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.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Arnold Schoenberg - Gurrelieder (Seiji Ozawa)


Information

Composer: Arnold Schoenberg

CD1:
  1. Gurre-Lieder - Part I: 1. Orchestral Prelude
  2. Gurre-Lieder - Part I: 2. Waldemar: Nun dämpft die Dämmerung
  3. Gurre-Lieder - Part I: 3. Tove: O, wenn des Mondes Strahlen
  4. Gurre-Lieder - Part I: 4. Waldemar: Ross! Mein Ross!
  5. Gurre-Lieder - Part I: 5. Tove: Sterne jubeln
  6. Gurre-Lieder - Part I: 6. Waldemar: So tanzen die Engel
  7. Gurre-Lieder - Part I: 7. Tove: Nun sag ich dir zum ersten Mal
  8. Gurre-Lieder - Part I: 8. Waldemar: Es ist Mitternachtszeit
  9. Gurre-Lieder - Part I: 9. Tove: Du sendest mir einen Liebesblick
  10. Gurre-Lieder - Part I: 10. Waldemar: Du wunderliche Tove!
  11. Gurre-Lieder - Part I: 11. Voice of the Wood-dove: Doves of Gurre
CD2:
  1. Gurre-Lieder - Part II: 12. Waldemar: Herrgott, weisst du, was du tatest
  2. Gurre-Lieder - Part III: 13. Waldemar: Erwacht, König Waldemars Mannen wert!
  3. Gurre-Lieder - Part III: 14. Peasant: Deckel des Sarges Klappert
  4. Gurre-Lieder - Part III: 15. Waldemar's Men: Gegrüsst, o König
  5. Gurre-Lieder - Part III: 16. Waldemar: Mit Toves Stimme flüstert der Wald
  6. Gurre-Lieder - Part III: 17. Klaus the Jester: Ein seltsamer Vogel
  7. Gurre-Lieder - Part III: 18. Waldemar: Du strenger Richter
  8. Gurre-Lieder - Part III: 19. Waldemar's Men: Der Hahn erhebt den Kopf
  9. Gurre-Lieder - Part III: 20. Orchestral Prelude
  10. Gurre-Lieder - Part III: 21. Speaker: Herr Gänsefuss, Frau Gänsekraut
  11. Gurre-Lieder - Part III: 22. Mixed Chorus: Seht die Sonne

Jessye Norman, soprano
Tatiana Troyanos, mezzo-soprano
James McCracken, tenor
Kim Scown, tenor
David Arnold, baritone
Werner Klemperer, narrator
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Seiji Ozawa, conductor

Date: 1979
Label: Philips


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Review

ARTISTIC QUALITY: 9 / SOUND QUALITY: 8

This recording of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder was made at Boston’s Symphony Hall in April, 1979. A distinguished cast of soloists headed by James McCracken (Waldemar), Jessye Norman (Tove), and Tatiana Troyanos (Wood Dove) joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus under Seiji Ozawa. Philips’ original LP issue sounded good but inevitably suffered near melt-down at Schoenberg’s gigantic climaxes. This drawback has been largely overcome in these newly-remastered CDs. Only at very high playback levels are you likely to find the brass too strident or the chorus sopranos edgy, although the sound is still generally top-heavy. However, it’s more likely you’ll get a call from your neighbours before reaching that point, and this transfer conveys not just the gigantism of the score but also the ambience of the recording location with palpable realism.

Ozawa’s account sometimes can be a little short on imagination, though. Compare the orchestral prelude to Waldemar’s first song, or the impressionistic strands of orchestration in the song of the wood-dove (Troyanos sings it beautifully!) to the Decca recording by Chailly and you’ll hear a wealth of inner detailing that Ozawa often paints over too hastily. Chailly is somewhat better at layering Schoenberg’s terraced orchestration so everything is audible, but Ozawa’s Wild Hunt at the beginning of Part 3 is especially well managed. The orchestra rips into the horrific passage following Waldemar’s “today the dead ride abroad” outburst with awesome power. There’s a heady feeling of catharsis, too, about Ozawa’s final chorus. Gurrelieder rarely fails here, but the trumpets blaze magnificently as the chorus intones “behold the sun”, clinching a performance that’s seldom as thoughtfully managed as Chailly’s, but that’s often more exciting at crucial moments.


