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John F. Berky
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November, 2012: Symphony No. 2 / Georg-Ludwig Jochum / Reichs Bruckner Orchestra

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This month, we going to begin a short exploration into the work of conductor, Georg-Ludwig Jochum (1909-1970). Georg-Ludwig was Eugen Jochum's younger brother who pre-deceased Eugen by several years and early enough to have most of his excellent Bruckner performances recorded in monaural thus relegating them to the historical dust bin. Fortunately, there are a few stereo recordings (a Bruckner 7th and the F major discarded trio to the Bruckner Symphony No. 9) but those Hessian Radio recordings have never been released.

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.

Download: 1_Ziemlich_schnell.mp3
Download: 1_Ziemlich_schnell_S.mp3
Download: 2_Adagio_Feierlich.mp3
Download: 2_Adagio_Feierlich_S.mp3
Download: 3_Scherzo_Schnell.mp3
Download: 3_Scherzo_Schnell_S.mp3
Download: 4_Finale_Mehr_schnelll.mp3
Download: 4_Finale_Mehr_schnelll_S.mp3