ReDiscovery Catalog
Musical Mysteries


Unsolved Musical Mysteries

Pseudonymous performances from obscure labels, in stereo, with notes on the sources of the recordings and true identities of the performers.

Hans Lille / Andre Herbern / Societe des Concerts Orchestra
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D

Igor Koussevsky / Wilhelm Strauss / International Symphony Orchestra
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto 1 in B-flat Minor  reel tape master

Karl Reiner / Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture

Peter Haas / Amsterdam National Symphony Orchestra
Rossini: Siege of Corinth Overture

Cyril Holloway / Hampshire Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
Bizet: Carmen Suite  reel tape master

Kurt von Baum / Homburg Symphony
Handel: Messiah selections  reel tape master

ReDiscovery Stereo RD 030/031 - 141:57


I was most curious to hear the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in Unsolved Musical Mysteries (030/31). Years ago (c. 1958) like many enthusiastic but improverished young music lovers I built up my record collection with weekly purchases of 99 cent LPs from the local department store. As you know, these labels had diverse names and all used anonymous performers. About my fourth or fifth purchase was the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto on a label callling itself Gramophone. The conductor and soloists names were not listed; only the tag The National Opera Orchestra. Over the years, as my musical education advanced, it became clear to me that this recording of the Tchaikovsky was unparalleled. In fact, I have never heard one that I liked better. My original LP was eventually copied onto a cassette; and in that form I have revisited it from time to time to see if it is still true to my memories. I went to considerable efforts to discover the identities of the musicians involved in this remarkable recording (which was mono, by the way). Friends said it might be Huberman/Steinberg. But it was not not. It was better. When I read about 030/031 my hopes were raised that it might contain a much desired CD version of my childhood treasure. So this was the first of the CDs that I heard instantly upon opening the package. Not only was this in fact the same recording but it was in stereo! What really makes this recording unique is the partnership of soloist and conductor. One passage will have to suffice as an example of the distinctive touch of the conductor. In the development of the first movement the orchestra sweeps away on its own with a swaggering, majestic version of the songful first theme. This orchestral tutti is paced with perfection, with slight hesitations for weight and swagger. Since you have already sung the praises of this recording I will not go on, but merely thank you for so forcfully returning me to my childhood in such a powerful way. --DW, MA

Published research by Ernst Lumpe suggests the old Gramophone was actually a mono Oistrakh/Kondrashin performance. Ours is a stereo recording so it came later than Oistrakh, but those old labels were both tricky and disorganized. and we cannot rule out the possibility that our recording showed up at some point on the Gramophone label. --dg


Musical Mysteries II: Supermarket Sweep!

Selections from the Basic Library of the World's Greatest Music, with notes on the sources of the recordings and true identities of the performers.

Borodin: Polovtsian Dances*  reel tape master
Franck: Symphonic Variations*  reel tape master
Mendelssohn: Fingal's Cave Overture
Rimsky-Korsakoff: Scheherazade
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A Minor
Tchaikovsky: Symphony 6 in B Minor Pathetique

ReDiscovery Mono/*Stereo RD 044/045 - 2:28:56


Supermarket Mysteries II is an absolute gas and the performances are indeed much more worthy (well, most of them) than I remembered. Good stuff! Anyway, I'm ordering a second copy for an old friend who now teaches at a German University; he shares similarly fond memories of these discs and send several slavering emails when I told him about the set. --WT, NC

It's like a trip down memory lane, and the CDs sound great too. --SB, MA

My own reaction to this exercise was decidedly lukewarm. There were no hidden treasures, and the vast majority of the material deserves to remain in obscurity. At least, I will give myself credit for having the good taste, many years ago, to quit after sampling my first volume from the supermarket (though it was one of the sequential offerings, which left me with incomplete versions of one or two works). Even to a relatively untutored teenager, this was mediocre stuff and so it remains today. My only real quibble is that, with your immense technical skills, you could be resuscitating something far more worthwhile. But, it is your time, and I can only be thankful for the good things that you do do. --EG, PA

This is a fantastically enjoyable set. I applaud your enterprise in searching out good sources. I actually already had a CD of the Schumann Concerto recording, which has been reissued in England, but yours actually sounds better. --AL, NY

