Just found another Web treasure: Schoenberg conducting Schoenberg and Mahler
Music lovers could spend every waking hour exploring the Web for aural treasure and never run out of discoveries. I feel I've barely scratched the surface, especially of material that is beyond even what YouTube has to offer, which is pretty staggering by itself.
Thanks to a friend in Florida, I just learned about a fabulous audio archive available for free listening, courtesy of the Arnold Schoenberg Center (left) in Vienna. If, like me, you didn't know about this site (please cut me some slack if you're way ahead of me), don't miss all the historic clips from the 1920s-'50s, a few of them with Schoenberg conducting. The items that really jumped out at me when I clicked into this trove for the first time are ...
from a concert recorded live in 1934 in Los Angeles, featuring the Cadillac Symphony. Schoenberg conducts the Lied der Waldtaube from his epic Gurrelieder with the great mezzo Rose Bampton as soloist -- a gripping souvenir.
But an even shinier gem from this concert, at least for me, is the clip of Schoenberg leading the orchestra in the second movement of Mahler's Symphony No. 2. Astonishing. Never mind the surface noise or the brief gap in the tape; those are minor distractions. What you have here is an entry point into a long-lost world of sensitivity to rhythmic nuance, a place where music is a living, breathing organism unconfined by bar lines or metronomes. This is exquisite phrase-molding from a composer who knew and deeply admired Mahler. Talk about an authenticity movement.
Anyway, there are several other fascinating items on this site, which I've only begun to explore. I heartily recommend that you dig in, too.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ARNOLD SCHOENBERG CENTER