The flood of fascinating CD reissues of marvelous old 78 RPM discs continues without interruption. The enterprising Pearl label in England has just released some, though unfortunately not all, of the electrical recordings made by the great Dutch conductor Willem Mengelberg with the New York Philharmonic (then called the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York) between 1925 and 1930.[1]

There is little doubt that Mengelberg was one of the great conductors of the century. Born in 1871 in Utrecht to German parents, he studied in Germany at the Cologne Conservatory, and in 1891 became conductor of the municipal orchestra in Lucerne. In 1895, he became conductor of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, a postion he held until 1945. Mengelberg was also the leading conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1923 to 1929, when he was replaced by Toscanini, though he...


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