All posts by Rachmaninov

I was born for the music. Music was my first love and will be the last.... (John Miles)

HD-Vinyls 24/192 (EMI) Francis Poulenc – Concert for Harpsichord ‘Champetre’ – Concert For 2 Pianos (Poulenc/Van De Wiele/Février)


Many thanks to Jean-Luc for another amazing gem
The performances of these concertos by Francis Poulenc are amazing. The Concert champetre (1929) was written for Wanda Landowska and was a favorite piece of hers but she never recorded it despite the urgings of Poulenc. This recording of the Concert champetre was made in 1957 with Aimee van de Wiele as soloist, who gives an energetic performance along the lines of Landowska. The Concerto for two pianos (1932) has the composer and Jacques Fevrier as soloists, a combination that could not be more ideal as Poulenc had Fevirer and himself in mind when he wrote the music.

Composer: Francis Poulenc
Performer: Francis Poulenc, Jacques Février, Aimée Van De Wiele
Orchestra: Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire
Conductor: Georges Pretre

Vinyl 1962 (1972)

Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC
Label: EMI
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 1.63 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
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HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Decca/London) Giuseppe Verdi ‎- Macbeth (Nilsson/Taddei/Schippers)


A huge “thank you” for this gem flights to our Chicago friend 😀
The acclaimed legendary Swedish dramatic Wagnerian soprano Birgit Nilsson, (1918-2005), made her official debut in 1947 at the Stockholm opera as Lady Macbeth. After just three days notice to replace an ailing colleague she had actually debuted in the same house one year earlier as Agathe in Der Freischutz. There were only four or so Verdian roles suited for her special abilities; Turandot, Aida, Lady Macbeth and Amelia. She once refused to learn Norma saying that it had “two many little notes”. She also once said that “Turandot made me rich, Isolde made me famous”. However there are apparently no recordings of any of her staged performances of Lady Macbeth, just this studio recording of excerpts made in London in 1964 under the brilliant conducting of Thomas Schippers.

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Performer: Birgit Nilsson, Giuseppe Taddei, Bruno Prevedi
Orchestra: Orchestra Of The Accademia Santa Cecilia of Rome
Conductor: Thomas Schippers

Vinyl 1965

Number of Discs: 3
Format: FLAC
Label: Decca/London
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 2.53 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
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Mono HD-Vinyls 24/96 (RCA) The Horowitz Collection


Many thanks to Trottar for This historical document
Historical recordings from (I guess) the 40s/50s.
This box contains much of the best of Horowitz’s playing. He is at the top of his ability, and the recordings are just superb, not to mention the incredibly eclectic choice of works that he plays on this. It’s worth it just to hear him play the Chopin Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise!

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Karl Czerny, Muzio Clementi, Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Camille Saint-Saëns, Moritz Moszkowski, Sergei Prokofiev, Samuel Barber, Alexander Scriabin, Frédéric Chopin
Performer: Vladimir Horowitz

Vinyl 1963

Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC
Label: RCA
DR-Analysis: DR 11
Size: 1.16 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
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HD-Vinyls 24/192 (Columbia) Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 4 (Ormandy/Serkin)


Many thanks to our friend Jean-Luc for this masterpiece
Anyone who thinks Ormandy was the purveyor of the hearts and flowers of “The Philadelphia Sound” and not much else should be compelled to hear this Beethoven 4 with Serkin. It is truly one of the great 4ths; lyrical, unrushed, affectionately rendered, but with no indulgences at all. Serkin loved this concerto with every fiber of his being, but played no games with it. And–make no mistake–he was accompanied by a master. Of the many versions Serkin recorded during his life, this is surely the one to get.

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Rudolf Serkin
Orchestra: Philadelphia Orchestra

Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
Vinyl 1955
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC
Label: Columbia
DR-Analysis: DR 12
Size: 1.37 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
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HD-Vinyls 24/192 (Thorens) Berlioz/Davis – Bruckner/Haitink – Strauss/Sinopoli – Shostakovich/Kondrashin


Many thanks to our friend Urbanox for this rarity
This double album is a homage to the Staatskapelle. As intended and commissioned by the Thorens company. The Swiss turntables manufacturer cannot rival the Orchestra’s 460 years, but at 125 years of age, Thorens holds the record as the oldest company of the entertainment industry still in existence. These LPs are meant as a double birthday gift: to ourselves, but above all to our many friends around the world. For friends of the Staatskapelle, friends of Thorens and above all, for lovers of good-quality music reproduction. (Heinz Roher, CEO Thorens)

Composer: Hector Berlioz, Richard Strauss, Dmitri Shostakovich, Anton Bruckner
Orchestra: Staatskapelle Dresden
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Bernard Haitink, Kyrill Kondrashin
Vinyl 1974/1994/2001/2003 (2008)
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC
Label: Thorens
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 3.29GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
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HD-Vinyls 24/96 (EMI/Angel) Richard Wagner – Tristan Und Isolde (Vickers, Ludwig, Karajan)


Many thanks to our friend from Lake Michigan for this gem
This is one of the most popular modern recordings of the opera though partly by default as there haven’t been many and the consensus is that the most recent ones lack the great singers of the past. It somewhat lags behind Böhm’s and Furtwängler’s in popularity and critical esteem though I think it’s nearly as good. Most of the criticism has been directed at the conducting. I’ll get to that but first I want to discuss the lead singers.

