The QuickTime browser plug-in, thanks to its fast-start feature, will begin playing the program in mid-download after a delay that depends on your computer and your internet downloading speed. If you're downloading on a 56Kbps at 5K per second or faster - - it should start almost immediately (give it 30 seconds before pushing the PLAY button); with a 28.8 Kbps modem, it won't start playing until a minute into the download and it may not continue to stream because the modem can't keep up with the feed of the stream. For slower computers and modems, the break-even point is small enough that it should be heard after 30 seconds (but give it 60 seconds or more before pushing the PLAY button). You should be able to just stay ahead of the stream. If that fails wait a minute or two and press PLAY again....now you should have enough of the program downloaded to keep ahead even on a 28.8 modem....
Some CD labels which issue Historic Willem Mengelberg Recordings include:
Archive Documents- The Mengelberg Editon (Albany Distributors)
Pearl - (Koch Distributors)
Biddulph Recordings - (Albany Distributors)
Music and Arts - (Koch Distributors)
Josef Willem Mengelberg was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands on March 28, 1871. His early musical studies took place at the conservatory in his native city and were continued in Cologne, Germany. In 1891 he became municipal music director at Lucerne, Switzerland and in October of 1895 he succeeded Willem Kes as music director of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, a position he was to hold without interruption for nearly fifty years.
Before the end of the first decade of his tenure at the Concertgebouw, he had upgraded it from a very provincial young ensemble to the justly world-famous orchestra it is today. Mengelberg's renown kept pace with that of his orchestra, and very soon his musical activities overlapped the boundaries of his small country in several directions. He first came to America in 1905, to conduct the New York Philharmonic, and went also to permanent positions in Germany (1908-1920) and Great Britain (1911-1914). From 1921 to 1930 he was an annual visitor to New York, directing first the National Symphony (later called the New York Symphony) and then the Philharmonic. He was instrumental in bringing about a merger of the orchestras in 1928, turning over to Arturo Toscanini in that year the leadership of one of the finest orchestras the latter ever experienced. In that same year Mengelberg received from Columbia University a Doctorate in Music, Honoris causa. He remained very much in the New York musical picture to 1930, and made frequent appearances with the Philharmonic-Symphony.
In 1933 he was appointed Professor of Music at the University of Utrecht and in 1935 celebrated his fortieth anniversary as the Concertgebouw's music director with a festival of works by Netherlands composers of all periods. In 1945 his reputation and career foundered on a rock of politics*. He was exiled to Switzerland and died there on March 22nd, 1951.
As one of the most prominent and popular conductors of his day, Willem Mengelberg left a considerable legacy of commercial recordings, and without a doubt there is an equal bulk of broadcast recorded performances reposing in various European radio archives. From the evidence of the known recordings we are able to view Mengelberg as a technician and artist of the highest caliber. His control was absolute, and his ability to give temporal shape to large forms, and to balance the most complex orchestral textures is plain to hear. Inflections of tempo and of dynamics are structural and not arbitrarily imposed. In addition, he demanded and got the very best playing from his musicians.
Perhaps in the current spate of retrospective revivals, a new generation may come to know in detail the work of this interpretive giant of the romantic era, a historical figure of the first importance, whose recorded heritage has been obscured by technological progress in recording and even more in record-marketing. Perhaps now this same technology may provide the means of his revival.
*recent information seems to have proven that he was a victim
of post-war politics.... Mengelberg sheltered almost 40 Jewish
members of his orchestra from Nazi internment. He simply felt
it best for his orchestra to remain active and play concerts despite
the circumstances of war. He even continued to play music by "forbidden"
composers (like Mahler). (JB)