Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lustrous 4CD selection of recordings by Libor Pesek, 4 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Gold Collection - Debussy; Suk; Ravel; Scriabin; Bruckner (Audio CD)
Having previously bought the Sawallisch box from Supraphon I sort of assumed these would be live concert recordings as well, but in fact they're studio sessions and very warmly recorded and ambient DDD as well. One newbie is the Bruckner 7, a gratifying addition to the Czech Phil's slender Bruckner discography; for the most part we are in heady romantic territory in this bargain Pesek sampler.

The music of Josef Suk dominates and it's hardly surprising. For most people, Pesek on CD is the guy who recorded a Suk series for Virgin. I won't be separated from his wonderfully sombre Asrael Symphony with the RLPO. Supraphon offer two rarities, Under the Apple Tree and also extracts from Fairy Tale; the former put me in mind of the theatre music of Grieg and Sibelius, warmed up of course by the Czech accent; Fairy Tale is dreamy, glossy romantic fare. Suk's Serenade is plenty charming and this as fine a recording as you could wish for. A Summer's Tale, Op.29, which lasts about as long as an Elgar symphony, containing five movements with somewhat enigmatic titles, was re-recorded in Liverpool to better effect but Pesek still falls short of Mackerras' confidence and sultry sensuality (Decca) and the piece itself approximates Suk's mightier utterances, Asrael and Ripening; nonetheless, well worth exploring.

I was really looking forward to this CPO Bruckner 7th. It takes a proper fool or madman to mess up Bruckner's most beautiful work and I'm pleased to say this is a sunny, even cidery account lasting 60mins, despoiled only by a clunky ending and a couple of slack episodes. Intriguingly, a period of two weeks is listed for the recording sessions in January 1986, the next longest being one week for A Summer's Tale.

Overall this is a cheap and very cheerful box-set full of colourful music intelligently handled and skilfully performed. One could easily live contentedly with these versions as library choices.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Nov 2014 20:06:15 GMT
I was somewhat surprised at your all embracing statement that :- "It takes a proper fool or madman to mess up Bruckner's most beautiful work". With genuine respect, (given your obvious deep knowledge and love of music), surely you cannot mean to so outrightly dismiss his 3rd, 4th, 8th and 9th ? That apart, I venture to add that IMHO, there are a mere handful of conductors who REALLY understand and bring out the best in dear old Anton B. I hasten to add that I am in no way imputing that the rest are 'fools and madmen' - although there are certainly a few of the former in the conducting fraternity! By a strange coincidence, I have the very good fortune that in 2 weeks time I will be in the Warsaw Filharmonia to witness one of the truly great Bruckner interpreters, (Maestro Skrowaczewski), conduct the very symphony which is at issue here.
Post scriptum:-
Apart from the above, am even more surprised you make no mention of the truly EXTRA-ordinary performance by Michaela Fukacova of the Elgar Cello Conc.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Dec 2014 23:27:33 GMT
Philoctetes says:
Greetings Christopher Anthony John. All three of you.

I can't say I really understand your comment on my review. I haven't dismissed anything. How did you get there? I also didn't call anyone a fool or a madman. The point was that Bruckner 7 isn't a symphony notorious for wrong-footing conductors (unlike several others).

I probably did say something pleasant about the Elgar but edited it out later - I often come back to reviews and reconsider them. Actually I haven't referred to many things in the box. That's where you came in, right?

Cheerio

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2014 06:46:42 GMT
You are obviously VERY touchy, brooking no objective comments on your reviews, so lets leave it at that except to say that since you claim:- "I can't say I really understand your comment on my review", it might help if you re-read your review and give my comments more than a glance. Keep up the good work.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2014 18:04:01 GMT
Philoctetes says:
Gentlemen, I'm sure you are right and that I am a bit touchy, but alas, not on this occasion. I read your comment thoroughly and I would recommend that you re-evaluate your use of 'all embracing' and 'outrightly dismiss', for there is no embracing or dismissing in my review. You have totally misunderstood my writing. But no matter, for we are basically in agreement about this box-set. Merry Christmas!

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2014 18:54:45 GMT
FROM C.A.J. aka Christopher A. JOHN and / or Christopher Anthony JOHN
I was somewhat surprised at your all embracing statement that :- "It takes a proper fool or madman to mess up Bruckner's most beautiful work". With genuine respect, (given your obvious deep knowledge and love of music), surely you cannot mean to so outrightly dismiss his 3rd, 4th, 8th and 9th ? That apart, I venture to add that IMHO, there are a mere handful of conductors who REALLY understand and bring out the best in dear old Anton B. I hasten to add that I am in no way imputing that the rest are 'fools and madmen' - although there are certainly a few of the former in the conducting fraternity! By a strange coincidence, I have the very good fortune that in 2 weeks time I will be in the Warsaw Filharmonia to witness one of the truly great Bruckner interpreters, (Maestro Skrowaczewski), conduct the very symphony which is at issue here.
Post scriptum:-
Apart from the above, am even more surprised you make no mention of the truly EXTRA-ordinary performance by Michaela Fukacova of the Elgar Cello Conc.
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