Herbert von Karajan recorded almost everything in the standard orchestral repertoire once, many works two or three times, between his 1950s recordings for EMI with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the early 1960s for Decca with the Vienna Philharmonic, and his 1960s - 1989 recordings, mostly with the Berlin Philharmonic, for Deutsche Grammophon.
Even when the Symphony No. 1 debuted in 1831, it was considered old fashioned. Although it was well received, audiences that same year were also exposed to Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Old fashioned or not, Onslow’s first symphony was performed throughout Europe to generally high acclaim. There were some dissenters who felt Onslow’s themes would have been better served in chamber works using fewer musicians (Symphony No. 3 actually began as a string quintet), but other people felt Onslow moved the symphony in a new direction and his works should not be compared to the symphonies of other composers. Onslow’s symphonies are classical in structure: four movements, not straying too far from the Classical notions of harmony; however they embrace the burgeoning Romanticism of the time. Onslow’s symphonies may not be as adventurous as Symphonie fantastique or Beethoven’s Ninth, but they’re well crafted, abundantly tuneful, and often quite atmospheric and imaginative.
Elgar's two symphonies are good example of interpretations of music being stuck thanks to the strange British conservatism. If you listen to 10 recordings of these symphonies by 10 British conductors, they all sound more or less same in terms of interpretation: controlled, noble, beautiful Elgarian rubato and so on.
The genre of the symphony played a major role throughout the creative life of Pyotr Tchaikovsky. He composed his 1st symphony at the age of 26, & his 6th & last symphony – the Pathйtique – in 1893, the year in which he died. Whereas his 3 last symphonies have remained an integral part of the concert repertoire, performances of his 1st 3 symphonies are still quite rare. Unfairly so, as they are unique individual works, artistic expressions of a high quality. Tchaikovsky defined the symphony as “the most lyrical of musical forms. After all, is it not meant to express that for which there are no words, but which forces itself out of the soul, impatiently waiting to be uttered?”. With these words, Tchaikovsky makes us aware of the special nature of his symphonies. Primarily, they provided him with a musical outlet for the elaboration of his emotions, his mental & spiritual processes.
Two complete Living Stereo LPs on a single disc! Van Cliburn's history-making gold medal at the 1st Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the height of the cold war helped his Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1 to become classical music's 1st platinum record.