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Johannes Brahms Cycle (The Cleveland Orchestra/Franz Welser-Most) [Blu-ray]
Johannes Brahms Cycle (The Cleveland Orchestra/Franz Welser-Most) [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ J. Brahms
Price: £46.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The four symphonies, two piano plus the Violin Concerto and two overtures, with Welser-Most, Julia Fischer Violin and Bronfman., 14 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This would make a nice present for a loved one and cheap. In the interview with Welser-Most as a bonus on the three Blu-ray's, he is asked what he was attempting to bring out of the Orchestra where Brahms is concerned. The conductor explains that Brahms was considered the successor to Beethoven, but he was not as inventive as other composers of his time. As Brahms's approach is the traditional classical approach, you then require clarity, yet there is the Romantic side with its passion, this requires a chamber music sound as well. Asked what traits can be found in Brahms, Welser-Most replied that there is hidden passion in his music, thus it has an inner glow which you have to bring out. The 4th Symphony he feels is different to all the others, here Brahms chooses a new form for the last movement.

The conductor explains, I don't want to prove that this is the ultimate recording. During these live recordings we are capturing the moment,
nothing less or more. Brahms was about pure beauty, and so on the Bluray this is reflected in the the concert Halls we have chosen for this set. Shot in Cleveland's grand Severance Hall, one of the most beautiful halls in the World, which has a combination of styles including Art Deco, Egyptian revival, Classicism and Modernism. Also London's Royal Albert Hall during one of its BBC Promenade Concerts, influenced by the Greco-Roman arenas, that can hold over 5,500 people and the beautiful Golden Hall of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde Vienna. Where in the first example of this kind in the history of American orchestra's- the Cleveland orchestra has been " Orchestra in residence". This is probably due to the Austrian conductors strong ties to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Vienna State Opera where he was general music director up to 2014. That is why this Cleveland orchestra has such an unique manner with Brahms.

CD 1: SEVERANCE HALL,CLEVELAND, OHIO: Academic Festival Overture. Violin Concerto with Julia Fischer and Symphony No 4. Bonus: Franz Welser-Most and Julia Fischer on Brahms Violin Concerto.

CD 2: ROYAL ALBERT HALL, LONDON (THE PROMS): Symphony no 1. MUSIKVEREIN, VIENNA: Symphonies No 2 and 3.

CD 3: SEVERANCE HALL, CLEVELAND, OHIO. Variations on a Theme by Haydn. Piano Concerto no 1 & 2. Tragic overture. Bonus: Franz Welser-Most about Brahms Piano concerto's and Yelim Bonfman the pianist.

Welser-Most tempi tend to be fast, as in the 4th SYMPHONY, where he is searching for a distinctive, far from the mainstream interpretation, which he achieves, especially in the 3rd and 4th movements. VIOLINIST Julia Fischer has presence and a charisma when she walks to the podium without playing a note of the VIOLIN CONCERTO. She plays a 1742 Guadagnini violin, and she is considered "an incredible technician and soulful musician" ( BBC Magazine Awards 2006 best new comer to the CD. J.S Bach Sonata's and Partitas for solo violin BWV 1001-1006). We see this in this live Blu-ray performance. Julia Fischer considers that the Brahms Violin ranks alongside Beethoven's concerto, but that he has brought the concerto to a new level. But she finds Welser-Most easy to work with, more laid back and does not talk a lot like some conductors. She considers that the orchestra play as one soul, not as 100 individuals.

What is interesting about Julia is this, she states that "what is helpful for a career is that it is always about the music and not about the career, if so it will be a short one. One should choose to become a musician because one believes that the world needs music and without it, the emotional life of human beings is going to die. Everything else will come with dedication and work." (Wikipedia) . She is a professor at the University of music and Performing Arts in Munich as well.

BRAHMS SYMPHONIES 1, 3 & 4. The Guardian calls this symphony orchestra one of the World's unquestionably great orchestra's. But I own Bluray versions of Welser-Most's 7th and 8th Bruckner interpretations with this orchestra, and consider his Brahms interpretations probably the best of the modern versions. The First symphony, Ist Movement, is very quick, as the conductor charges into it, so is the last movement. The public in Albert Hall cheer and clap mightily. The second symphony is filled with melodies that are hard to forget and the conductor makes the most of this again with speedy tempi. The third symphony has warmth and profound emotional music, which Welser-Most gets inside of and emphasises. What you will notice that the conductors approach creates an energy which builds to a climax in the last movement. One might suspect he has learnt his fast tempi from the period instrument movement, but he makes no mention of it in the interview. He is fit, and his stick movements when he wants the orchestra to up the tempo is quick. As a conductor he is easy to follow, not like Furtwangler, who deliberately was vague in his stick work, because he had a certain aim.

PIANO CONCERTO's NO 1 and 2. Yefim Bronfman is a huge man with fat fingers, which dance over the keys, as if they were the traditional thin pianist fingers. The camera works shows his technique and hands when playing. For example, he really belts the piano at the end of the first Concerto. When he is playing he mouths the tunes silently, not like Glen Gould who sang or hummed, which I like. A fine performance with swift tempi from Welser -Most. In the 2nd Concerto, the conductor feels that you have to to get the first movement right, if it is too heavy, and the Second movement not played correctly, the last movement sounds silly.

Bronfman gets totally into the works he plays, for he is drained at the end, and at times you can see the emotion in his face. He hugs the conductor, I thought he was going to crush him. However, some pianists faces show no emotion and act as if they are going through the motions. The conductor feels that Bronfman is a natural music maker and is always ready to learn and never satisfied, which is the mark of a true artist. He listens to the orchestra like a chamber musician who listens to his fellow players, and considers him one of the great Maestro's like Richter and Gilels. Bonfman was born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union, he immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, then becoming an American citizen in 1989.

Each Bluray has a booklet with details about the music, translated into English, French and German. THE SOUND is excellent and the CAMERA's are were they should be, not all over the place. The PICTURE is clear. SOUND FORMAT: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. LPCM Stereo. SUBTITLES: Bonus-German. Languages Bonus English. Picture Format. 1080p High Definition 16.9. REGION CODE: WORLDWIDE.

VOTES: 6 out of 7. US and Brit amazon have not placed my votes on line and brit amazon refuses to do anything about it.


Milestones of the Singer of the Century
Milestones of the Singer of the Century
Offered by Music-Shop
Price: £9.55

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fischer-Dieskau had a most stunningly beautiful baritone voice, and in these remastered recordings you can hear it., 8 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fischer-Dieskau was born in 1925 and died in 1912. His voice was warm, rich and even, capable of realizing subtleties of colour and volume, also his projection of the text in any language was flawless. He was rated one of the great singers. He retired from the concert and recital stage in 1992, but remained active as a teacher, conductor and author. Fischer-Dieskau married his forth wife the soprano Julia Varady in 1977. He has three sons by first wife Cellist Irmgard Poppen, one of them, Martin is a conductor. (REVIEWS BELOW).

BOX SET:

The box is the size of a CD Sleeve, and the lid opens backwards. On the back of the box are the pictures of the covers of 16 LPs, now on 10 CDs. This set is a product of Intense media which is a company in the Membran group. The sleeve has the picture of a young Fischer-Dieskau on the front with a small picture of one or two of the original LPs, plus the CD number. On the back is a very light coffee coloured background, with the Composer and arias, or Lieder in dark brown. The name of the Album, track numbers and name of lieder and operas in white. The CD is coffee coloured as well with a big CD number in olive green, as many of the old LP covers have green at the top. In art there is a certain logic to it. No Booklet or translation. I do suggest the Book of Lieder, the original texts of over 1,000 songs. Translated by Richard Stokes. Contains details of the German composers and the poets. Published by Faber and Faber 2005.

SOUND:

Remastered ADD according to EMI means the following "analogue tape recorder used during session recording, digital tape recorder used during subsequent mixing &/or editing and during mastering (transcription)".A small problem sound wise with Schumann's Liederkreis, Not too bad, but I thought I might mention it. The rest have good sound as for the first time Intense media, have made a performance about the fact they have actually remastered the LPs and CDs, This company usually do not, even though they had.

RECORDING.

As Amazon have provided details of what is in this box, I shall merely comment on the 10 CDs which are in the order that they are in the box set. I shall place the date recorded and title of CD as well.

According to J. B Steane in his book the Grand Tradition "Fischer-Dieskau's concern has never been limited to what is on the surface. The depth of insight and the strength of personality behind it have made him not merely a singer much heard by the public, but also one who influences the course of singing and the practice of his own contemporaries, such as Wachter and Prey".

ARIAS FROM OPERAS BY VERDI:

VERDI : (1959) Il Trovatore-Il balen. Rigoletto. Pari siamo! Cortigiani, vil razza dannata. It was thought that he was too young for this part. But in 1963 he recorded the part (DGG) with Scotto, Cossotto and Bergonzi, La Scala. Milan Orchestra cond Kubelik. The Met guide to recorded opera states " Fischer- Dieskau may have too light and friendly a tone for the ideal Rigoletto, but he brings to the role imagination, intelligence, and conviction. In Pari Siamo he is splendid when imitating the Duke. What he cannot supply in power he does with phrasing and a suggestion of gruffness. His lyric scenes are fascinating for his range of colours and beautiful soft singing. This then sums up Fischer- Dieskau in opera. Verspri Siciliani. In braccio alle dovizie. Don Carlo Per me giunto e il di supremo. Un ballo in Mascera. Alla vita che t' arride. Alzati ! Eri tu. Falstaff. Eh! Paggio/ L' onore! Mondo Ladro. Berlin Philharmonic cond Alfredo Erede.

DUETTE AUS SECHS LANDERN: (1960) Soprano. Victoria de los Angeles, . Piano Gerald Moore. Violin Eduard Droic. Cello Irmgard Poppen.

This CD is worth the price of this set, it is so hauntingly beautiful with the voices of De los Angeles and Fischer-Dieskau who are in complete harmony.

PURCELL. Let us Wander. Lost is my quiet. HAYDN. Schlaf in deiner engen kammer. An extremely beautiful melody which you may recognise. BEETHOVEN Irish Lieder. Oh! Would I were but that sweet linnet. He promised me at parting. They bid me slight my Dermot dear. Welsh Lieder. The dream. (1961) SCOTTISH LIEDER AND VOLKSLIEDER VON HAYDN, BEETHOVEN AND WEBER of whom Wilhelm Muller, poet of die schone Mullerin and Winterreise, praised Weber as the 'master of German song'. But it was Beethoven's example,in An fie ferne Geliebte of 1816, where the composer was more assertive in some effective illustrative touches, and above all in the " though- composed back ground to his song cycle ( the first one of its kind) that inspired Schubert to write more then 600 songs, taking the form to new heights. Piano Karl Engel. Violin Helmut Heller. Cello Irmgard Poppen. Flute Aurele Nicolet.

MAHLER: LIEDER EINES FAHRENDEN GESELLEN.

Phalharmonia Orchestra London conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler Recorded 1952. No one quite rivals Fischer-Dieskau in these songs for his range and beauty of tone, conveying the heartache of the young traveller. His famous recording with Furtwangler was in Mono only.

SINGS LIEDER FROM RICHARD STRAUSS (1955) :

Many of the popular songs, like traum durch die Dammerung. You may think there is nothing new to be said about these first two songs, but Fischer- Dieskau shows us that there is. " In the the first song he captures the haunted quality in the twilight yearning, that is there in the music (rather than the words) of the middle section. The second Stanchen, he shows us a song that grows ( from a sprightly, elfin beginning, through the deepening sense of mystery, to a full-blooded, passionate climax" ) (J.B. Steane). Morgen. Befreit. Die Nacht. Ruhe, meine Seele. Zueignung. Piano Gerald Moore. Usually sung by a woman, who can forget Elizabeth Schwarzkopf's or Janet Baker's versions of these songs. But Fischer-Dieskau with his ability to sing the emotions softly does show us there is another way to sing Richard Strauss's songs. Another singer that also does justice to these songs is baritone Simon Keenlyside with Malcolm Martineau piano. SCHUBERT: SCHWANEGESANG: (1951) Piano Gerald Moore. The first time that Fischer-Dieskau recorded this song cycle, he went on to record it another two times. Here he is fresh of voice. BONUS: (1951-1953) Stanchen. An die Musik. Der Wanderer.