More reviews:

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Arnold Schoenberg (13 September 1874 – 13 July 1951) was an Austrian composer, leader of the Second Viennese School. Schoenberg was known early in his career for simultaneously extending the traditionally opposed German Romantic styles of Brahms and Wagner. Later, his name would come to personify innovations in atonality that would become the most polemical feature of 20th-century art music. In the 1920s, Schoenberg developed the twelve-tone technique, an influential compositional method of manipulating an ordered series of all twelve notes in the chromatic scale.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schoenberg

***

Seiji Ozawa (born September 1, 1935) is a Japanese conductor, best known for his 29 years tenure as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1979-2002). He was also the principal conductor of the Vienna State Opera from 2002 to 2010. Ozawa has been an advocate of 20th-century classical music, giving the premieres of a number of works including György Ligeti's San Francisco Polyphony in 1975 and Olivier Messiaen's opera Saint François d'Assise in 1983.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seiji_Ozawa

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Anton Webern; Alban Berg; Arnold Schoenberg - Orchestral Works (Herbert von Karajan)


Information

Composer: Anton Webern; Alban Berg; Arnold Schoenberg
  1. Webern - Passacaglia for orchestra, Op. 1
  2. Berg - Lyric Suite for orchestra: 1. Andante amoroso
  3. Berg - Lyric Suite for orchestra: 2. Allegro misterioso
  4. Berg - Lyric Suite for orchestra: 3. Adagio appassionato
  5. Berg - 3 Pieces for orchestra, Op. 6: 1. Praeludium
  6. Berg - 3 Pieces for orchestra, Op. 6: 2. Reigen
  7. Berg - 3 Pieces for orchestra, Op. 6: 3. Marsch
  8. Schoenberg - Variations for orchestra, Op. 31: Introduktion. Mäßig, ruhig
  9. Schoenberg - Variations for orchestra, Op. 31: Thema. Molto moderato
  10. Schoenberg - Variations for orchestra, Op. 31: Variation I. Moderato
  11. Schoenberg - Variations for orchestra, Op. 31: Variation II. Langsam
  12. Schoenberg - Variations for orchestra, Op. 31: Variation III. Mäßig
  13. Schoenberg - Variations for orchestra, Op. 31: Variation IV. Walzertempo
  14. Schoenberg - Variations for orchestra, Op. 31: Variation V. Bewegt
  15. Schoenberg - Variations for orchestra, Op. 31: Variation VI. Andante
  16. Schoenberg - Variations for orchestra, Op. 31: Variation VII. Langsam
  17. Schoenberg - Variations for orchestra, Op. 31: Variation VIII. Sehr rasch
  18. Schoenberg - Variations for orchestra, Op. 31: Variation IX. L'istesso tempo; aber etwas langsamer
  19. Schoenberg - Variations for orchestra, Op. 31: Finale. Mäßig schnell

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan, conductor
Dates: 1972 (5-7), 1973 (2-4), 1974 (1, 8-19)
Label: Deutsche Grammophone
http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/cat/4577602

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Reviews

ARTISTIC QUALITY: 10 / SOUND QUALITY: 8

These performances, from a 1970’s 4-LP set of Second Viennese School composers, are some of Herbert von Karajan’s finest. Here we find the conductor’s particular idiosyncrasies (extreme dynamic contrasts, emphasis on sonority over movement) perfectly suited to the music (as opposed to works in which he hasn’t a clue, i.e., Schumann symphonies). As some of these works near the century mark, there are still many who find them difficult and impenetrable. Karajan sheds light by bringing all the varied motifs to the surface while maintaining a coherent balance. This is especially so in the Schoenberg Variations, a piece that can sound drearily academic. But here we are consistently compelled to keep listening for the next ingenious orchestral effect. What’s more, Karajan finds real feeling in this music, a quality that is conspicuously absent from Pierre Boulez’s Erato recording, however brilliantly played by the Chicago Symphony.