Composer: Richard Wagner
Performer: Jon Vickers, Helga Dernesch, Christa Ludwig, Walter Berry

Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Vinyl 1972

Number of Discs: 5
Format: FLAC
Label: EMI/Angel
DR-Analysis: DR 11
Size: 5.03 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
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HD-Vinyls 24/192 (Philips) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Symphonies No. 34 & 38 (Marriner)


Many thanks to our friend Dagote for the immortal Marriner
Trust Sir Neville Mariner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields to handle Mozart–whether early, middling, or late–with brio. Then add the technical excellence of Philips to the value inherent already in the great composer and one of the twentieth century’s finest houses for Baroque and Classical music. The result is of unsurpassable value. This is another great listening experience performed by The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, under Sir Neville Marriner. The interpretation is outstanding, though a little different than what we traditionally hear for Mozart.

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra: Academy Of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Conductor: Neville Marriner
Vinyl 1980
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC
Label: Philips
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 2.13 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
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Mono HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Turnabouts) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – The Magic Flute (Beecham)


Many thanks to Bob for another rarity
Pyramids crumble into step-pyramids before being reduced by the elements into knolls and then dust in wait for another Cheops to be enthroned, reign and die.
This Magic Flute is a pyramid which Beecham, Lord of the Pills, raised majestically in 1937. Notwithstanding the passage of decades and onslaught of Period Practice, its capstone is still in place; its lining of limestone is pristine and overall it shows every sign of defying time for the foreseeable future and beyond. What an achievement! There is no better sung Magic Flute on record. Nearby, the pyramids of the post-war Karajan (EMI) and Furtwangler performances are keeping pace with it. The contribution of one Fritz Wunderlich is keeping Karl Bohm’s pyramid in the game. Further afield and despondent in ruination, one can view the knolls of Pale Bill Christie (Erato), Jeggy (DG) and Karajan (DG) whose Tamino, Francisco Araiza, is as gritty as the sands of Giza. To varying degrees, they served their day.

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Tiana Lemnitz, Erna Berger, Irma Beike, Helge Roswaenge, Gerhard Hüsch, Wilhelm Strienz

Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Sir Thomas Beecham
Vinyl 1963 (1937)

Number of Discs: 3
Format: FLAC
Label: Turnabouts
DR-Analysis: DR 11
Size: 1.06 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
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Audiophile HD-Vinyls 24/192 (BIS) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 21, Sinfonia Concertante (Scheja, Lydell, Sparf, Wedin)


Many thanks to our friend Dagote for this audiophile pearl
There are numerous accounts of the famous Elvira Madigan concerto, so called because the second movement is featured in the movie, but this performance is as fine as any, with Scheja absolutely sparkling at the keyboard and Wedin providing crisp, energetic backup. This is one of the sunniest pieces of music ever written, it will brighten up almost any mood. Who says, you always have to have only the best known artists and orchestras? Listen to this and be happy! Highly recommended!

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Staffan Scheja, Nils-Erik Sparf, Bernt Lysell
Orchestra: The Stockholm Sinfonietta
Conductor: Jan-Olav Wedin
Vinyl 1982
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC
Label: BIS
DR-Analysis: DR 12
Size: 2.42 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
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Mono HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Private Records) Christoph Willibald Gluck – Paride Ed Elena (Ricciarelli, Bonisolli)


Many thanks to Bob for this rarity
The text and the music for the Dramma per musica Paride ed Elena probably originated in Vienna between 1768 and 1770: details of the genesis of the work are not known. Calzabigi may have started the text-book after the premiere of Alceste (December 26th, 1767) and wrote it aloud a letter to Antonio Greppi, already before December 12th, 1768, while Gluck had begun composing at that time, but probably not earlier than in the first months of 1770. The premiere took place on Saturday, November 3rd, 1770 at the Vienna Burgtheater in honor of Peter Leopold, Archduke of Austria and Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Composer: Christoph Willibald Gluck
Performer: Katia Ricciarelli, Franco Bonisolli, Valeria Mariconda

Orchestra: Orchestra of the Settimana Musicale Senese
Conductor: Piero Bellugi
Vinyl 1973

Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC
Label: Private Records
DR-Analysis: DR 11
Size: 1.06 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
Continue reading Mono HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Private Records) Christoph Willibald Gluck – Paride Ed Elena (Ricciarelli, Bonisolli)