WOLF-EICHENDORFF-LIEDER. (1959). Gerald Moore Piano.

These Lieder are not as well known as the others. Wolf was most sensitively attuned to poet and text."Poetry" he once told Humperdinck, "is the true source of my music" Wolf aimed not at beauty of melody or sound but a fusion of melody and words, so much so that the song might become almost something "spoken", so completely at one with the texts that both seemed to be the work of the same man. Sometimes his songs, resemble miniature dramas.. He made the piano the equal partner of the voice. Eichendorff was a German Romantic poet. SCHUMANN: LIEDERKREIS. Op 39(1954). Gerald Moore Piano. I prefer this version to his second one, which I once owned. Here the singer captures the spirit of this piece.

BEETHOVEN: AN DIE FERNE GELIEBTE: (1951) Piano Gerald Moore.

Mainly spoken words, has two songs. BRAHMS: DIE SCHONE MAGELONE.(1957) Sung and words spoken by Fischer-Dieskau. Piano. Jorg
Demus- continued onto the next CD. BRAHMS: SEBEN LIEDER. (1955) Piano Hertha Klust.

SCHUMANN: DICHTERLIEBE.(1957) Piano Jorg Demus.

Intense and expressive, with a tragic account of Ich Grolle nicht. Demus is most sympathetic, though, in the manner of a solo artist. "There is newness and insight. We see the cycle as neurotic. it is still beautiful, tender and smiling at times; but Fischer-Dieskau lays bare the unstable alternation of moods especially in the middle section according to Steane". BRAHMS: SECHS LIEDER. HEINE POEMS. SCHUMANN. LIEDERKREIS op 24.(1958) Piano.Hertha Klust. Here Fischer-Dieskau conveys vividly the range of emotions from the anguish of the spurned lover to the delight of the traveller.

SCHUBERT: DIE SCHONE MULLERIN. (1961) Piano Gerald Moore.

Fischer-Dieskau finds drama in the poems, and Gerald Moore matches him at every point. The direct power of expression here proclaims their greatness together in every song. VIER LIEDER: (1951-1953) Piano Gerald Moore. Lachen und Weinen. Dass Sie hier gewessen! Sei mir gegrubt! Du bist die Ruh.

SCHUBERT: WINTEREISSE: (1962) Gerald Moore.

This is from the great EMI Schubert recordings. The remarkable thing about Fischer-Dieskau's re- recordings is that, while they generally preserve and develop the earlier insights, they also tend to reduce emphasis, increase the smoothness and beauty of singing, and thus absorb the individual points into the body of the music. In otherwords, Fischer-Dieskau is his best own critic.

This box set might make an excellent present for someone who likes Lieder.

REFERENCES: Penguin Classical Guide 1997, &1996. Steane J.B. The grand Tradition. 1974. Duckworth. Kemp ,L. The repertoire of L'Oiseau. 2015. Decca Music.


Sibelius:7 Symphonies [Hannu Lintu, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra ] [ARTHAUS: BLU RAY] [Blu-ray]
Sibelius:7 Symphonies [Hannu Lintu, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra ] [ARTHAUS: BLU RAY] [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Sibelius
Price: £64.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sibelius said " talking about my music is like crushing the wings of a Butterfly", 30 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The box set is unlike others you have seen containing blurays, for it is like a CD set with a white Velvet lid which covers the box, with a picture of the conductor, Hannu Lintu.and 7 symphonies, Finnish Radio symphony Orchestra. On one side sound formats, PCM Stereo, DTS HD Master Audio 5.1. Picture Format 16.9. Subtitles. English, German, Korean, Japanese, (introductions,One hour documentary, short films). Region Worldwide. Inside the box three DVD sized boxes containing Blurays Discs 453 mins. A hardcover book 87 pages mentioning that this set is to celebrate Sibelius's 150 Anniversary(1865-1957) live from the New Helsinki musical Center. Inside the book, Bluray 1-3 with Introductions about Sibelius and his music. Then symphonic themes Lintu describing with the orchestra the music, much like Thielemann in His Beethoven Bluray set. The Following essay's 'The large-scale Genres. Symphonies between Utopia and Progress. Teleology and Chronology. The Fourth is closer to me. Also in French and German. Then details of a special documentary, Sibelius, Lintu and the 7 symphonies. Sort of Sibelius- short films. A modern look at Sibelius. A 2015-2016 Catalogue- 15 years of Arthaus musik. Underneath all this a cardboard filler. certainly a box well thought out.

Symphony No 1 introduction is called " Young and reckless".10.28. Symphonic themes 20.35. Symphony No 2. Introduction "Mediterranean Light" Symphonic themes 17.40. Symphony No 3. Introduction " A prayer to God". 9.19. Symphonic Themes 15.21. Symphony No 4. " Another World" 8.33. Symphonic theme 18.32. Symphony No 5. " Mosaic pieces from Heaven" 10.32. Symphonic themes 16.41. Symphony No 6. introduction " Shadows grow longer" 7.21. Symphonic themes 17.38. Symphony No 7.Introduction " A Window into a new World". 9.25. Symphonic themes19.28. Over 10 hours with symphonies and the rest I have described.

I own the following sets of Sibelius 7 symphonies: the two by Davis and also Ashkenazy's version, plus Maazel Sibelius 4th and 7th- which I think the best available on CD. Tuxen's conducting the Sibelius 5th with the LSO has caught the last movement which is hard to achieve. Fast opening, gradually getting quicker, then bringing out that marvellous theme, which must stand out above the rest of the orchestra. So I have an idea about how I think Sibelius should sound.

Now to Lintu, he was born in 1967- Rouma-Finland. He studied at the Sibelius Academy where from 2014 , he has acted as part time Professor of conducting. Main positions are, chief conductor of the Turku Phil Orch 1998-2001. Finnish Radio Sym Orch 2013-2016. He is chief principal conductor of the RTE National Sym orch from 2011. The 1ST SYMPHONY was written in 1899 with the Finland consciousness in mind which that audience understood very well, while they where under the Russian Tsar. Lintu is able to bring out the emotion and at the end he stands still because he is still emotional from the experience, then the audience claps. 2ND SYMPHONY written 1901 begun in Italy and finished in Finland. Again it spoke to the Finns especially the last movement with its majestic music which Lintu brings out with gusto and sincere emotion. When completed he has to compose himself, only then does the audience clap. 3RD SYMPHONY : 1907.The writing of this work took Sibelius three years. Some of the music was taken from a oratorio he was working on. Here he explores his inner voice, not the nation. But the land he was born into inspired him deeply and this Lintu understands because he is a Finn himself, and this comes to the fore in his conducting of this Orchestra which has Sibelius in their bones.

4TH SYMPHONY: Sibelius knew right from the beginning of his composing career he would have a great international career. In 1908 in Berlin after hearing the new music of the time, he started to renew his music. Some of the tone poem he was composing called the mountain, ended up in the 4th symphony completed in 1911. The forth is considered different to his other three symphonies,introspective, mystical and other worldly. Here he reveals his soul to the audience. But at the time he had a fear of death after his operation on a tumour growing inside his throat. Lintu knowing this facit of his life, treats this symphony differently to other conductors. I mean he has Finland in his soul. 5TH SYMPHONY: 1915. Tuxen with the LSO is the best recording of this symphony. However, Lintu starts off quickly and comes up with the first theme, but in the last movement the orchestra's tempi quickens and the lovely melody peaks out like the sun from the clouds, which he manages to prolong. Davis and Ashkenazy do not quite manage this, which is very hard to do. For me this melody is the creative fire that was inside the man. As Wagner wrote about the direction his Ring cycle was taking with the music." I do not understand most of it, so how can I expect others to" That is why I think Sibelius is Universal, by being inspired by his homeland, he was able to speak to the world. Vaughan Williams who dedicated his own 5th Symphony to Sibelius stated that about his own music.

6TH SYMPHONY:Sibelius had writers block. He completed his symphony in 1922. This is not a symphony of extremes but of poise and serenity which Lintu relishes. When Sibelius was conducting his work in Scandinavia they saw him as part of their spirit like Nielsen, yet the Finns saw him as a great patriot. 7th SYMPHONY: This came out of a typical Sibelius process, where as he was composing one work, another arose in 1915 which ended up in the 7th Symphony completed 1924. A complex work of one movement and difficult to conduct according to Lintu. The slow parts you can get right, but it is the quick tempi that is difficult. Even Sibelius had difficulty with it at the rehearsals, but it came together at the premiere. A work of great expressive beauty, of lofty grandeur and dignity. Lintu brings this out in the music and captures that truly lovely melody. I saw a famous Finnish conductor conduct this marvellous piece, while sitting behind the orchestra and I could see him at close quarters. I have never forgot how the melody appeared out of no where and was very clear. Sometimes it is barely audible on some recordings.

Colin Davis once said of Sibelius " His voice is unmistakable. Some people still think he's a specialist in the depiction of fine spring mornings but his subject is the vastness of the natural world, mingled with a sense of uneasiness about the unknown."

You can see the glass front of the Helsinki Hall as the camera moves along the outside forecourt. Inside the orchestra is in the Center of the Audience. The camera is where it should be. So you can see the expressions of the conductor, the orchestra and various players and so forth. Lintu knows the symphonies very well and his face is not without emotion, you can see he feels the music as Reiner once stated." If you cannot feel it, you should not be a conductor". The picture is very clear and the sound is excellent after all it is DTS HD Master audio 5.1. Stereo is also available.

I needed a filmed version of the 7 Sibelius symphonies and this one is well worth owning, in fact it is becoming one of my favourite versions of his symphonies.

VOTES 8 out of 10. I have done this, because Brit Amazon has not placed my helpful votes online. I have lost the lot and they refuse to do anything.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 7, 2016 10:13 AM GMT


Concerto:A Beethoven Journey [Phil Grabsky, Leif Ove Andsnes] [SEVENTH ART: DVD]
Concerto:A Beethoven Journey [Phil Grabsky, Leif Ove Andsnes] [SEVENTH ART: DVD]
Dvd ~ Phil Grabsky
Price: £17.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gramophone states " High class and wonderful, Concerto demands to be seen!", 17 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The reviews of this DVD rave about Concerto: a Beethoven Journey. " The best Beethoven playing you will ever hear!"BBC Radio 3. A fascinating double portrait" Dagbladet. " Performances of arresting maturity". Daily Telegraph. "Effortless brilliance" New York Times. " For any lover of music, this is a must-watch film" Seventh Art. Spin you might say, but when one realizes that it is a film by Phil Grabsky of In search of Mozart and Beethoven that it is not. The Age wrote about in Search of Beethoven," that it is the best film i've seen about a composer, classical or otherwise."

This film is about Leif Ove Andsnes journey into the five piano concerto's, by playing them in 150 Cities over a period of five years, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, who are young and experienced from many countries, but not youthful. He conducts the orchestra as well as playing a Steinway. You see the live performances and hear the voice overs by Andsnes about their meaning, and he demonstrates passages from the concerto's, explaining what was going on in Beethoven's life at the time of writing them. Then a voice over reads from Beethoven's letters, giving details of his experiences in Vienna and his thoughts about his concerto's and music. So the adagio from Beethoven 2nd concerto, Andsnes explains the technique and Beethoven's views about that concerto. Then it goes to the First movement of the 1st concerto and so forth, all the while the works are being recorded live as well for CDs.

So the film is multi-layed. Andsnes discovery of the Concerto's and their meaning, intermingled with Beethoven's life and thoughts, with what was going on in Andsnes's life at the same time. For example, what inspired the pianist to undertake such a journey, was he was in a hotel in Sao Paulo, and in the lift the Beethoven 1st and 2nd Concerto was played in a lift on a loop as it were. He thought it would drive him barmy over the days. But then he realized this music is unique and he must explore it, and not only that, but what drove Beethoven to write such works.

