Monday, October 22, 2012
Back from the cyber-dead: Piano Concerto from "Hangover Square" (Herrmann)
Previously (as in, 2006) I posted an LP-to-cassette recording of this concerto, but I again have a copy of the original LP. It showed up at eBay for a surprisingly low price, and I jumped on it. (Have you ever bumped your head on an HP Touchsmart screen? Ouch.) So, here's a fresh vinyl rip.
The LP itself features 78-rpm transfers from the 1940s, though I don't know for sure when today's selection--the Hangover Square piano concerto by Bernard Herrmann--was recorded. The 1940s, for sure, but that's as close as I've been able to determine. The other three tracks are traceable to their original 12"-78 RCA Red Seal versions, but so far I've found no evidence of a 78 release for this. I wouldn't be surprised if it was recorded the same year as the movie (1945).
Hopefully, that made some degree of sense. These things get complicated.
Had this been released as a 78, it would have been both sides of a single 12-incher (judging by the playing time of about 10 minutes). It's possible this Camden transfer was its first appearance. If anyone knows more than I, please share.
Anyway, straight from the vinyl transfer, this is the Janssen Symphony of Los Angeles, conducted by Werner Janssen, with Bernard Herrmann's Hangover Square piano concerto (a.k.a. Concerto Macabre), circa 1945. The outstanding pianist is Max Rabinowitsch. I've seen the movie a couple times, and I recall it's about a mad composer who murders women during blackouts (the psychiatric kind, not the wartime variety). He played this as the concert hall burned down. How Hollywood can you get?
To the concerto: Piano Concerto from Hangover Square
Bernard Herrmann--Piano Concerto from Hangover Square--Janssen Symphony of Los Angeles; Max Rabinowitsch, piano. (Camden CAL-205).