The Berg Three Pieces for Orchestra is played with a ferocity not found in most interpretations, even James Levine’s excellent Metropolitan Opera Orchestra performance on Sony Classical. The final brass flourish is amazingly detailed. The chilling sound of the Berlin strings in the three Lyric Suite pieces is reminiscent of Bernard Herrmann’s music for the film Psycho. In Webern’s Passacaglia the orchestral timbres are brightly lit and fully fleshed out–from the hushed solo flute in the beginning to the snarling brass at the climax. The original set also included the best-ever performance of Webern’s Six Pieces for Orchestra. So far Deutsche Grammophon has not seen fit to include it in its “Originals” series. Has it been consigned to oblivion? Let’s hope not. The sound, significantly more transparent than on the previous remastering, is not hi-fi in the modern sense, but perfectly suits the character of the performances and makes a terrific impact. Even if you are not new to this music, and especially if you are, this is a must-have.

-- Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday

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ARTISTIC QUALITY: 10 / SOUND QUALITY: 8

Remember Herbert von Karajan? Perhaps it was inevitable that after his death his reputation would fall into something of an eclipse, but given the size of his discography the classical music world’s shortness of memory is rather breathtaking. Make no mistake: he was a great conductor, though not necessarily in the repertoire he recorded most frequently. But thanks to Arkivmusic.com’s “on demand” program, some of his best titles remain available to a new generation of collectors. Here is one.

Karajan reportedly felt so strongly about his recordings of the Second Viennese School that he agreed to finance them himself when DG balked at picking up the tab. These are great performances, to be sure. Indeed, there may be some others that are comparable, but none are superior. The Berg pieces never have sounded so decadently beautiful, nor the Webern so passionately intense, or the Schoenberg so, well, just plain listenable. The Berlin Philharmonic strings make their usual luscious sounds, but here the winds, brass, and even percussion rise to the occasion as well. And sonically these were always some of Karajan’s best efforts. Essential, then, and a perfect way to get to know these three composers on a single disc.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

---------------------------------------------

More info & reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/Webern-Passacaglia-Schoenberg-Variations-Orchestra/dp/B000031WYL

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Arnold Schoenberg (13 September 1874 – 13 July 1951) was an Austrian composer, leader of the Second Viennese School. Schoenberg was known early in his career for simultaneously extending the traditionally opposed German Romantic styles of Brahms and Wagner. Later, his name would come to personify innovations in atonality that would become the most polemical feature of 20th-century art music. In the 1920s, Schoenberg developed the twelve-tone technique, an influential compositional method of manipulating an ordered series of all twelve notes in the chromatic scale.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schoenberg

***

Anton Webern (3 December 1883 – 15 September 1945) was an Austrian composer and conductor. Along with his mentor Arnold Schoenberg and his colleague Alban Berg, Webern comprised the core among those within and more peripheral to the circle of the Second Viennese School. Webern's compositions are concise, distilled, and select; just thirty-one of his compositions were published in his lifetime.

***

Alban Berg (February 9, 1885 – December 24, 1935) was an Austrian composer. He was a member of the Second Viennese School with Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern, and produced compositions that combined Mahlerian Romanticism with a personal adaptation of Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique. He is considered to have brought more "human values" to the twelve-tone system, his works seen as more "emotional" than Schoenberg's.