Andsnes said that " if I did not enjoy playing for hours in front of a piano, I could not undertake this journey" About the Ist piano concerto.
"Beethoven was more famous as a pianist then a composer at this stage. here he shows us what he could do. Look at what I can do". Beethoven" I live entirely though my compositions" He has a dig at the Viennese and their fear of a revolt. " You could not raise your voice or they lock you up". Clearly Andsnes states the last movement makes the audience smile. Beethoven was not a miserable stately person, this is music of a happy individual. As a businessman Beethoven was no good, for the composer thought that a artist should take only what he needs. He did not write to become rich. He was a man who enjoyed his friends, but what cut him off from people in the end, was his deafness and that drove him inwards.

Andsnes playing is very fine and the orchestra's tempi is fast because of the influence of period instruments. But when the pianist stops touring for a while he plays the piano sonatas and duo's using a 1860 Pleyel piano. Also, at times he plays with different orchestra's like the Los Angeles Symphony. There is much more and you come away from the 92 minute DVD with a sense of having a better idea of what Beethoven's concerto's are about. The combination of Andsnes playing live and Beethoven's life as told by himself is a marvellous idea.

REGION: Worldwide. Stereo 2 and surround 5. Subtitles: Norwegian and English, although the film is in English, you do not have to change anything.The camera is where it needs to be.

VOTES: 6 out of 7. US and Brit Amazon have not placed my votes online in these changes and refuse to do anything about it.


Anna Moffo - The Complete RCA Recital Albums
Anna Moffo - The Complete RCA Recital Albums
Price: £27.35

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time magazine once described Moffo ' as one of the best lyric-coloratura sopranos in the World'., 16 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Moffo has a soprano quality which defies categorization. She has been critically assessed as a lyric, a coloratura and also as a lyrical dramatic soprano-which means the pure tonal beauty of the lyric and the sheer power of the dramatic soprano. In Italian opera, this singer is often called a lirico spinto. Spinto means to push, which implies pushing outwards of the boundaries of the lyric soprano style. Her voice is warm and rich with soft pastel colourings and a velvety lower range.

She was called "La Bellissima" because of her stunning looks. When Moffo took part in the Philadelphia Orchestra Young Artists Auditions in 1954, the conductor Eugene Ormandy summed up his impressions " It is impossible for anyone that beautiful to sing, so I closed my eyes and she won on merit". I suppose the same could be said of Franco Corelli, who had the looks of a film star. She had the added burden of being called the "New Callas", which was misleading and she attempted to counter it, although she had to fight her husband who thought she should go down that road. She did sing Musetta alongside the Mimi of Maria Callas in EMI's recording of La Boheme. I own it.

Moffo (1932-2006) was an American, born of Italian parents in Pennsylvania. She studied singing at the Curtis Institute of music in Philadelphia, with Eufemia Gregory, the sister of soprano Dusolina Giannini who recorded Verdi's Aida in 1928 with the La Scala, Milan orchestra, Conductor Sabajno, with Pertile, Toscanini's favourite tenor. (Available at Amazon). However, she was able to continue her studies because of a Fulbright scholarship, so she was able to study in Italy with Mercedes Llopart, who was coaching Renata Scotto, Fiorenza Cossotto and Alfredo Kraus. Her official debut in opera was in 1955 at Spoleto and the rest is history.

BOX SET:

This tough cardboard 12 CD box set is the size of a CD sleeve and the lid which covers the box opens to the side. On the back it mentions that Moffo did not have a traditional career and reached a greater audience via film and TV, and that this limited edition is the first ever collection of her complete recital albums for RCA from 1960-1974. The idea of this edition is to mark the 10th anniversary of her death. Five were previously unreleased on CD. The Sleeves are the originals and there are essay's on the back, but the words are hard to read, for they are too small. There are no CD numbers on the sleeves or discs. The CD labels are red.

BOOKLET:

There is a essay Anna Moffo -The curse of Beauty by Jurgen Kesting, which goes into her background and problems in her career.translated into German and French. A number of coloured and black and white photo's which shows her beauty, but I also see in the photo's a woman with a sense of humour and was a bit of a character. Looks are superficial anyway. CD numbers with a photo of the Sleeves and track numbers, with composer, arias, conductor and singers. Other information about where recorded etc. No translations into English of Arias.

SOUND:

All STEREO. On the box is a silver label which states, " 5 LP's for the first time on CD, mastered using 24/96kHz technology." Here you may get confused and think only 5 CDs have been remastered, that is not the case as I shall show. The following is from the back of the booklet. Tape transfers CD 1. Mixing and mastering; Mark Donahue. Remastering supervision John Newton. CD 6. Digitally remastered in BMG/RCA studios. New York city. CD 8. Joaquin. J. Lopes. Tape transfers, mixing and mastering CDs 2-5/7/9-12: Andreas K. Meyer Meyer Media LLC using 24 bit/ 96kHz technology. The EPs released by RCA Italiana from 1960-1965 are not part of this edition. The sound is excellent, caused by the remastering.

I own the opera recordings: Luisa Miller,Bergonzi, Verrett, MacNeil, Tozzi. RCA Italiana opera orch cond Cleva ,Rigoletto. Merrill, Alfredo Kraus, Elias. RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra Cond Solti, La Boheme. Tucker, Merrill, Tozzi. Rome Opera orchestra cond Leinsdorf, La Traviata, with Moffo, Tucker, Merrill Rome opera orchestra. Cond Previtali, so I am aware of how she sings and that she is much beloved by her many fans including me.

RECORDINGS:

As Amazon has provided a complete list of arias, so I suggest you read it. I shall simply comment where necessary and use J. Steane's views on Moffo from his book, 'The grand tradition. Seventy years of singing on record. 1900 -1970'. Hopefully this will give you an idea what Moffo sounds like in these 12 CDs.

The first LP ANNA MOFFO recorded in 1960 with Moffo was with Tullio Serafin and the Rome Opera House Orchestra. Serafin first came to the Met in 1924, Rosa Ponselle was already there but the conductor moulded her into the great artist she became. He also had a large influence upon Maria Callas as well. Appearently she had no greater friend then Serafin who was willing to go over every measure of the arias before the recording.

About her recording 'a Verdi Collaboration' (1963) conducted by Franco Ferrara with the RCA Italiana symphony Steane writes " Anna Moffo is one of those rare singers whose facility in the highest soprano register emerges naturally, but in a way surprisingly, out of a voice that one would otherwise place (on its recordings, that is) as lyric, even sometimes lyric-dramatic. She sings Aidas 'O patria mia' and 'Morro, ma prima in grazia' from Un ballo in Maschera with apparently ample resources: not so much a matter of volume as of timbre, and effective largely because she is skilful in the graduation of sound. Many louder voices give less effect of power. Hearing the Ballo aria on its own, one would not predict that this same Verdi recital would contain a performance of 'Ernani, involami' in which the already extensive range is increased to include a high E flat in the cadenza. Nor would one readily think at first that here was a Lucia, a Rosina and Anina, the usual parts for a 'Coloratura' specialist.

On the CD Great Love duets from Opera and the other CD, Selected arias from Moffo's RCA opera recordings, Steane writes that some of her best recordings are lyric roles such as Butterfly and Mimi. She sings feelingly, never leaving the impression of a light weight performance. Though her Butterfly is a young girl, not a prima donna, the love duets Bimba, Bimba, non Piangere. Ah! dolce notte, quante stelle with Cesare Valletti-tenor brings this view to us, and through the opera she rises to full tragic status with mature dignity. He adds this is a performance of a sensitive devoted artist. The Penguin Classical guide says about Moffo in this role "she proves delightful, fresh and young sounding." The Met Guide to recorded opera, states about La Boheme, 'O soave fanciulla' with Richard Tucker, that he is in prime voice and Moffo is a dark voiced but a delicate Mimi of finish. Conducted by Leinsdorf.

La Traviata conducted by Molinari- Pradelli. The Met recorded guide feels that Moffo has a rather dark but healthy sound and considerable dexterity, She sings the role with delicacy and neatness.' E' Strano' is comfortably thoughtful and 'Sempre libera' charming. Violetta was considered Moffo's signature role. Teneste La promessa where she reads germonts letter with such intensity, shows that she was a film actress as well. Lucia Di Lammermoor. Moffo and Bergonzi. RCA italiana opera Orchestra cond Pretre. The warmth of Moffo's voice makes her a pleasure to listen to. She sings with feeling and has an understanding of the text. Steane adds, when she sails up so easily above the stave, in the mad scene, it is with no sense of a soubrette's facile lightness, because when singing in the middle register, her voice has had body, and even something of a mezzo quality about it. Bergonzi portrays an ardent hero. The booklet adds that her remarkable agility would undoubtedly have found more admirers if Joan Sutherland has not raised the bar to such impossible heights.

Both Moffo and Sutherland had pushy husbands, Moffo's wanted her to sing like Callas, Bonynge wanted Sutherland to be a Coloratura Soprano in the Galli-Curci mould. Sutherland's mother had studied with a Marchesi pupil and had a superb Mezzo voice. so instead of becoming a professional singer, she became a Wife and Mother. In Sydney, Australia, Joan grew into a Mezzo. After winning two years of free lessons, she decided to become a Wagnerian Soprano, as she had a bright, steely edge to her voice. She met Bonynge who was interested in ornamentation. In London Bonynge endlessly put her through scales, runs, and trills, and by cheating her into starting her exercises at a higher pitch then she believed she was singing at, she developed her higher notes. When she first joined the Covent Garden resident company in 1952, everyone except Bonynge thought of her as a Spinto soprano-Aida or a Tosca. If you hear Sutherland's recording of Turandot, the spinto metal in her voice comes to the fore again. She was loud like Eva Turner was, especially in Turandot. Although Sutherland lasted for 30 years, one wonders what she would achieved as a Spinto. Sutherland like Moffo was an all rounder. Sutherland was a natural spinto soprano, with the ability possibly to sing Wagnerian roles, but forced to become a Coloratura. Moffo was a natural lyrical soprano who could sing Coloratura, and even spinto works, but her husband tried to get her to sing even heavier roles. In having different voices we should not compare both as some critics do. Also Moffo's first Lucia at the Met was the first that Sutherland did not sing, and was a month after her, but Moffo scored a triumph.

A portrait of Manon. CD 1 Massenet. CD 2. Puccini. Manon Lescaut. What one notices most repeatedly and gratefully is the skill with which she handles a naturally beautiful instrument. Yet it has character and strength. What Moffo sounds like in these two CD's is sparkling and eminently desirable; she also has the right manner. Di Stefano has a native ardour in the two parts. Rene Leibowitz's conducting is wonderfully vivid. Heroines from great French operas. Donizetti. La Fille du Regiment. Chacun le sait, Chacun le dit. Massenet herodiade Celui dont la parole... Thomas A vos jeux, mes amis (mad scene). Charpentier. Louise. Depius le jour. These pieces brings out the Coloratura and lyric voice at Moffo's command. Anna Moffo/ Leopold Stokowski. American symphony Orchestra. Canteloube- songs of the Auvergne. Villa- Lobos. Bachianas brasileras No 5. Rachmaninoff. Vocalise op 34 No 14. A jewel of Moffo's discography. Songs of Debussy. Poems of Baudelaire. Fetes galantes (set 1) Chansons de Bilitis. Piano Jean Casadesus. Sums up Debussy's music and Moffo's voice suits these songs.

