MEGA has deleted a lot of my files and it's hard for me to know which ones that need to be re-uploaded.
So, if you find an expired link and want a re-up, please leave a comment. Just not too many requests at once.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

SLOW DOWN

I got a new job and need some time to settle.
Will return blogging soon.
Thank you.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Various Composers - Russian Cello Sonatas (Truls Mørk)


Information

Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov; Nikolai Myaskovsky; Dmitri Shostakovich; Igor Stravinsky; Sergei Prokofiev

CD1:
  1. Rachmaninov - Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19: I. Lento - Allegro moderato
  2. Rachmaninov - Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19: II. Allegro scherzando
  3. Rachmaninov - Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19: III. Andante
  4. Rachmaninov - Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19: IV. Allegro mosso
  5. Rachmaninov - Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14
  6. Rachmaninov - Two Pieces for cello and piano, Op. 2: I. Prélude in F major (Comodo)
  7. Rachmaninov - Two Pieces for cello and piano, Op. 2: II. Danse orientale in A minor (Andante cantabile)
  8. Myaskovsky - Cello Sonata No. 1 in D major, Op. 12: I. Adagio - Andante
  9. Myaskovsky - Cello Sonata No. 1 in D major, Op. 12: II. Allegro passionato
CD2:
  1. Shostakovich - Cello Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 40: I. Allegro non troppo
  2. Shostakovich - Cello Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 40: II. Allegro
  3. Shostakovich - Cello Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 40: III. Largo
  4. Shostakovich - Cello Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 40: IV. Allegro
  5. Stravinsky - Suite Italienne for cello & piano: I. Introduzione
  6. Stravinsky - Suite Italienne for cello & piano: II. Serenata
  7. Stravinsky - Suite Italienne for cello & piano: III. Aria
  8. Stravinsky - Suite Italienne for cello & piano: IV. Tarentella
  9. Stravinsky - Suite Italienne for cello & piano: V. Minuetto e finale
  10. Prokofiev - Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 119: I. Andante grave
  11. Prokofiev - Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 119: II. Moderato
  12. Prokofiev - Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 119: III. Allegro, ma non troppo

Truls Mørk, cello
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano (CD1)
Lars Vogt, piano (CD2)
Date: 1994 (CD1), 1996 (CD2)
Label: Virgin

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Review

On first hearing this disk, one is struck by the beauty of the cello tone throughout. On second hearing, one notes that the Rachmaninov and Shostakovich works stand out clearly. On third hearing, this distinction evaporates and one realizes that the quality of all the works on the disk is first rate, that the Miaskovsky, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev works are equally worth the attention, and that the Shostakovich and Rachmaninov works are merely more familiar.

The Rachmaninov work was written at the time of the Second Concerto between the First and Second Symphonies, and is clearly, in my opinion, an unsuccessful sketch for a symphony. As Brahms before him did with his Op. 34, Rachmaninov turned a failed symphony into a successful chamber work. However, in the final analysis the work is a little too symphonic to be great chamber music just as it is not quite symphonic enough to be a great symphony. This performance is somewhat on the crisp side; the Harrell and especially the Ma performances, which are more lyrically Romantic, are more enjoyable in the slower movements, but this only further emphasizes the distance between the original symphonic concept and this sonata arrangement. Both approaches are valid, and the work is fine enough that you’ll want to hear it played several different ways.

Those who hold to the view that Stravinsky retired from composing in 1913 point to the ballet Pulcinella (1920) and the Suite Italienne arranged from it as proof, claiming that the work is not even an arrangement of music (purportedly) by Pergolesi, but simply Pergolesi copied out with wrong notes. What is most amazing is how durable and engaging the Stravinsky work is in its orchestral, cello and piano, violin and piano, and, eventually, violin and cello versions. I have several versions of the originals by Wassenaer, but I’d rather hear the Stravinsky versions any time, wrong notes or no.

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710 - 1736) wrote one sensationally popular opera, then fell ill from consumption. While in hospital he wrote his well known Stabat Mater and then died at the age of 26. To satisfy the market for his scant repertoire of original music, some marvelous sonatas by an amateur musician, one Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer, published anonymously in Holland after being performed by the violinist Carlo Ricciotti, were ascribed by an Italian publisher to Pergolesi. They sold very well, and only recently has their complicated genesis come to light. Hence, Pulcinella and the Suite Italienne are in fact after Wassenaer, not Pergolesi. The rumor that Suite Italienne was commissioned by Gregor Piatigorsky is, so far as I can discover, not correct.

Prokofiev’s sonata is one of his last works in which his style became very introverted and ruminative. This change in style led to charges that others were writing his music for him, as those who did not understand the music felt it was of lower quality. Due to diminishing energy, Prokofiev relied on students and friends to copy out full scores from his shorthand musical notes, but the power and originality of the music are all Prokofiev. The route to understanding late Prokofiev lies through Mahler.

The Shostakovich work on the other hand is a very early work, melodic and accessible, rich with his pre-war optimism, but not his abrasive quirkiness. From its first performance it was acclaimed a masterpiece, and was even recorded on 78 RPM records, an all-but-unheard of honor for a modern chamber work at the time. In contrast, the Sonata No. 1 was never heard outside Russia.

The composer-approved Rostropovich versions of the Prokofiev and Shostakovich works are in old Soviet-era analogue sound and it is a pleasure to have these excellent digital versions as well.

Prokofiev met Miaskovsky in school and the two men remained fast friends for life. Their music diverged considerably in style with Miaskovsky writing more conservatively, but with an individual flavor. Their music also diverged in quality, with the starkly original Prokofiev clearly the greater talent. Miaskovsky’s music in general suffers from probably unconscious borrowings from other music he has heard, but when he has enough original material, as here, the result is a fine work that can hold its own in this concert, certainly well worth hearing.

-- Paul Shoemaker, MusicWeb International

More reviews:
http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/rachmaninovmiaskovsky-cello-sonatas
http://www.classical-music.com/review/rachmaninovmiaskovsky
http://www.classical-music.com/review/shostakovichstravinskyprokofiev

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Truls Mørk (born 25 April 1961 in Bergen) is a Norwegian cellist. Mørk's discography includes an award-winning recordings of the Shostakovich Cello Concertos and of Bach's Suites for Solo Cello. He has recorded for such labels as Virgin Classics and Harmonia Mundi. He performs on a rare Domenico Montagnana cello (Venice, 1723), whose scroll was made by Stradivarius.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Various Composers - Virtuoso French Organ Music (Jennifer Bate)


Information

  1. Léon Boëllmann - Suite gothique, Op. 25: I. Introduction - Choral
  2. Léon Boëllmann - Suite gothique, Op. 25: II. Menuet gothique
  3. Léon Boëllmann - Suite gothique, Op. 25: III. Prière à Notre-Dame
  4. Léon Boëllmann - Suite gothique, Op. 25: IV. Toccata
  5. Alexandre Guilmant - Cantilène pastorale, Op. 15 No. 3
  6. Alexandre Guilmant - Marche religieuse, Op. 15 No. 2
  7. Camille Saint-Saëns - Improvisation, Op. 150 No. 7
  8. Louis Vierne - Impromptu, Op. 54 No. 2
  9. Louis Vierne - Clair de Lune, Op. 53 No. 5
  10. Louis Vierne - Divertissement, Op. 31 No. 11
  11. Louis Vierne - Carillon de Longpont, Op. 31 No. 21
  12. Jean Langlais - Triptyque: I. Melody
  13. Jean Langlais - Triptyque: II. Trio
  14. Jean Langlais - Triptyque: III. Final
  15. Eugène Gigout - Toccata in B minor
  16. Eugène Gigout - Scherzo
  17. Eugène Gigout - Grand chœur dialogué

Jennifer Bate, organ
Date: 1982
Label: Regis (licensed from Unicorn-Kanchana)

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Review

The French organ school between the middle of the 19th century and the end of the 20th century is amongst the most memorable. During this period many French organist-composers flourished and influenced each other. This CD presents the ‘junior contemporaries of Franck’ as the well-presented booklet informs us. From Saint-Saëns to Langlais there are close links from one generation to the next. Boellmann was a pupil of Gigout. Guilmant was a co-student with Widor, another significant organist-composer, who introduced the later Vierne to the tradition of the French symphonic organ school. More recently, Langlais, a co-student with Messiaen, successfully continued the long French tradition. These composers were influenced by the organs of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, built in many significant churches in Paris. These include Notre-Dame, Saint-Trinité and Saint Clotilde.

The restored organ by Danion-Gonzalez with a further 11 new stops has the characteristic rich and ‘round’ sound of a French romantic organ, blending with the ‘delicate sonorities’ of the past centuries. The big and wonderful acoustics of the Cathedral ‘enhances the sounds without impairing their color or clarity throughout the vast building, which contains the highest nave in Europe’.

The Suite Gothique remains the most famous work of Boellmann especially the concluding Toccata - brilliant though not technically difficult.. The Cantilène Pastorale is dedicated to Guilmant’s father. The March on ‘Lift up your Heads’ uses the same title-theme from Handel’s Messiah. The Improvisation in A minor is the last piece of the seven improvisations Op.150, dedicated to Gigout. Vierne’s Impromptu is a scherzo piece that asks for sort of the fluidity associated with pianistic technique and blended successfully with the organ colors. Clair de Lune is dedicated to the American organ-builder Ernest Skinner and presents a nice vocal melody. The Divertissement is a fluid Allegro dedicated to Joseph Bonnet, organist and composer and the Carillon de Longpont is the ‘earliest of several bell pieces by Vierne, based on the chime of the bells of the chapel at the Chateau of Longpont’. The pieces contained in Op.31 are marked for ‘organ or harmonium’ but there is a given organ registration for manuals and pedal. The Triptyque is dedicated to another significant French composer, Maurice Duruflé with each of the three pieces thematically independent. Gigout’s Toccata in B minor can stand among similar compositions by Widor or Boellmann. The Scherzo, from the same collection of Ten pieces, is more picturesque. The Grand Choeur Dialogue is a piece that produces the effect of two organs in antiphonal conversation.

The recorded sound is well balanced and extremely detailed in spite of the big acoustics of the cathedral and its four minute reverberation. As a result Bate offers the listener a kaleidoscope of warm sounds and color. All the works are performed with confidence and virtuosic precision. The shaping is well handled with all necessary breathing and musicality. What is extremely impressive in this CD is the control of rhythm and tempos giving the feeling of an orchestra playing. Thus the symphonic character of some of the pieces comes out perfectly. The sound is fresh although these recordings date from the early 1980s. It is hugely enjoyable and highly recommended.

-- Christina Antoniadou, MusicWeb International

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Jennifer Bate (born 11 November 1944 in London) is a British concert organist. Bate has a broad repertory spanning several centuries, also having recorded much English organ music, the complete organ works of César Franck and the complete organ music of Felix Mendelssohn. She is especially regarded as an authority on the organ music of Messiaen, having befriended him within the last twenty years of his life as his organist of choice.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Bate

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Various Composers - Organ Festival (Arturo Sacchetti)


Information

  1. Johann Pachelbel - Canon in D major with 30 Variations on an Basso Ostinato
  2. Johann Sebastian Bach - Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565
  3. Johann Sebastian Bach - Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: II. Air (arr. Sigfrid Karg-Elert)
  4. Johann Sebastian Bach - Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: V. Chaconne (arr. Ulisse Matthey)
  5. Franz Liszt - Prelude and Fugue on the name B-A-C-H, S. 260
  6. Vincenzo Bellini - Sonata in Sol Maggiore
  7. Charles-Marie Widor - Organ Symphony No. 5, Op. 42 No. 1: V. Toccata
  8. Léon Boëllmann - Suite gothique, Op. 25: IV. Toccata
  9. Marco Enrico Bossi - Chant du soir, Op. 92 No. 1
  10. Jehan Alain - Litanies
  11. Louis Vierne - Pièces de fantaisie - Suite No. 3, Op. 54: VI. Carillon de Westminster

Arturo Sacchetti, organ
Date: 1990 (compilation), released in 1995
Label: ARTS Music
http://www.artsmusic.de/Organ_Festival/topic/redline/shop_art_id/74/tpl/artsmusic_article_detail

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Arturo Sacchetti (born January 9, 1941 in Santhià, near Vercelli) is an Italian organist, conductor and musicologist. He studied at the Conservatorio di Milano. Sacchetti has given over 2,300 concerts and performed in public the complete works of J. S. Bach, Buxtehude, Mozart, Telemann, and others. He has made 150 recordings, on LP as well as CD.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arturo_Sacchetti

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Various Composers - Stokowski's Encores (Matthias Bamert)


Information

  1. Handel - Overture in D minor (from Chandos Anthem No. 2)
  2. Gabrieli - Sonata Pian e Forte (from Sacre Symphoniae)
  3. Clarke - Trumpet Prelude (The Prince of Denmark's March)
  4. Mattheson - Air (from Harpsichord Suite No. 5)
  5. Mozart - Turkish March (from Piano Sonata No. 11)
  6. Beethoven - Adagio (from Moonlight Sonata)
  7. Schubert - Serenade (from Schwanengesang, D. 957)
  8. Franck - Panis Angelicus
  9. Chopin - Marche funèbre (from Piano Sonata No. 2)
  10. Debussy - The Girl with the Flaxen Hair (from Préludes - Book 1)
  11. Ippolitov-Ivanov - In the Manger
  12. Shostakovich - United Nations March
  13. Tchaikovsky - Andante Cantabile (from String Quartet No. 1)
  14. Albéniz - Festival Seville (from Iberia - Book 1)
  15. Sousa - The Stars and Stripes Forever

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Matthias Bamert, conductor
Date: 1994
Label: Chandos
http://chandos.net/details06.asp?CNumber=CHAN%209349

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Leopold Stokowski (18 April 1882 – 13 September 1977) was a British conductor of Polish and Irish descent. One of the leading conductors of the early and mid-20th Century, he is best known for his long association with the Philadelphia Orchestra and for appearing in the film Fantasia. He was especially noted for his ability to obtain a characteristically sumptuous sound from the orchestras he directed.

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Matthias Bamert (born July 5, 1942 in Ersigen, Canton of Bern) is a Swiss composer and conductor. Bamert studied music in Darmstadt and in Paris, with Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Bamert's conducting career began in North America as an apprentice to George Szell and later as Assistant Conductor to Leopold Stokowski, and Resident Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra under Lorin Maazel. He made over 60 recordings, most of them for Chandos.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Various Composers - Invitation to the Dance (Herbert von Karajan)


Information

Composer: Carl Maria von Weber; Hector Berlioz; Franz Liszt; Bedřich Smetana; Alexander Borodin; Giuseppe Verdi; Amilcare Ponchielli
  1. Weber - Invitation to the Dance (Aufforderung zum Tanze), Op. 65 (orch. Hector Berlioz): Moderato - Allegro vivace - Vivace - Moderato
  2. Berlioz - La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Part 2. Ballet des Sylphes
  3. Berlioz - La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Part 3. Menuet des Follets
  4. Liszt - Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S. 110 No. 2 "The Dance in the Village Inn" (after Lenau)
  5. Smetana - The Bartered Bride: Act 1. Polka
  6. Smetana - The Bartered Bride: Act 2. Furiant
  7. Smetana - The Bartered Bride: Act 3. Dance of the Comedians
  8. Borodin - Prince Igor: Dance of the Polovtsian Maidens
  9. Borodin - Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances - Introduzione. Andantino
  10. Borodin - Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances - Allegro Vivo
  11. Borodin - Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances - Allegro
  12. Borodin - Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances - Presto
  13. Borodin - Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances - Moderato alla Breve
  14. Borodin - Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances - Presto
  15. Borodin - Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances - Allegro con Cpirito
  16. Verdi - Otello: Act 3. Ballet Music
  17. Ponchielli - La Gioconda: Act 3. Dance of the Hours

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan, conductor
Date: 1971
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/cat/4746172

More info & reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/Weber-Invitation-Dance-Berlioz-Smetana/dp/B0000B09Z1

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Herbert von Karajan (5 April 1908 – 16 July 1989) was an Austrian conductor. He was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century. He made a large number of recordings and was the top-selling classical music recording artist of all time, having sold an estimated 200 million records. He was admired and also criticized for his over polished sound of the orchestras he conducted.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Various Composers - Ave Maria (José Carreras)


Information

  1. Handel - Messiah, HWV 56: "Hallelujah"
  2. Franck - Panis Angelicus (arr. Job Maarse)
  3. Stradella - Pietà, Signore (orch. Job Maarse)
  4. Álvarez - Prearia
  5. Schubert - German Mass, D. 872: "Heilig, heilig, heilig"
  6. Gounod - Ave Maria (after J.S. Bach's Prelude No. 1 BWV 846) (arr. Job Maarse)
  7. Bizet - Agnus Dei (arr. Job Maarse)
  8. Verdi - Quattro pezzi sacri (4 Sacred Pieces): 3. Laudi alla vergine Maria
  9. Gounod - Repentir (O Divine Redeemer)
  10. Bach - Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, cantata, BWV 147: 10. Choral: "Jesus bleibet meine Freude"

José Carreras, tenor
Vienna Boys' Choir
Chorus Viennensis
Michael G. Gormley, organ
Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Uwe Christian Harrer, conductor
Date: 1983
Label: Philips
http://www.deccaclassics.com/us/cat/4111382

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Review

There is as much energy as beauty in the singing throughout by José Carreras and the Vienna Boys Choir.

Religious solos and choral pieces front two centuries and at least four countries make Up the ten works on this disc. The Ave Maria of the disc title is Gounod's meditation on Bach's first Prelude from the 48, and its lyrical style is typical of the programme's content. The "Hallelujah" Chorus from Handel's Messiah is the only declamatory item, yet there is as much energy as beauty in the singing throughout by José Carreras and the Vienna Boys Choir (joined by 'old boys' of the Chorus Viennensis in two choruses). Compact Disc quality is excellent and the balance of choir and orchestra in fairly reverberant surroundings is just about right, with the tenor rather closer.

-- John Borwick, Gramophone [8/1984]

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José Carreras (born 5 December 1946 in Barcelona) is a Catalan tenor who is particularly known for his performances in the operas of Verdi and Puccini. He has a career that encompassed over 60 roles, performed in the world's leading opera houses and in numerous recordings. Carreras gained fame with a wider audience as one of the Three Tenors along with Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. In its prime, Carreras's voice was considered one of the most beautiful tenor voices of the day.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Carreras

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Various Composers - Opera Intermezzzi (Herbert von Karajan)


Information
  1. Verdi - La Traviata: Prelude to Act 3
  2. Mascagni - Cavalleria rusticana: Intermezzo sinfonico
  3. Puccini - Suor Angelica: Intermezzo
  4. Leoncavallo - Pagliacci: Intermezzo from Act 1
  5. Mussorgsky - Khovanshchina: Intermezzo from Act 4
  6. Puccini - Manon Lescaut: Intermezzo from Act 3
  7. Schmidt - Notre Dame: Intermezzo
  8. Massenet - Thais: M'editation (Intermezzo from Act 2)
  9. Giordano - Fedora: Intermezzo from Act 2
  10. Cilea - Adriana Lecouvreur: Intermezzo from Act 2
  11. Wolf-Ferrari - I gioielli della Madonna: Intermezzo from Act 3
  12. Mascagni - L'amico Fritz: Intermezzo from Act 3

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan, conductor
Date: 1967
label: Deutsche Grammophon
http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/cat/4777163

"The conductor shows his mastery of phrase and idiom immediately in the opening La Traviata Prelude which is beautifully done, and the same poise gives distinction to the famous Cavalleria Rusticana Intermezzo and indeed the Puccini items. Where high drama is called for, as in the music of the verismo school, Karajan rises to the occasion and one can hear the resin sizzle as those Berlin string bows bite."

-- Stereo Record Guide

More reviews:

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Herbert von Karajan (5 April 1908 – 16 July 1989) was an Austrian conductor. He was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century. He made a large number of recordings and was the top-selling classical music recording artist of all time, having sold an estimated 200 million records. He was admired and also criticized for his over polished sound of the orchestras he conducted.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Various Composers - Favourite Choruses


Information
  1. Verdi - Nabucco, opera, Act III: "Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate" (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) - Riccardo Muti
  2. Puccini - Madama Butterfly, opera, Act II: Humming Chorus - John Barbirolli
  3. Handel - Messiah: "Hallelujah" - Charles Mackerras
  4. Verdi - Requiem: "Dies irae"... "Tuba mirum" - Riccardo Muti
  5. Mozart - Requiem: "Confutatis maledictis" - Carlo Maria Giulini
  6. Berlioz - L'enfance du Christ (The Childhood of Christ), oratorio: "L'adieu des bergers" (The Shepherds' Farewell) - André Cluytens
  7. Wagner - Lohengrin, opera, Act III: "Treulich geführt" (Bridal Chorus) - Bernard Haitink
  8. Brahms - A German Requiem: "Selig sind, die da Leid tragen" - Herbert von Karajan
  9. Verdi - Il trovatore, opera, Act II: "Vedi le fosche" (Anvil Chorus) - Riccardo Muti
  10. Fauré - Requiem: "In Paradisum" - Daniel Barenboim
  11. Gounod - Faust, opera, Act IV: "Gloire immortelle" (Soldiers' Chorus) - Michel Plasson
  12. Wagner - The Flying Dutchman, opera, Act III: "Johohoe!" - Otto Klemperer
  13. Mozart - The Magic Flute, opera, Act II: "O Isis und Osiris" (Priests' Chorus) - Bernard Haitink
  14. Mascagni - Cavalleria rusticana, opera: "Regina coeli"... "Ineggiamo" (Easter Hymn) - Bernard Haitink
  15. Bizet - Carmen, opera, Act I: "Avec la garde montante" - Thomas Beecham
  16. Verdi - Aida, opera, Act II: "Gloria all'Egitto" (Triumphal Scene and Grand March) - Riccardo Muti
Date: 2001
Label: EMI


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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Various Composers - Opera Album 2011


Information

CD1:
  1. Bizet - Carmen: "Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre" (Toreador's Song) - Bryn Terfel
  2. Puccini - La Bohème: "Quando me'n vò" (Musette's Waltz) - Anna Netrebko
  3. Puccini - Tosca: "E lucevan le stelle" - Andrea Bocelli
  4. Handel - Rinaldo, HWV 7a: "Lascia ch'io pianga" - Cecilia Bartoli
  5. Leoncavallo - Pagliacci: "Recitar!" - "Vesti la giubba" - Jonas Kaufmann
  6. Catalani - La Wally: "Ebben? Ne andrò lontana" - Angela Gheorghiu
  7. Verdi - Il Trovatore: "Vedi! le fosche notturne spoglie" (Anvil Chorus)
  8. Offenbach - Les Contes d'Hoffmann: "Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour" - Joan Sutherland & Huguette Tourangeau
  9. Verdi - Rigoletto: "La donna è mobile" - Carlo Bergonzi
  10. Bizet - Carmen: "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" (Habanera) - Tatiana Troyanos
  11. Puccini - Madama Butterfly: "Coro a bocca chiusa" (Humming Chorus)
  12. Handel - Xerxes, HWV 40: "Ombra mai fù" (Handel's Largo) - Andreas Scholl
  13. Bizet - Les pêcheurs de perles: "Au fond du temple saint" (The Pearl Fishers' Duet) - Luciano Pavarotti & Nicolai Ghiaurov
  14. Rossini - Il barbiere di Siviglia: "Una voce poco fa" - Teresa Berganza
  15. Verdi - La traviata: "Libiamo ne'lieti calici (Brindisi) - Ileana Cotrubas & Plácido Domingo
  16. Saint-Saëns - Samson et Dalila: "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix" - Marilyn Horne
  17. Dvořák - Rusalka, Op. 114: "Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém" - Pilar Lorengar
  18. Verdi - Il Trovatore: "Di quella pira" - José Carreras
  19. Verdi - La traviata: "Follie! Delirio vano è questo!" - "Sempre libera" - Kiri Te Kanawa & Alfredo Kraus
  20. Puccini - Turandot: "Nessun dorma!" - Luciano Pavarotti
CD2:
  1. Gounod - Roméo et Juliette: "Ah, je veux vivre dans ce reve" - Renée Fleming
  2. Bizet - Carmen: "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée" (Flower Song) - Plácido Domingo
  3. Puccini - Tosca: "Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore" - Kiri Te Kanawa
  4. Rossini - Il barbiere di Siviglia: "Largo al factotum" - Leo Nucci
  5. Puccini - La Bohème: "Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì" - Angela Gheorghiu
  6. Verdi - Rigoletto: "Questa o quella" - Rolando Villazón
  7. Gounod - Faust: "Déposons les armes" (Soldiers' Chorus)
  8. Donizetti - L'elisir d'amore: "Una furtiva lagrima" - Juan Diego Flórez
  9. Bizet - Carmen: "Les tringles des sistres tintaient" - Edwige Parat, Claire Delgado-Boge & Magdalena Kozená
  10. Mozart - Die Zauberflöte, K. 620: "Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja" - Hermann Prey
  11. Puccini - Turandot: "Signore, ascolta" - Montserrat Caballé
  12. Verdi - Nabucco: "Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate" (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves)
  13. Delibes - Lakmé: "Viens, Mallika, ... Dôme épais" (Flower Duet) - Joan Sutherland & Jane Berbié
  14. Verdi - Aida: "Celeste Aida" - Luciano Pavarotti
  15. Gluck - Orfeo ed Euridice, Wq. 30: "Che farò senza Euridice?" - Andreas Scholl
  16. Mozart - Don Giovanni, K. 527: "Là ci darem la mano" - Mirella Freni & Ingvar Wixell
  17. Puccini - La Rondine: "Chi il bel sogno di Doretta" (Doretta's Dream Song) - Renata Tebaldi
  18. Offenbach - La belle Hélène: "Au mont Ida" - "Le jugement de Paris" - Joseph Calleja
  19. Mozart - Die Zauberflöte, K. 620: "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen" (Queen of the Night's Aria) - Patricia Petibon
  20. Wagner - Tristan und Isolde: "Mild und leise wie er lächelt" (Isoldes Liebestod) - Birgit Nilsson

Date: 2011
Label: Decca
http://www.deccaclassics.com/us/cat/4782947

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Review

Decca's two-disc set Opera Album 2011 collects performances from the late 20th and early 21st centuries by some of the leading singers of their time. There are hardly any singers represented who aren't superstars, so the quality of the performances is often spectacular. In addition to those pictured on the cover, the artists include classic performers Joan Sutherland, Birgit Nilsson, Plácido Domingo, and Hermann Prey; today’s stars, such as Angela Gheorghiu, Rolando Villazón, and Jonas Kaufmann; and more.

The selections are mostly arias, but several ensembles and choruses are included. The repertoire is weighted very heavily to 19th century Italian opera; two arias each by Handel and Mozart are included, and there are only two in German, but Bizet is well-represented, with five tracks. The accompanying orchestras and conductors are top-notch, and all the recordings come from the stereo or digital eras, so the sound is almost always good. The program notes cite the original recordings from which the selections were taken, making it easy for interested listeners to hear more of particular opera or singer. The album makes a good investment for anyone looking for a collection of operatic selections from the standard repertoire, beautifully performed and recorded.

-- Stephen Eddins, AllMusic

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Various Composers - 40 Most Beautiful Arias


Information

CD1:
  1. Puccini - Turandot: "Nessun dorma!" - Plácido Domingo
  2. Bizet - Carmen: "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" (Habanera) - Julia Migenes
  3. Donizetti - L'elisir d'amore: "Una furtiva lagrima" - Roberto Alagna
  4. Bizet - Carmen: "Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante" (Micaëla's aria) - Angela Gheorghiu
  5. Bizet - Les pêcheurs de perles: "Au fond du temple saint" (The Pearl Fishers' Duet) - Jerry Hadley & Thomas Hampson
  6. Handel - Xerxes, HWV 40: "Ombra mai fù" (Handel's Largo) - Jennifer Larmore
  7. Purcell - Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626: "When I am laid in earth" (Dido's Lament) - Véronique Gens
  8. Mozart - Le nozze di Figaro: "Voi che sapete" - Cecilia Bartoli
  9. Mozart - Così fan tutte: "Soave sia il vento" - Kiri Te Kanawa & Frederica von Stade
  10. Saint-Saëns - Samson et Dalila: "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix" - Olga Borodina & José Cura
  11. Massenet - Werther: "Pourquoi me réveiller?" - Jerry Hadley & Anne Sofie von Otter
  12. Verdi - Rigoletto: "La donna è mobile" - Richard Leech
  13. Dvořák - Rusalka, Op. 114: "Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém" - Eva Urbanová
  14. Puccini - Madama Butterfly: "Un bel dì vedremo" - Cristina Gallardo-Domâs
  15. Puccini - Manon Lescaut: "Donna non vidi mai" - José Cura
  16. Verdi - La traviata: "Libiamo ne'lieti calici (Brindisi) - Neil Shicoff & Edita Gruberová
  17. Puccini - Tosca: "Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore" - Kiri Te Kanawa
  18. Puccini - La Bohème: "Che gelida manina" - José Carreras
  19. Puccini - La Bohème: "Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì" - Barbara Hendricks
  20. Puccini - La Bohème: "O soave fanciulla" - José Carreras & Barbara Hendricks
CD2:
  1. Puccini - Gianni Schicchi: "O mio babbino caro" - Cristina Gallardo-Domâs
  2. Catalani - La Wally: "Ebben? Ne andrò lontana" - Cristina Gallardo-Domâs
  3. Offenbach - Les Contes d'Hoffmann: "Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour" - Jennifer Larmore & Hei-Kyung Hong
  4. Bizet - Carmen: "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée" (Flower Song) - Plácido Domingo
  5. Puccini - Turandot: "Signore, ascolta" - Kiri Te Kanawa
  6. Verdi - La Traviata:  "Un dì, felice, eterea" - Neil Shicoff & Edith Gruberova
  7. Delibes - Lakmé: "Viens, Mallika, ... Dôme épais" (Flower Duet) - Jennifer Larmore & Hong Hei-Kyung
  8. Mozart - Le nozze di Figaro: "Porgi, amor, qualche ristoro" - Lella Cuberli
  9. Mozart - Don Giovanni, K. 527: "Dalla sua pace" - Hans Peter Blochwitz
  10. Bellini - Norma: "Casta diva" - Maria Callas
  11. Handel - Rinaldo, HWV 7a: "Lascia ch'io pianga" - Marilyn Horne
  12. Gluck - Orfeo ed Euridice, Wq. 30: "J’ai perdu mon Euridice" - Susan Graham
  13. Mozart - Die Zauberflöte, K. 620: "Bei Männern welche Liebe fühlen" - Rosa Mannion & Anton Scharinger
  14. Verdi - Aida: "Celeste Aida" - Plácido Domingo
  15. Puccini - La Rondine: "Chi il bel sogno di Doretta" (Doretta's Dream Song) - Kiri Te Kanawa
  16. Giordano - Fedora: "Amor ti Vieta" - Plácido Domingo
  17. Lehár - Die lustige Witwe: "Es lebt' eine Vilja, ein Waldmägdelein" (Vilja-lied) - Karita Mattila
  18. Puccini - Tosca: "E lucevan le stelle" - Plácido Domingo
  19. Verdi - Otello: "Ave Maria" - Cristina Gallardo-Domâs
  20. Rossini - La Cenerentola: "Non piu mesta" - Jennifer Larmore

Date: 2006
Label: Warner Classics

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Review

As an introduction to opera that really covers the basics, Warner's 40 Most Beautiful Arias is a terrific package to give to beginners, though aficionados of the vocal arts may find some sparkling gems here, too. The selections are drawn from the most popular works in the repertoire, such as Le nozze di Figaro, Carmen, La bohème, and La Traviata, and examples from the operas of Mozart, Bizet, Puccini, Verdi, and other masters of the genre combine to make this a well-rounded and satisfying program. The performers are representative of the best in the field, and such world-renowned stars as Plácido Domingo, Kiri Te Kanawa, José Carreras, Barbara Hendricks, Roberto Alagna, Angela Gheorghiu, and Jennifer Larmore, among many other great singers, lend this double-disc compilation an attractive luster. About the only complaint that can be made about this collection is the occasional variability of sound quality, which is usually clear and present, but sometimes a bit distant or out of balance; this can be expected in any survey of performances recorded on various dates between 1950 and 2001, with analog or digital reproduction, and at numerous venues from around the globe. But this really takes nothing away from the many musical riches this twofer offers, and most listeners will find the best-sounding arias outweigh the problems of the few hazy historical tracks.

-- Blair Sanderson, AllMusic

More reviews:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Most-Beautiful-Arias-Various-Artists/dp/B000IFSDAG
http://www.amazon.com/40-Most-Beautiful-Arias-2cd/dp/B0012908F0

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tomaso Albinoni - 12 Concertos Op. 9; Adagio for organ & strings (Felix Ayo; Heinz Holliger)


Information

Composer: Tomaso Albinoni

CD1:
  • (01-03) Concerto for violin, strings, & continuo in B flat major, Op. 9 No. 1
  • (04-06) Concerto for oboe, strings, & continuo in D minor, Op. 9 No. 2
  • (07-09) Concerto for 2 oboes, strings, & continuo in F major, Op. 9 No. 3
  • (10-12) Concerto for violin, strings, & continuo in A major, Op. 9 No. 4
  • (13-15) Concerto for oboe, strings, & continuo in C major, Op. 9 No. 5
  • (16-18) Concerto for 2 oboes, strings, & continuo in G major, Op. 9 No. 6
CD2:
  • (01-03) Concerto for violin, strings, & continuo in D major, Op. 9 No. 7
  • (04-06) Concerto for oboe, strings, & continuo in G minor, Op. 9 No. 8
  • (07-09) Concerto for 2 oboes, strings, & continuo in C major, Op. 9 No. 9
  • (10-12) Concerto for violin, strings, & continuo in F major, Op. 9 No. 10: 1
  • (13-15) Concerto for oboe, strings, & continuo in B flat major, Op. 9 No. 11
  • (16-18) Concerto for 2 oboes, strings, & continuo in D major, Op. 9 No. 12
  • (19) Adagio for organ & strings in G minor (arr. Remo Giazotto)

