Music from the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

The roots of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra are in the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, which formed in 1936. When the nation of Israel was founded in 1948, the Palestine Symphony became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the country’s national orchestra and cultural ambassador to this day. Below you can listen to selections from the 12-disc compilation honoring the 70th anniversary of Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO). The collection’s “Essential Recordings,” published in 2006 by Helicon Records, features studio recordings and live concerts from the prior 50 years (few recordings have survived from the first two decades). These significant six samples were selected by Orchestra of Exiles director Josh Aronson for online listening and shared with permission from the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Hatikvah ('The Hope'), Israel's national anthem. Zubin Mehta conducts the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Singers and The Ankor Children's Choir in this recording from Nov. 15, 2004. From the IPO Archive. The Palestine Symphony performed Hatikvah at the ceremony of the founding of Israel. Mehta has been the IPO music director since 1968.

Felix Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 4 in A major, op. 90 'Italian.' Leonard Bernstein conducts a live recording of the 'Allegro vivace' from Israel's Mann Auditorium in Oct. 1978. Deutsche Grammophon. Arturo Toscanini chose a Mendelssohn (1809-1847) work, 'Midsummer Night's Dream,' for the Palestine Symphony's first concert because the composer was Jewish.

Beethoven Violin Concerto D Major, op. 61, 'Larghetto' movement. Zubin Mehta conducts the IPO with violinst Pinchas Zukerman in a live recording at the Mann Auditorium in 1989. IPO Archive. Bronislaw Huberman often played this concerto. In 'Orchestra of Exiles,' Zukerman says Huberman had 'the best right arm' and that he embraces German music as his own.

Saint Saens' Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso, op. 28. The live recording of the work of Camille Saint Saens (1835-1921) was conducted by Zubin Mehta, featuring Shlomo Mintz on violin, at Mann Auditorium in 1988. Deutsche Grammophon. The work is heard in the film, 'Orchestra of Exiles.'

Brahms Piano Concerto no. 1 in D minor, op. 15. 'Rondo Allegro non troppo.' The great pianist Arthur Rubinstein plays with the IPO, conducted by Zubin Mehta in 1976. DECCA.

Gustav Mahler. Symphony no. 4 in G major, Bedachtig. Nicht eilen. This symphony by Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) debuted in Munich, Germany, in 1901. The first movement translates as 'deliberately, not rushed.' Zubin Mehta conducted this recording of the IPO featuring Barbara Hendricks, soprano, and Chaim Taub, solo violin, in 1979. DECCA.