Anomalies in the Leonard Bernstein discography

From MusicBrainz Wiki

The discography at LeonardBernstein.com appears to be very complete and authentic, but inevitably there are some anomalies. I have tried contacting them, but my emails were ignored, so I've recorded some issues here in case they are helpful to anyone.

Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major

The discography lists four performances:

  • Philharmonia Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein, Piano & Conductor; 7/1/1946: London [RCA Victor: DMI 209 (78rpm); Camden: CAL 214 (78rpm); CD: BMG: 09026 616502; Pearl: GEMM 0066]
  • Columbia Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein, Piano & Conductor; 4/7/1958: NYC [Sony: ML 5337; MS 6043; MS 6617; CD: SM3K 47166; SMK 47571]
  • VPO; Leonard Bernstein, Piano & Conductor; 2/21/1971: Vienna, Musikverein [DG: CD: 4353222 GWP]
  • ONF; Leonard Bernstein, Piano & Conductor; 9/20/1975: Paris, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées [Sony: CD: SM3K 47166]

The last of these, with the French National Orchestra, is listed as appearing only on SM3K 47166, which is also listed for the Columbia Symphony Orchestra performance, yet the work appears only once on that release. The ONF are not listed on the front cover. I have entered it as the Columbia recording.

Beethoven: "King Stephen" Overture

The discography lists only one performance: VPO 11/07/78: Vienna, Musikverein [DG: 2531347 p 4194392 GH; 4234812 GX6; 4310252 GBE ]. It seems there is also a 1966 recording with the NYP, owned by Sony, see Allmusic.

Beethoven: String Quartet op. 131 arr. for Orchestra

The discography lists only one performance: VPO; 6/12/1978: Vienna, Konzerthaus (live) [DG: 2531077; CD: 4194392; 4357792 GH]. The Deutsche Grammophon catalog entry for [DG: 4776690] has VPO; September 1977; Konzerthaus Wien. Possibly a different recording not listed at the discography, or one of them is an error.

Mahler: Symphony no. 2 "Resurrection"

The discography lists three-and-a-bit performances:

  • RCO; Barbara Hendricks, Soprano; Christa Ludwig, Mezzo-Soprano; Westminster Choir, Dir. Joseph Flummerfelt; 4/21/1987: NYC, Avery Fisher Hall [DG: 4233951; CD: 4233952 GH2; 4351622 GX13]
  • NYP; Lee Venora, Soprano; Jennie Tourel, Mezzo-Soprano; Collegiate Chorale, Dir. Abraham Kaplan; 9/30/1963: NYC, Manhattan Center [Sony: M2L 295; M2S 695; GMS 765; M4X 31432; CD: SM2K 63159]
  • LSO; Sheila Armstrong, Soprano; Janet Baker, Mezzo-Soprano; Edinburgh Festival Chorus, Dir. Arthur Oldham; 9/2/1973: Ely (England), Cathedral [Sony: M2 32681; M2Q 32681; M 33532; M3X 37892; GMS 765; CD: M2K 42195; SM2K 47573]
  • Final Movement only: IPO & Kol Yisrael Symphony Orchestra; Natania Davrath, Soprano; Jennie Tourel, Mezzo-Soprano; Tel Aviv Philharmonic Choir, Dir. Joseph Friedland; 7/9/1967: Israel, Mt. Scopus [Sony: ML 6453; MS 7053]

The first of these is consistently listed by DG as the NYP, and there does not seem to be a recording with the RCO. This is unusual, because the NYP recordings are nearly all on Sony, not DG, but this appears to be an exception.

Mahler: Symphony no. 8 (Wiener Philharmoniker)

The discography gives this as VPO; Judith Blegen, Soprano; Margaret Price, Soprano; Gerti Zeumer, Soprano; Agnes Baltsa, Alto; Trudeliese Schmidt, Alto; Kenneth Riegel, Tenor; Hermann Prey, Baritone; José Van Dam, Bass; Vienna Singverein, Dir. Helmut Froschauer; Vienna State Opera Chorus, Dir. Walter Hagen-Groll; Vienna Boys' Choir, Dir. Uwe Theimer; Rudolf Scholz, Organ; 8/30/1973: Salzburg, Grosses Festspielhaus (live) [DG: CD: 4351022 GH2; 4351622 GX13]

DG says it is 1975-08, and the history of the Salzburg Festival also says it was the 1975 festival. So this is most likely another error in the discography.

Schumann: Symphony no. 2 (Wiener Philharmoniker)

The discography has: VPO; 12/6/1985: Vienna, Musikverein [DG: 4191901; CD: 4191902 GH]. The DG catalog doesn't have that release, but it shows DG:4530492 and others, all with a date of 1985-11. Allmusic (presumably wih DG as source) gives the same. The December date is very unlikely, given LB's schedule at the time: Edit:31338255.

Early Stravinsky recordings

The discography has both:

L'histoire du soldat [The Soldier's Tale] BSO Members; 8/11/1947: NYC, RCA Studio [RCA Victor: LM 1978 (78rpm); DM 1197 (78rpm); SMA 7014; CD: BMG: 09026 681012; Pearl: GEMM 0066]

and

Octet for Wind Instruments BSO Members; 8/11/1947: Lenox, Tanglewood Music Center [RCA Victor: LM 1978 (78rpm); DM 1197 (78rpm); SMA 7014; CD: BMG: 09026 681012; Pearl: GEMM 0066]

allmusic says they were both recorded in Tanglewood, and it is unlikely that the two recordings could have taken place on the same day otherwise.