HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Archiv) Johann Sebastian Bach – Cantatas BWV 80 & 140 (Richter)

front-small-boxset
All thanks for this masterwork go to Jean-Luc

Richter was considered to be somewhat of an old-school romantic by the auntentic instrumentation crowd back in the 70s and 80s. I thought similarly at the time, and even felt a little guilty for liking these recordings as much as I did. Now older (and presumably a little wiser), I’ve decided that Richter was, in many respects, ahead of his time. Gardiner’s recordings over time have become more romanticized and are probably the closest to these stylisticly. The main difference is that Gardiner tends to conceive these as choral works with accompaniment, while Richter seems to place less emphasis on the choir, creating more of a balance between the orchestra and choir.
Some of his performances have never been bettered. These have supperb soloists (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Edith Mathis, and Peter Schreier), albeit perhaps a little bit operatic for current tastes, but not too much so.

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Münchener Bach-Chor, Edith Mathis, Peter Schreier,
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Trudeliese Schmidt
Orchestra: Münchener Bach-Orchester
Conductor: Karl Richter
Vinyl 1977-78-79
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Archiv
DR-Analysis:
DR 13
Size: 1.25 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

Continue reading

HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Philips) Hector Berlioz – L’Enfance Du Christ (Davis)

front-small-boxset
This is another fine pearl in this chain called “Davis-Berlioz-Cycle”.
Colin Davis, currently the grand old man of Berlioz conductors, has recorded the French romantic’s L’Enfance du Christ an amazing three times: first on L’oiseau-Lyre LPs (not issued on CD), then this one on Philips (frequently issued on LP and CD), and later on LSO Live (issued on CD with super audio surround sound capabilities). While not perhaps the most emotional Berlioz conducer in history, Davis’ more measured approach suits the more meditative L’Enfance. All three of his recordings are quite fine, but the sound quality gets slightly better with each newer edition. This sounds just splendid.

Composer: Hector Berlioz
Performer: Janet Baker, Eric Tappy, Raimund Herincx, Philip Langridge, Thomas Allen, Joseph Rouleau, Jules Bastin, John Alldis Choir
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Colin Davis
Vinyl 1977
Number of discs: 2
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis:
DR 17
Size: 1.88 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

Continue reading

HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Decca) Johann Sebastian Bach – French Suites BWV 812-819 (Hogwood)

front-small-boxset
I have this 2 LP set for almost 3 decades and is still as fresh as ever. Two most beautiful instruments, with tuning that really brings out the harmonic colors – particularly the gigue to suite #6, the e-flat minor trio to the suite BWV 819 and an alternate version of the allemande from the same suite. As a bonus, all 8 of the French Suites are recorded here (the two suites BWV 818 and 819 didn’t make the final cut to be in the six). Hogwood’s sense of rhythm and timing is always impeccable and appropriate for each dance movement, as is his lyricism. Over the years I have owned few other recordings of the French Suites, some of which I have enjoyed very much, but this set I return to time and again; these remain my gold standard.

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Christopher Hogwood

Vinyl 1984
Number of discs: 2
Format: Flac
Label: Decca
DR-Analysis:
DR 14
Size: 3.22 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

Continue reading

HD-Vinyl (Mono) 24/96 (EMI) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Complete Piano Sonatas (Gieseking)

front-small-boxset
These are the recordings made in 1953-1954 for EMI, and, although some may prefer his earlier prewar recordings (available on EMI Japan pressings in admittedly poor sound), I believe they are his best. These are exquisite performances and at the current prices being asked, there is really no point in considering the prices being asked for the complete EMI set unless one must have everything Mozart wrote for the piano and performed by Gieseking. If one already owns the Walter Klein set on Vox, this makes an excellent supplement. Gieseking was one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century and he was, like Furtwängler, unfairly blamed for staying in Germany during the war until he was finally cleared by the US military and eventually performed to a sell-out crowd in Carnegie Hall in 1953, the year these recordings were begun. This is archive gold.

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Walter Gieseking
Vinyl 1953-54
Number of discs: 5
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis:
DR 13
Size: 2.66 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

Continue reading

HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Concert Hall) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Organ Sonatas

front-small-boxset
All thanks for this rarity go to Lemarquis
WAM is normally not the first name that comes you in mind, when you think of organ music. Mozart composed these 17 Epistles in Salzburg during the period of 1772 until 1780, or when he was between the ages of 16 and 24 years old, as part of his duties as a musical servant of Archbishop Prince Colloredo of Salzburg. Used to bridge the liturgical gap between the singing of the Epistle and the singing of the Gospel at Mass, they are scored for two violins, bass instrument and organ ~ although three of them, intended for days of greater ceremony, involve a slightly larger ensemble.
Perhaps the tender age of the composer explains why these are such joyous works, brimful of uplifting melody and lighthearted exaltation. Here is music praising a benevolent God, a kindly Father. Concentrated and imaginative ~ the epitome of inspiring and elevating with their bright melodies and quick tempi ~ I can imagine how these would sound performed inside of a great cathedral, the music swirling in brilliant waves and echoing from the rafters, filling the worshippers with a satisfying taste of Mozart’s particular brand of heaven.
Heartening, moving, inspirational, stirring. A most delightful, eloquent foray into the sacred side of the supreme young genius of W. A. Mozart. Highly recommended!

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:
(Organ) François Delor
Orchestra: Collegium Academicum De Genève
Conductor: Robert Dunand
Vinyl 1974
Number of discs: 1
Format: Flac
Label: Concert Hall
DR-Analysis:
DR 12
Size: 1.05 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

Continue reading

HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Telarc) Hector Berlioz – Requiem (Shaw)

front-small-boxset
As one would expect, Robert Shaw’s rendition of the Requiem is magnificently polished, with choral singing that is beyond compare. The drama is not quite as pronounced as with Davis and Munch, but the work’s majestic architecture stands clearly revealed. For once, Telarc’s thunderous, bass-heavy pickup adds something to the sonic picture. –Ted Libbey
Any one not familiar with Berlioz’ “Te Deum” should also give this careful consideration. I personally prefer the Te Deum over the Requiem and wonder why the two works are not equally known. This Shaw, although very very good, is (IHMO) slightly under the level of Davis, to call one, but technically is it one of the best (maybe THE best) among all releases of this underestimated masterwork. Friends of HiFi and owners of a very good equipment will find this absolutely amazing. Anyone who catches onto this neglected masterpiece should also investigate the Inbal (on Denon) and the Davis (on Philips).

Composer: Hector Berlioz
Performer: Atlanta Symphony Chorus, John Alder
OrchestraAtlanta Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Robert Shaw
Vinyl 1985
Number of discs: 2
Format: Flac
Label: Telarc
DR-Analysis:
DR 14
Size: 3.17 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

Continue reading