The great moments from Die Fledermaus (In English).(Excerpts) Rosalinde -Moffo. Alfred -Sergio Franchi. Orlofsky. Rise Stevens. Eisenstein -Richard Lewis. Vienna State Opera Orchestra Cond Oscar Danon. The overture fizz's. Moffo is excellent as Rosalinde and this production has a strong cast. The dream Duet with Franchi. He was a South Afrcan Tenor. Moffo liked to sing popular and jazz tunes of the time. Romberg. Lover, Come back to me from New Moon. Kern. You are love from Showboat. Herbert. Ah! Sweet Mystery of life. Lehar. Yours is my heart alone. From the land of smiles. Coward I' ll see you again. Together they are like a hand in a glove. Moffo and Franchi are suited and they bring alive these old favourites. Orchestra arranged and conducted by Henri Rene. One night of love Rodgers. Lover. Rodgers if I loved you from Carousel. Lehar. Vilja song from the Merry widow. Rodgers. Falling in love with love. Coward. I'll see you again. from Bittersweet. Skitch Henderson conducting the RCA Victor orchestra.. Moffo liked to sing popular music of that period and felt at home in it.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

VOTES: 12 out of 13. US and Brit amazon have not places my votes online after the changes and Brit amazon refuses to do so.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 27, 2015 4:10 PM GMT


Elisabeth Schwarzkopf -The Recitals
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf -The Recitals
Price: £51.96

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Newly Remastered 31 CD box set of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Recitals to celebrate her 100th birthday., 9 Nov. 2015
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Elizabeth Schwarzkopf (1915-2006) is rated one of the great singers, born in Prussia, she eventually married the British EMI producer Walter Legge in 1953. When he died in 1979 she immediately cancelled all her future engagements.(REVIEWS BELOW)

BOX SET:

The small ultramarine blue box is made of tough cardboard and can be held in one hand. The back has the CD numbers with the composers and works to be played, the inner box containing the CDs is a cream colour and can be slid out and placed in the outside box .On its back is Schwarzkopf's signature, in line with the Warner Maria Callas Red Remastered and Perlman's box set. The CD sleeves are the original's with a big CD number on the back, composers name, and piano player, or orchestra and conductor, plus track numbers of the music to be played. The CD disk is like a LP with the label in the middle. Each label is a different colour, with the CD number, composer, name of the original album.

Warner Classics the inheritor of the EMI Classics catalogue, has decided to offer the public the entire recital recordings of this singer in a CD set, with each disc exactly mirroring the content and sequence of a particular recital as it first appeared on LP. The resulting relatively short duration of each CD is a small price to pay for the rebirth of the true concept and sentiment of an oeuvre that is without parallel in the history of recorded music.

BOOKLET:

The booklet opens with a Index, with pictures of the sleeves, CD number, composer and the music. Then a foreward. After that, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: The complete Recitals by Alan Sanders, which contains brief details of her life. Her Master's Voice by Thomas Voight in German. Ce que recital vent dire par Andre Tubeuf. There are many photo's of Schwarzkopf at different periods of her singing career with other singers and her husband Walter Legge.

SOUND:

On each CD sleeve below the track numbers is the statement "Digitally remastered in 24 BIT-96kHz". Then on the top of the outer blue box is MONO/STEREO ADD." Newly remastered." Then on the back of the box; "in newly remastered sound, the soprano's art emerges in all its exquisite refinement and detail". Also, the forward in the booklet states that "all the CD's in this box set, beginning with the original Columbia tracks and then progressing to His Master's Voice recordings, have been produced with the most fastidious restoration process, meticulously respecting the authentic balances of the indigenous tapes. These have been preserved and stored since their making with the greatest care in the archives at Hayes, United Kingdom". Giving you the reader all this information on sound makes it easier for me, for that is really what you want to know. For example, I played my 1987 digital remastered version of "Homage to Gerald Moore. and found the new remastered version far better then the old one. The opening clapping is louder and you can hear each of the voices more clearer in the Opening Mozart trio. By the way, Schwarzkopf''s complete 78 recordings is to be released by Warner Classics in 2016.

This box set should be in every opera lovers collection. But I am not influenced by the fact that I saw Schwarzkopf in a recital at Durban City hall, South Africa in the 1960's. Or that I first heard her singing on the radio when I was a boy, I never forgot her, the same with Callas. Schwarzkopf's voice is emotional, passionate, beautiful and is instantly recognised.

RECORDINGS:

SCHUBERT: MONO. 1952. SONG RECITAL. An die Musik. Im Fruhling. Wehmut. Ganymed. Das lied im Grunen. Gretchen am Spinnrade. nahe des Ge geliebten. die Junge Nonne. An Silvia. Auf dem Wasser zu singen. Nachtviolen. Der Musensohn. Piano Edwin Fischer. Here you hear a younger Schwarzkopf and one can compare her singing with her older self. She said of this recording, " when I hear it I still have my misgivings, not that I hear anything wrong, but I know what I thought at the time- I shall never be able to match the pianistic colours of that Man" ( Fischer). She was always a perfectionist as was Legge, that was why they were so well matched.

MOZART: MONO 1952. OPERATIC ARIAS. L Nozze di figaro. Deh vieni, non tardar. Don Giovanni. Vedrai, carino. Le Nozze di Figaro. Porgi, amor. Voi che sapete. Don Giovanni. Crudele? Non mi dir. L Nozze di figaro. Non so piu. Idomeneo. Zeffiretti lusinghieri. Don Giovanni. Batti, batti, obel Masetto. Le Nozzi di figaro. Dove sono. Philharmonia Orchestra/ Pritchard.

RICHARD STRAUSS: MONO 1953. Capriccio. closing scene. The part she was to make famous later on. This separate account of the Capriccio scene is even more ravishing than the one in the complete set, conducted by Sawallisch with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Madeleine Schwarzkopf. Count Eberhard Wachter. Gedda. Hans Hotter. Christa Ludwig. Anna Moffo. Recorded 1958. Four last songs. Recorded three years after the Flagstad/Furtwangler Premiere. This is her first version which is less reflective, less sensuous, than in Schwarzkopf's later version with Szell, but the more flowing speeds and the extra tautness and freshness of voice brings a equally illuminating performance. MONO 1954. ARABELLA. Ich danke, fraulein. Welko, das Bild! Mein Elmer! Sie wollen mich heiraten. Und jetzt sag ich adieu. Das war sehr gut, mandryka. Arabella Schwarzkopf. Exceptional in this role, probably the best Arabella on CD. This is how this role should be sung, and she has excellent partners. Mandryka Metternich. He is very comfortable in the part. Matteo Gedda. Zdenka Felbermayer. Walter Berry. Lamoral. Elemer. Murray Dickie. Philharmonia/ Lovro von Matacic.

A LIEDER RECITAL BY SCHWARZKOPF AND GERALD MOORE. MONO 1954. J.S. Bach. Bist du bri mir. Gluck. Einem Bach der flieBt. Mozart. Abendempfindung Der Zauberer. Beethoven. Wonne der Wehmut. Schubert. Litanei auf das fest aller seelen. Ungeduld. Schumann. der Nussbaum. Auftrage. Brahms. Deutsche Volkslieder. Da Unten im tale. Och mod'r, ich well en Ding han.! Wolf. Wiegenlied im Sommer. Richard Strauss. Hat gesagt, bleibt's nicht dabei. Schlechts Wetter. wolf mausfallen Spruchlein. This was the first mixed recital with Gerald Moore.

MOZART SONG RECITAL.STEREO. 1955 " Schwarzkopf said recording with another great pianist, Walter Gieseking. " I was terrified when he started playing. It was all without pedal, and I had to match the timing and sonority of his playing. You know that all the embellishments, the slides and whatever , that creep in by fault, were completely out"

SCHWARZKOPF and SEEFRIED with Gerald Moore (Piano).MONO 1955. Monteverdi. Io son pur vezzosetta pastorella. Ardo e scopir. Tornate, o cari baci. No i Bel pastor. Carissmi. Detestava la cativa sorte in amore. Lungi,homai. Il mio core. A pie d'un vrdi alloro. Dvorak. Ich schwimn dir davon. Fliege, Voglein. Wenn die sense. Freundlich laB uns scheiden. Der kleine Acker. Die Taube auf dem Ahorn. Wasser und Weinen. die Bescheidene. Der Ring. Grune, du gras!. Die Gefangene. Der trost. Wilde Rose. Quite foreign to her usual repertoire was a collection of duets by Monteverdi and Carissmi. She stated that they did not sing the music in faceless madrigal voices, but in very individual, expressive voices."

WALTON: TROILUS AND CRESSIDA. MONO 1955. Lewis Troilus. Schwarzkopf Cressida. Sinclair Evadne. Philharmonia Orchestra/ William Walton. The composer had written this opera with Schwarzkopf's voice in mind, but she did not ever sing the role on stage. When she heard the recording 40 years later which she had entirely forgotten. To her surprise, the normally self-critical singer was pleased. " It's really some of my best singing..... everything in place... Expression comes out...Quite incredible. I did'nt know" This is grand opera which out of period accepts 19th century conventions, setting a classical story in big bold gestures against warmly lyrical, finely concentrated music.

SCHWARZKOPF IN SONGS YOU LOVE: STEREO 1956. Drink to me only with thine eyes. Martini. Plasir d'amour. Mendelssohn. Auf Flugein des Gesanges. Dvorak. Songs my mother taught me. Hahn. Si mes vers avaient des alles. Tchaikovsky. Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt. Jensen. Murmelndes Luftchen. Grieg. Ich liebe dich. Farmyard song. Sibelius. Schwarze Rosen. Richard Strauss Wiegenlied. Wolf In dem Schatten meiner Locken. Gerald Moore- piano.MORE SONGS you LOVE. CHRISTMAS ALBUM.MONO 1957. Stille Nacht. O come all ye faithful. O du frohliche. Sandmannchen. In einen kuhlen grunde. Panis Angelicus. The first Nowell. In dulci jubilo. Weihnachten. Vom Himmel hoch. I saw three ships. Maria auf der Berge. Easter Aleluia. Schwarzkopf always brings something different to these songs creating beauty out of music that is very familiar. Philharmonia Orchestra. Cond Charles Mackerras-a Australian.

SCHWARZKOPF SINGS OPERETTA: STEREO 1957. Heuberger. Der Opernball. Im chambre separee. Zeller. Der Vogelhandel. Ich nin die Christel von der post. Schenkt man sich Rosen in Tirol. Leher. Der Zarewitsch. Einer wird kommen. Lehar. Der graf von Luxemburg. Hoch,Evos, Angele Didier. Johann Strauss11. Casanova. Nuns' chorus and laura's song. Millocker. die dubarry. Ich schenk mein Herz. Was ich im Leben beginne. Suppe. Boccaccio. Hab ich nur deine Liebe. Lehar der graf von Luxemburg. Zeller. der Obersteiger. Sei nicht bos. Lehar Giuditta. meine lippen, sie kussen so heiB. Sieczynski. Wien, di stadt meiner traume. Philharmoni orchestra Cond Ackermann. This is one of the most delectable recordings of operetta aria ever made. This outstanding example of the art of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf at its most enchanting ,this is a disc which ought to be in every collection states Penguin classical guide 1993. This recording is given a rosette, which means it is excellent.

HUGO WOLF: GOETHE LIEDER. STEREO 1957. ITALIAN SONG BOOK. STEREO 1959. Song from the Romantic Poets. STEREO 1961-1962. Lieder fur eine Frauenstimme. Alte Weisen. Sonne der Schlummerlosen. Goethe Lieder. Piano Gerald Moore. Here are some of the finest singing of Wolf songs ever recorded. Glorious singing by Schwarzkopf and is matched by Gerald Moore's inspired accompaniment.

SCHWARZKOPF PORTRAYS ROMANTIC HEROINES..STEREO 1956, 1958. Wagner. Tannhauser. Dich, teure halle. Allmacht'ge Jungfrau. (Elizabeth's prayer.) Von WEBER. Wie nahte mir der Schlummer..lise, leise, frommme weise. Und on die Wolke. Wagner. Lohengrin. Einsam in truben Tagen. (Elsas dream). Euch Luften, die mein Klagen Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano.. Philharmonia Orch/ Walter Susskind. and Heinz Wallberg- Euch Luften, die mein Klagen. FAVOURITE SCENES AND ARIAS: STEREO 1956, 1959, 1966. Puccini. Gianni Schicchi. O mio babbino caro. La Boheme Si, mi chiamano Mimi. Verdi. Othello. Emila, te ne prego. Piangea cantando (Willow Song). Ave maria. Smetana. The Bartered bride. ndlich Allein. Wie fremd und tot.Margreta Elkins- mezzo.Philharmonia cond . Rescigno Tchaikovsky. Eugene Onegin. Tatiana's letter Scene LSO cond Galliera.

RICHARD STRAUSS. Four Last Songs. STEREO 1965. Five songs with Orchestra. Muttertandeiei. Waldseligkeit. Zueignung. Freundliche vision. Die Heilligen drei Konige. Radio-symphonie- orchester Berlin/ Szell. Even Schwazkopf rarely if ever made a more radiantly beautiful record than this, and it is not surprising it became one of EMI's classical best sellers. Her first Mono version was loved and known, but if anything this is more ravishingly expressive, with an inner intensity adding to the depth of feeling and beauty. This is a desert -island record if ever there was one. CONCERT ARIAS AND LIEDER. STEREO 1968. London Symphony orch/ George Szell. Ruhe, meine Seele. Meinem kinde. Wiegenlied. Morgen. Das Bachlein. Das Rosenband. Winterweihe. The orchestrations by the composer of some of his best-loved Lieder are ravishing when sung by the greatest Strauss singer in the 1960's and 1970's. A magical recording. MAHLER. Des Knaben Wunderhorn. STEREO 1968. Schwarzkopf. Fischer-Dieskau. LSO./Szell. In his last years Szell on his visits to Europe made a number of records which reflect a warmth and tenderness in his nature not often revealed in his work in Cleveland. The orchestra matches the tonal subtleties of the two incomparable soloists.

WOLF: The Italian Song Book.STEREO 1966/1967. Schwarzkopf and Fischer-Dieskau piano Gerald Moore. All 46 songs of Wolf's Italian Book are here, sung by Schwarzkopf and Fischer-Dieskau. These songs show the composer at his most captivatingly individual, any of them are very brief fragments of fantasy, which call for the most intense artistry if their point is to be made. No one could match the searching perceptions of these two great singers in this music, with Fischer-Dieskau using his sweetest tones and Schwarzkopf ranging through all the many emotions inspired by love. Gerald Moore is at his finest. BRAHMS: Deutsche Volkslieder. STEREO 1965.Schwarzkopf and Fischer-Dieskau. Piano Gerald Moore. In Brahms simple folk-settings no singers in the world (Penguin Classical guide 2008) can match Schwarzkopf and Fischer-Dieskau in their musical imagination and depth of understanding. Gerald Moore as ever is the ideal accompanist.

THE ELISABETH SCHWARZKOPF SONG BOOK. PIANO GERALD MOORE.STEREO 1957/1958/1962/1965. Schubert. . Der Einsame. Deer Jungling an der Qualle. Die Forelle. Heidenroslein. Liebe scharmt auf allen Wegen. Schumann. Myrthen. Wolf. Wenn du zu den Blumen gehat. Die Zigeunerin. Wolf-Ferrari. italian song Book. Claude Debussy. Mandoline.. Geoffrey Parsons took over from Moore after Volume 1 to complete the four others, including Songs I love. This set of five marks the first time since the issue of these original LP's that Legge's carefully crafted programme sequences have been preserved : previous CDs reissues took selections at random from the source material. 1966-1973.

SCHUMANN: Frauenliebe und leben. Liederkreis. STEREO 1974. Here here voice is not what it once was. A HUGO WOLF RECITAL.MONO Schwarzkopf. Wilhelm Furtwangler piano.This is a LIVE radio recording taken from the 1953 Salzburg Festival. HOMAGE TO GERALD MOORE.STEREO 1967. Walter Legge devised a Concert for the retirement of this great accompanist which was seen as extraordinary in those days.and accompanied the three great singers he had worked with, Victoria de los Angeles. Fischer-Dieskau. Schwarzkopf. This set contains the famous Rossini Meow -cat song with De los Angeles and Schwarzkopf. This set has all the songs recorded at the concert, on the CD I owned this was not the case. Also, included is a bonus. MONO 1954. Beethoven. Fidelio. Abscheulicher! Wo eilst du hin? Komm, Hoffnung. Ah! perfido concert Aria. Philharmonia Orchestra (put together by Legge) Cond Von Karajan.

I Hope you enjoy this set as much as I do.

VOTES: 30 out of 31. US and Brit Amazon have not replaced my votes on line. Brit Amazon refuses to do so.


Korngold:Complete Songs [Konrad Jarnot; Adrianne Pieczonka; Reinild Mees] [CAPRICCIO: C5252]
Korngold:Complete Songs [Konrad Jarnot; Adrianne Pieczonka; Reinild Mees] [CAPRICCIO: C5252]
Price: £15.28

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mahler called Erich Korngold a genius when he was young., 4 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Richard Strauss wrote upon hearing the 14 year-old's Schauspiel-overture that "such mastery fills me with awe and fear. Puccini noted that " he has so much talent, he could easily give us half and still have enough left for himself".Korngold (1897-1957) was taught by Zemlinsky, the lover of Alma, before she married Mahler and his father Julius, a Viennese music critic. He had great success with his opera Die Tote Stadt written when he was 24, which is not atonal, for Korngold had an exceptional melodic gift. An original opera and extremely beautiful, that is about the triumph of life over death, the fallacy of living in the past. DVD with Angela Denoke and Torsten Kerl, orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, cond Jan Latham-Koenig. In 1934 Korngold went to Hollywood and wrote some fine scores for the Sea Hawk, Captain Blood, the Private lives of Elizabeth and Essex with Errol Flynn, born In Tasmania, Australia. After World war 2 he wrote his Violin concerto, you can hear it on CD played by Perlman.

These complete songs include the world Premiere recordings. Reinild Mees plays the piano. She brings the melodies to the fore, especially those that that have a yearning and heartfelt longing which he started to compose when he was very young. This is what made the arias Marietta's Lied, Gluck, das mir verblieb. (The best version is by Joseph Schmidt-it is heartbreaking -EMI) from Die Tote Stadt so memorable. You can see via these songs how Korngold progressed and wrote the lovely music he did. I am so glad he is gaining recognition again.

SINGERS:

German KONRAD JARNOT is one of the leading Lieder singers of his generation. He is a lyrical baritone in the tradition of Simon Keenlyside, warm and easy on the ear. Canadian soprano ADRIANNE PIECZONKA is known for her interpretation of Wagner's strong and tragic woman like Senta in The Flying Dutchman. and Sieglinde in Die Walkure. She is also known for her Richard Strauss roles, Die Kaiserin in Frau Ohne Schatten and the Marshallin in Der Rosenkavalier recorded by TDK on DVD. Although a dramatic soprano, Pieczonka brings all the heartbreak to the fore in Marietta's Lied, which is a difficult aria to sing. So therefore her voice is suited to these Korngold songs of which she sings eight, the rest are sung excellently by Jarnot. Beautiful singing. These two CD's should be in every lieder lovers collection. The Sound is excellent and is digital, but no translations.

COMPLETE SONGS:

SO GOTT UND PAPA WILL: Abendandschaft. Angedenken. Aussicht. Das madchen. Der Friedensbote. die Geniale. Die sperlinge. reiseliede. Sangesmut. Vesper. Vom Berge. Waldeinsamkeit. Winternacht. SECHS EINFACHE LIEDER OP 9: Schneesglockchen. Nachtwanderer. Das Standchen. Liebesbriefchen. Das Heldengrab am Pruth. Sommer. (1sr version).

LIEDER DES ABSCHIEDS OP 14: Sterbelied. Dies eine kann mein Sehnen nimmer fassen. Mond, so gehst du wieder auf. Gefaber Abschied.
DREI GESANGE OP 18: In meine innge Nacht. Tu ab den Schmerz. Verssuchung. NACHTS.

UNVERGANGLICHKEIT op 27: Unverganglichkeit. Das eilende Bachlein. Das schlafende Kind. Starker als der Tod. Aus: Sechs einfache Lieder op 9. Sommer. ( second version) Aus " DIE TOTE STADT. (Libretto Julius Korngold, father of Erich). Marietta's Lied. Tanzlied des Pierrot.
DREI LIEDER op 22. Was du bist? Mit Dir zu Schweigen. Welt ist stille eingeschlafen.

SONGS OF THE CLOWN op 29: Come away, Death. O mistress mine. Adieu, Good Man Devil. Hey, Robin. for the rain, it Raineth Every Day.
FOUR SHAKESPEARE SONGS op 31. Desdemona's Song. Under the Greenwood tree. Blow, Blow, thou Winter wind. When birds do sing.
FUNF LIEDER op 38. I wish you bliss. Wings. Old spanish song. old English song. My Mistress Eyes. SONETT FUR WIEN.

EINZELINE LIEDER: Der Knabe und das Veilchen. ( composed when he was 7 years old) Kleiner Wunsch.(When he 9 years old) Der innere Scharm. Ausser.(All world premiere recordings). Die Gansleber im Hause Duschnitz. ( next three songs Premiere recordings) Quinquaginta-Foxtrott. Osterreichister Soldatenabschied. Kaiserin Zita-Hymne.

EXPLANATIONS :

In late 1910, Korngold began the major lied cycle based on Eichendorff poetry. twelve songs resulted, a gift for his father's birthday in 1911 called" If God and Papa allows. Papa the much feared music critic did not allow, and the songs were never published in this form. The composer returned to them in 1913, selecting three- Schneeglockchen, Das Standchen and Nachtwanderer- and adding three others, Liebesbriefchen, das Heldengrab am Pruth and sommer, presented in its first and second version.

Winternacht creates a stark winter landscape with bare fifths. Perhaps the most beautiful is Vom Berge, hauntingly expressive with a melody of heartfelt longing, remarkable for such a youthful composer. Vesper is a lovely example of Korngold's ability to create a poignant impressionistic mood with its toiling bell accompaniment. In 1921 the Lieder des Abschieds op 14 inspired by the profound loss of life in the Great war. He later orchestrated them and they are his finest lieder, worthy of comparison with Mahler. Drei Gesange op 18 (1924-26). Described by Korngold as character studies for his opera Wunder der Heilane. ( a Opera well worth listening to-available via Decca cond Mauceri-I own it) . After completing this opera he composed Drei lieder op 22, which marked a pronounced return to his lyrical style, especially the first, Was du mir fest? which has one of his most beautiful melodies. Unverganglichkeit op 27 dates from the summer of 1933. Das Schlafende kind is one of Korngold's most touching melodies.

Korngold composed Funf Lieder entirely in America and were based on melodic cells from his film music. Old English song is a song written for (but not used) in the film The Private lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) while Old Spanish song was used in the Sea Hawk (1940) and based on the earlier song Das Madchen from So Gott and Papa will. (1911). Only My mistress eyes was newly composed in 1947, as a gift for his eldest son, Ernst, who loved the works of Shakespeare as much as his father. The composers final song Sonett fir wien op 41, was composed in 1950, as a tribute to Vienna. This piece was first performed in Vienna 1954 by Hilde Rossl-Majdan with the composer at the piano.

Throughout his life Korngold always composed little songs for family birthdays and three written for his mother are included. Der innere Scharm dates from 1914 for her 43rd birthday. Ausser (1915) is a gentle parody on contemporary operetta composers, including Oscar Straus, Lehar, Fall, and even himself. The Kiserin Zita Hymne was originally conceived for full orchestra, organ, mixed chorus, a children's choir of 250 voices and soprano solo, at the end of 1916, for the accession of the Empress Zita to the Hapsburg throne, following the death of Franz Josef. The work was first performed at the Schronbrunn Palace in May 1917 in her presence, conducted by Korngold. all that remains of this work is the piano score. Twenty years later Korngold used part of the score in the Private lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939). He incorporated part of the Zita-Hymne in the grand ceremonial overture to the film. ( Brendan Carroll's introduction, he is author of the book Korngold-the last Prodigy)

I hope you enjoy these two CD's as much as I have.

