BRUNO WALTER’S MAHLER: THE EARLY NEW YORK RECORDINGS: Symphony No.1 in D, “Titan”. (NYPSO 25 Oct. 1942) & Symphony No. 2 in C, “Resurrection”. (NYPSO, Nadine Conner, sop., Mona Paulee, mezzo-sop., Westminster Choir, 25 Jan.1942). Both previously unissued. Restoration: Aaron Z. Snyder (2012) UPC # 0-17685-12642-0. the balance and dynamic control of the offstage brass, and finally, in the restrained buildup to the majestic choral finale (with the Carnegie Hall organ adding richly sonorous support).
It is tempting to speculate that the conductor’s recent uprooting from both his German homeland and his adopted Vienna refuge, combined with the traumatic events of Pearl Harbor just a month before this concert, may have manifested themselves in a certain ferocity evident in this account of the “Resurrection.” Walter’s missionary zeal for Mahler’s multidimensional music provided a ready outlet for such a vivid response to world events.
The Philharmonic had played the Mahler First under Dimitri Mitropoulos in January 1941, so Walter was not teaching them the work from scratch as he had done with the NBC Symphony in 1939 (also available on a Music & Arts CD). This performance also exhibits similar rhetorical drama to that apparent in the “Resurrection” Symphony from earlier in the year. In expressiveness it even exceeds the NBC account, which is full of striking impetus but not so overtly rhetorical.
In short, two previously unreleased public performance recordings that reveal a Walter given to passionate excesses not found in his later versions.