Ah, I do believe I could smell the A&P Store in Altoona, PA in 1958 as I listened to these CDs! I was 11 years old and learned much basic repertoire from those 16 LPs. Nostalgia, yes, very much so. But wait! Good heavens, there are some very fine performances in this reissue. The Mendelssohn Fingal's Cave Overture--by the way, this does match, rhetorical device for rhetorical device, an old MMS LP of this piece by Goehr and the Netherlands orchestra that I have or rather had: it was so badly scratched that I tossed it after hearing your CD. Let me also include the recordings of the Schumann and Tchaikovsky. More than nostalgia here, I am happy to say. Whatever possessed you to reissue this deserves my thanks and appreciation. It's been 44 years, I have become a professional musician since then, encountered many performances of these works and I am happy to have these CDs reside on my shelves. Again, my thanks! --WW, PA

Both the 1st volume, "Supermarket Sweep" and The Goehr Beethoven 9th sent previously, have been providing me with much enjoyable "rediscovery"; for this is/was the series that started this insane lifelong affair of classical music. Dad would buy his one lp per week from the A&P up the street, but yet it would be I, barely four years old at the time, who would play them over, and over, and over, and yet over again. By 1964ish they were all virtually unplayable, courtesy of a 1953 Zenith "High Fidelity" clunker console, whose tone arm must have tracked at 60 grams, and of course no anti skating either. --BC, MA

The real treasure is in the Schumann Concerto played by the young Noel Mewton-Wood. His playing breathes and conveys an appreciation and understanding of every note. Quite beyond criticism. EMI's house conductor, Walter Goehr, is the right collaborator. The crystal-clear, dynamic sound is amazing, belying its age...c.1952. Bottom line: money well spent. --BS, TX

Musical Mysteries III: Supermarket Stereo!

More from the Basic Library of the World's Greatest Music, in stereo, with notes on the sources of the recordings and true identities of the performers.

Bach: Concerto for Two Violins in D minor  reel tape master
Berlioz: Beatrice and Benedict Overture  reel tape master
Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture  reel tape master
Brahms: Violin Concerto in D Major  reel tape master
Handel: Water Music (complete)  reel tape master
Liszt: Piano Concerto 1 in E-flat  reel tape master
Liszt: Les Preludes  reel tape master
Mendelssohn: Symphony 3 in A minor Scotch  reel tape master
Mozart: Abduction from the Seraglio Overture  reel tape master
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto 2 in C minor  reel tape master
Sibelius: Finlandia  reel tape master
Stravinsky: Firebird Suite  reel tape master
Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite  reel tape master
Wagner: Prelude to Die Meistersinger  reel tape master

ReDiscovery Stereo RD 062/63/64/65 - 4:45:02


I gotta tell you this set is just wonderful. I grew up with both the big green set and the little ten inch MMS discs. I would be intrigued if more of the tape versions came to light. Here's what I'm drooling for: Schubert's Adagio and Rondo Concertante, Rimsky Korsakov's Capriccio Espanol and Le Coq and the Mozart Symphony 26 and 17 (best versions ever of same!). I have lots of LPs and CDs of famous conductors, but Goehr, Ackermann, Bamberger et al were my nursmaids into this music. When I listened to the CDs, I was home! They just feel right. Even the funky mix in the original has its own charm, like someone's home movies. Please try to continue this series!!! --TS, CA

I love the Supermarket Mystery set and just ordered three more--you do great work. It's a lot of fun and brings back great memories --JK, NJ

Many thanks for the most recent shipment from your supermarket series. As always the restorations are just plain masterful, stupendous, superb. As always there are highs and lows among the performances. And, as always, surprises. To wit, I cannot imagine a more stylistically 'incorrect' performance of Handel's 'Water Music' than that contained in your Stereo volume. Nor can I imagine a more delightfully grand and noble and just plain stimulating performance. Wonderful! The four CDs are worth it just for that one performance, but happily other treasures abound (that fabulous 'Firebird Suite,' to name just one more). And 'who'da thought' those recordings from Utrecht would be so fine? 'Warts and all,' I will treasure their marvelously humane Schubert 'Great C Major' just as I have (without knowing its provenance, lo these many years) treasured their incomparable 'Les Preludes.' Thanks for keeping me in your debt, at least spiritually. And thanks as always for the astonishingly quick turnover from order to delivery. --TB, VA

Musical Mysteries IV: Hamburg Heaven!

