfitzner, Hermann Goetz, Hugo Wolf, Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, Max Bruch, Max Reger, Peter Cornelius, Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner, Robert Schumann, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Joseph Keilberth
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Performer: Annie Fischer, Georg Kulenkampff