Lehar Conducts Lehar - Historic 1947 Recordings
On June 5th, 1947 the 77-year-old Franz Lehar conducted a Radio Beromunster concert of his music, with Richard Tauber as soloist, that subsequently found its way on to both LP and CD (Bel Age). Later that month, in the studios of Radio Zurich, Decca recorded Lehar in fourteen 78rpm sides. They were his last recordings. Most were reissued on LP (latterly on the Eclipse label), but here they are for the first time complete, to mark the 50th anniversary of Lehar’s death. Mostly the selections represent obvious items from Lehar’s melodic output. However, the inclusion of the Wiener Frauen overture is an especial joy, representing Lehar at his less familiar but most melodic and inventive. The operetta’s principal character was a piano tuner, and the overture includes an ingenious passage where one hears the piano being tuned up before launching into one of Lehar’s most luxuriant and beautiful waltzes. In his excellent notes Malcolm Walker aptly describes these recordings as, in a sense, Lehar’s last will and testament. Slower and more indulgent than his earlier recordings they may be; but never for a moment the slightest bit ponderous. Rather they are full of nostalgia, wonder and joyful pride – lovingly caressed performances by a master melodist, master orchestrator and master conductor. The transfers have been excellently done from original shellac discs. Filtering may be required to minimize hiss; but it is more than worthwhile for uniquely beautiful recordings of some of the most heavenly melodies ever created.'
Gold and Silver Waltz,Wiener Frauen Overture,The Count of Luxembourg - Waltz; Waltz Intermezzo--Ballet,Gipsy Love (Ziegeunerliebe) - Overture,Eva - Waltz (War es auch nichts als ein augenblick),Eva - Waltz (War'es auch nichts als ein Traum von Gluck),Land of Smiles (Overture),The Merry Widow (Overture)
Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich