He went on to head major orchestras in Dallas and Atlanta and to guest conduct leading ensembles all over the world. But before that, Louis Lane honed his craft while working in the shadow of one of the great masters: in 1947, legendary maestro George Szell chose the young, inexperienced Texan to assist him in Cleveland – “I think you will do” was the gruff maestro’s verdict, exceptional praise indeed from that notorious perfectionist.

Lane remained with the Cleveland Orchestra for more than two decades, moving up the ladder to become associate conductor. Playing his important role in Szell’s transformation of a respected second-tier ensemble into arguably the finest symphony orchestra in America, Lane earned a sterling reputation of his own, directing the renowned Cleveland Pops and broadening the orchestra’s repertoire with no fewer than 75 local premières.

Between 1959 and 1972 – with the full Cleveland Orchestra, the somewhat smaller Cleveland Pops and the chamber-sized Cleveland Sinfonietta – Louis Lane made a series of critically acclaimed recordings for Columbia. They display the “exceptional breadth and impeccable taste” for which this gifted but perennially undervalued conductor was lauded in a tribute by the orchestra’s executive director. Sony Classical is pleased to present them now – many for the first time on CD – in a new 14-disc set, to be released on July 12, 2024. Pre-order is available now.

Reviewers were effusive in their praise when these albums were originally released on LP. Here is a sampling:

  • Pop Concert U.S.A. (1959) – music by Copland, Gershwin, Bernstein and other American composers: “If only all the pops (or, for that matter, all the classics) were as good as this! … The orchestra plays splendidly” (Gramophone).
  • On the Town with the Cleveland Pops (1960) – selections from On the Town, My Fair Lady, Oklahoma, The King and I and other Broadway musicals: “Scintillating … Under Lane’s enthusiastic direction, the Clevelanders play these familiar musical comedy excerpts with such precision and virtuosity that they emerge with glistening freshness” (High Fidelity).
  • Music from the Films (1961) – Henry V, Louisiana Story, Bridge on the River Kwai, Gigi, Exodus and other motion pictures: “This concert of music from the movies is so superior to most issues of its kind that it calls for special commendation … Lane has coaxed some beautiful playing from the Cleveland orchestra, and the engineers have provided him with rich and glorious sound” (High Fidelity).
  • Romances and Serenades (1963) – music by Vaughan Williams, Delius, Warlock, Sibelius and Françaix: “All the polish, assurance and musical sympathy one would expect from a Cleveland performance … Not the least attraction of this splendid disc is the recording, firm and realistic with a glorious bloom on the instruments” (Gramophone).

Lane also recorded classical repertoire with the Clevelanders, including Mozart in 1966 (“A marvelous D major Divertimento K. 334” – ClassicsToday), Beethoven in 1967 (“…the complete Creatures of Prometheus, led with dramatic flair and character” – ClassicsToday), and a French collection of Debussy, Ravel and Satie (“Moving now to Cleveland we rediscover the striking sensibility of another underrated American conductor, Louis Lane … Magic … refinement of feeling. The warm ambience of Severance Hall is another asset … The 1969 recording is most musically balanced” – Gramophone).

All these performances and many other gems are contained in this newly remastered anthology of Louis Lane’s Cleveland recordings, a long overdue homage to this outstanding American conductor.

SET CONTENTS

DISC 1:

Gould: American Salute (Based on “When Johnny comes marching home”)
Anderson: Serenata
Copland: Three Dance Episodes from “Rodeo”
Bernstein: Candide: Overture
Piston: Suite from the Ballet “The Incredible Flutist”

DISC 2:

Gershwin: Cuban Overture
Bernstein: Fancy Free Ballet: Variation III “Danzon”
Gould: Latin-American Symphonette: III. Guaracha
Benjamin: From San Domingo
Benjamin: Jamaican Rumba
Lecuona: Andalucía: 2. Andaluza
Lecuona: Andalucía: 6. Malagueña
Guarneri: Brazilian Dance
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas brasileiras No. 2: IV. Toccata “The Little Train of the Caipra”
Galindo: Sones de Mariachi

