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Schubert;Symphony No. 6&9


Price: £29.67
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1. Symphony No. 9 In C Major (Great): 1. Andante - Allegro ma non troppo
2. Symphony No. 9 In C Major (Great): 2. Andante con moto
3. Symphony No. 9 In C Major (Great): 3. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
4. Symphony No. 9 In C Major (Great): 4. Finale: Allegro vivace
5. Symphony No. 6 In C Major (Little): 1. Adagio - Allegro
6. Symphony No. 6 In C Major (Little): 2. Andante
7. Symphony No. 6 In C Major (Little): 3. Scherzo: Presto
8. Symphony No. 6 In C Major (Little): 4. Allegro moderato

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Get Mercury Living Presence Before Its Dead 16 Oct. 2003
By Michael Brad Richman - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
When I first started collecting classical CDs, I only had a few Mercury Living Presence (MLP) titles. In my quest to get the absolute best, or at least a definitive recording, of the major works of the standard repertoire, MLP discs rarely topped the critics' lists. In fact, only three MLP recordings have been earmarked as "Essential Recordings" by amazon -- Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, Byron Janis performing Rachmaninov's 2nd & 3rd Piano Concertos, and Yehudi Menuhin performing Bartok's 2nd Violin Concerto, all three with Antal Dorati as conductor. It is also safe to say that three other titles are equally essential for their historical value alone. They are Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake by Dorati (the first recording of the complete ballet), Janis performing Liszt's Piano Concertos (the first recordings made in the Soviet Union by American technicians, musical staff and equipment), and Kubelik's Chicago Symphony performance of Pictures at an Exhibition (one of, if not the single best mono recording ever, and the one that led the New York Times critic to coin the phrase "Living Presence," from which the label named its series). But how does a CD line go from having a half-dozen must have recordings, to being this reviewer's all-time favorite classical label?
The answer: consistently magical performances, captured in brilliant golden-age stereo sound, that offer a slightly different take on your typical interpretation of the great works. While MLP titles may not offer the best standard account of a work, they always surprise you and open you up to all the possibilities that the music has to offer. For example, this performance of Schubert's 9th Symphony by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (and the 6th Symphony by Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt and the London Symphony Orchestra) may not be the consensus first choice recording -- it is hard to beat the great "Great" performance by Szell at a budget-price in the Sony Essential Classics series. But I constantly come back to this disc for a different perspective, and its vibrancy and splendor never disappoint me. Maybe that is why collectors prize these recordings, because they are a breath of fresh air in a homogenized world of listening. Of course, collectors love a challenge too, and MLP CDs are becoming increasingly hard to find. It has taken years for me to finally find all of the MLP CDs released to date, and unfortunately I don't think there will be any new releases forthcoming. So collectors, and even those who aspire to be, should pick up as many Mercury Living Presence discs as possible now, before they all die.
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