Symphony's Blomstedt Years in 15-CD Set

Janos Gereben on March 25, 2014
Herbert Blomstedt: The San Francisco Years

In Germany, it's already available. On March 31 there will be worldwide distribution, including the U.S. of a 15-CD box, titled Herbert Blomstedt The San Francisco Years. Preorder on lists for $59.08.

Among the 30 works recorded in Davies Symphony Hall, in addition to Beethoven, Brahms, Strauss, and Hindemith, there are some the former SFS music director's specialties, such as Berwald, Nielsen, and Bruckner.

The set is released here to coincide with Blomstedt’s return to San Francisco for concert dates April 3-11. From the introduction to the set:

Herbert Blomstedt, 86 years young, is now regarded as one of the last torch bearers of the great Austro-Germanic tradition. He has served as principal conductor of the two oldest great German orchestras, the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Leipzig Gewandhaus.

He also is an expert in Nordic repertoire, being Swedish, though born in the USA. It is in the USA where on record he made the most impact with 10 still much-talked about years as music director of the San Francisco Symphony (1985-1995). With this orchestra, he and Decca made some of the most spectacular orchestral recordings to date, still prized and cited as reference versions by collectors.

Contents of the box:

Bartók: Kossuth, Sz. 21
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116

Beethoven: Symphony No.1 in C, Op.21
Symphony No.3 in Eb, "Eroica", Op.55

Berwald: Symphony No.1 — "Sinfonie sérieuse"
Symphony No.4

Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem, Op.45
Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz (Soprano)
Wolfgang Holzmair (Baritone)
San Francisco Symphony Chorus

Decca producer Andrew Cornall at playback session with Herbert Blomstedt in 1987 Photos by Bob Adler/Decca
Decca producer Andrew Cornall at playback session with Herbert Blomstedt in 1987
Photo by Bob Adler/Decca

Brahms: Schicksalslied, Op.54
Rhapsody for Alto, Chorus, and Orchestra, Op.53
Begräbnisgesang, Op.13 / Nänie, Op.82 / Gesang der Parzen, Op.89
Jard van Nes (Contralto)
San Francisco Symphony Chorus

Bruckner: Symphony No.4 in E flat major — "Romantic"

Grieg: Peer Gynt, Op.23 — Incidental Music
Mari-Anne Haeggander (Soprano)
Urban Malmberg (Baritone) etc
San Francisco Symphony Chorus

Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes by Weber
Symphonie "Mathis der Maler"
Konzertmusik für Streichorchester und Blechbläser

Mahler: Symphony No.2 in C Minor — "Resurrection"

Mendelssohn: Symphony No.3 in A minor, Op.56 — "Scottish"
Symphony No.4 in A, Op.90 — "Italian"

Nielsen: Symphony No.2, Op.16 — "The Four Temperaments"
Symphony No.3, Op.27 — "Espansiva"
Nancy Wait Kromm (Soprano)
Kevin McMillan (Baritone)

Orff: Carmina Burana
Lynne Dawson (Soprano)
John Daniecki (Tenor)
Kevin McMillan (Baritone)
San Francisco Symphony Chorus

Schubert: Overture in the Italian Style: No.2 in C, D.591
Symphony No.9 in C, D.944 — "The Great"

Sibelius: Symphony No.1 in E minor, Op.39
Symphony No.7 in C, Op.105
Tapiola, Op.112

R.Strauss: Don Juan, Op.20
Alpensymphonie, Op.64