REFERENCES:

Carroll, B. Introduction to the Complete songs of Korngold. 2015. Capriccio. Gramophone Classical Guide 2009. Guinn, J & Stone, L. The St James Opera Encyclopedia. 1997. Visible Ink.

VOTES: 1 out of 1. US and Brit amazon in the changes did not replace my votes online. Brit Amazon refuses to do so.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 23, 2016 5:31 PM GMT


Szymanowski:Krol Roger [Mariusz Kwiecien; Georgia Jarman; Saimir Pirgu; Kim Begley; Royal Opera Chorus; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House ] [OPUS ARTE: BLU RAY] [Blu-ray]
Szymanowski:Krol Roger [Mariusz Kwiecien; Georgia Jarman; Saimir Pirgu; Kim Begley; Royal Opera Chorus; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House ] [OPUS ARTE: BLU RAY] [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Ian Russell
Price: £25.65

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared to expand your horizons as to what opera can be and mean., 2 Nov. 2015
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About this opera the critics raved, " A major artistic triumph" Daily telegraph. "A real and original masterpiece" Arts Desk. "A red hot performance" Whats on Stage. "A musical treat" The Guardian. So who was Symanowski and what is this opera about?.

Karol Symanowski was born in Polish Ukraine in 1882-1937. Between 1911 and early 1914 the composer travelled to Italy and Sicily, then to Tunis and Biskra at the edge of the Sahara. While in Sicily he had imbibed the world of the Orient from the translations of popular Sufi poems (the mystical branch of Islam) 'Songs of Mirza-Schaffy', Hans Bethige's translations of Hafiz's love poetry and, of course, the Maghreb. (He also translated T'ang Dynasty Chinese poetry which ended up as Mahler's Das Lied Von der Erde). Symanowski then sought to unite the traces of Sufism with the philosophy and theatre of Ancient Greece and the tradition of Christian faith. It was this vision of a musical, religious and philosophical bridge between the West and East that gave rise to the composers three Act opera King Roger, based on Euripides, Bacchae. This was composed during the composer's middle period, when the third Symphony 'Song of the night' poems by Rumi was written, and the beginning of his last period, where he was influenced by the folk songs and dance music of the Tatras mountains of Poland.

King Roger requires scenic realization, such as the importance of light and dark and the sun in the third act, a white orb. In this production Kasper Holten has produced movement throughout the opera. But some critics state, you could view the three acts as a vast static Tableaux-with elements of religious worship, Byzantine, Arab- Oriental, and Hellenic- or even a oratorio as much as opera, yet Holten shows how wrong the authors were.

Roger the second (1095-1154) was of Norman ancestry, and his Moslem counsellor Al-Idrisi were historical figures. From 1130 Roger was king of Sicily and reigned over southern Italy. Trade and learning flourished at his court; he spoke fluent Arabic and formed a focal point in the interaction between East and West, between the Islamic, Byzantine and Catholic worlds.

This opera concerns the conflict between the Christian church in Sicily and the pantheistic creed of beauty and pleasure proclaimed by the Shepherd prophet from India..He sings "my Images in the waters of the Ganges greet you" Queen Roxana is seduced by the allurements of the shepherd and his faith and leaves with him and his followers. King Roger eventually followers the shepherd as a pilgrim, but in the end stands alone. The only character fully formed is Roger, the rest are symbols, Edrisi, the Islam advisor, might be viewed as a symbol of rationality, and Roxana as an embodiment of the allurements of love. The shepherd is created by Roger himself to experience the missing dimensions of his own character. "remember o' king you called me yourself" the shepherd sings.

The ending is ambigious as it must be. Since Roxana succumbs to the shepherd, is Roger at last coming to terms with the feminine intuition in himself, or is he transformed and enriched by the truths of Dionysus but no slave to them, but is strong enough for inner freedom.? We are therefore forced to think, what does this mean. John Davies thinks that the Librettists Symanowski and J Iwaszkiewicz has Nietzsche in mind, who stated that " it is not always in the superficially powerful people that true power is found, for the desire to rule has often appeared to me a sign of inward weakness. In the end , they still become the slaves of their followers, their fame." Or you could say as Plato did, "know yourself ". Even then Roger reaches an inner peace, a world that is beyond words. In otherwords we can come to any conclusion we wish, for this opera is quite philosophical like Wagner's Parsifal, but is only 88 minutes long. So what the composer wanted is for the drama, singing and music to be as one. This is why some explanation was required.

Act one and two have no interval, but there is one before Act 3. Act 1 the opening is dark and a huge head appears of the King, gradually lit by yellow and orange colours. The king is found bowing beneath it. This symbolizes his stagnation, the fact that he a tiny, puny man, but is perceived by the people as all powerful by the people and expected to be guided by the old unchanging religion. The set that surrounds the background are balconies of the sort that existed in Ancient Rome, to represent the church in this Act and Act 3,the Ancient temple Greek ruins. The women and men are dressed in clothes of the mid 1920's when the opera was written and the Church leaders in black Greek orthodox Greek garb. The shepherd wears a long orange coat and white long pants and shirt. Act two the head turns around and you see inside a palace room with stairs. The dancers are naked and very animated going up and downstairs. Act three has a fire in the middle of the stage where the followers of the Shepherd throw their religious books. One could say this is a traditional staging for 1926 is hardly modern.

The Royal opera house orchestra is well conducted by Antonio Pappano as it always is. However, Szymanowski was not influenced by Schoenberg and the atonal school, but the sheer emotionalism was inspired by composers like Mahler and Richard Strauss, but he turned to Scriabin, Ravel and Debussy for his feverish subjective moods. This composer did not belong to any school, and went his own way. The music is highly tuneful and has a number of arias, for example, Act 2 Roxana's aria and King Rodger's Hymn at the end of Act 3. Naturally, you may wonder why this opera is not played more often.

The singers are King Roger Mariusz Kwiecien who has made this part his own. Roxana, queen of Sicily. Georgia Jarman has the particular voice that is required by Szymanowski. Shepherd Samir Pirgu, believable in the part. Edrisi, Roger's advisor Kim Begley, who has a light tenor voice, is the perfect foil for the baritone Kwiecien. The cast and Chorus sing extremely well.

There is an excellent recording of this opera on CD by Rattle found in the Box set, Simon Rattle, the CBSO years, where there are other Szymanowski recordings, the two violin concerto's, Stabat mater, love songs of Hafiz, Songs of a Fairy-Tale Princess.

The sound is excellent, a nice balance between orchestra and singers.

ALL REGIONS. 1080p HD bluray. LPCM 24 bit Stereo. 5.0 DTS HD Master audio. 16.9 . SUBTITLES: English. French. German. Japanese. Korean. FEATURES:: Directors commentary Kasper Holten and Antonio Pappano. Introduction to King Roger. The sets. The music. Cast gallery. Booklet. The will to power and the will to live. John Lloyd Davies. Synopsis. English. French and German.

REFERENCES: Batta,A. Opera. 2005. Konemann. Ewen. D. The World of 20th century music.1968. prentice-Hall. Guinn, J. & Stone,L. The St James opera Encyclopedia. 1997. Visible Ink.

VOTES: 8 out of 8. US and Brit Amazon have no replaced my votes on line. Brit amazon refuses to do anything about it.


Requiem: Ockeghem, Purcell, Mozart, Cherubini, Schumann, Berlioz, Faure, Durufle, Verdi, Dvorak
Requiem: Ockeghem, Purcell, Mozart, Cherubini, Schumann, Berlioz, Faure, Durufle, Verdi, Dvorak
Price: £40.24

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A box of beauty., 23 Oct. 2015
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Requiem's often contain the most heartfelt emotional music, which is inspirational, and sometimes take us into a meditational state of mind. But why is this so? (REVIEWS BELOW). Music has accompanied the rites and rituals of death throughout history, to mourn the dead and comfort the living, allowing us to openly grieve which is healthy emotionally. Today we can listen to these requiems on CD not to mourn anything, but to enjoy the music for the sheer beauty they can offer. The requiem developed out of of a performance of the Eucharistic Mass and by the 9th century had acquired a format for the remembrance of the dead. Taking its name from the opening words of its introductory section, 'Requiem aeternam'. And so in this 16 CD box set we have a history of the Requiem and its development.

THE BOX:

The small cardboard orange box lid opens sideways from the attached box. Here you can place the CDs you wish to play. The back has CDs number and music to be played. The cardboard Sleeves are orange with CD number on the front with music to be played with composer. On the back, with a very light orange background, track numbers, piece to be played, orchestra, conductor and soloists. The CD has a white back ground with words in orange. CD number, composer, orchestra and conductor. Also, Compact disc digital audio, with ADD or DDD below. EMI states " ADD-analogue tape recorder used during session recording, digital tape recorder used during subsequent mixing &/ or editing and during mastering (transcription). DDD-digital tape recorder used during session recording, mixing &/ or editing, and mastering (transcription). In otherwords, nothing wrong with the sound. BOOKLET has a history on the Requiem right up to the modern day but only in English. There are translations, Latin into English.

THE GREGORIAN CHANT:

They were traditional chants called plainchant and were gathered into an ordered system by Pope Gregory 1 in the 6th century. The early Christian Church forbade instruments in religious music, so plainchant followed suit. In the 9th century the repertory began to develop and expand with extra material-both words and music being incorporated in to the chants to give a more complex sound. Polyphony was introduced which meant increasing the number of independent melodic lines from one as with chant to two, three or even four. This style developed over many centuries, flourishing from the 13th to the 16th centuries. Polyphony was gradually introduced into the setting of the Mass ordinary (although not the core texts until the beginning of the 14th century). This situation seemed to take much longer to be applied to the Requiem. The first reference of a polyphonic Requiem was in the Will of Dufay (1400-1474) which is now lost. He can be considered a Medieval as well as a Renaissance composer. So the earliest example is by his younger contemporary Ockeghem.

MEDIA VITA: 1997. DDD. Gregorian Hymns of Death and Resurrection. Schola Cantorium Karolus Magnus. Stan Hollaardt director.

RENAISSANCE: (1450-1600)

Music now depended on Dukes and Princes, but the music now largely focused on religion. You will notice the difference between the singing and the Gregorian chants here. Des Prez made his musical lines deeply expressive with the emotions behind the words. He added imagination to the craft of making music. He is considered the greatest composer of the early Renaissance.

OCKEGHEM: 1976. ADD. Missa pro defunctis. Schola Cantorum Stuttgart. Clytus Gottwald director. For 2 to 4 voices.

LAMENTATIONS: 2015. DDD. Choir of Clare College, Cambridge. Timothy Brown director. PALESTRINA: Stabat Mater. ALLEGRI: Miserere. (Baroque) RAMSEY: How the mighty fallen. WEELKES: When David heard. TALLIS: Lamentations. LUIS DE VICTORIA: O vos omnes. Des PREZ: Deploration sur la mort d' Ockeghem. GESSUALDO: O vos omnes. PALESTRINA: Super flumina Babylonis. Des PREZ: Absalon, fili mi. BYRD: Civitas sancti mi. TOMKINS: When David heard. KIRBYE: Vox in Rama. Clare college distinguish it all with finely crafted and beautifully shaped performances which are intensely perceptive.

BAROQUE:(1600-1760)

Theatrical and ornate. Patronage was taken from the church to the court, and composers could work outside that framework.

PURCELL: Funeral Sentences for Queen Mary Z860. Funeral march. Man that is born of a Woman. In the midst of life. Canzona. Thou knowest, Lord. Funeral March. Baroque Brass of London. Choir of Clare College, Cambridge. Timothy Brown director. Wonderfully sung.