Felix Ayo, violin
Heinz Holliger, oboe
Maurice Bourgue, oboe II
Maria Teresa Garatti, harpsichord & organ
I Music, ensemble
Date: 1960 (Adagio), 1967
Label: Philips
http://www.deccaclassics.com/us/cat/4563332

More info & reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/Albinoni-Complete-Concertos-Op-9/dp/B0000041NC

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Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (8 June 1671 – 17 January 1751) was an Italian Baroque composer. While famous in his day as an opera composer, he is mainly remembered today for his instrumental music, such as the concertos, some of which are regularly recorded. He is the first Italian known to employ the oboe as a solo instrument in concerti. He is also known for the "Adagio in G minor" which is by some thought to be a musical hoax composed by Remo Giazotto.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomaso_Albinoni

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Felix Ayo (born 1933, Sestao) is a Spanish-Basque born, naturalised Italian, violinist. He is renowned as a founder of the Italian ensemble I Musici; as an internationally renowned violinist, who is often a soloist, and is a performer of chamber music; as a teacher; and as a recording artist with a career that has spanned more than fifty years. Ayo plays a G.B. Guadagnini violin made in 1744.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Ayo

***

Heinz Holliger (born 21 May 1939 in Langenthal) is a Swiss oboist, composer and conductor. He is one of the world's most celebrated oboists, and many composers such as Olivier Messiaen, Luciano Berio and Elliott Carter have written works for him. Holliger studied composition with Sándor Veress and Pierre Boulez. He has composed many works in a variety of media. Many of his works have been recorded for the ECM label.

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sergei Lyapunov - Symphony No. 2 (Evgeny Svetlanov) mp3


Information

Composer: Sergei Lyapunov
  1. Symphony No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 66: I. Largo - Allegro moderato
  2. Symphony No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 66: II. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)
  3. Symphony No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 66: III. Adagio
  4. Symphony No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 66: IV. Finale

Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Evgeny Svetlanov, conductor

Date: 1998
Label: Naïve


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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; Ludwig van Beethoven - 1812 Overture; Capriccio Italien; Wellington's Victory (Antal Doráti)


Information

Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; Ludwig van Beethoven
  1. Tchaikovsky - 1812 Festival Overture, Op. 49
  2. Commentary to the 1812 Overture / sound effects / bells
  3. Tchaikovsky - Capriccio Italien, Op. 45
  4. Beethoven - Wellington's Victory, Op. 91: I. Battle
  5. Beethoven - Wellington's Victory, Op. 91: II. Victory Symphony
  6. Commentary to Wellington's Victory / sound effects

University of Minnesota Brass Band (1)
Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (1, 3)
London Symphony Orchestra (4, 5)
Antal Doráti, conductor
Date: 1955 (3), 1958 (1), 1960 (4, 5)
Label: Mercury
http://www.deccaclassics.com/us/cat/4343602

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Review


Although not normally given to fits of nostalgia, I have to confess that this CD found me beaming back to my teenage years, poised between the two modest speakers of a Bush record player and eager for an aural bombardment. Both battle pieces incorporate cannon fire recorded at West Point, with Wellington's Victory adding antiphonal muskets and 1812, the University of Minnesota Brass Band and the bells of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller carillon. In a recorded commentary on the 1812 sessions, Deems Taylor explains how, prior to 'battle', roads were blocked and an ambulance crew put on standby. The actual weapons used were chosen both for their historical authenticity (period instruments of destruction) and their sonic impact, the latter proving formidable even today. In fact, the crackle and thunder of Wellington's Victory could easily carry a DDD endorsement; perhaps we should, for the occasion, invent a legend of Daring, Deafening and potentially Deadly.

Dorati's conducting is brisk, incisive and appropriately dramatic. 1812 in particular (Dorati's second Minneapolis recording of the piece for Mercury) suggests a rare spontaneity, with a fiery account of the main 'conflict' and a tub-thumping peroration where bells, band, guns and orchestra conspire to produce one of the most riotous key-clashes in gramophone history. Capriccio italien was recorded some three years earlier (1955, would you believe) and sounds virtually as impressive. Again, the approach is crisp and balletic, whereas the 1960 LSO Beethoven recording (originally coupled with excellent versions of the overtures Prometheus and Leonore No. 3) triumphs by dint of its energy and orchestral discipline.

As 'fun' CDs go, this must surely be one of the best – provided you can divorce Mercury's aural militia from the terrifying spectre of real conflict (such as we see almost daily via the media). Wilma Cozart Fine has masterminded an astonishingly effective refurbishment while the documentation – both written and recorded – is extremely comprehensive.

-- Gramophone

More reviews:
http://www.allmusic.com/album/tchaikovsky-1812-festival-overture-capriccio-italien-beethoven-wellingtons-victory-mw0001805041
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tchaikovsky-Festival-Capriccio-Beethoven-Wellingtons/dp/B0000057MW
http://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-Festival-Capriccio-Beethoven-Wellingtons/dp/B0000057MW

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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (25 April/7 May 1840 – 25 October/6 November 1893) was a Russian composer who wrote some of the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally. Despite his many popular successes, Tchaikovsky's life was punctuated by personal crises and depression. His homosexuality considered a major factor.

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Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. He is one of the most famous and influential of all composers, and a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras. His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies, 7 concertos and 32 piano sonatas.

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Antal Doráti (9 April 1906 – 13 November 1988) was a Hungarian-born conductor and composer who became a naturalized American citizen in 1943. Over the course of his career Doráti made over 600 recordings, mostly for Mercury and Decca. Doráti became especially well known for his recordings of Tchaikovsky's music. He was the first conductor to record all three of Tchaikovsky's ballets and "1812" Overture.

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Orchestral Works (Adrian Leaper)


Information

Composer: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
  • (01) Hiawatha Overture, Op. 30
  • (02-05) Petite Suite de Concert, Op. 77
  • (06-09) 4 Characteristic Waltzes, Op. 22
  • (10-13) Gipsy Suite, Op. 20
  • (14) Romance of the Prairie Lilies, Op. 39
  • (15-18) Othello Suite, Op. 79

RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Adrian Leaper, conductor
Date: 1993
Label: Marco Polo
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.223516

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Review

A most diverting anthology, containing much tuneful invention. The best-known item will probably be the engaging Petite Suite de Concert, formerly available in a very good recording from the Philharmonia under George Weldon (11/88 – the coupling on that now-deleted EMI Studio release was Sargent’s classic Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast). Somewhat surprisingly, the present Hiawatha Overture makes no reference to the famous tenor aria, “Onaway, awake, beloved”, but it remains a likeable essay for all that. Other high spots include the lilting “Valse de la Reine” (the third of the Four Characteristic Waltzes of 1898) and the haunting, faintly Delian “Willow Song” from the Othello Suite of 1909 (but why do Marco Polo omit the third-movement “Funeral March” in this work?).

