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Ansermet: The First Decca Recordings Box set

1 customer review

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£19.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Product details

  • Orchestra: L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Ernest Ansermet
  • Composer: Igor Stravinsky
  • Audio CD (9 Sept. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Australian Eloquence
  • ASIN: B007FQDKK4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,100 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Fête Populaire De La Semaine Grasse
2. Chez Petrushka
3. Chez Le Maure
4. Fête Populaire De La Semaine Grasse, Vers Le Soir
5. L'adoration De La Terre
See all 7 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Introduction
2. Danse De L'oiseau De Feu
3. Khorovod
4. Danse Infernale De Tous Les Sujets De Kastchei
5. Berceuse
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Spectateurs! Vous Allez Entendre
2. Caedit Nos Pestis
3. Liberi, Vos Liberabo
4. Voici Creon
5. Respondit Deus
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Fête Populaire De La Semaine Grasse - London Philharmonic Orchestra - London Philharmonic Orchestra
2. Chez Petrushka - London Philharmonic Orchestra - London Philharmonic Orchestra
3. Chez Le Maure - London Philharmonic Orchestra - London Philharmonic Orchestra
4. Fête Populaire De La Semaine Grasse, Vers Le Soir - London Philharmonic Orchestra - London Philharmonic Orchestra
5. Introduction Et Danse De L'oiseau De Feu - London Philharmonic Orchestra - London Philharmonic Orchestra
See all 13 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Garry P. Humphreys on 2 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase
Recordings by Ernest Ansermet and the Suisse Romande Orchestra were very popular in the 1950s/60s but are largely forgotten now. He worked in this country too, particularly at Glyndebourne.

I bought this set on the strength of the inclusion of Stravinsky's 'Renard', in a recording I knew and loved at school and subsequently sought out many years later on a 10-inch LP from Harold Moore's - with a recording of 'Lieutenant Kijé' on the reverse in the slightly bizarre combination of Sir Adrian Boult and the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra!

To my mind, 'Renard' in French is an absolute knock-out, not least because it is very funny; whether it is funny in the original Russian I cannot say, but I rather doubt it. The singers are perfect, not least the tenors Michel Sénéchal and the ineffable Hugues Cuénod. The recording comes up sparkling in its new format, the cymbalom in particular. I am very happy to have this.

Many of the other recordings are variable - a matter of technology rather than performance, particularly the 1950 'Sacre du Printemps', rather a tame beast on account of the feebleness of registration of the timpani - though this allows the double basses and tuba, which often duplicate the timpani line, to be heard as never before. 'Oedipus Rex' from 1955 is the longest piece and a very good performance. The recordings date from 1946 to 1962; technically the later ones fare better.

I hope this doesn't sound like damning with faint praise, for this is well worth acquiring for performances that in their day were staples and still have much to commend them (and the booklet reproduces several of the original sleeves with wonderful artwork).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Solid Stravinsky 25 Oct. 2012
By Michael Brad Richman - Published on
Verified Purchase
My two favorite collections of the works of Stravinsky are those conducted by the composer himself and the ones conducted by Ernest Ansermet. With this 4CD release in the Australian Decca Eloquence series, collectors now have the mono recordings (available on disc for the first time together, though single titles have been available previously on other labels -- Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; Petrouchka for example) to compare to the stereo ones on Stravinsky: Ballets; Stage Works; Orchestral Works [Box Set]. (Interestingly, similar mono and stereo comparisons can be done with the composer conducting on Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky: The Mono Years and Works of Igor Stravinsky.) Most of these performances are from the late 1940s, though some are also from the early 1950s and one is from 1962 (in stereo), but that glorious Decca sound is in full effect throughout so don't fret. Since this set will most likely be a reference piece for only the most serious classical music fans, it is particularly exciting to compare the two versions of "Petrouchka" and the Firebird Suite contained within this set, recorded in 1946 and 1949/50 respectively. It will take years for me to really roll up my sleeves and contrast all of these recordings, but I am looking forward to the challenge!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Historic recordings of great interest 23 Nov. 2012
By Vinyl Bill - Published on
Verified Purchase
I have other recordings of most of the works on this CD set, including Stravinsky's own recordings made in the 1960s for Columbia. Ansermet was an acquaintance/friend of Stravinsky and conducted his works often during the time Stravinsky was making his reputation. Compared with most other conductors, Ansermet adopted slower tempos, but this often reveals fine textures that are lost with faster readings. The sound is astonishingly good for the times, mastered from 78 rpm disks in the 1940s recording and from excellent mono and stereo tapes in the 1950s-1960s recordings. The fourth CD contains the music mastered from 78 rpm disks; for these transfers, I'd give the sonics a B+ and the side joins a B-. Overall, if you love Stravinsky, you need this set, especially at the "give away" price.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Vintage Stravinsky/Ansermet 26 Mar. 2014
By BillyA - Published on
Verified Purchase
I have little to add to the other 5-star reviewers. They are spot on. The fact that most of these recordings are mono, and that the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande was not the Berlin Philharmonic or the Concertgebouw, should not be a determent. It was still a fine orchestra. Decca was always miles ahead of all the other companies in quality of sound, and these recordings sound quite good in mono. Two works are in stereo, Renard (1955) and a never-before-released 1962 Divertimento from Le Baiser de la fee (there is also included the 1951 recording). Oedipus Rex was recorded in stereo with Renard, but it has somehow disappeared. Renard is in stereo because it was issued on a stereo LP in the U.S., but Oedipus was never released in stereo anywhere. (the same fate befell Geiser's Symphony No. 1, Martin's Violin Concerto w/Schneiderhan and Mozart's Serenade No. 10, all recorded in stereo, only to have disappeared. The mono versions are available on other Eloquence releases.) The enclosed booklet is in English only, the essay taking 8+ pages; there are 7 pages of pictures of various LP covers and 2 pages of photos, one of Stravinsky and one of Ansermet. Decca provides dates and places of all the recordings, as well as the names (if known) of recording producers and audio engineers (mostly Gil Went, Roy Wallace and Kenneth Wilkinson).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Sharp as I recall 12 Dec. 2012
By Roger G. Horn - Published on
Verified Purchase
These were some of the recordings that first convinced me of Ansermet's Stravinsky as my favorite renditions and they sound as good as ever and perhaps even better than I recall. I have been very pleased by their reissues of so much Ansermet (as well as others). I have loved the sound of French orchestras, particularly the Paris Conservatory Orch, and have found the Eloquence restorations delicious. And I always thought much better of the Suiss Romande than American critics have, so these records please me a great deal and I recommend them to anyone with similar taste.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
a superb collection 29 Sept. 2013
By Col William Russell (ret) - Published on
Verified Purchase
Ansermet was a marvelous conductor who is seen (wrongly) today as "old fashioned". Tke it from me, he's anything but. He conducts music as it should be conducted unlike the nonentities we have on podiums today. If you like Stravinsky, this is an excellent collection. One CD is mono but the recording was made with such clarity and depth that it could pass for stereo. Grab it while you can. It won't be around long.
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