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Russian Symphony Orchestra Society


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dhibbard
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« on: April 03, 2017, 05:08:56 pm »

I wanted to see if anyone had any information about the old NY Russian SO.  They apparently recorded several hundrend 78s and some are still floating around the world.   They in fact recorded several of the Vasili Zolotarev pieces including the Symphony no 1.  Does anyone have a listing of what was released to the public?

Here is some info from Wiki (partial):

Russian Symphony Orchestra Society
(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)



Russian Symphony Orchestra Society Orchestra
Newspaper clipping giving the venue as "Cooper Union Auditorium 8th St. and 4th Av."
Advertisement for the orchestra's first performance on January 7, 1904
 
Founded
1903

Disbanded
1922

Location
New York City

The Russian Symphony Orchestra Society (also known simply as the Russian Symphony Orchestra) was founded in 1903 in New York City[2][3] by Modest Altschuler, and functioned for fifteen years.[3]

Oscar Levant described the orchestra as having constituted "a school for concertmasters"; among its members were Frederic Fradkin (concertmaster of the Boston Symphony), Maximilian Pilzer (concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic), Ilya Skolnik (concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony), and Louis Edlin (concertmaster of the National Orchestral Association).[4] Film music conductors Nikolai Sokoloff, Nathaniel Shilkret[5] and Nat Finston were also Russian Symphony Orchestra alumni, as was trumpeter Harry Glantz.[4] The orchestra also formed the backbone of the New Music Society of America, founded in December 1905.

They performed the New York premieres of numerous pieces by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Igor Stravinsky and Alexander Scriabin, including Stravinsky's first symphony (the Symphony in E-flat) and The Firebird.[4]

more info on wiki


its also referenced in the NY Times article about the Zolotarev Hebrew Rhapsody:  "Musical Notes: Concerts, Recitals and Church Choir News", New York Times , 1905-12-17, p. X1.
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dhibbard
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 05:14:35 pm »

http://www.stokowski.org/Principal_Musicians_Russian_Symphony_of_NY.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Symphony_Orchestra_Society
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 05:16:01 pm »

An established orchestra[edit]

By the end of the 1906 season, the Russian Symphony Orchestra was an established part of the New York music scene. In all, the New York Times counted six New York premieres by the Russian Symphony Orchestra as such in 1906, and three more by the New Music Society.[36] On May 25, the Society announced that Altschuler would be retained as Director for three more years, with Russian Ambassador Baron Roman Rosen continuing as honorary practitioner.[37] Looking forward to the 1906-1907 musical season, the Times counted them among the city's major orchestras, along with the New York Philharmonic, New York Symphony Orchestra, Peoples' Symphony Concerts, and Sam Franko's American Symphony.[38]

The 1906-7 season saw an appearance by pianist and composer Alexander Scriabin under the baton of his (and Altschuler's) conservatory teacher Vasily Safonov. An anonymous New York Times review praised Scriabin's playing, while finding him immature as a composer. The same reviewer panned Alexander Glazunov's Third Symphony, which had its American premiere on this occasion: "[W]hat Russian music the conductor's of the more cosmopolitan orchestras have left for the Russians to put down on their programmes as given 'for the first time' may have been rejected rather than overlooked."[39] Apparently undaunted by that criticism, the orchestra announced two days later that its concert of January 17 would feature American premieres of Rachmaninoff's Spring cantata and Jean Sibelius's Karelia overture,[40] though apparently Rimsky-Korsakov's Antar was substituted for the Rachmininoff.[41] The Times doubled down in its criticism: "[M]any of the things by the Russian composers that we do not know seem upon presentation hardly worth knowing. … Antar … is no symphony by any recognized definition of the term… This would be nothing against the music if it could win acceptance for itself as music, which it did not last evening."[41] While continuing its skepticism toward recent Russian music, the Times had high praise for soloist Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler's February 7, 1907 performance of Anton Rubenstein's already well-known D Minor Concerto (No. 4), though suggesting that the orchestra "show[ed] a lack of rehearsal with the pianist."[42] The fifth of six concerts that season on February 28, featuring a return by pianist Josef Lhévinne, consisted entirely of Russian pieces performed for the first time in America, although they were not recent works. The orchestral introduction of Mussorgsky's The Fair at Sorochyntsi and Rubinstein's Caprice Russe were both by composers who had died before the turn of the century. Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov's Iveria Suite (1896) and Alexander Scriabin's First Symphony (completed 1900), while also not particularly recent, were at least by then-living composers, and Scriabin was present for the occasion.[43]

