Re: Dorati Haydn and Ernst Maerzendorfer
Posted by Chris Howell on April 13, 2015, 5:13 pm, in reply to "Re: Dorati Haydn and Ernst Maerzendorfer"
In November 1972 Oryx took out a full-page ad in Gramophone (p.881) in which they announced the availability "in leading Record Shops throughout Britain" of the Musical Heritage Society catalogue. Prominent were the complete Haydn Symphonies on 49 LPs (OR 201-249), with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra under Maerzendorfer, and the complete keyboard works of Haydn (not only the sonatas, evidently) on 15 LPs (OR 101-115), played by Artur Balsam. The form of numbering implies they were issued separately, not in a box. |
Oddly enough, in the same issue of Gramophone Robert Layton, in his Quarterly Retrospect, discussed the latest issue in the Dorati cycle (nos. 36-48) and described some of the as "new to the gramophone", which they obviously couldn't have been.
Gramophone never reviewed the Maerzendorfer cycle but I remember seeing a detailed review of it in Records and Recording.
Oryx led a shadowy existence. In February 1974 they announced, with a double-page ad in Gramophone, an ultra-low-price series with many blatantly pseudonymous artists plus a few real ones (some of the discs actually sound rather interesting), then disappeared altogether.
I'm not aware that Decca ever actually claimed the Dorati Haydn cycle as the first and I rather think they knew perfectly well it was not, though they understandably did nothing to correct people who made such claims on their behalf.
Incidentally, my memories go back far enough to recall the surprise that was widely felt when Decca announced that Dorati was to record the complete Haydn symphonies - even dismay, since he was mostly associated then with Russian orchestral showpieces plus Bartok. We got used to the idea, but Dorati's Haydn conducting never did a great deal for me and I wonder if Maerzendorfer was any better in at least some of them.