These are commendable and affectionate performances from the RTE Concert Orchestra under Adrian Leaper’s spirited lead and with very good recorded sound. If you want to sample Coleridge Taylor in more ambitious mode, I can heartily recommend a superbly engineered Argo collection (6/93) containing highly committed versions (from the RLPO under Grant Llewellyn) of the Ballade in A minor and the Symphonic Variations on an African Air.

-- Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone

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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (15 August 1875 – 1 September 1912) was an English composer of Creole descent who achieved such success that he was once called the "African Mahler". Coleridge-Taylor's greatest success was his cantata Hiawatha's Wedding Feast. Coleridge-Taylor also composed chamber music, anthems, and the African Dances for violin, among other works. The Petite Suite de Concert is still regularly played.

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Adrian Leaper (born 1953) is an English conductor. Leaper studied horn and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music and for eight year was co-principal horn of the Philharmonia Orchestra. He was Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria (1994-2001) the RTVE Symphony Orchestra in Madrid (2001-2010). He has made many recordings for the Naxos.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Ludwig van Beethoven; Jean Sibelius - Symphonies (George Szell)


Information

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven; Jean Sibelius
  1. Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67: 1. Allegro con brio
  2. Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67: 2. Andante con moto
  3. Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67: 3. Allegro
  4. Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67: 4. Allegro
  5. Sibelius - Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43: 1. Allegretto - Poco allegro - Tranquillo, ma poco a poco ravvivando il tempo al allegro
  6. Sibelius - Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43: 2. Tempo andante, ma rubato - Andante sostenuto
  7. Sibelius - Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43: 3. Vivacissimo - Lento e suave - Largamente
  8. Sibelius - Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43: 4. Finale (Allegro moderato)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
George Szell, conductor

Date: 1964 (Sibelius), 1966 (Beethoven)
Label: Philips
http://www.deccaclassics.com/us/cat/4646822

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Review




The excellence of these two famous performances hasn’t diminished a bit over time. George Szell’s Beethoven Fifth exists in three versions: this one; another with the Cleveland Orchestra on Sony; and (finest of all) one with the Vienna Philharmonic live from the Salzburg Festival on Orfeo. Talk about an embarrassment of riches! It’s really pointless to dwell on minute variations in interpretation or playing: all three recordings represent a surpassingly high level of achievement, from the taught opening and generously “con moto” Andante, right through the grim scherzo to the explosive finale. It’s simply great Beethoven.

Szell’s Sibelius Second has stood as a reference edition of the score since the day the recording was made. Once again, there is a live rendition (with Cleveland made on tour in Tokyo) that arguably surpasses this one in some respects, but at present it’s only available on a limited basis from Japanese Sony, and hearing this dazzling recording, with it’s warmly glowing strings, perfectly judged first movement climax, jaggedly brilliant brass in the second movement, sizzling scherzo, and effortlessly grand finale, it’s easy to forget all about any other performance you might have heard or currently own. Frankly, no other even approaches Szell’s knockout combination of discipline and excitement, though some (such as Barbirolli’s on Chesky or Bernstein’s on Sony) offer a marginally greater sense of spontaneity, albeit with markedly less spectacular playing.

Sonically, this remastering sounds exactly the same as the “Early Years” two-disc set containing all of Szell’s Concertgebouw recordings for Philips (also available from Musical Heritage Society), which is to say it’s noticeably better than the overly dry, “CEDAR-ized” first CD issue. In fact, the engineering on display here compares favorably with today’s best. Classics in every sense of the word, these two performances deserve an honored place in even the most minuscule collection of music by either composer.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

More reviews:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/July01/BeethovenSibelius.htm
http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/beethoven-symphony-no-5-sibelius-symphony-no-2
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beethoven-Symphony-No-Sibelius/dp/B00005CCAB
http://www.amazon.com/Sibelius-Symphony-No-Beethoven/dp/B00005CCAB

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Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 1 violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis and an opera, Fidelio. Beethoven is acknowledged as one of the giants of classical music.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_van_Beethoven

***

Jean Sibelius (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957) was a Finnish violinist and composer of the late Romantic period. His music contributed to the development of a feeling of national identity in Finland where he is now celebrated as the country's greatest composer. Sibelius is mostly known for his seven symphonies, the violin concerto and the tone poems such as Finlandia. He almost completely stopped composing after 1920s and did not produce any large-scale works in his last thirty years.

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George Szell (June 7, 1897 – July 30, 1970) was a Hungarian-born American conductor and composer. He is widely considered one of the twentieth century's greatest conductors. Szell is remembered today for his long and successful tenure as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra (1946-1970), and for his recordings of the standard classical repertoire he made in Cleveland and with other orchestras, mostly for Epic/Columbia Masterworks. Szell was also well-known for his autocratic manner in rehearsal and his reputation as a perfectionist.

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Richard Wagner - Great Scenes from ''Der Ring des Nibelungen'' (Georg Solti)


Information

Composer: Richard Wagner

CD1:
  1. Das Rheingold - Scene 1: Prelude - Rhinemaidens' Song - Alberich's Curse
  2. Das Rheingold - Scene 4: Entry of the Gods into Valhalla
  3. Die Walküre - Act I: Siegmund Spring Song - Duet with Sieglinde
  4. Die Walküre - Act III: Ride of the Valkyries
  5. Die Walküre - Act III: Wotan's Farewell - Magic Fire Music
CD2:
  1. Siegfried - Act I: Forging Scene
  2. Siegfried - Act II: Forest Murmurs
  3. Götterdämmerung - Prologue: Dawn - Siegfried's Rhine Journey
  4. Götterdämmerung - Act III: Siegfried's Funeral March
  5. Götterdämmerung - Act III: Brünnhilde's Immolation Scene

Birgit Nilsson, soprano
Régine Crespin, soprano
Wolfgang Windgassen, tenor
Gerhard Stolze, tenor
James King, tenor
Hans Hotter, bass

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Georg Solti, conductor

Date: 1958-1965
Label: Decca
http://www.deccaclassics.com/us/cat/4489332

More info & reviews:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00002458I
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00002458I

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Ottorino Respighi - Concerto gregoriano; Concerto all'antica (Andrea Cappelletti)


Information

Composer: Ottorino Respighi
  1. Concerto gregoriano, for violin & orchestra: I. Andante tranquillo
  2. Concerto gregoriano, for violin & orchestra: II. Andante espressivo e sostenuto
  3. Concerto gregoriano, for violin & orchestra: III. Finale (Allelulia): Allegro energico
  4. Concerto all'antica, for violin & orchestra: I. Allegro
  5. Concerto all'antica, for violin & orchestra: II. Adagio non troppo
  6. Concerto all'antica, for violin & orchestra: III. Scherzo: Vivace - Tempo di minuetto - Vivace

