November, 2012: Symphony No. 2 / Georg-Ludwig Jochum / Reichs Bruckner Orchestra
During World War II, Georg-Ludwig was in charge of one of Adolf Hitler's pet projects. As part of his grand scheme to make Linz and Saint Florian a Brucknerian cultural center, Hitler formed the Reichs Bruckner Orchestra and G-L Jochum became the General Music Direcktor. The orchestra was a first class ensemble and for a while Herbert von Karajan attempted to become the direktor. A scheme was planned that would have transferred G-L Jochum to the Wehrmacht and the war front, but Furtwangler uncovered the plan and intervened to prevent it.
G-L Jochum's recording of the Symphony No. 2 (in the Haas Edition) was recorded by the Reichs Radio in Vienna on September 5-7, 1944. It was released after the war on a Urania LP (UR-402). Later, the same recording was released by Urania in a pseudo-stereo pressing (US-5243). Both versions are presented here.
The picture above is of the original Urania issue. The later issue of the Urania set offered a wonderful woodcut of Bruckner. I have always been impressed by this picture and after I was unable to find a copy of the original - the cover credits Sylvia Slayton & Tom Russo - I spent a few hours one evening digitally removing the lettering from the record cover. The resulting artwork can be seen here.