***

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.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_von_Karajan

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Arnold Schoenberg - Transfigured Night; Pelleas und Melisande (Herbert von Karajan)


Information

Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
  1. Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4: 1. Grave
  2. Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4: 2. Molto rallentando
  3. Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4: 3. Pesante - Grave
  4. Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4: 4. Adagio
  5. Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4: 5. Adagio
  6. Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5: Die Achtel ein wenig bewegt - zögernd
  7. Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5: Heftig
  8. Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5: Ciff. 9: Lebhaft
  9. Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5: Ciff. 16: Sehr rasch
  10. Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5: Ciff. 33: Ein wenig bewegt
  11. Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5: Ciff. 36: Langsam
  12. Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5: Ciff. 43: Ein wenig bewegter
  13. Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5: Ciff. 50: Sehr langsam
  14. Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5: Ciff. 55: Etwas bewegt
  15. Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5: Ciff. 59: In gehender Bewegung
  16. Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5: Ciff. 62: Breit

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan, conductor
Recording dates: 1973 (1-5), 1974 (6-16)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/cat/4577212

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Review

Reference Recording: Karajan’s Luscious Schoenberg

Herbert von Karajan. Remember him? Considering how much he recorded, he gets remarkably little mention nowadays—but at his best, as here, he was amazing. He reportedly paid for these recordings himself because he believed in the importance of preserving the masterworks of the Second Viennese School, and the effort shows. Of course, his approach to string playing was uniquely rich, sensual, and so out of fashion in these days of vibratoless “authenticity”—but Karajan new personally what the truly authentic style in this music should have been, and this is it.

His Verklärte Nacht is almost suffocatingly decadent, and phrased as a single, 30-minute long arch of melody. It’s not for those on a low calorie aural diet, that’s for sure. The “transfigured” closing pages are especially magical, but that might be said of the whole performance. Similarly, Pelleas is so lovingly phrased, so beautiful and purposeful in its progress, that the music’s intense chromaticism never degenerates into mere timbral sludge (as it so often can). Each episode is fully characterized and richly colored, and you always get the sense that something is “happening,” even if you’re not sure exactly what (then again, the characters in this story are just as clueless as we are).

Does anyone listen to this music frequently? Perhaps not, but when you do, you might as well go for broke, as Karajan does here.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday


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Arnold Schoenberg (13 September 1874 – 13 July 1951) was an Austrian composer, leader of the Second Viennese School. Schoenberg was known early in his career for simultaneously extending the traditionally opposed German Romantic styles of Brahms and Wagner. Later, his name would come to personify innovations in atonality that would become the most polemical feature of 20th-century art music. In the 1920s, Schoenberg developed the twelve-tone technique, an influential compositional method of manipulating an ordered series of all twelve notes in the chromatic scale.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schoenberg

***

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.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_von_Karajan

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Arnold Schoenberg; Franz Schubert - Transfigured Night; String Quintet (Hollywood String Quartet)


Information

Composer: Arnold Schoenberg; Franz Schubert
  1. Schoenberg - Verklärte Nacht, for string sextet, Op. 4: Sehr langsam (Stanza 1)
  2. Schoenberg - Verklärte Nacht, for string sextet, Op. 4: Etwas bewegter (Stanza 2)
  3. Schoenberg - Verklärte Nacht, for string sextet, Op. 4: Schwer betont (Stanza 3)
  4. Schoenberg - Verklärte Nacht, for string sextet, Op. 4: Sehr breit und langsam (Stanza 4)
  5. Schoenberg - Verklärte Nacht, for string sextet, Op. 4: Sehr ruhig (Stanza 5)
  6. Schubert - String (Cello) Quintet in C major, D. 956 (Op. posth. 163): 1. Allegro ma non troppo
  7. Schubert - String (Cello) Quintet in C major, D. 956 (Op. posth. 163): 2. Adagio
  8. Schubert - String (Cello) Quintet in C major, D. 956 (Op. posth. 163): 3. Scherzo (Presto) - Trio (Andante sostenuto)
  9. Schubert - String (Cello) Quintet in C major, D. 956 (Op. posth. 163): 4. Allegretto

