BRENDAN WEHRUNG'S HOME PAGE: hobby interests, including
CLASSICAL MUSIC (Historic conductors, Electronic links) and

The following has been compiled by Brendan R. Wehrung, who wishes to offer information to people who share his interests. Geocities, which provides free web space, may insert an ad when a page is called for. In such cases, ignore the ad (do not touch it with the cursor) and it will shrink in size after a few seconds.

Comments or suggestions should be directed to him at any of the mail links found on the various pages.

Welcome to my hobbies!

Historic Conductors
I'm great believer in the power classical music, and those who make it for us. A great deal of heated discussion is to be found on the news groups and about the merits of this or that conductor, but only a few of the maestros mentioned on either group were active during the first half of this century--the period during which the Romantic age was transformed into what we view as contemporary culture. I developed an interest in "historic" conductors when I realized that, whatever the limitations of earlier recording technology, performances preserved on 78's and early tape were often more interesting, more exciting and--yes--more satisfying than most recorded since. As others have observed, the difference is personality, the mind and heart of the conductor expressed through his orchestra. To those used to the interpretively neutral ethos that replaced the age of great conducting, the results may on occasion seem odd or mannered, but in striving to reach the very heart of the music they led, great conductors such as Sir Thomas Beecham, Willem Mengelberg or Leopold Stokowski (to name three I admire excessively) created legacies that our time should and must heed.

This page offers a way to access sites offering information on several great maestros of the past.


I have assembled a complete list of compact disc recordings by SIR THOMAS BEECHAM, information and a CD discography of Holland's greatest conductor, WILLEM MENGELBERG, and a further Historic Conductor lists page where you will find CD discographies of Sir Eugéne Goossens and Paul Paray. Others have done the same for their particular favorites. You may be interested in visiting a site devoted to recordings of the great and still controversial German conductor, WILHELM FURTWAENGLER, or the home page of the Wilhelm Furtwaengler Society of America A society has also been created in the name of the revered mid-century conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY. Finally, I invite you to follow a link to the revived LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Society of America (which includes an interpretive discography) and its Internet magazine, Maestrino. Meanwhile, the Leopold Stokowski Society of the United Kingdom continues to flourish, and invites a visit. They offer Cds, produced in cooperation with CALA Records. The above pages (and many more) may also be accessed via my conductor societies and discography pages

Electronic Links
Visit a a list I have compiled of Web sites, E-mail addresses and Toll-Free telephone numbers that buyers of classical music recordings might find useful. Or you may wish to visit Paul Geffen's Directory of Classical Record Labels which includes nearly every label sold in North American stores along with their distributor and/or mailing address.

There has been much commentary of late about the health (or supposed ill-health) of the classical music portion of the music industry. Let's face it, unless a company makes a profit when they sell something–they won't (sell it). Therefore, I urge those interested in what's in these pages to support your classical music resources, be they symphony, radio station, record label, or store. I live in an area with a marvelous orchestra, no local classical radio (not even NPRclassical programming), a distressing situation not mitigated by the presence of Tower Records, which keeps cutting back their stock. On October 4, 2003 we lost one of the midwest's best resources, an all-clasical stores, the blame going to Internet ordering and downloading. I don't buy the argument, but if you have a local store, patronize it, or you will lose it.

Consult compilations of classical music reviews. Unfortunately, the online version of Fanfare magazine no longer exists, but if you don't mind a three-month delay, you can visit a rather crowded display of past reviews from Gramophone magazine.

Further interesting classical music sites are listed at the end of this page.


Some family surname lines have been thoroughly researched and documented, while others, although having a good number of living North American representatives, have had little published about them. This section calls attention to links to two families which identifiably were first found about 1600 in the northwest corner of the ancient province of Alsace, in in the portion today known as the Department of Bas-Rhin, France. Specifically, information on the origins of the WEHRUNG and ENSMINGER surnames of what is known as Alsace Bossue (or crooked Alsace), because the boundaries hook into what was once the duchy of Lorraine (now the Department of Moselle, France), can be found by clicking on the surnames, which incidentally were those of the parents of my great great grandfather, who left France in 1871. For a more general look at the area its genealogical resources, try Robert Behra's The Communities of Alsace A-Z site. He includes a number of useful links.

My father was born in the village Maybee, MI, which is not too far from the city of Monroe. His mother's line established in the area in 1847, and I have done a fair amount of research on the LIEDEL family, which is still well-known in the Monroe area. Again, click on the surname if you wish to know more.

Finally, if you have ancestors from western Michigan in your family line (Ionia or Kalamazoo counties), and would like to know about mine, click here for information on my mother's family lines, which include CHOATE, ECKERT, FIX, MEGINLEY, and NOELDNER.

Other Links
Links to other sites on the Web

ClassicalNet: Links to composer data, musical societies and much more, at the new address.
Carolina Culture Connection (a varied and interesting Classical links index,
somewhat changed in format but with the same content)
Niel Tingley's Classical Music pages
Classical CD Review [Lots of reviews, with archive]
MusicWeb[Also lots of reviews, much on British composers]
Paul Geffen's (somewhat Classical) general music site
Classical Vinyl Artwork for those remember it fondly.
Links to pages discussing Unknown Composers
Jokes about classical instrumentalists (not always in the best of taste!)
Classical Music Bloopers

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