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One word - excellent
The Steinberg/Command recordings recorded on 35mm magnetic tape back in the early '60's were state-of-the-art from a recording perspective back then. With the added benefit of Robert Fine as recording engineer the orchestra was beautifully presented with very distinct positioning of the players against a virtually silent background. This was pre-Dolby-era noise reduction and the improved signal to noise ratio was principally achieved by the use of the wider tape. Artistically, these came out roughly at the time of Krips Everest set and Karajan's (sweep the field) 1962 recordings. Unfortunately, Enoch Light sold Command to ABC around that time and ABC simply didn't produce as good a product as the original Command gold label product. So Steinberg's premiere classical recordings were lost to posterity...until HDTT got hold of them (via Ampex 1/4 track pre-recorded reel to reel tapes). So now Steinberg is restored to us and thanks the HDTT in sound really better than ever. Steinberg came to these shores and was an assistant to Toscanini with the NBC Symphony early on. Steinberg learned from his mentor and presents Beethoven with the energy of the Italian Maestro. This is really good Beethoven and all who read this should pick up the entire Steinberg/Beethoven traversal of the nine during this Beethoven year. I downloaded this one at about the same time as I picked up a new McIntosh amplifier and these recordings are wonderful as revealed by that high-end instrument. The clarity of them and the instrumental "picture" are amazing. I couldn't be more pleased than to have these two along with others. Back in the day the only one of the Steinberg LP's that I owned was the Rachmaninoff which I thought (back then) sounded magnificent...well, they all sound "magnificenter" (OK, more magnificent) now. Highly recommended technically and for performance as well.
Steinberg's Pittsburgh recordings are some of the real treasures of the HDTT catalogue. Its one of the vagaries of the history of capitalism that while Szell's Cleveland Beethoven have been recognized as instant classics, these equally fine Pittsburgh recordings have been the preserve of specialists.
Beethoven Symphony No. 1 & No. 2
Steinberg’s Beethoven are a well kept secret.
Title: Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21
Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Opus 36
Artist(s): William Steinberg and The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Producer – Enoch Light
Mastered By – George Piros
Recording Engineer – Robert Fine
Recorded in 1963
Symphony No. 1 In C Major, Opus 21 (25:13)
1 Adagio Molto, Allegro Con Brio 9:18
2 Andante Cantabile Con Moto 6:46
3 Menuetto: Allegro Molto E Vivace 3:25
4 Adagio, Allegro Molto E Vivace 5:44
Symphony No. 2 In D Major, Opus 36 (30:16)
5 Adagio Molto, Allegro Con Brio 10:22
6 Larghetto 10:17
7 Scherzo: Allegro 3:18
8 Allegro Molto 6:19