17th CENTURY FUNERAL MUSIC: DDD. 1994. SCHUTZ: Muskalische Exequien op 7. Nacket bin ich von mutterleibe kommen. PRAETORIUS: Musae Sioniae BV111. Herzlich lieb hab ich dich. SCHUTZ: Musikalische Exequien op 7. Her, wenn ich nur dich habe. Herr: nun lassest du deinen Diener. Selig sind die Toten. PRAETORIUS: Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin. Hort auf mit Weinen und Klagen. SCHEIN: Threnus. SCHUTZ: Geistliche chor Musik op 11. Die mit Tranen saen SWV 378. Das ist je gewiBlich wahr. SWV 388. DEMANTIUS: Quis dabit oculis. Schutz-Akademie. Howard Arman director.

CLASSICAL: (1750-early 1800's). The age of reason.Objective and impersonal. Music has simplicity and restraint.

MOZART: Requiem. K 626. DDD. 2002. Pamela Heuvelmans soprano. Barbara Werner alto. Robert Morvaj tenor. Thomas Pfeiffer Bass. Chamber Choir of Europe. Suddeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim. Conductor Nicol Matt. You may not have heard of this orchestra, but they certainly play and sing this Requiem with emotion, bringing the piece alive. CHERUBINI: DDD. 2003. Requiem in D minor. Hradee Kralove male Choir. Bonifantes Boys choir. Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra. Douglas Bostock conductor. Toscanini made the Mass in C famous. Revivals of Medea at La Scala with Maria Callas have proved that this is a classic. If some of Beethoven's themes sound like Cherubini, this is no coincidence, for he had the greatest admiration for the composer. Weber and Wagner were two other composers who were nurtured on Cherubini's scores. He brought opera a step or two closer to Weber, Rossini and Verdi.

ROMANTICS: (early 1800's onwards). Being a Romantic is subjective, whose feelings come to the fore and individualism is important. They were often inspired by Nature.

BERLIOZ: ADD. Grand Mass des morts.(Requiem) Charles Bressler tenor. Utah Symphony Choir & Orchestra. Maurice Abravanel conductor. His rendition of this requiem is slightly gentler and captures its beauty, but is different to Davis's version, which is faster and captures Berlioz's unique sound. SCHUMANN: DDD. 2010. Requiem op 148. Schumann was unable to shake off the conviction that the requiem was for himself. The opening is affecting and dignified, and the final Benedictus has a haunting eloquence. Britta Stallmeister soprano. Antonia Bourve Soprano. Olivia Vermeulen Mezzo-soprano. Daniel Behle Tenor. Tobias Brendt baritone. Chorus Musicus Koln. Das Neus orchester. Christoph Spering conductor. These Brilliant classics boxes often come up with music you have not heard before, this Schumann requiem is one, along with Cherubini's Requiem in D minor and well done with singers one has never heard before.

BRAHMS: ADD. 1973. Ein Deutsches Requiem. Brahms was a atheist as was Verdi. I cannot see the problem with that, because they are quite able to write a requiem. For example, I am a pantheist. You cannot explain it, because it is beyond words. Anna Tomova-Sintow soprano. Gunther Leib baritone. Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. Conductor Helmut Koch. This is a different approach which is always a relief, but probably the best recording available is Klemperer conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra, with Schwarzkopf and Fischer-Dieskau.

DVORAK: DDD. 2012. Requiem op 89. Christine Libor soprano. Ewa Wolak Alto. Daniel Kirch tenor. Janusz Monarcha bass. Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and orchestra. Conductor Antoni Wit. This requiem is one of the composer's most moving works. Harold C Schonberg in the New York times wrote " it is a beautiful score...dignified, devout, full of calm and spacious melody" Wit and his singers do it justice.

VERDI: ADD. 1975. Requiem. Ljiljana Molnar-Talajie soprano. Margarita Lilova mezzo-soprano. Luigi ottolini tenor. Bonaldo Giaiotti. Choir and Rundfunk-sinfonieorchester Leipzig. Conductor Giuseppe Patane. This is a very good recording of this requiem, one of the best. The Mezzo and Bass would be at home in Verdi roles that suit their voices, the soprano and tenor also blend in which is important in this piece. And the conductor Patane, an Italian knows the piece extremely well.

FAURE: DDD. 1994. Requiem. Isolde Siebert soprano. Carola Maurer soprano. Hans Jorg Mammel tenor. Ulf Bastlein baritone. gerhard Gnann Organ. Camerata Vocale freiburg. camerata Freiberg. Winfried Toll conductor. This Faure requiem is hard to conduct because you have to get the extreme fraility of the piece just right. Toll only partly does. The only one able to capture its spirit, is Cluytens conducting the Paris conservatoire, with singers Victoria De los Angelis and Fischer-Dieskau. DURUFFLE: DDD. 2012. Requiem,op 9. Clare Pascoe mezzo soprano. Choir of Leeds cathedral. Skipton Building Society Camerata . Conductor Thomas Leech. This piece was inspired by Faure's requiem, but Leech is able to capture this work perfectly. Together these works make up a quiet relaxing interlude, where you can weave your dreams into flowers that drift away into nothingness.

MODERN MUSIC, AN EXPLANATION.

According to Simon Rattle, the great British Conductor, modern music started with the Prelude Act 1 from Tristan und Isolde, the Tristan chord, where tonality did not resolve itself and was let adrift and so atonality came into being, leading to Schoenberg and Berg. However, as with all changes nothing is ever simple. Debussy's opera Pelleas and Melisande, a rebellion against Wagner did show a way forward. As did Richard Strauss's opera Elextra where Wagner's music was taken as far as it could go. But the real change came with Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, which was basically atonal, caused a riot in Paris 1913 when conducted by Monteux. The composer was inspired by Russian Folk music and singing. There is a bluray, Keeping score, where Michael Tilson Thomas explains the music and gives examples with the San Francisco symphony.

Schoenberg pushed the Chromatic chords of Wagner with Verlaerte Nacht beyond that composer. He realized to replace harmony and tonality, he had to give atonal music a structure, so he created a 12 tone system. So you had two schools that of Schoenberg and Stravinsky. (A 56 CD box set conducted by Stravinsky -the complete Columbia Album collection is available-read my review.) In the early 1920's he went down the path of Neo Classicism inspired by the 18th century, but more hard hitting, in 1951 Stravinsky turned to atonal and serial music. However, some composers went their own way, ignoring the popular trends, such as Richard Strauss, Szymanowski, Vaughan Williams, although he proved he could write modern music by composing his 4th symphony, Walton and Britten, although they could compose modern music as well, and Malcolm Arnold in his symphonies and many more. Stockhausen and Boulez pushed the limit in modern music.

Glass, Reich and Adams rebelled by creating minimalism, which is a constant beat based on Indian classical music, like the tabla and sitar. Glass and Adams gradually returned to melody. As Stravinsky turned to jazz and different instruments not usually seen in a classical orchestra, so Glass turned to Rock. Really it was Mahler who started the trend by using popular music and songs of the day and placing them in his early symphonies. In otherwords, anything goes in Modern classical music. In art Picasso and Braque started a rebellion against nature painting, impressionism, with African masks. Also, Matisse with the Fauve movement and expressionism before the Ist war. In reality photography changed Art. The Berg violin concerto illustrates the 12 tone system and Penderecki at its most modern. In fact the opening music sounds like the Hitchcock film psycho murder scene music.

MODERN:

PIZZETTI: DDD. 2000. Messa di Requiem. for 5-12 part choir a cappella. This is a serene and lyrical requiem, a work of surpassing beauty which will be a revelation to those who have not encountered it before. HOWELLS: Requiem for 5-8 choir a cappella and four solo voices. Fits with the Pizzetti requiem. Obviously inspired by Vaughan Williams- a beautiful piece. What is beauty? That image we cannot quite grasp. Is it a memory of some forgotten place, a peace that is beyond a gentle peace. A home in the wilderness of our life. Howells studied with Stanford and Wood at the Royal college of Music, where he taught from 1920 almost to his death. He also succeeded Holst at St Pauls Girl's School (1932-1962) and was a professor of music at London university. PUCCINI: Requiem for choir, organ and viola. Camerata Vocale Freiberg. Conductor Winifred Toll. Puccini's sister was a nun in a Catholic monastary, she eventually became mother superior. This is why he wrote the opera Suor angelica. A very beautiful CD. This is why I like box sets, you come across music like this.

BRITTEN: DDD. 1989.War requiem. Poems by Wilfred Owen killed just before armistice Day 11th November 1918. Kari Lovaas soprano. Anthony Roden tenor. Theo Adam Bass-baritone. He was Wotan in Wagner's Ring cycle recorded live at Bayreuth 1966, conducted by Karl Bohm. Rundfunkchor Leipzig & Dresden kapelknaben. Dresdner Philharmonic. Conductor Herbert Kegel. Britten's requiem is universal as this recording shows, conducted by a German orchestra and conductor. I do own the set conducted by Britten with Visknevskaya, Pears and Fischer-Dieskau. London symphony Orchestra and Rattle conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, with Tear, Soderstrom and Allen. Both equally good and I would not part with them. PENDERECKI: Threnody ''To the victims of Hiroshima.' Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchestra leipzig. Conductor Herbert Kegel. The composer gained fame with this modern piece. BERG: ADD. 1980. Violin Concerto 'In memory of an Angel'. Dresdner Philharmonic Herbert Kegel. Manfred Scherzer. The Andante is played with emotion and is very good. Berg is the most tuneful of the disciples of Schoenberg and the 12 row atonal music. The violin concerto was written as a requiem to the girl, Berg's young friend, Manon Gropius. who died suddenly of a illness at 18 year old. She was the daughter of Alma Mahler's second marriage to Walter Gropius. a architect.

I hope you enjoy this music as much as I did.

REFERENCES: Ewen, D. The world of 20th century music. 1968. Prentice-Hall Inc & the Complete book of Classical music. 1978. Robert Hale. London. Lloyd,N. The Golden Encyclopedia of Music.1968. Golden Press. Gramophone year Book 2009. Stanley, J. Classical Music. 1994. Reed International Ltd.

VOTES: 3 out of 3. US and Brit Amazon have not replaced my votes onlines. Brit Amazon refuses to do so.


Igor Stravinsky - The Complete Columbia Album Collection
Igor Stravinsky - The Complete Columbia Album Collection
Price: £131.58

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stravinsky conducts Stravinsky, the mono and stereo recordings., 15 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Penguin Guide 1996 states that "in the recording studio Stravinsky knew how to draw out alert, vigorous performances of his own music, and every one of the items illuminates facets of his inspiration which other interpreters often fail to notice". (REVIEWS BELOW) For example, in this set, the 1940 recording of the Rite of Spring which he conducted, released on 78's and turned into an LP 1948, he brings all the Intensity, violent energy and eroticism to the fore as he does in his famous 1960 version. Probably the best recordings made of it, along with Monteux' s 1945 version. Yet about this earthy music inspired by Russian folk and dance music, which caused a riot in 1913 in Paris when conducted by Monteux, Stravinsky said " I am merely the vessel through which the Rite of Spring passed. But I much prefer the concert version to the ballet" But it had a huge influence on modern western classical music.

THE BOX:

This reasonably small tough cardboard box is white, sitting in another box which is not very high, so the lid which almost covers the entire box can rest on it. The top of the lid is white with Stravinsky's signature, whose flourishes go to the right, which shows a strong personality with artistic leanings. The bottom of the box has all 57 covers and the fact that it is a product of Sony classical and RCA. The details are stuck to the plastic wrap, whose details Amazon has already mentioned in its write up. " In terms of archival importance, this discography is the greatest landmark in the history of recorded classical music" (Tony Tommasini-New York Times). What I generally do with the lid, is put in the covers of the CDs I wish to play.

