Some months ago, the daily Greek newspaper "To Vima" gave away a collection of 20 CDs, called "Dimitri Mitropoulos - Retrospective". It is a compilation of recordings that Mitropoulos did for Columbia (now Sony). I think some of them are not in the Sony catalogue at the moment. Here is the first box, discs 1-5. Included are: Mozart's Don Giovanni (disc 1-3), Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony and Prokofiev's "Lieutenant Kije Suite" & Piano Concerto no.3, with Mitropoulos as soloist and conductor.
The Greek-born Dimitri Mitropoulos (1896–1960) was incredibly gifted – his photographic memory allowed him to conduct without a score in concert and also in rehearsal! After studies in Athens, Brussels and Berlin, he took various posts in Greece. In 1930, Mitropoulos played the solo part in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the Berlin Philharmonic and conducted the work from the keyboard, becoming the first modern musician to do so. He made his US debut in 1936 and went on to become principal conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (1937–1949) and then music director of the New York Philharmonic (1951–1957), where he was eventually succeeded by Leonard Bernstein. He expanded the repertoire of the NYPO and championed Mahler’s symphonies in particular.
This volume released by AS Disc dedicated to Legenday Conductors, features Dimitri Mitropoulos and his soloist in both live venues is Myra Hess. He traveled from Paris to the US at the invitation of Serge Koussevitzky to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra and remained there fulfilling various commitments, leading the Minneapolis SO from 1937-1940 and at the same time was instrumental in the formation of the famous New York Philharmonic Orchestra where he was to remain as Director. It was there that Myra Hess, on one of her famous American Tours, met him and played under him.
An attractive and intelligently annotated set, devoted to Fauré’s chamber music with piano; the sole drawback concerns generally astringent sound quality in these 1969/70 recordings. Pianist Jean Hubeau features in all but one of these performances. An uncommonly perceptive, adroit, and lucidly compelling artist, his readings of the large-scale piano quintets, Opp. 89 and 115, are superb. He is partnered by the Quatuor Via Nova, who contribute their own serenely idiomatic account of Fauré’s three-movement string quartet, Op. 121. Hubeau’s impressively understated pianism adds distinction to refined performances of the piano quartets, Opp. 15 and 45, and the particularly fine D minor Trio, Op. 120.