Ormandy Collection

Ormandy Collection ★★★
This is the last of the budget series that I’ll be reviewing, with the conducting of Eugene Ormandy. Eugene Ormandy was born in Hungary as Jeno Blau, being a prodigy that received a master’s degree in music at age 14 before coming to the US. After a short stay as director of the Minnesota Symphony, he moved and stayed for 40 years at the Philadelphia Philharmonic. Though his major mentor was Toscanini, his style and form are much different from this conductor. Ormandy excelled at modern works, and his renditions of Shönberg’s works were notable. Many of his works in this set were straightforward, though the recordings left something to be desired. His performance of Mahler’s second symphony was quite poor and left something to be desired. At least Ormandy never felt the urge to speed through a piece like Toscanini. It is without a doubt that Ormandy is one of the great US conductors of the 20th century, though this set would tend to betray Ormandy at his best. My advice would be to seek out Ormandy recordings, but not this set of recordings. There are better out there.