MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



A discographical note by Christopher Howell
I recently reviewed a reissue of Felicja Blumental’s performances of Beethoven’s first two piano concertos, accompanied by Robert Wagner and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Earlier issues of these recordings had named the Innsbruck Symphony Orchestra, which made a number of LPs under Robert Wagner in the 1960s. As a result of some inconclusive googling I queried whether both orchestra and conductor were pseudonyms. A reader from France has kindly drawn my attention to a few sites that suggest this was not so. In following them up I came across a fair amount of additional information. Though some of it is vague or contradictory, a reasonably convincing curriculum emerges. For the interest of readers with fond memories of budget LPs I state below what I have been able to find. I should be happy to have the details filled in or corrected. It would be rather nice to have the reminiscences of someone who actually saw Robert Wagner conduct.
Robert Wagner was born in Vienna on 20 April 1915. He studied music at the Staatsakademie and was appointed Kapellmeister in Graz in 1938. His pupils at this time included Ernst Märzendorfer, later the first conductor to record the complete Haydn symphonies. Also in 1938, Wagner published a book on Franz Schmidt. In 1940 he completed this composer’s Nazi-inspired cantata “Deutsche Auferstehung” (German Resurrection), left unfinished at the time of Schmidt’s death in 1939. After the war Wagner taught at the Salzburg Mozarteum and was Generalmusikdirektor in Münster from 1951-1961. He took up a similar position in Innsbruck in 1961 and moved to the Salzburg Mozarteum Academy in 1966, remaining Director till 1971. He then moved to Istanbul, becoming, according to one source, Musical Director of the State Orchestra, though the Wikipedia entry on this orchestra does not list him among its conductors.We have had notification from a student of that time that this information is correct - LM Feb2018) Several Turkish conductors mention Robert Wagner among their teachers, referring to him as Musical Director of the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet. Sites dedicated to this company do not mention him, but a correspondent who was a high school student in Istanbul in those years and who attended several of Robert Wagner’s performances has confirmed that he did indeed hold that position. He appeared as guest conductor with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and in Ankara, Athens, Brussels, Sweden and Spain. In 1995 he was awarded the “Goldene Ehrenmedaille” of the “Universität Mozarteum”. He died on 21 December 2008.
The Tiroler Symphonie Orchester Innsbruck was founded in 1893. Its site lists Robert Wagner among its post-war Chief Conductors but without any details. The present Chief Conductor is Georg Fritzsch. It mainly works with artists of local reputation, but in January 2011 Thomas Zehetmair appeared as both soloist and conductor.
The recording careers of Robert Wagner and the Innsbruck Symphony Orchestra, as it was simply described on the record covers, seem limited to their period spent together. Most of their records were made for Vox/Turnabout, and were almost exclusively in an accompanying role. Soloists included Susan Lautenbacher, Martin Galling, Peter Frankl and David Glazer. A particularly successful record was with the contralto Maura Moreira, who sang works by Brahms, Wagner and Mahler. What gave this record a certain status, though, was the inclusion of Schumann’s “Requiem für Mignon”, not otherwise available at the time. This disc was set down in 1963 and the soprano soloist in the Schumann was the young Edith Mathis. One disc in which Wagner and the ISO went “solo” contained dances by Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn.
On Philips/Fontana they accompanied the violinist Michèle Auclair in concertos by Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn. Admirers of Auclair rate these performances very highly. Also on Philips, Wagner conducted some recordings of Verdi sung in German, including “La Traviata” with Rita Streich and Ernst Kozub. The orchestra is simply called the “Grosses Opernorchestra”. This was issued in 1963. An “Aida” from 1962 with Zadek, Kozub and Crass named the “Orchester der Stadt Innsbruck”. Kozub and Crass also took part in a 1963 German-sung version of Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann”, again on Philips with the “Grosses Opernorchester”. A Philips CD of “Beliebte Opernchöre im Deutsch”, with pieces by Wagner, Verdi, Beethoven and Weber, names the Innsbruck Symphony Orchestra under Wagner.
A 3-CD set of excerpts from “Otello”, “Rigoletto”, “Aida” and “Nabucco” appeared on the Concerto Royale label. Wagner here conducted the “Stadt Innsbruck”. For Pfilz the team set down two LPs of excerpts from “Tristan und Isolde”. The cycle of Beethoven piano concertos with Felicja Blumental first came out on Saga and was then attributed to the Innsbruck Symphony Orchestra. The recent Brana reissue, as mentioned, claims it as the work of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Given all the above, the Innsbruck SO seems more likely to have played and it would be interesting to know why Brana believe this was not so. It is always possible, of course, that the fairly provincial band was regularly stiffened up with players from Vienna for recording purposes.

Christopher Howell






Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.