Sir Georg Solti Featured on Symphony @ 7 This Week

George Solti in 1975 by Allan Warren(Photo: Wikipedia)
George Solti in 1975 by Allan Warren(Photo: Wikipedia)

Hungarian-born conductor Georg Solti would have been 100 yesterday, and we’re celebrating his recording legacy this week on Symphony @ 7.  One of the most important conductors of the second half of the 20th Century,  he left a large body of recorded works that include some of the most famous and enduring, such as the complete Ring of the Nibelung by Wagner, and his his Mahler Eighth, Symphony of a Thousand, is legendary.  These are still considered by some to be the greatest recordings of these pieces.

And there is so much more in his long association with Decca Records that is outstanding, but we’ll only have time to sample a small portion between 7 and 8 p.m. (although Wednesday and Friday are going to be 2 hour programs). Georg Solti had a long and productive association with the Chicago Symphony and created a magnificent sound with that orchestra, but he recorded with numerous other fine orchestras as well.

This evening, we’re going to begin with his Decca recording of Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, the London Symphony.  Considering his great recordings of the really big pieces, such as Mahler or Wagner, it’s a pleasure to find out how good he was in this repertoire, too.  Solti recorded some of the London Symphonies in the mid 1980s with the London Philharmonic and produced fine interpretations of these 18th Century works.  It must also be noted that his recording of Mozart’s opera the Marriage of Figaro from around the same time is still one of the finest.

In the second half of the hour, a more modern work from Hungarian composer Bela Bartok, his Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, from 1936.  As a young man in Budapest, Solti studied with Bartok for a time before leaving Hungary.  This is just for starters this week to show the range of Georg Solti’s fine recording legacy.

I hope you can tune in for some fine music making from one of the greatest conductors caught in vivid sound from Decca’s outstanding engineers.  A Happy 100th to Sir Georg Solti.  Here he is in the opera house with some Mozart:

http://youtu.be/tE3rt3vfJM0

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