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Philharmonia Orchestra

England's Philharmonia is a relative youngster among orchestras, having arisen out of the ashes of London's disrupted orchestral life in the wake of World War II. Within an astonishingly short time, it rose to a high level of quality with a deep, burnished tone similar to the best Austrian-German ensembles. Not surprisingly, its formative years were nurtured under the batons of Furtwängler, Karajan, and Klemperer. In 1945, EMI's Walter Legge realized a long-standing ambition to create a British recording orchestra chiefly for recording purposes that would rival the best Continental models. The Philharmonia was to be a flexible, democratic organization. With a rebuff to the offer from Thomas Beecham to helm the impressive new ensemble, Legge set out to attract the best conductors and soloists on the international scene. Concerts were added as well, and among the most outstanding events of the early years were a Beethoven concerto cycle with pianist Artur Schnabel as soloist, a recording of Ravel's Concerto in G major with a young Leonard Bernstein as pianist, and concerts under the batons of composers Walton, Richard Strauss, and Hindemith. The basis for the Philharmonia's sonorous quality was undoubtedly laid by the procurement of Wilhelm Furtwängler and Herbert von Karajan. The great traditions of Berlin and Vienna were absorbed into the English ensemble. But with the death of Furtwängler in 1954, Karajan ascended to directorship of the Berlin Philharmonic and consequently minimized his ties with the Philharmonia. Legge then made the happy decision to approach Otto Klemperer, one of the last German conductors with 19th century roots, bringing a mutually happy result for both parties. Concerts were sold out and scores of worthy recordings -- particularly of Brahms, Bruckner, and Mahler -- are found and revered on CD to this day. Meanwhile, in 1964, Legge, convinced that he could not maintain the Philharmonia as he wished, expressed his intent to disband the ensemble. The players, with the encouragement of Klemperer, immediately responded by re-forming and renaming as New Philharmonia Orchestra. They continued to flourish, a high point being an invitation from West Germany to perform at Bonn for the Beethoven Bicentennial. With Klemperer's passing in 1973, the orchestra was helmed by American Lorin Maazel and subsequently, Italian Riccardo Muti, who expanded upon the largely classic Austro-German repertoire to embrace a wider international and modern palette. In 1977, the "Philharmonia" reverted to its original name. In 1984, Giuseppe Sinopoli continued the tradition, along with numerous associate conductors. A noteworthy accomplishment was the first digital recording of Beethoven's Symphonies Nos. 1-9 under Kurt Sanderling in 1981. In 1997, Christoph von Dohnányi assumed chief conductorship, continuing the catholicity of repertoire of his predecessors. The Philharmonia has also thrived as a film orchestra, its credits including Henry V, The Far Pavilions, and Nicholas and Alexandra. The orchestra maintained residences in New York in 2002 and 2003.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: 50 Best Ballet

Disc 1
Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Title: The Swan Lake, Ballet, Op. 20
Title: The Sleeping Beauty, Ballet, Op. 66
Title: Nutcracker, Ballet, Op. 71
Disc 2
Title: Eugene Onegin, Opera, Op. 24
Composer: Léon Minkus
Title: Don Quixote, Ballet
Title: La Bayadere, Ballet
Composer: Sergey Prokofiev
Title: Romeo And Juliet, Ballet In 4 Acts, Op. 64
Title: Cinderella, Ballet, Op. 87
Composer: Aram Khachaturian
Title: Spartacus, Ballet
Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich
Title: Polka, Version For Piano Solo Or Piano, 4 Hands Arranged From "The Golden Age"
Composer: Aram Khachaturian
Title: Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts
Disc 3
Composer: Ferdinand Hérold
Title: La Fille Mal Gardée, Ballet
Composer: Adolphe Adam
Title: Giselle, Ballet
Composer: Riccardo Drigo
Title: Le Corsaire, Ballet
Composer: Charles Gounod
Title: Faust, Opera
Composer: Léo Delibes
Title: Coppélia, Ou La Fille Aux Yeux D'émail, Ballet
Composer: Jacques Offenbach
Title: Gaîté Parisienne, Ballet (music By Offenbach Arranged By Manuel Rosenthal)

11. Gaîté Parisienne, Ballet (music By Offenbach Arranged By Manuel Rosenthal): I. Allegro

Composer: Léo Delibes
Title: Sylvia, Ou La Nymphe De Diane, Ballet
Composer: André Messager
Title: Les Deux Pigeons, Ballet
x

Track List: Bela Bartok: The Wooden Prince, Op. 13/Hungarian Pictures

Title: The Wooden Prince (A Fából Faragott Királyfi), Ballet In 1 Act For Orchestra, Sz. 60, BB 74 (Op. 13)

