Concert Hall Society
- Jerome F. Weber
American, later European, record company. It was founded in 1945 by David Josefowitz, a violinist and conductor, to sell 78 r.p.m. vinyl records of unfamiliar repertory by mail-order subscription. The first 18 sets, consisting mostly of two or three discs, appeared during 1946 and offered 20th-century music as well as varied classics. The performers were mostly chamber ensembles (Stuyvesant Quartet) and soloists (the pianist Robert Goldsand). A big success of the first year was Vivaldi's Four Seasons conducted by Henry Swoboda (one of the first two recordings of the work). A separate retail catalogue was developed on LP in September 1949, and the LP format was extended to the subscription series the next year. Most of the subscription discs, which were issued until 1951, eventually appeared in the retail series. Swoboda, Clemens Dahinden and Victor Desarzens conducted the Winterthur City Orchestra in the early years. A new low-priced mail-order series aimed at a more general audience and partly drawn from the existing catalogue was begun as Musical Masterpiece Society in ...