Alvin Dinkin, viola (1-5)
Kurt Reher, cello
Hollywood String Quartet
Felix Slatkin, violin
Paul Shure, violin
Paul Robyn, viola
Eleanor Aller Slatkin, cello
Date: 1950 (1-5), 1951 (6-9)
Label: Testament


***

This is the premier recording of Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht for string sextet and the composer himself wrote the liner notes for LP release:

At the end of the Nineteenth Century the foremost representatives of the Zeitgeist (Spirit of the times) in poetry were Detlev von Liliencron, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Dehmel. But in music, after Brahms' death, many young composers followed the example of Richard Strauss by composing 'programme' music. This explains the origin of Verklärte Nacht: it is "programme" music, illustrating and giving musical expression to the poem from "Weib und Welt" by Richard Dehmel.

However, my composition was perhaps somehow different from other illustrative compositions, first by not being for orchestra, but for a chamber group; second, because it does not illustrate any action or drama, but was restricted to portray nature and to express human emotions. It seems that, due to this attitude, my composition has gained qualities which can satisfy even if one does not know what it illustrates; or, in other words, it can be appreciated as "pure" music. Thus, perhaps, it can make you forget the poem which many people today might call repulsive.

Nevertheless, much of the poem deserves appreciation because of its highly poetic presentation of the emotions aroused by the beauty of nature, and for the distinguished moral attitude in dealing with a staggeringly difficult human problem.

Promenading in a park on a clear, cold moonlight night, the wife confesses a tragedy to the man in a dramatic outburst. She had married a man whom she did not love. She was unhappy and lonely in this marriage, but forced herself to remain faithful, and finally, obeying the maternal instinct, she is now with child from the man she does not love. She even had considered herself praiseworthy for fulfilling her duty toward the demands of nature. A climactic ascension expresses her self-accusation of her great sin. In desperation she now walks beside the man with whom she has fallen in love, fearing his sentence will destroy her. But "the voice of a man speaks, a man whose generosity is as sublime as his love."

The first half of the composition ends in E flat minor of which, as a transition, only B flat remains, in order to connect with the extreme contrast in D major.

Harmonics, adorned by muted runs, express the beauty of the moonlight and introduce, above a glittering accompaniment, a secondary theme which soon changes into a duet between violin and 'cello. This section reflects the mood of a man whose love, in harmony with the splendour and radiance of nature, is capable of ignoring the tragic situation: "The child you bear must not be a burden to your soul."

Having reached a climax, this duet is connected by a transition with a new theme. Its melody, expressing the "warmth that flows from one of us into the other," the warmth of love, is followed by repetitions and elaborations of preceding themes. It leads finally to another new theme which corresponds to the man's dignified resolution: this warmth "will transfigure your child" so as to become "my own." An ascension leads to a climax, a repetition of the second part of the man's theme.

A long coda section concludes the work. Its material consists of themes of the preceding parts, all of them modified anew, so as to glorify the miracles of nature that have changed this night of tragedy into a transfigured night.

It should not be forgotten that this work, at its first performance in Vienna, was hissed and caused riots and fist fights. But it soon became very successful.

-- Arnold Schoenberg, 1950

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Review

This 1950 recording remains the finest version of Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht yet recorded, at least in the original sextet version. The composer himself contributed the notes to the original release and endorsed the interpretation, and Schoenberg was notoriously cranky and difficult to please. He insisted that the ensemble play the work for him privately before agreeing to give the recording his seal of approval.

The Hollywood String Quartet was an amazing ensemble. Composed of studio musicians, they specialized in contemporary music, and allied amazing versatility with strict classical training to achieve a stunning degree of ensemble precision and virtuosity. Perhaps that fact that the players (conductor Leonard Slatkin’s parents among them) were all studio musicians inspired them to work harder to be taken seriously. One of their sterling qualities was superb intonation, a critical factor in their success in playing highly chromatic music such as this, and one which prevents the music from turning into a murky sludge of slithery harmonies. The moment when the music achieves its “transfigured” key of D major is just spellbinding.

