ANTON BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 7 in E, NDR Symphony Orchestra (Hamburg), 4 October 1954. MAX REGER: An die Hoffnung, Op. 124 (text: Hölderlin), NDR Symphony Orchestra, Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano, 23/24 October 1955 [released for the first time]. ANTON BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 8 in c minor, NDR Symphony Orchestra, 23/24 October 1955, [complete performance released for the first time], CD 1 Total time: 79:41, CD2 Total time: 74:05. Restoration engineer: Maggi Payne; extensive notes by Mark W. Kluge. UPC # 0-17685-11722-0
Buzz: The recordings in this set feature Schuricht conducting the Sinfoneorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunks (NDR), based in Hamburg. This orchestra was one of several radio ensembles formed after World War II during the establishment of orchestral life in Germany. In June 1945 British occupation officers approached Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, a former Kapellmeister at the Hamburg Staatsoper, to form an orchestra for broadcasting in Hamburg, to be modeled on the BBC Symphony. The NDR Symphony appeared in concert for the first time on November 1, 1945 in Hamburg’s Musikhalle. Schmidt-Isserstedt had an ambitious vision for his new ensemble: “I imagined the strings as a mixture between the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic, the woodwinds as a noble as those of the Concertgebouw and Boston Symphony.” According to an official history of the NDR, the new orchestra’s reputation advanced so quickly that “an American newspaper later termed [it] ‘the old world’s youngest major symphony orchestra’! It did not take long for the orchestra to become one of the leading representatives of musical life in Germany after the war, and in undertaking international concert tours, it gained world-wide recognition.” By the time Schuricht first led the ensemble in 1954, it was solidly established, though not truly yet of the major rank conferred by that newspaper article. This excellent ensemble is heard in works closely associated with Schuricht, two of which are recording premieres."