The recording (in various transfers) has long been celebrated as 'a live recording of a historic event' but it's worthwhile being aware of precisely what we are listening to when we hear any of them. The booklet accompanying EMI's set 'Bruno Walter - the Early Recordings' contains this note concerning this recording:
"Recorded: 15 & (live recording) 16.1.1938".
Presumably, then, EMI's Gaisberg and Gregory selected the best 78rpm sides from TWO performances: a final rehearsal and the public performance of the following day.
Purists might complain that the result is not a "performance" at all, but I'd say that the production team amalgamated the two sources seamlessly with no loss of musical intensity, no doubt eliminating some less effective takes in the process.
I've not heard either Opus Kura transfer, but have listened to EMI's second CD transfer as well as Dutton's and Pristine's. I've always had to make surprising few allowances for the age of the source material, enjoying the 'amazingly natural and believable string sound' (Penguin Guide).
The audience noise and some variable playing are a different matter, of course, but hardly matter in the context of such a searing interpretation.
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