This performance of Schubert’s Quintet is also one of the great ones. Ideally paced (especially in the Adagio) and perfectly balanced between vigor and effortless lyricism, the interpretation is wholly idiomatic. The scherzo, for example, has the necessary rugged, rustic quality (sound clip), but it also demonstrates the players’ ability to “play hard” without sacrificing beauty of tone or ensemble balance. Recorded in 1951, a year after the Schoenberg, the sonics in both works have held up very well. Although dated, nothing comes between the listener and a visceral experience of the performances. This is unquestionably one of the great chamber music recordings. No serious collection should be without it.

One additional point: Roger Norrington likes to cite, as “evidence” for his spurious claim that string players in the early 20th century avoided vibrato, Schoenberg’s comparison of excessive vibrato to the braying of a billy goat. Aside from the fact that Schoenberg’s remarks, in context, mean something very different from what Norrington says they do, his endorsement of this performance belies any suggestion that he had an issue with vibrato. Not only do the Hollywood players employ it generously and audibly, the use of the technique actually contributes to the purity of intonation that is such a hallmark of their ensemble sound. The notion that vibrato, correctly used, adversely effects intonation is in fact false, and this disc proves it.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

More reviews:

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Arnold Schoenberg (13 September 1874 – 13 July 1951) was an Austrian composer, leader of the Second Viennese School. Schoenberg was known early in his career for simultaneously extending the traditionally opposed German Romantic styles of Brahms and Wagner. Later, his name would come to personify innovations in atonality that would become the most polemical feature of 20th-century art music. In the 1920s, Schoenberg developed the twelve-tone technique, an influential compositional method of manipulating an ordered series of all twelve notes in the chromatic scale.

***

Hollywood String Quartet was an American string quartet founded by violinist/conductor Felix Slatkin and his wife cellist Eleanor Aller in 1939 and disbanded in 1961. The Hollywood String Quartet is considered to be the first American-born and trained classical music chamber group to make an international impact, mainly through its landmark recordings. The Quartet sound has been acclaimed for its clarity of texture due in part to their excellent intonation.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Alexander Scriabin - Symphonies; Symphonic Poems (Evgeny Svetlanov)


Information
  1. Symphony No. 1 in E major, Op. 26: I. Lento
  2. Symphony No. 1 in E major, Op. 26: II. Allegro dramatico
  3. Symphony No. 1 in E major, Op. 26: III. Lento
  4. Symphony No. 1 in E major, Op. 26: IV. Vivace
  5. Symphony No. 1 in E major, Op. 26: V. Allegro
  6. Symphony No. 1 in E major, Op. 26: VI. Andante
  7. Rêverie, Op. 24

Olga Alexandrova, mezzo soprano
Andrey Salnikov, tenor
Moscow Radio Large Choir; Lyudmila Ermakova, choirmaster
Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Evgeny Svetlanov, conductor
Date: 1996
Label: Warner Classics


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Information
  1. Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 29: I. Andante
  2. Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 29: II. Allegro
  3. Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 29: III. Andante
  4. Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 29: IV. Tempestoso
  5. Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 29: V. Maestoso
  6. Le Poème de l'extase, Op. 54

Vladimir Zikov, trumpet
Ales Barta, organ
Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Evgeny Svetlanov, conductor
Date: 1996
Label: Warner Classics


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Information
  1. Symphony No. 3 in C minor "Le Divin Poème", Op. 43: Introduction. Lento
  2. Symphony No. 3 in C minor "Le Divin Poème", Op. 43: I. Luttes (Struggles). Allegro
  3. Symphony No. 3 in C minor "Le Divin Poème", Op. 43: II. Voluptés (Delights). Lento
  4. Symphony No. 3 in C minor "Le Divin Poème", Op. 43: III. Jeu divin (Divine Play). Allegro
  5. Le Poème du Feu "Prométhée", Op. 60 

