1963 Telecast: Hindemith Leads the CSO in Music of Hindemith, Bruckner, Brahms

In 1963, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was in transition.

The French conductor, Jean Martinon, was beginning his five-year tenure as music director following the death of the legendary Fritz Reiner. Over the preceding ten years, the fierce and autocratic Reiner had turned the CSO into what Igor Stravinsky called, “the most precise and flexible orchestra in the world.”

We hear the ensemble Reiner built in all of its glory in this April 7, 1963 telecast performance. The iconic sound of the Chicago brass section, which included such celebrated players as Adolph Herseth (principal trumpet), Edward Kleinhammer (bass trombone), and Arnold Jacobs (tuba) is on full display. Also of historical significance is the program’s conductor, Paul Hindemith, who ranks among the twentieth century’s most important composers. Hindemith, who was born in Germany and became an American citizen in 1946, would pass away eight months later.

The concert begins with Hindemith’s Konzertmusik for String Orchestra and Brass, Op. 50. Composed in 1930 in response to a commission by Serge Koussevitzky, the Konzertmusik is set in two movements. It unfolds as a conversation between two instrumental “choirs.” Twentieth century harmony meets pristine classical counterpoint. In this music, the chorale and the fugue are still essential building blocks.

We hear only the first movement of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony. The concert concludes with a joyful performance of Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80.

Recordings

  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra Historic Telecasts: Reiner/Hindemith/Stokowski Amazon 

Featured Image: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra on the stage o Orchestra Hall in 1963

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

2 thoughts on “1963 Telecast: Hindemith Leads the CSO in Music of Hindemith, Bruckner, Brahms”

  1. There were 2 concerts. I saw the other one. It ended with NOBLISSIME VISIONE. Jay Friedman, then assistant first trombone, came onstage with an alto. Why? The concert concluded with a TUSCH. The ultimate orchestra accolade, only the second in the CSO’s history. The brass played anything they wanted to in E-flat. It was brilliant.

    Reply
  2. Jay told me a couple of weeks ago that he played the subscription set that was paired with the broadcast gig but, at that time, the assistants did not play the actual broadcasts. The principal trombone, Robert Lambert, sounds great on the Concert Music for Strings and Brass but he was actually beginning to have tone production problems and Jay said that it was not long before he was unable to continue in the orchestra and Jay Friedman became the youngest CSO principal player ever, a position he still holds today (and sounds just as fantastic as he did when he started) 53 years ago.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend