Small Vintage Recordings Logo

Ludwig van Beethoven

The Consecration of the House, Op. 124

Felix Weingartner conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra


From Wikipedia

"The Consecration of the House (or Die Weihe des Hauses), Op. 124, is a work by Ludwig van Beethoven composed in September 1822. It was commissioned by Carl Friedrich Hensler, the Director of Vienna's new Theater in der Josefstadt, and was first performed at the theatre's opening on October 3, 1822. It was the first work Beethoven wrote after his revival of studying the works of J. S. Bach and Handel, and bears their influence.

Previously, in 1811, Beethoven had written The Ruins of Athens (Die Ruinen von Athen), Op. 113, incidental music for August von Kotzebue's play of the same name, for the dedication of a new theatre in Pest. This same work was to be performed again in 1822 for the new theatre in Vienna. However, Carl Meisl, the commissioner of the Royal Imperial Navy, changed the texts of numbers 1, 6, 7, and 8 of Beethoven's work. Beethoven was not pleased with the revision, and felt that the new text did not fit the music. Meisl also introduced a section, Wo sich die Pulse, for which Beethoven wrote new music (WoO 98). Beethoven wrote a completely new overture for the work, altered some of the musical numbers, and added others, including a final chorus with violin solo and ballet. This new overture is known as the The Consecration of the House Overture. (The extra incidental pieces constitute the entire work.)"

Death of Clärchen (from 'Egmont'), Op. 84

Additional Description

This excerpt from Egmont appears on the last of the 4 sides that the recording of The Consecration of the House was made on during the same session. A further description of this work from Wikipedia is as follows.

"Egmont, Op. 84, by Ludwig van Beethoven, is a set of incidental music pieces for the 1787 play of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It consists of an overture followed by a sequence of nine pieces for soprano, male narrator and full symphony orchestra. (The male narrator is optional; he is not used in the play and does not appear in all recordings of the complete incidental music.) Beethoven wrote it between October 1809 and June 1810, and it was premiered on 15 June 1810.

The subject of the music and dramatic narrative is the life and heroism of a 16th-century Dutch nobleman, the Count of Egmont. It was composed during the period of the Napoleonic Wars, at a time when the French Empire had extended its domination over most of Europe. Beethoven had famously expressed his great outrage over Napoleon Bonaparte's decision to crown himself Emperor in 1804, furiously scratching out his name in the dedication of the Eroica Symphony. In the music for Egmont, Beethoven expressed his own political concerns through the exaltation of the heroic sacrifice of a man condemned to death for having taken a valiant stand against oppression. The Overture later became an unofficial anthem of the 1956 Hungarian revolution."

Recording Information

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra The London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor Felix Weingartner
Date Recorded 7th October 1938
Recording Location Abbey Road Studio 1, London
Date Transferred 25th January 2016
Date Restored 29th March 2016
Serial Numbers Columbia LX811-2
Recording Cutter Blumlein
Bandwidth 40Hz to 7.5kHz
Transfer Stylus 2.8 mil truncated elliptical
Transfer Cartridge Stanton 500 at 5g
Transfer Turntable Hitachi HT-350 at 78RPM
Cutter Compensation 300Hz first order lift down to 35Hz
Click Reduction DeClick, wavelet mode, 62, 2 passes
Crackle Reduction DeCrackle, wavelet mode, 62, pitch protection, 3 passes
Low Frequency NR DeNoise LF, mono, 150Hz, -53dB
Wideband NR DeNoise 2.8, residual mode, input noise floor -48dB, target noise floor -60dB
Limiting Filter 48dB/octave Butterworth, at bandwidth limits
Additional Eq. None needed

Restoration Notes

This transfer came from a good pair of discs, recorded at a moderate level with no significant distortion present during the louder passages. The frequency response is unfortunately rather limited for 1938, with little musical information present above 7kHz, but as there is little distortion, a very lucid result is easily attained without the need for any equalisation other than the obligatory cutter compensation. Although a little crackle was apparent during transfer, it has responded very well indeed to processing in ClickRepair, with pitch protection being necessary to avoid mangling the horns.

The Consecration of the House is spread across a total of 3 sides, meaning that 2 edits were required to keep continuity. Due to the constant residual noise processing used, there is no increase in surface noise as the side changes, so both edits are seamless.

Free Download

As this recording is well over 70 years old, I am able to offer it for download.

Vorbis is used for site downloads as it provides transparency at about a third of the file size compared to MP3. There isn't really much point for using FLAC as the final listening format (all processing is done losslessly, of course) as the quality of the recordings themselves is already rather limited given their age. The general consensus on HydrogenAudio is that Q5 is enough for transparency with modern recordings, so the downloads offered are encoded at a more than ample Q7. Vorbis is by far a superior codec to MP3, as transparency is obtained at almost half the file size.

Copyright Disclaimer

The audio tracks listed on this page are digital restorations of 78 RPM records in my possession, whose mechanical copyright has expired before the time of this page's publication. No later release is used so any copyright affecting such a release does not apply to any of the sound recordings shown on this page. Claims to the contrary may be vexatious if pursued. Any communication between parties claiming copyright of the material on this website and the author of this site will be published immediately with great derision. The contents of this page must not be copied represented or sold without express permission.

Michael Fearnley 2016