Peter Izotov, piano
Ales Barta, organ
Moscow Radio Large Choir; Lyudmila Ermakova, choirmaster
Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Evgeny Svetlanov, conductor
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Alexander Scriabin (6 January 1872 [O.S. 25 December 1871] – 27 April [O.S. 14 April] 1915) was a Russian composer and pianist. Independently of Arnold Schoenberg, Scriabin developed a substantially atonal and much more dissonant musical system. He is considered by some to be the main Russian Symbolist composer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Scriabin

***

Evgeny Svetlanov (6 September 1928—3 May 2002) was a Russian conductor, composer and though less well-known, a pianist. Svetlanov was particularly noted for his interpretations of Russian works – he covered the whole range of Russian music. He was principal conductor of the USSR State Symphony Orchestra (now the Russian State Symphony Orchestra) from 1965 to 2000.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yevgeny_Svetlanov

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Alexander Glazunov - Forest; Sea; Oriental Rhapsody (Evgeny Svetlanov)


Information

Composer: Alexander Glazunov
  1. The Forest, orchestral fantasy in C sharp minor, Op. 19
  2. The Sea, orchestral fantasy in E major, Op. 28
  3. Oriental Rhapsody in G major, Op. 29

USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Evgeny Svetlanov, conductor

Date: 1990
Label: Melodiya
https://melody.su/en/catalog/classic/830/

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Alexander Glazunov - Ballet Suite; Characteristic Suite (Evgeny Svetlanov)


Information

Composer: Alexander Glazunov
  1. Scènes de ballet, Op. 52: 1. Préambule
  2. Scènes de ballet, Op. 52: 2. Marionettes
  3. Scènes de ballet, Op. 52: 3. Mazurka
  4. Scènes de ballet, Op. 52: 4. Scherzino
  5. Scènes de ballet, Op. 52: 5. Pas d'action
  6. Scènes de ballet, Op. 52: 6. Danse orientale
  7. Scènes de ballet, Op. 52: 7. Valse
  8. Scènes de ballet, Op. 52: 8. Polonaise
  9. Suite caractéristique, Op. 9: 1. Introduction et Danse rustique
  10. Suite caractéristique, Op. 9: 2. Intermezzo scherzando
  11. Suite caractéristique, Op. 9: 3. Carnaval
  12. Suite caractéristique, Op. 9: 4. Pastorale
  13. Suite caractéristique, Op. 9: 5. Danse orientale
  14. Suite caractéristique, Op. 9: 6. Élégie - 7. Cortège

USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Evgeny Svetlanov, conductor

Date: 1990
Label: Melodiya

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Alexander Glazunov - Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5 (Evgeny Svetlanov)


Information

Composer: Alexander Glazunov
  • Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, Op. 48: 1. Andante - Allegro moderato
  • Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, Op. 48: 2. Scherzo. Allegro vivace
  • Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, Op. 48: 3. Andante - Allegro
  • Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 55: 1. Moderato - Maestoso - Allegro
  • Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 55: 2. Scherzo. Moderato
  • Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 55: 3. Andante
  • Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 55: 4. Allegro - Maestoso

USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Evgeny Svetlanov, conductor

Date: 1989
Label: Melodiya


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Monday, May 2, 2016

Albert Ketèlbey - The Immortal Works (Eric Rogers)


