From the CSO’s Archives: The First 130 Years

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020, at 8:00 p.m. CDT

The first program in this new series opens with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s first recording—Mendelssohn’s Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream—made for the Columbia Graphophone Company in 1916 under second music director Frederick Stock. Several other firsts follow: the first piece the Orchestra performed at its inaugural concert in 1891 (Wagner’s A Faust Overture), a work featured on the opening concert in Orchestra Hall in 1904 (Strauss’s Death and Transfiguration), and the first work on the inaugural Ravinia Festival program in 1936 (Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg). Fritz Reiner leading Mahler’s Fourth Symphony—the Orchestra’s first recording of a symphony by Gustav Mahler—rounds out the program.

Mendelssohn Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61
Frederick Stock, conductor
Recorded in May 1916 (Columbia Graphophone Company)

Wagner A Faust Overture
Daniel Barenboim, conductor
Recorded in October 1991 (CSO: From the Archives, Vol. 20)

Strauss Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Recorded in September and October 1977 (CSO: From the Archives, Vol. 4)

Mahler Symphony No. 4 in G Major
Lisa Della Casa, soprano
Fritz Reiner, conductor
Recorded in December 1958 (RCA)

Wagner Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Daniel Barenboim, conductor
Recorded in September 1992 (Teldec)

Performer Biographies
Daniel Barenboim, conductor
Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Frederick Stock, conductor
Fritz Reiner, conductor
Lisa Della Casa soprano

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association thanks Bank of America for its special support of the CSO Radio Broadcast series.

Bank of America

From the CSO’s Archives: The First 130 Years—featuring recordings from the CSO’s vast discography, including releases on CSO Resound—is a cultural and community partnership between the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and WFMT, Chicago’s Classical Music Station. A schedule of upcoming broadcasts can be found here.

To continue to make these programs possible, please consider a donation to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

TOP: Theodore Thomas and Chicago Orchestra onstage at the Auditorium Theatre in November 1897 | Lawrence & Dinius photo