1. The Wooden Prince (A Fából Faragott Királyfi), Ballet In 1 Act For Orchestra, Sz. 60, BB 74 (Op. 13): I. Introduction

Title: Hungarian Sketches (Magyar Képek), For Orchestra, Sz. 97, Bb 103
x

Track List: Brahms: Symphonies & Overtures - Ein Deutsches Requiem

Disc 1
Title: Variations On A Theme Of Haydn For Orchestra In B Flat Major (St. Anthony Variations), Op. 56a
Title: Symphony No. 1 In C Minor, Op. 68
Disc 2
Title: Symphony No. 2 In D Major, Op. 73
Title: Symphony No. 3 In F Major, Op. 90
Disc 3
Title: Academic Festival Overture, For Orchestra In C Minor ("Akademische Festouvertüre"), Op. 80
Title: Tragic Overture, In D Minor, Op. 81
Title: Alto Rhapsody, For Alto, Male Chorus & Orchestra, Op. 53
Title: Symphony No. 4 In E Minor, Op. 98
Disc 4
Title: Ein Deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), For Soprano, Baritone, Chorus & Orchestra, Op. 45
x

Track List: Great Recordings Of The Century - Humperdinck: Hansel Und Gretel / Karajan, Schwarzkopf, Grummer, Metternich, et al

Disc 1
Title: Hänsel Und Gretel, Opera

1. Hänsel Und Gretel, Opera: Overture

Disc 2

1. Hänsel Und Gretel, Opera: Prelude

x

Track List: Great Recordings Of The Century - Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte / Karajan, Schwarzkopf, Merriman, Otto, Simoneau, Et Al

Disc 1
Title: Così Fan Tutte, Opera, K. 588
Disc 2
Disc 3
x

Track List: Mozart: Così fan tutte

Disc 1
Title: Così Fan Tutte, Opera, K. 588
Disc 2
Disc 3
x

Track List: Richard Blackford: Voices Of Exile

x

Track List: Sibelius: Incidental Music

Title: Pelléas Et Mélisande, Incidental Music For Orchestra, Op. 46

1. Pelléas Et Mélisande, Incidental Music For Orchestra, Op. 46: I. At The Castle Gate

2. Pelléas Et Mélisande, Incidental Music For Orchestra, Op. 46: II. Mélisande

3. Pelléas Et Mélisande, Incidental Music For Orchestra, Op. 46: III. On The Sea Shore

4. Pelléas Et Mélisande, Incidental Music For Orchestra, Op. 46: IV. Spring In The Park

5. Pelléas Et Mélisande, Incidental Music For Orchestra, Op. 46: V. The Three Blind Sisters

6. Pelléas Et Mélisande, Incidental Music For Orchestra, Op. 46: VI. Pastorale

7. Pelléas Et Mélisande, Incidental Music For Orchestra, Op. 46: VII. Mélisande At The Spinning Wheel

8. Pelléas Et Mélisande, Incidental Music For Orchestra, Op. 46: VIII. Entr'acte

9. Pelléas Et Mélisande, Incidental Music For Orchestra, Op. 46: IX. The Death Of Mélisande

Title: Karelia Suite, For Orchestra, Op. 11

10. Karelia Suite, For Orchestra, Op. 11: I. Overture

11. Karelia Suite, For Orchestra, Op. 11: II. Intermezzo

12. Karelia Suite, For Orchestra, Op. 11: III. Ballade

13. Karelia Suite, For Orchestra, Op. 11: IV. Alla Marcia

Title: King Christian II (Kung Kristian II), Orchestral Suite, Op. 27

14. King Christian II (Kung Kristian II), Orchestral Suite, Op. 27: I. Nocturne

15. King Christian II (Kung Kristian II), Orchestral Suite, Op. 27: II. Elegie

16. King Christian II (Kung Kristian II), Orchestral Suite, Op. 27: III. Musette

17. King Christian II (Kung Kristian II), Orchestral Suite, Op. 27: IV. Serenade

18. King Christian II (Kung Kristian II), Orchestral Suite, Op. 27: V. Ballade

x

Track List: Walton: Henry V/Richard III

Title: Richard III

1. Richard III: Prelude

Title: Richard III - A Shakespeare Suite
Title: Henry V, Choral Suite (Arr. By M.sargent) And Orchestral Suite (Arr. By C.matthieson)
Title: Spitfire Prelude & Fugue
Title: Henry V, Choral Suite (Arr. By M.sargent) And Orchestral Suite (Arr. By C.matthieson)

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