DISC 3:

Porter: Can-Can
Loewe: My Fair Lady: Embassy Waltz
Bernstein: On the Town: The Great Lover displays himself
Bernstein: On the Town: Lonely Town (Pas de deux)
Bernstein: On the Town: Times Square (Finale, Act I)
Rodgers: Love Me Tonight: Lover
Rodgers: Jumbo: The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
Rodgers: Boys from Syracuse: Falling in Love with Love
Rodgers: Oklahoma: Oh, What a Beautiful Morning
Rodgers: The King and I: March of the Siamese Children
Rodgers: On Tour Toes: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

DISC 4:

Griffes: Poem for Flute and Orchestra
Foote: A Night Piece
Honegger: Concerto da camera, H. 196
Hanson: Serenade for Flute, Harp, and Strings, Op. 35

DISC 5:

Berlioz: La damnation de Faust, H 111: March Hongroise
Schubert: Marche militaire in D Major, Op. 51, No. 1
Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Weber: IV. Marsch
Pierné: Cydalise et le chèvre-pied: Marche des petits faunes
Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, Op. 39 No. 1
Rimsky-Korssakov: Le Coq d’Or: Introduction and Wedding Procession
Ippolotov-Ivanov: Caucasian Sketches, Op. 10: 4. Precession of the Sardar
Tchaikovsky: Slavonic March, Op. 31

DISC 6:

Rome: Theme from “Fanny”
Loewe: Suite from “Gigi”
Rodgers: It Might As Well Be Spring from “State Fair”
Gold: Exodus, an Orchestral Tone Picture
Alfred: Bridge Over the River Kwai: Colonel Bogey March
Walton: Death Of Falstaff (Passacaglia) from “Henry V”
Walton: Touch Her Sweet Lips and Part from “Henry V”
Thomson: Acadian Songs and Dances from the film score Louisiana Story (Excerpts)

DISC 7:

Copland: An Outdoor Overture
Menotti: Suite From Amahl and the Night Visitors
Riegger: Dance Rhythms, Op. 58
Elwell: The Happy Hypocrite – Ballet Suite
Shepherd: Horizons: The Old Chisholm Trail

DISC 8:

Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, Act I: Waltz
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act I, Scene 2: Waltz of the Snowflakes
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act III: Waltz of the Flowers
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act I: Waltz
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings, Op. 48: II. Waltz
Tchaikovsky: Eugen Onegin, Act II, Scene 1: Waltz
Debussy: Petite Suite, L. 65
Ravel: Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and Strings
Satie orch. Debussy: Gymnopédie No. 1
Satie orch. Debussy: Gymnopédie No. 3

DISC 9:

Vaughan-Williams: Romance for Violin & Orchestra “The Lark Ascending”
Sibelius: Romance in C Major for String Orchestra, Op. 42
Francaix: Serenade for Small Orchestra
Delius arr. Beecham: Hassan, Act I: Serenade (Arr. T. Beecham for Violin, Harp and Orchestra)
Warlock: Serenade for Strings

DISC 10:

Chabrier: España (Spanish Rhapsody)
Alfén: Swedish Rhapsody
Enescu: Romanian Rhapsody No. 1, Op. 11
Herbert: Irish Rhapsody
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor, S. 244

DISC 11:

Mozart: Divertimento No. 17 in D Major, K. 334

DISC 12:

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 11
Mendelssohn: III a. Scherzo (orchestral arrangement of the Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20)
Schubert: Symphony No. 1 in D Major, D. 82

DISC 13:

Beethoven: Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus, Op. 43

DISC 14:

Bach-Walton: The Wise Virgins (Suite)
Scarlatti-Tommasini: The Good-Humored Ladies (Ballet Suite)

https://www.cleveland.com/musicdance/2016/02/conductor_louis_lane_made_enor.html