Working with Koussevitzky

Friday, August 19, 2022

In two documentary excerpts we hear what it was like playing for the conductor

SOMM Recordings today releases an archive recording of Serge Koussevitzky conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 5 and Sibelius’s Symphony No 2, taken from the Royal Albert Hall in June 1950 – performances never previously available on record.

The label has accompanied the symphonies with a fascinating new documentary featuring never-before-released interviews with LPO and Boston Symphony Orchestra players recalling working with Koussevitzky. We're delighted to bring you two excerpts from that documentary.

In the first we hear from horn player Harry Shapiro, a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for many decades from the 1930s, plus an extract from Sibelius’s 2nd Symphony played by the Orchestra. In the second we hear from horn player Patrick Strevens, a member of the LPO in the 1950s who took part in both performances issued on the new release, before Jon Tolansky introduces an extract from Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 5 recording.

For more details about the Somm album, click here.

Photographs: Kevin Mostyn

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