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Hungarian conductor István Kertész (1929-1973) succeeded Pierre Monteux as Music Director of the LSO (1965-1968) and established a major reputation with the orchestra with many fine commercial studio recordings, the complete Dvorak Symphonies for Decca, being once such example.
The live stereo performance of the Bruckner's Symphony No.4 on 13 March 1964 first appeared on BBC Radio Classics in 1995 with no fill-up. BBC Legends have completely remastered the sound of the Bruckner from the original master tapes. It should be noted that Kertész was a life long admirer of Bruno Walter whose performances of Bruckner influenced his interpretation of the Austrian composer.
BBC Legends have also added Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis which Kertész never recorded. It is also in stereo dating from 1966.
Kertész's previous recording on BBC Legends of Schumann Symphony No.1 & Brahms Symphony No. 2 (BBCL42292) has been a best seller and a suitable reminder of a great artist who died tragically in his prime.
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, WAB 104, "Romantic" (1881 version, ed. R. Haas)
I. Bewegt, nicht zu schnell
II. Andante quasi allegretto
III. Scherzo: Bewegt - Trio: Nicht zu schnell
IV. Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
“There can have been few finer live performances of the Fourth on record than this. Kertész's role model for the Fourth Symphony was Bruno Walter who, like Klemperer, played this most vital yet at the same time lyrical of Bruckner symphonies with a judicious mixture of pace and relaxation. The playing is superb, as is the recording which, this being the Royal Festival Hall, I can only ascribe to a vintage blend of fine playing, astute conducting and alpha-quality old-school BBC engineering. The microphones are set further back for the Vaughan Williams, giving bloom and perspective to a performance of some grandeur and eloquence.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.