That summer, Altschuler traveled to Europe to engage soloists for the 1907-1908 season,[44] which began with a special concert November 10 at their largest venue to date: accompanying violinist Jan Kubelik at the New York Hippodrome.[45] (A similar performance was given the following year, March 15, 1908.[46]) Four days later they began their regular season at Carnegie Hall with Russian ambassador Baron Rosen in attendance, and with a program consisting largely of American premieres of Russian pieces: Alexander Glazunov's Symphony No. 8, composed roughly two years earlier; arrangements of Russian folk songs by Glazunov, Anatoly Lyadov, and Rimsky-Korsakov; and Mussorgsky's "Great Gate of Kiev". The program also featured the American debut of young Russian violinist Lea Luboshutz (listed at the time as Laya Luboshiz),[47] who received eight curtain calls for her solo on Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.[48] She was not the only notable female soloist to play with the orchestra that season: on February 13, 1908, cellist May Muklé performed Karl Davydov's Cello Concerto No. 2 in A minor.[49]
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 05:18:06 pm »

The 1910s[edit]


The orchestra began the 1910s with a premiere of a different sort. After a January 1 Carnegie Hall reprise of their Midsummer Night collaboration with Ben Greet, on January 20 their second performance of the new decade introduced dancer Maud Allan to the New York audience. Although American-born, Allan had begun her dancing career in England and Europe, and this was her first American appearance. Like Isadora Duncan and Loie Fuller, Allan choreographed for herself, using existing classical pieces. On this occasion she danced a piece on Ancient Greek themes, using music from Anton Rubenstein, Mendelssohn, Chopin, and Grieg. The performance alternated Allan's dances with straight orchestral performances.[62] A concert a week later featured Rachmaninoff as a guest conductor for the American premiere of his Isle of the Dead and as a soloist on his Piano Concerto No. 2.[63] Further performances with Allan followed, with the dancer performing her signature Visions of Salomé, among other pieces.[61][64][65][66] On April 4, the orchestra played a benefit for Russian immigrants at the Waldorf-Astoria, featuring several musical soloists as well as ballet dancers Anna Pavlova and Mikhail Mordkin.[67][68]

The 1910-1911 season featured five Carnegie Hall concerts interspersed with numerous out-of-town shows and followed by a 20-week national tour.[69][70] Their New York season began November 17 with a concert that included a very different interpretation of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2, which they had premiered in 1901 and which had meanwhile become a "celebrated" and much-played work. After discussions with the composer, Altschuler had sped up the tempi and his reading of the piece had "radically changed". The concert also featured two American premieres of pieces by Anatoly Lyadov—Kikimora and Volshebnoye ozero (The Enchanted Lake), both written in 1909—Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, and several songs sung by German baritone Alexander Heinemann.[71][72] The December 1 concert featured the U.S. debut of Canadian-born violinist Kathleen Parlow; the New York Times reviewer described her performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto as a "remarkable achievement" and praised her "unexpected authority",[73][74] and would have equally high praise for her "consummate technical accuracy…beauty of tone…spirit…[and]fire" when she returned to play Henryk Wieniawski's Violin Concerto No. 2 the following February 2.[75] The concert was also the American premier of Stravinsky's Feu d'artifice (Fireworks).[73][74] who had grown up largely in San Francisco and had become a professional musician in Europe.[76] Starting four days later, they provided accompaniment for two-week run of Maeterlinck's tragedy Mary Magdalene at The New Theatre.[77][78] This was the world premiere of that play, and the first U.S. performance of any Maeterlinck play.[79]

A January 19, 1911 concert featured German-Polish pianist and composer Xaver Scharwenka as the soloist on his own Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, as well as the American premiere of the Introduction and Wedding Procession from Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Golden Cockerel; the concert also featured Rimsky-Korsakov's Christmas Eve Suite and the American premiere of a waltz that Tchaikovsky had written for the The Nutcracker but omitted from the final version, and closed with Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave.[80][81][82][83] The February 2 concert featured the American premiere of Robert Kajanus' Finnish Rhapsody, a return of Rachmaninoff's The Rock (which they had played in their second concert ever), and the return of violinist Kathleen Parlow performing the abovementioned Wieniawski concerto.[75]
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2017, 05:54:01 pm »

The Russian Symphony Orchestra Society also premiered a number of works by now obscure Russian composers including
Alexander Ilyinsky or Alexander Alexandrovich Il'yinksy (1859-1920),
Vasily Andreyevich Zolotaryov or Zolotarev  (1872-1964), 
Eduard Frantsovitch Nápravník (1839-1916), and
Alexander Nikolayevich Serov (1820-1871).

 It made a number of world premiers, often of now forgotten composers such as Edvard Armas Järnefelt (1869-1958) and Emil Mylnarski (1870-1935), and father-in-law to Artur Rubinstein).

 
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 06:10:43 pm »

apparently premiered the complete Suite from Noure and Anitra of Ilynsky.    I don't see that was ever released on either LP or CD.  The question... was it released on a 78?  I believe it was.
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2017, 06:18:34 pm »

I am now researching the NY Public Library... and also the Library of Congress... a trusted friend said some were there.
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2017, 07:53:10 pm »

interesting find... the NYPL has several boxes of scores gifted from the Modest Altschuler estate.  Some of the scores are hand written scores and shorter versions from prominent Russian composers.. possible shorter versions of the symphonies performed.        http://archives.nypl.org/mus/18621
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