More pseudonymous performances from obscure labels, in stereo, with notes on the sources of the recordings and true identities of the performers.

Walter Jurgens / Lotte Warenka / Hamburg Symphony
Brahms: Violin Concerto in D

Suzanne Auber / The French Orchestra
Offenbach: Suite from La Vie Parisienne

Hans Ledermann / Sonor Symphony Orchestra
Rimsky-Korsakoff: Scheherazade  reel tape master

Alfred van Weth / Chicago Pops
Rossini: Barber of Seville Overture

Wilhelm von Luden / Hamburg International Philharmonic
Schubert: Symphony 8 Unfinished

Dr Leon Keppler / Vienna Philharmonic
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Suite  reel tape master

ReDiscovery Stereo RD 079/080 - 2:24:44


his morning, just for a laugh, I downloaded Musical Mysteries IV for $5. I'm not laughing any more. The Brahms Violin Concerto is top class. The soloist is superb and she is captured in excellent stereo sound. The Hamburg Orchestra is obviously top notch - I wonder if they are players moonlighting from Isserstedt's NDR? Schubert's Unfinished is brisk and hard driven but refreshing in its own way. Then there's Scheherazade. Did the orchestra spent the evening in Hamburg's Bier Kellers prior to the session? The recorded sound and overall orchestral tone are excellent but the minor accidents and a finale that almost collapses suggests a first run through with a conductor pulling the piece around mercilessly. I can almost see the look of horror on the faces of the players as they all thought "where's the beat?" Priceless. Must go. I'm going to download some more from this series. This has exceeded all reasonable expectations. Well done to you! --JW

I've never heard anything like it! --Wilhelm von Luden

The finest representation of my work that could possibly be imagined. --Dr Leon Keppler

I think it's very devious and irresponsible of you to put out recordings under false names. --Amleto Toscali


Musical Mysteries V: Back to Basics!

More from the Basic Library of the World's Greatest Music, with notes on the sources of the recordings and true identities of the performers.

Beethoven: Egmont Overture
Brahms: Symphony 1 in C minor*  reel tape master
Dvorak: Carnival Overture
Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole
Schubert: Symphony 9 in C
Smetana: The Moldau*  reel tape master

ReDiscovery Mono/*Stereo RD 095/096 - 2:26:37




Musical Mysteries VI: Grocery Store Greats!

Still more from the Basic Library of the World's Greatest Music, with notes on the sources of the recordings and true identities of the performers.

Bizet: Carmen Suite
Chopin: Piano Concerto 1 in E minor
Dvorak: Symphony 9 in E minor New World
Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite
Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor
MacDowell: Piano Concerto 2 in D minor
Mozart: Symphony 40 in G minor
Rossini: Overture to The Barber of Seville
Strauss: Death and Transfiguration*  reel tape master
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto 1 in B-flat minor
Vivaldi: Concerto for Two Trumpets and Orchestra in C

ReDiscovery Mono/*Stereo RD 110/111/112/113 - 4:17:01


Once again I am amazed by the stupendous quality of your work. Volume VI of the Supermarket Mystery series is the first such compilation I've purchased and I am definitely impressed. The Dvorak 'New World' is even more magnificent than I remember thanks to your superior remastering. (I long suspected, by the way, the true identity of conductor and orchestra. Thanks for confirming my suspicions!) The real revelations are the performances of the Chopin and Tchaikovsky piano concertos...really superb music making. For the Chopin First, my 'acme' has always been the Supraphon performance by Halina Czerny-Stefanska, a stunningly dramatic yet exquisitely lyrical tour de force that was released in the '60s by EMI on its Seraphim budget Lp series and attributed to Dinu Lipatti (on the authority of EMI producer Walter Legge, no less). Your performance in your Supermarket series is one of the few I've heard that's in that exalted league, and the Tchaikovsky First is nearly as good. Thanks for disclosing the true identity of the pianist; before now he was only a name to me. Your CDs in fact amount to a fine memorial to an artist whose work should not be forgotten. --TB, VA

"Grocery Store Greats" certainly is GREAT...not a clunker recording in the lot, and some truly exceptional performances. The Chopin Concerto 1 turned out to be with whom I'd suspected, and the MacDowell was a pleasant surprise from one of my favorite obscure pianists. I have heard several re-do's of some of the old MMS/early Concert Hall issues, and they usually sound awful. Your remasterings have a good solid body to them, and still maintain edge or distortion, and no tracking sound that's discernable. Another fine issue. It's amazing what can result from a little loving care, and the patience taken to do things right. --SS, IA




Musical Mysteries VII: Rondo Rarities!