Andrea Cappelletti, violin
Philharmonia Orchestra
Matthias Bamert, conductor

Date: 1993
Label: Koch Schwann


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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Leoš Janáček; Hugo Wolf - String Quartets (Hagen Quartet)


Information

Composer: Leoš Janáček; Hugo Wolf
  1. Janáček - String Quartet No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata": I. Adagio
  2. Janáček - String Quartet No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata": II. Con moto
  3. Janáček - String Quartet No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata": III. Con moto
  4. Janáček - String Quartet No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata": IV. Con moto
  5. Janáček - String Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters": I. Andante
  6. Janáček - String Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters": II. Adagio
  7. Janáček - String Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters": III. Moderato
  8. Janáček - String Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters": IV. Allegro
  9. Wolf - Italian Serenade in G major

Hagen Quartet
Lukas Hagen, violin
Rainer Schmidt, violin
Veronika Hagen, viola
Clemens Hagen, cello

Date: 1988
Label: Newton Classics (original on Deutsche Grammophon)
http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/cat/4276692

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Karl Goldmark; Paul Hindemith - Symphonies (Leonard Bernstein)


Information

Composer: Karl Goldmark; Paul Hindemith
  1. Goldmark - Symphony No. 1 in E flat major "Rustic Wedding", Op. 26: 1. Wedding March. Variationen
  2. Goldmark - Symphony No. 1 in E flat major "Rustic Wedding", Op. 26: 2. Bridal Song. Intermezzo
  3. Goldmark - Symphony No. 1 in E flat major "Rustic Wedding", Op. 26: 3. Serenade. Scherzo
  4. Goldmark - Symphony No. 1 in E flat major "Rustic Wedding", Op. 26: 4. In the Garden. Andante
  5. Goldmark - Symphony No. 1 in E flat major "Rustic Wedding", Op. 26: 5. Dance. Finale
  6. Hindemith - Symphony in E flat major: 1. Sehr lebhaft
  7. Hindemith - Symphony in E flat major: 2. Sehr langsam
  8. Hindemith - Symphony in E flat major: 3. Lebhaft
  9. Hindemith - Symphony in E flat major: 4. Mäßig schnelle Halbe

New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein, conductor

Date: 1967 (6-9), 1968 (1-5)
Label: Sony Classical

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Joseph Jongen - Flute Sonata; Flute Trio (Marc Grauwels)


Information

Composer: Joseph Jongen
  1. Danse lente for flute & harp, Op. 56bis: Modéré (sans lenteur)
  2. 2 Pieces for Trio of flute, cello & harp, Op. 80: I. Assez Lent
  3. 2 Pieces for Trio of flute, cello & harp, Op. 80: II. Allegretto Moderato - Tres Modere - Vif
  4. Sonata for flute & piano, Op. 77: I. Prelude: Modéré
  5. Sonata for flute & piano, Op. 77: II. Très animé
  6. Sonata for flute & piano, Op. 77: III. Modéré
  7. Sonata for flute & piano, Op. 77: IV. Gigue: Allegro
  8. Elégie for 4 flutes, Op. 114 No. 3: Assez lent
  9. 2 Paraphrases on Walloon Noels, for 3 flute & an alto flute, Op. 114 : 1. "Houte On pau...": Allegro amabile
  10. 2 Paraphrases on Walloon Noels, for 3 flute & an alto flute, Op. 114 : 2. "Qui vout direc coula, fré mati?": Allegro tranquillo - Allegro - Gai

Marc Grauwels, flute
Sophie Hallynck, harp (1-3)
Marie Hallynck, cello (2, 3)
Dalia Ouziel, piano (4-7)
Quatuor de Flûtes du Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles (9, 10)
(Marc Grauwels, Baudouin Giaux, Gérard Noach & Jean-Michel Tanguy)

Date: 2002
Label: Naxos
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.557111

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Joseph Haydn - Symphonies Nos. 88-92; Sinfonia Concertante (Ádám Fischer)


Composer: Joseph Haydn

CD1:
  • (01-04) Symphony No. 88 in G major "Letter V", Hob. I/88
  • (05-08) Symphony No. 89 in F major "Letter W", Hob. I/89
  • (09-12) Symphony No. 90 in C major "Letter R", Hob. I/90
CD2:
  • (01-04) Symphony No. 91 in E-flat major "Letter T", Hob. I/91
  • (05-08) Symphony No. 92 in G major "Letter Q"/"Oxford", Hob. I/92
  • (09-11) Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat major, Hob. I/105

Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra
Ádám Fischer, conductor

Date: 1988-1991
Label: Nimbus

More info & reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/Haydn-Symphonies-88-92-Box-Set/dp/B0000037FN

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Johann Sebastian Bach - Organ Works (Peter Hurford)


Information

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach

CD1:
  1. Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565
  2. "Herzlich tut mich verlangen", BWV 727
  3. "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme", BWV 645 ("Sleepers, awake")
  4. Prelude (Fantasy) and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542 - "Great"
  5. "Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier", BWV 730
  6. Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582
  7. Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, BWV 552
  8. "Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland", BWV 659
  9. Prelude (Fantasy) and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537
CD2:
  1. Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564
  2. "In dulci jubilo", BWV 729
  3. Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543
  4. Fantasia in G major, BWV 572
  5. Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532
  6. "Nun freut euch, liebe Christen g'mein", BWV 734
  7. "Wo soll ich fliehen hin", BWV 694
  8. Fantasia in C minor, BWV 562
  9. Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538 - "Dorian"

Peter Hurford, organ
Date: 1977-1980
Label: Decca
http://www.deccaclassics.com/us/cat/4434852

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Johannes Brahms - Serenades (István Kertész)


Information

Composer: Johannes Brahms
  1. Serenade No. 1 in D major, Op. 11: 1. Allegro molto
  2. Serenade No. 1 in D major, Op. 11: 2. Scherzo (Allegro non troppo) - Trio (Poco più moto)
  3. Serenade No. 1 in D major, Op. 11: 3. Adagio non troppo
  4. Serenade No. 1 in D major, Op. 11: 4. Menuetto I-II
  5. Serenade No. 1 in D major, Op. 11: 5. Scherzo (Allegro)
  6. Serenade No. 1 in D major, Op. 11: 6. Rondo (Allegro)
  7. Serenade No. 2 in A major, Op. 16: 1. Allegro moderato
  8. Serenade No. 2 in A major, Op. 16: 2. Scherzo (Vivace)
  9. Serenade No. 2 in A major, Op. 16: 3. Adagio non troppo
  10. Serenade No. 2 in A major, Op. 16: 4. Quasi menuetto - Trio
  11. Serenade No. 2 in A major, Op. 16: 5. Rondo (Allegro)

London Symphony Orchestra
István Kertész, conductor
Date: 1967
Label: Decca
Out of print, still available as 2nd disc of this collection:
http://www.deccaclassics.com/us/cat/4786420

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