Fritz Reiner Conducts Richard Strauss - The Complete Rca And Columbia Recordings Box set, Limited Edition
|Price:||£23.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Delivery Details|
|Listen Now with Amazon Music|
Fritz Reiner Conducts Richard Strauss - The Complete RCA and Columbia Recordings
|Amazon Music Unlimited|
|New from||Used from|
AutoRip is available only for eligible CDs and vinyl sold by Amazon EU Sarl (but does not apply to gift orders or PrimeNow orders). See Terms and Conditions for full details, including costs which may apply for the MP3 version in case of order returns or cancellations.
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Fritz Reiner conducts Richard Strauss
The Complete RCA and Columbia Recordings
In the history of recording there have been a handful of inseparable associations of an artist with a composer: Rubinstein and Chopin, Gould and Bach, Bernstein and Mahler come immediately to mind. Another such fabled fusion was Fritz Reiner and the music of Richard Strauss. The very first recordings Reiner made at the helm of the Chicago Symphony in March 1954 were Strauss’s ‘Ein Heldenleben’ and ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’. Among the earliest of RCA’s commercial stereo recordings, these interpretations are still benchmarks.
Now for the first time, Sony Classical is releasing all of Fritz Reiner’s studio Strauss recordings in a single box. Not only the legendary Living Stereo albums he made for RCA in Chicago, but also the far less-readily available earlier mono versions he made for American Columbia with the Pittsburgh Symphony, another ensemble he elevated to the top rank of international orchestras.
Listeners will now have the luxury of comparing Reiner’s multiple recordings of Strauss’s Spanish symphonic noblemen: this boxset includes two ‘Don Quixotes’ – as impersonated by eminent cellists Gregor Piatigorsky (Pittsburgh, 1941) and Antonio Janigro (Chicago, 1959) – and no fewer than three ‘Don Juans’ (Pittsburgh, 1941; Chicago, 1954 and 1961).
Along with all the other best-known Strauss tone poems, from ‘Till Eulenspiegel’ to the ‘Symphonia domestica’ and ‘Death and Transfiguration’, the new box also contains highlights from two great operas, featuring spine-chilling contributions by the unforgettable sopranos Ljuba Welitsch – as Salome (Metropolitan Opera, 1949) – and Inge Borkh – as both Salome and Elektra (Chicago, 1955–56).
Sony Classical’s new limited edition of Fritz Reiner’s authoritative Strauss – packaged, as always, with original covers, labels and full discographical notes – deserves pride of place in any classical collection.
Top customer reviews
It is great that the Vienna Philharmonic recordings are also here along with the mono recordings.
I remember collecting the Victrola recordings of most of these performances on record, not realising that they were the first time the recordings were appearing in stereo, and at bargain price!
The only problem is the fault in the Symphonia Domestica at around 6 minutes into band 4.
This was the point on the record where the side changed. What today's mastering engineers either do not know or did not bother to find out is that the music here should be continuous. Indeed the first issue as a CD and as a living stereo CD the transfer was correctly made so the music continued seamlessly.
The new transfer for SACD was then made and the break between sides was back! This is a step too far in emulating the LP .
The same fault then continued in the Reiner box set and the edition herewith.
Let's not only make an error, but compound it by repeating it ad nauseum!
Fritz Reiner and George Szell were just beginning their careers when they encountered the World's Foremost Authority on the music of Richard Strauss.
26 Year-old Reiner joined the Dresden Court Opera in 1914.
The following year, 18 Year-old Szell was hired by the Berlin Court Opera.
Their connection with Strauss was not as close as Mahler's with Walter and Klemperer, but both conductors were part of Strauss's inner circle.
This was largely a matter of circumstance:
World War I was raging; travel in Germany was restricted.
To be blunt, they were stuck with each other's company for the duration.
- Strauss and Reiner collaborated in preparing the first performance of "Die Frau Ohne Schatten".
The composer conducted the premiere in Vienna, Reiner the second performance in Dresden (both 1919).
[hint: for ease of navigation, read the review though to the end, then come back and click on the links.]
Reiner left Dresden in 1922 to become Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony.
Ten years later, after Hitler came to power, Szell left Germany, eventually settling in Cleveland. *
Both remained loyal to Richard Strauss in the New World.
In the composer's life, they were replaced by Clemens Krauss and Karl Bohm, more established conductors who attached themselves to the Old Man's orbit: Krauss conducts Strauss - and - Richard Strauss: Tone Poems
This box: Fritz Reiner was Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1938-1948, and of the Chicago Symphony, 1953-1963.
In between he was based in New York, primarily at the Metropolitan Opera.
The first three CDs in this box are mono recordings, 1941-1951:
- Pittsburgh Symphony: Don Juan, Don Quixote (w/ Gregor Piatigorsky), Ein Heldenleben, Bourgeois Gentilhomme Suite (1941-1947)
- Metropolitan Opera Orchestra: Final Scene from Salome (w/ Ljuba Welitsch, 1948)
- RCA Symphony (New York): Till Eulenspiegel, Tod und Verklarung (1950), and excerpts from Der Rosenkavalier (w/ Rise Stevens and Erna Berger, 1951)
Note: the 1946 Pittsburgh Bourgeois Gentilhomme is Reiner's only recording of the complete nine movement suite. For the 1956 Chicago remake, two movements were omitted. Presumably this was done so it would fit it on one side of an LP.
This is the first authorised release of the mono recordings. Newly re-mastered for this box.
Andreas K. Meyer did a pretty good job; the Pittsburgh 78s in particular were never state-of-the art.
The remaining eight CDs are stereo recordings, 1954-1962; seven with the Chicago Symphony, one with the Vienna Philharmonic.
The Chicago Symphony CDs pose a bit of a problem.
Not that there is anything wrong with them.
But this is Sony's third box with the title: "Fritz Reiner Conducts Richard Strauss".
Earlier boxes were less complete than the new one, and were limited to Chicago recordings.
All of Reiner's Chicago recordings were included in last year's Fritz Reiner: Complete RCA Collection , a 63 CD box.
Expensive, but worth it.
Fortunately, the price of this new box has been set artificially low, so I have no problem justifying the partial duplication.
Reiner's performances are lean and athletic, a lot like Richard Strauss's own: Strauss Plays Strauss
None of the schmaltz and angst that you get from a conductor like Karajan.
Richard Strauss' 1929 recording of Don Juan times in at 15:36
Reiner's three recordings: 15:47 in 1941 , 16:00 in 1954 , 16:24 in 1960
_Compared with Karajan: 17:11 in 1959 , 18:03 in 1973 , 18:13 in 1983.
I confess to a fondness for for Karajan's inflated Also Sprach Zarathustra - the 1973 Berlin Philharmonic recording, not the 1984 digital remake.
Karajan also recorded a great Alpine Symphony (not in Reiner's repertoire) in 1980.
Both Karajan recordings are in the new Blu-Ray Audio box from DG: Karajan / Strauss Deluxe Box (DG box set)
But I'll stick with Reiner for everything else.
Presentation: Everything comes in an attractive cardboard box with a nice booklet.
Modified original jacket format with original program notes.
Some LPs have new couplings to save space, so you lose program notes.
Also LPs that came packaged as boxed sets have no program notes (Elektra, Salome, Bourgeoise gentilhomme, Don Quixote).
Biggest disappointment: No texts or translations for the vocal works, but I've come to take that for granted. Sigh.
SOUND: Hard to believe, but RCA's "Living Stereo" is celebrating its 60th birthday this year.
These 1954-1962 recordings are the best the Chicago Symphony has ever sounded.
Orchestra Hall deserves a lot of the credit.
A better recording studio than concert hall - the room actually sounded better empty.
After Reiner's retirement, the hall was remodeled with disastrous results.
Decca tried a number of different recording venues for Georg Solti, but none could match what RCA engineers achieved in old Orchestra Hall.
All the Chicago Symphony stereo remasterings are carried over from last year's 63 CD Reiner box.
This is good news.
Ten of the thirteen entries are 2004 "Living Stereo" CD remasterings (24-bit)
- the Burleske with Byron Janis is a 1997 "Living Stereo" remastering (20-bit).
- the 1962 Also Sprach Zarathustra is a 2002 Japanese XRCD remastering (24-bit).
- the 1954 Don Juan was newly remastered in 2013 (24-bit).
Note: the 2004 "Living Stereo" CD remasterings were also issued as state-of-the art SACDs.
You will need an SACD player and at least 3 speakers to appreciate their ultimate sound potential.
The SACDs are still in print at reasonable prices:
Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra; Ein Heldenleben ,Symphonia Domestica/Le Bourgeois (Reiner, Cso) ,Strauss: Scenes From Elektra And Salome ,Vienna ,Don Quixote, Don Juan (Reiner)
The CDs in this new box are 24-bit CDs, not SACDs, which means that the sound will not be as good as SACD, though this is the best these recordings have sounded on CD.
Never transfered to SACD: 1954 Don Juan**, 1962 Also Sprach Zarathustra, Burleske with Byron Janis, and the Vienna Philharmonic Tod und Verklarung and Till Eulenspiegel.
The 1956 Tod & Verklarung and Till Eulenspiegel with the Vienna Philharmonic were a joint project with Decca.
RCA released them on LP, and after 25 years, the rights reverted to Decca, just in time for CD (Sony licensed them from Decca/Universal).
These were producer John Culshaw's first stereo recordings in Vienna, a dry run for Wagner operas to come
(RCA did better in Chicago, at least in 1956).
The same 24-bit remasterings that Decca issued in 2000.
* George Szell, in a 1968 interview, revealed that Richard Strauss once was late for a recording session with the Berlin State Opera Orchestra, c.1920.
Rather than wait, Strauss telephoned Szell and told him to go ahead and start the recording session without him.
Strauss's first recording of Don Juan was conducted mostly by Szell (uncredited) and partly by Strauss.
Szell recorded much of the same repertoire in Cleveland that Reiner did in Chicago, minus Also Sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben, Bourgeois Gentilhomme, and Burleske.
Plus the First Horn Concerto, and, in London, the Four Last Songs with Schwarzkopf (EMI).
- Also recommended by the World's Foremost Authority on the Music of Richard Strauss.
Available as single CDs. On the Amazon search bar, enter
Music: Strauss Szell
** There is a typo in the booklet with the the SACD Don Quixote/Don Juan: The 1960 Don Juan (16:24) was used, not the 1954 Don Juan (16:00) as claimed.
A fan like me finds his tempi and interpretations interesting if not always quite fully satisfying but always commanding attention.
I would not wish this to be the only Strauss in my collection and indeed it is not but it deserves a place,my only regret is the absence of some opera.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Look for similar items by category