Pseudonymous performances from one of the most notorious obscure labels, in stereo, with notes on the sources of the recordings and the true identities of the performers.

Philharmonic Symphony of Hamburg
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto 4 in G

Alfred van Weth / Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Beethoven: Coriolanus Overture
Brahms: Symphony 4 in E minor
Dvorak: Symphony 9 in E minor New World

Eliott Everett / His Concert Orchestra
Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite

Suzanne Auber / The French Orchestra
Offenbach: Suite from La Perichole

ReDiscovery Stereo RD 128/129 - 2:22:46


I'm not sure the various Rondo labels were distributed in my part of Minnesota in the 1950s; at least I don't remember seeing them at any drugstore I ever frequented. (And trust me, on a paper boy's "salary," the only records I could afford would have been 99 cent specials at the local Walgreens!) But the marvelously garish lp covers you display at your website were inducement enough. Thankfully, there are some very creditable performances set down on these two CDs, particularly a wonderful Brahms Fourth Symphony. Sound quality is surprisingly good throughout; the Offenbach potpourri is shamelessly re-written ala Mantovani, but supremely tacky and hilariously entertaining. Again, thanks! --TB, VA

I congratulate you for preserving the recorded legacy of Alfred van Weth. It was my pleasure to study with Maestro Van Weth after my training in Krakow, and it is no exaggeration to say that he taught me everything I know. I owe my career as a conductor to the trailblazing efforts of Alfred van Weth. --Rene Kohler

Once again, entering the world of the pseudonym bazaar has produced some interesting gold trinkets. All of the performances in the Musical Mysteries VII are fine, and the resurrection of these Oberstein wonders is beyond what one might expect from the usual "quality" of the original material. I just knew you wouldn't be able to resist the incredibly cheesy covers you retained for the release. Musically and technologically, this is great, along with preserving that real blast-from-the-past photography....they just don't make 'em like that anymore...thank goodness. --SS, IA

Congratulations on the marvelous reissues of Thor Johnson's Remington performances, and for stirring up dusty Goodwill and used record shop memories with the latest installment of Musical Mysteries VII: Rondo Rairities! Over the years I have consistently bypassed these pseudonymous LPs, but the temptation to find out the truth behind these issues was too much for me to resist. The sonics on all three of these discs is far better than I could have imagined possible. With your encyclopedic knowledge of these bargain basement orchestras and conductors, how about writing a book about who's who? I bet there's more where your liner notes come from! --PB, TX



Musical Mysteries VIII: The Great Pretenders!

Pseudonymous performances from obscure labels, in stereo, with notes on the sources of the recordings and the true identities of the performers.

Otto Schmidt / Hamburg Symphony Orchestra
Bizet: Highlights from Carmen  reel tape master

Peter Mattos / Olympia Symphony Orchestra
Mozart: Symphony 40 in G minor  reel tape master

Karl Jergens / Hamburg Symphony Orchestra
Schubert: Symphony 3 in D  reel tape master

Wilhelm von Luden / Hamburg International Philharmonic
Strauss: Rosenkavalier Waltzes

Alfred van Weth / Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Tchaikovsky: Symphony 2 in C minor Little Russian

ReDiscovery Stereo RD 136/137 - 2:20:01


Musical Mysteries IX: Knowns and Unknowns

Pseudonymous performances from obscure labels, with notes on the sources of the recordings and, where known, the true identities of the performers.

Pierre Resnaux / Paris Pops Orchestra
Offenbach: The Two Savoyards Overture
Bizet: Jeux d'Enfants Suite

Giuseppe Rossi / Italian National Symphony Orchestra
Flotow: Overture No. 6
Smetana: Libusa Overture

Ballet Francaise Orchestra
Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite*  reel tape master

Dr Franz Schmidt / Hamburg Philharmonia Orchestra
Rimsky-Korsakoff: Scheherazade*  reel tape master

"Mystery Composition"

ReDiscovery Mono/*Stereo RD 150/151 - 1:59:36