Information

Composer: Albert Ketèlbey; Jenő Hubay; Benjamin Godard; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; Paul Sternhold; Jules Massenet; Richard Heuberger; Erich Wolfgang Korngold; Vittorio Monti
  1. In a Monastery Garden
  2. Wedgwood Blue
  3. In the Mystic Land of Egypt
  4. Bells Across the Meadows
  5. In a Chinese Temple Garden
  6. Sanctuary of the Heart
  7. 'Appy' Ampstead
  8. The Phantom Melody
  9. In a Persian Market
  10. Hubay - Scène de la csárda No. 4 "Hejre Kati" in E major (arr. Sax)
  11. Godard - Jocelyn, opera, Op. 100: Berceuse (arr. Sax)
  12. Tchaikovsky - 6 Pieces, Op. 51: 6. Valse sentimentale (arr. Sax)
  13. Sternhold - Fêtes Tzigane
  14. Massenet - Thaïs, opera, Act II: Meditation (arr. Sax)
  15. Heuberger - Der Opernball, opera, Act II: Im Chambre séparée (arr. Sax)
  16. Korngold - Much Ado About Nothing, incidental music, Op. 11: Garden Scene
  17. Tchaikovsky - 6 Romances, for voice and piano, Op. 6: 6. None but the Lonely Heart (arr. Sax)
  18. Monti - Csárdás (arr. Sax)

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus, cond. Eric Rogers (1-9)
Sidney Sax, violin; London Festival Orchestra (10-18)
Date: 1969 (1-9), 1972 (10-18)
Label: Decca
http://www.deccaclassics.com/us/cat/4447862
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Review

The original LP, with Eric Rogers and the RPO, is supplemented here by a potpourri of ‘violin favourites’ in arrangements by Sidney Sax. Sax was a fascinating character; not only was he a leading violinist/session musician in London in the 1960s he was also co-founder of the National Philharmonic Orchestra. The latter, an ad hoc group of professional musicians, features elsewhere in this box and in many fine recordings of the 1960s and 1970s. Sax conducts his arrangements under the pseudonym Josef Sakonov.

Eric Rogers, who I always associate with the Carry On films and other bits of risqué silliness, does a rather fine job with these Ketèlbey pieces. The RPO are almost Mantovani-like is their refulgence, which is not a problem in this largely mellow repertoire. Appropriately enough the choral part to In a Monastery Garden sounds like distant monks heard as if from the cloister. The gavotte Wedgwood Blue gets a most affectionate outing, and the animated In the Mystic Land of Egypt emerges with startling impact and splendour.

Ketèlbey was a terrific tunesmith and the instrumental flourishes, exotic colours and taut rhythms of these pieces are beautifully conveyed by Rogers and his band; as for the RPO chorus, they sing with tremendous feeling throughout. The recording is warm, full-bodied and without distortions, musical or otherwise. The ear-pricking tintinnabulations of Bells Across the Meadows were made for Phase 4, as were the gongs – echoes of Turandot – and the faux orientalism of In a Chinese Temple-Garden. Oh, and I do like the big-band sweep and surge that Rogers brings to these well-crafted scores.

The incipient sentimentality of Ketèlbey’s output really comes out in the rather dated Sanctuary of the Heart and The Phantom Melody, which are very different from the good humour and effervescence of 'Appy 'Ampstead. This part of the programme ends with the Polovtsian-dance-like rhythms and tramping choruses of In a Persian Market. These are all charming pieces from another, more innocent, age and Rogers gives them the open-hearted, uncomplicated performances they deserve.

Following on from those full-cream confections Sax’s playing and conducting of Hubay’s Hejre Kati comes as something of a palate cleanser. The remaining fare is mixed; Godard’s Berceuse de Jocelyn and Tchaikovsky’s Valse sentimentale are high in calories and the extra sugar in Thaïs will only appeal to those with a very sweet tooth. Korngold’s Much Ado About Nothing – which brings to mind his Violin Concerto – adds a touch of bitter to the sweetness. Balances are close, but otherwise there’s little here to offend the ear.

The Ketèlbey is winningly played, sung and recorded; even the ‘violin favourites’ are enjoyable.

-- Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International

More reviews:

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Albert Ketèlbey (9 August 1875 – 26 November 1959) was an English composer, conductor, and pianist, best known for his short pieces of light orchestral music. Ketèlbey composed more than 200 works, about 150 of them for the orchestra. In the 21st century, Ketèlbey's music is still frequently heard on radio.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Ket%C3%A8lbey

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