The sleeves are the originals, with the CD number on the spine with the music, orchestra, soloists, and orchestra and almost all have Stravinsky' as conductor, and a few with Robert Craft with Stravinsky in attendance, The essay's on the back of the sleeves are hard to read. The 19 mono recordings are from 1940-1957 and the Stereo from 1958 onwards. The dark blue labels are Mono identified by ML or LM on the spine, two are plum red which means RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra, two have the same grey labels as the Stereo grey colour, identified by MS on the spine ,which has Stereo fidelity above the writing on the label, or stereo 360 below. A handful with a Khaki brown label, also one with Red, another with white. The hard covered BOOKLET has an essay, "I am a masterwork-Stravinsky in the Studio", in English, French and German by Richard Taruskin. He is renowned for his opposition to Solomon Volkov's book "Testimony", which sets out the the true meaning of Shostokovich's symphonies through the words of the composer. However, there are those who agree or disagree with Volkov's book and who consider it a fraud. Tracklists with pictures of the sleeves, with details about the recordings, track numbers and orchestra. The CDs are in the order they were recorded.Discography. Works. Musicians. Recording. CD number. Black and white plus coloured photo's of the composer. No Translations.

SOUND:

CDs 1-9, 11-13, 17, 19, 23-25,29,30 , 45, 46 (8-12) and 54 transfered, mixed and mastered from the original analogue discs and tapes using 24bit/96kHz technology by Andreas K. Meyer and Jeanne Montalvo, Meyer media LLC. CDs 10, 14, 16, 18, 20-22, 26-28,30-44,47-53 and 55 mastered by Martin Kistner, b-sharp music & media solutions. CD 56 mastered by Richard King, Sony Studios. DVD premastering: platin media studios. Each recording comes from the best original source. (Booklet Pg 261). Certainly it is better then me stating that the sound is great, that is non technical.

STRAVINSKY: (1882-1971)

The composer studied with Rimsky-Korsakov, who was an influence on his early music, though so were Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Glazunov and from 1907-8 Debussy and Dukas. This colourful mix lies behind the Firebird (1910) commissioned by Diaghilev for his Ballets Russe, with whom he went to Paris, living there until 1939, then he went to the USA and lived there until he died. Then in 1920 he changed from his Neo Primitive phase gradually to the neo-classical with Pulcinella. Baroque and Classical structures of the concerto, oratorio, Mass, symphony, opera seria, and opera buffa were now favoured. We can see this in the Symphony of Psalms, Oedipus Rex, Apollo Musagete or the Rake's Progress. In 1951 with this opera Stravinsky felt the need for a change, so he took up twelve-tone music which he had once regarded with disdain, then he went on to Serialism as shown in the septet.

According to Taruskin Stravinsky did not like musicians, he could not trust them or control them, he especially disliked Koussevitzky, Ansermet and Stokowski, who did the most to popularize his music. Monteux he praised for a while, yet Robert Craft the conductor, was the only person he could trust because of his loyality and who the composer could control completely. I think it is a case of hearing in his head the ideal sound, but finding it hard to get the musicians to feel as he did when writing the piece. The problem is that his various works were new and he wanted to get it right, but it is hard to relate that to the orchestra. Recording Stravinsky liked at the beginning, but realized that the recording was merely a moment in time, so he would change his views later on.

RECORDINGS:

Because Amazon have provided you, the reader with a list of the recordings in this box set, I have not reviewed all of them, but a number to give you an idea of what the CDs are like.

The first recording in this set is the 1940 version of the Rite of spring, New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The speech on this ballet has been shifted from the 1960 version to this 1940 Rite. The 1960 stereo version with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra is considered raw and savage. Both are. I never thought any recording could touch the 1945 Monteux Rite of spring, but they both are better. The 1946 Mono Firebird suite with the New York Phil and the 1940 Petroushka suite can stand along side the 1967 Suites with the Columbia Symphony orchestra. But the later stereo version has a brightness radiating from the recording. .The Firebird complete ballet in the original 1910 orchestration is sensitively handled. The 1947 Revised version of Petroushka has similar authority and spirit. Columbia symphony Orchestra.

Symphony of Psalms. An intensely religious man, Stravinsky produced one of his most reverent compositions. The beauty is austere and remote. It does remind some critics of " mosaics in a Byzantine church" with the Columbia Symphony orchestra. In his later version 1963 CBC symphony orchestra version, Stravinsky does not reach the intensity of the first 1946 recording, but it is still impressive. Orpheus- has a powerful atmosphere and is one of Stravinsky's most classically restrained moments. The Mono RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra 1949 version is not as good as the 1964 Chicago Symphony Orchestra stereo version. But its invention is less memorable then Apollo (revised 1947 version) which is gravely beautiful, stunning in fact. The 1964 Stereo version with the Columbia symphony Orchestra is better than the 1950 recording.with the RCA Victor Orchestra. The symphony in three movements, New York Philharmonic orchestra,1946. Stravinsky shows how, by vigorous, forthright treatment of the notes, the emotion implicit is made all the more compelling, the stereo version remastered does make a difference in the sound department.Symphony in C. CBC Symphony orchestra. Stravinsky drives this music very hard.

The violin Concerto in D major- Isaac Stern. This is a memorable account by this violinist who adds a romantic perspective to the framework, but it makes all the difference when the composer is there to support Stern. The Cantata 1952. is a transitional piece between Stravinsky's tonal and serial periods. The 1952 Mono version with Jennie Tourel mezzo and Hughes Cuenod. Philharmonic ensemble is the original version with some well known singers. Stereo 1965 version with Adrienne Albert and Alexander Young. The Mass is a work of the greatest concentration, a work that is very striking. The 1967 stereo Requiem Canicles stands out.This masterpiece among the last of the composers serial works and one of the most deeply moving works ever written in the serial idiom. Even more strikingly then the Mass of 1948, Stravinsky conveys his religious feelings with searing intensity.

The Rake's Progress.(English) Hilde Gueden,-known for her Mozart singing Blanche Thebom,- Known for her part in the 1953 Tristan und Isolde conducted by Furtwangler and Flagstad. with Eugene Conley and Mack Harrell and Martha Lipton. Orchestra of the Met Opera. 17 months after the World premiere in Venice, the Rakes Progress received its first American production conducted by Fritz Reiner in 1953. Less then a month later, this studio recording was made, with the smaller orchestra that Stravinsky envisaged. The cast remained the same, and we can be sure that the performance retains a good deal of Reiner-inspired professionalism. Obviously there is more operatic qualities than may be acceptable today. Conley makes a strong contribution in Act 2 where the temperature falls away. Gueden manages the lullaby with touching simplicity. After this opera the composer turned to the 12 tone method.

The Rake's Progress.(English) 1964. This has many elements of the Sadler's Wells production. The rake of Alexander Young is a marvellous achievement, sweet-toned and accurate and well characterized. In his choices of singers it shows what store the composer set by vocal precision: generally he seemed to like voices with little vibrato. Judith Raskin makes an appealing Anne Trulove, sweetly sung if not specially well projected dramatically. Regina Sarfaty's Baba is marvellous on both counts, vocal accuracy and striking characterzation. The Royal Philharmonic plays with a warmth and a fittingly Mozartian style, to match Stravinsky's lyrical approach to his own piece.

Pulcinella mono. 1952. with a song in one act and music based on melodies by Pergolesi, My research shows, that it is thought to be the work of various 18th century composers. Stravinsky had not long embraced Neo Classicism when he wrote this in 1919. The composer conducts a lively, sharply- accented account of the score. Cleveland Orchestra. Mary Simmons soprano. Glenn Scnittike. Phillip Macgregor bass. Stereo.1965. The Columbia Symphony Orchestra. Irene Jordan soprano, George Shirley tenor, Donald Gramm Bass. Columbia symphony orchestra. Its vocal numbers add greatly to this piece which add to the variety and sparkle of the piece, while in the orchestra the clowning of the trombone and the humour is strikingly vivid and never too broad. Also the Pulcinella Suite 1965.. Columbia Symphony Orchestra.. Les noces (the wedding).1959. This is a picture of a primitive people with primitive customs. For it, Stravinsky conceived an equally neo- primitive score in this last flowering of Russian nationalism in the composer. Pianists: Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss and Roger Sessions. Reminds me of Minimalism and Phillip Glass. Soprano Mildred Allen, Regina Sarfaty, tenor Loren Driscoll. Columbia Percussion ensemble. 1965. Mildred Allen, Adrienne Albert Mezzo, Columbia Percussion Ensemble, Craft. Renard is a curious work, a sophisticated fable which here receives too unrelenting a performance.

Stravinsky songs. 1964-1967. The faun and the Shepherdess. Pushkin. sung in Russian. Mary Simmons Mezzo CBC Symphony Orchestra. 2 poems by Paul Verlaine sung in French. Donald Gramm. Columbia Symphony Orchestra. 3 Japanese lyrics. Sung in Russian. Evelyn Lear. Columbia Chamber orchestra. 3 little songs. Russian. Pleasant songs. Cathy Berberian Mezzo. Columbia Symphony orchestra. Cat's cradle Songs.Cathy Berberian Mezzo. Columbia Chamber Ensemble. 4 songs. Adrienne Albert Mezzo. All sung in Russian. 3 songs from William Shakespeare. sung in English. Cathy Berberian. Igor Stravinsky and Robert craft conductors. Simply beautiful songs, which you may not expect from Stravinsky.

Oedipus Rex- Text by Jean Cocteau. 1951. Cologne radio symphony orchestra and Chorus. Narration Jean Cocteau. Peter Pears-who collaborated with Britten. Martha Modl the great Brunnhilde of the 1950's. Cocteau (1889-1963) for Diaghilev during World War 1, put together the ballet Parade, with music by Satie, decor by Picasso and choreography by Massine. No single production did more to advance all the arts at once. He was a poet, dramatist, graphic artist, novelist and film maker of Orphee and beauty and the Beast. As Australian Clive James in his book Cultural Amnesia writes, "Cocteau thought of his own images. He really was as innovative as his admirers said. Their only mistake was to imagine novelty was an ethos". 1962 version. Oedipus Rex opera-oratorio in two acts after Sophocles. George Shirley- Oedipus. Shirley Verrett- Jocasta. Donald Gramm - Creon. Narrated in English by John Westbrook. Chorus and Orchestra of the opera society of Washington.

Meeting at the Summit. Benny Goodman. Plays jazz classics with Bernstein. Prelude, fugue and riffs. Copland Clarinet Concerto. Gould Derivations for clarinet and band. Stravinsky Ebony Concerto. Columbia symphony orchestra. Capriccio for piano and orchestra. Entremont's approach has something to be said for it. Cond Craft . Concerto for piano and wind instruments cond Stravinsky. Compelling.

Conducts music for chamber and Jazz ensembles. praeludium for jazz ensemble.(1963-1965) Pastorale. song without words. Tango version for 19 instruments. Concertino for 12 instruments. The star- spangled banner-harmonized & orchestrated by Stravinsky. 4 Russian Peasant songs. Ave maria for mixed Chorus a Cappella. Credo for mixed Chorus. Pater noster. Festival singers of Toronto. CBC Symphony Orchestra. Gregg smith singers. Columbia chamber Ensemble. Pastorale. song without words for soprano and piano. Jenne Tourel soprano. Allen Rodgers. BONUS: Stravinsky in Rehearsal. Stravinsky in his own words. His humour comes to the fore, his energy, alertness, and his usual quick tempi, was on display and he was 85.

DVD:

Stravinsky in Hollywood. The film shows why Stravinsky could not make headway into films in Hollywood, he liked control. Whereas in the film industry a composer was seen to be lower then a writer of scripts. Apart from actual footage of the composer, you see his relationship with Craft, who became more than his conductor, but a help mate. Craft actually lived with Stravinsky and his wife in their house for 20 years. Also, this film points out how the composer reinvented himself again as a composer going down the serial route. What is also interesting is Craft had a friendship with Schoenberg who lived near Stravinsky.

CMajor. HD non historic parts. Mastered from a HD Source. NTSC. 16.9. PCM Stereo. REGION: Worldwide. Languages. English and German. 53 minutes.

I hope you enjoy this set as much as I have.

VOTES: 14 out of 16 helpful votes. US and Brit Amazon have not replaced my votes in the change. Brit amazon refuses to do anything about it. How about that.
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