Sir George Henschel (1850-1934) was a naturalized British baritone, pianist, conductor and composer. He recorded a small but impressive set of lieder (particularly his account of Schumann’s Der Leiermann), self-accompanied, and is also to be heard on record accompanying the cellist Beatrice Harrison. As a conductor, however, he recorded only 1 work – Beethoven’s Symphony No.1, as part of Columbia’s Beethoven centenary edition. The performance has received mixed reviews. The sound is rather on the dull side, a problem which often seems to affect Columbia made outside of their studios. In transferring it, I tried to regain a more balanced orchestral sound, but this resulted in a rather noisier background, and emphasized where the records are a bit worn. The other difficulty is that this record is afflicted by Columbia’s rather variable recording equipment: speeds range from 80 to 82rpm, often within the course of a single side.
Beethoven Symphony No.1 in C major, Op.21
Side listing:
I. Adagio molto – Allegro con brio (3 sides)
II. Andante cantabile con moto (2 sides)
III. Menuetto: Allegro molto e vivace (1 side)
IV. Finale: Adagio; Allegro molto e vivace (2 sides)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir George Henschel
Columbia L1889-92
Matrices: WRAX 2284-1, 2285-1, 2286-2, 2287-6, 2303-6, 2304-2, 2305-1, 2306-2
Recorded 14th December 1926 (sides 1-3), 4th February 1927 (sides 4-5), 21st December 1926 (sides 6-8), in the Scala Theatre, London