During the 1950s, 60s and 70s, Decca recorded a number of albums of overtures with some of its key conductors. Many of these were singled out by the press for their terrific sound quality (the fabled ‘Decca Sound’) and for their often adventurous programming. Some of them also included entr’actes and intermezzi. Prized as collectors’ items, many of the original LPs exchange hands at high prices. And most of these reissues, in Decca Eloquence’s ‘Romantic Overtures’ series, appear in CD, in part or whole, for the first time.
Romantic Overtures – Volume 1 includes Kurt Herbert Adler’s extremely rare 1978 LP entitled ‘Overture’ and is a virtual feast of curiosities: Nicolai’s ‘Tempelritter’, Goldmark’s ‘Merlin’, Goetz’s ‘Francesca von Rimini’… The album concludes with Zubin Mehta’s Vienna Philharmonic recording of Brahms’ ‘Tragic Overture’. Recorded in 1976 at the sessions for the composer’s First Symphony, it was deemed too long to fit on the LP and here receives its first international CD release.
OTTO NICOLAI: Der Tempelritter: Overture
FRANZ SCHREKER: Die Gezeichneten: Prelude to Act I
HUGO WOLF: Der Corregidor: Overture
CARL MARIA ON WEBER: Die drei Pintos: Intermezzo
KARL GOLDMARK: Merlin: Overture
HERMANN GOETZ: Francesca von Rimini: Overture
National Philharmonic Orchestra
Kurt Herbert Adler
JOHANNES BRAHMS: Tragic Overture
Recording Producers: Andrew Cornall (Nicolai, Schreker, Wolf, Weber, Goldmark, Goetz); Ray Minshull (Brahms)
Balance Engineers: Kenneth Wilkinson, John Dunkerley (Nicolai, Schreker, Wolf, Weber, Goldmark, Goetz); James Brown, James Lock (Brahms)
Recording Locations: Kingsway Hall, London, UK, 16–19 June 1978 (Nicolai, Schreker, Wolf, Weber, Goldmark, Goetz); Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria, February 1976 (Brahms)