All posts by Rachmaninov

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

HD-Vinyls 24/96 (DGG) Jean Sibelius – Symphony No. 5 (Karajan)


Many thanks to Jean-Luc for this splendid 5th
Sibelius’s music is folkish in origin, part of that turn of the 20th century revival of national origins, hence his nature worship. At this time many European artists were eschewing the Christianism of prior centuries and investigating the pagan, heathen origins of their regions, and of the continent, but this was all only a culmination of the Romantic movement begun by Beethoven, at least in music. Beethoven of course, like all the Germans, was idealistic and cast a long glance back to the Greeks, but it was this disruption of Christianity’s universalist stranglehold on the mind that began the liberation which made possible the much later nativist spirits like Sibelius. One can see this clearly in Brahms, Grieg, Wagner, Hugo Wolf, and even traces of it in modernists like Stravinsky and Bartok. The Jew Adorno for one particularly despised Sibelius, and that makes sense given the anti-native, universal nature of Judaism. This religious abstractionism of Judaism, written large in Christianity, won out in the modernist moment, for political reasons, and Sibelius dropped out all together.

Composer: Jean Sibelius
Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Vinyl 1964

Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC
Label: DGG
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 1.89 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
Continue reading HD-Vinyls 24/96 (DGG) Jean Sibelius – Symphony No. 5 (Karajan)

HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Eterna) Fryderyk Chopin – Piano Concert No. 2 (Rubinstein/Wallenstein)


The sounds coming off this disc is among the most beautiful ever committed to a mechanical recording device. No, I don’t mean the recorded sound — I mean the sound produced by a living human musician on his piano. This includes such items that no microphone technique can efface, however poor it may be: impeccable legato, perfect phrasing, living inside the music with your imagination, bringing it to life in vibrant splendour. The actual sound coming out of your loudspeakers may not be as luminous when you compare them to a modern rexording. But this is music-making, not record making! This is Chopin, not musical wallpaper. You have to engage your heart together with your ears, or you’ll lose the plot!. Since Rubinstein’s recordings are made so long ago, the recording quality certainly will not be as sophisticated as the present but if we can concentrate on his musicality, his beautiful tone color, performances that has virtuosity but the most important thing brought forward is making music, it is a joy and inspiring to listen to him being an artist and not simply a mechanic. There is no one “correct” way to interpret any piece of music, you just have to find the performance that you like the most but Rubinstein’s performances certainly rank right up there for many people. You don’t have to be musically educated to enjoy art, just listen, look, and react the way you feel. Enjoy!

Composer: Fryderyk Chopin
Performer: Artur Rubinstein
Orchestra: Symphony Of The Air Orchestra
Conductor: Alfred Wallenstein
Vinyl 1959/1975

Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC
Label: ETERNA
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 797 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
Continue reading HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Eterna) Fryderyk Chopin – Piano Concert No. 2 (Rubinstein/Wallenstein)

HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Eterna) Fryderyk Chopin – Piano Concert No. 1 (Rubinstein/Skrowaczewski)


Rubinstein recorded the Chopin Concertos numerous times. This version of Chopin’s first Concerto is the most successful of Rubinstein’s several versions, partly thanks to the sensitive accompaniment of the New London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. Tempos are well-judged, phrasing is supple and natural, virtuosity is there, but not for its own sake. Since Rubinstein’s recordings are made so long ago, the recording quality certainly will not be as sophisticated as the present but if we can concentrate on his musicality, his beautiful tone color, performances that has virtuosity but the most important thing brought forward is making music, it is a joy and inspiring to listen to him being an artist and not simply a mechanic. There is no one “correct” way to interpret any piece of music, you just have to find the performance that you like the most but Rubinstein’s performances certainly rank right up there for many people. You don’t have to be musically educated to enjoy art, just listen, look, and react the way you feel. Enjoy!

Composer: Fryderyk Chopin
Performer: Artur Rubinstein
Orchestra: New Symphony Orchestra London
Conductor: Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
Vinyl 1961/1975

Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC
Label: ETERNA
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 773 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
Continue reading HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Eterna) Fryderyk Chopin – Piano Concert No. 1 (Rubinstein/Skrowaczewski)

HD-Vinyls 24/96 (EMI) Francis Poulenc – La Musique De Chambre (Fournier, Le Quintette À Vent De Paris, Menuhin)


Many thanks to Jean-Luc for this marvellous set
Francis Poulenc had throughout his life a predilection for wind instruments. He composed for the winds at the very beginning (sonata for 2 clarinets) at the very end of his career (sonatas for clarinet and piano, for oboe and piano). But this did not prevent him from producing during the Second World War two magnificent sonatas for violin and piano and cello and piano (each dedicated to Ginette Neveu and Pierre Fournier). His music

Composer: Francis Poulenc
Performer: Pierre Fournier, Le Quintette À Vent De Paris, Yehudi Menuhin
Vinyl 1973

Number of Discs: 4
Format: FLAC
Label: EMI
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 3.5 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
Continue reading HD-Vinyls 24/96 (EMI) Francis Poulenc – La Musique De Chambre (Fournier, Le Quintette À Vent De Paris, Menuhin)

HD-Vinyls 24/192 (EMI) Niccolò Paganini – Violin Concerti No. 1 & 2 (Menuhin)


A feast for heart & ears. Without any doubt, Paganini was the greatest violin virtuous ever lived. By the way: marvellous sound on this reissue!
Stunning album so beautifully played. As can be expected, there are music lovers who relish the technical details of Paganini’s violin concertos, and then there are those who find themselves ever-so-comfortable in the rich and lush romanticism of his quitessentially Italian expressiveness. You may freely count your servant in the latter category: in th eopinion of your servant, no one wrote more exquisitely romantic violin music (with the exception of Pablo de Sarasate) than Niccolo Paganini, and Yehudi Menuhin captures the essence of this romanticism at the highest levels of technicianship and expressive musicality!!! The cadenzas are from an older era, but they are no less technically demanding, and Yehudi Menuhin shows himself more than equal to the task. An absolute benchmark recording for all lovers of violin pyrotechnics, as well as violin students.
Highly recommended!

Composer: Niccolò Paganini
Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Alberto Erede
Vinyl 1961

Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC
Label: EMI
DR-Analysis: DR 15
Size: 2.09 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
Continue reading HD-Vinyls 24/192 (EMI) Niccolò Paganini – Violin Concerti No. 1 & 2 (Menuhin)

HD-Vinyls 24/192 (EMI/Melodyia) Jean Sibelius – Symphonies No. 5 & 6 (Rozhdestvensky)


Many thanks to Jean-Luc for this pearl
Rozhdestvensky is one of the later Soviet conductors who was still young enough to have a lengthy post Soviet career. These Sibelius recordings are from the 1970s when he was in his 40s. One has to accept that the Soviet brass sections were always a bit blaring and intrusive. It adds excitement at climaxes but also can upset the musical balance. Bearing that in mind, Rozhdestvensky brings an exceptional lyrical impulse to these works combined with a consistent rhythmic impulse which keeps the music from becoming unfocused. In the Sixth symphony Rozhdestvensky does a particularly brilliant job with the first two movements. The opening with strings and woodwind is magically handled and the movement gently evolves out of that, building momentum without seeming to. The brass provide a blazing punctuation to the movement right before the final cadence. The second movement carries the listener to the edge of a Finnish forest where little noises and rustling trees disturb the solitude in evanescent fashion. The final two movements are excellent but not quite to the level of the earlier ones.

Composer: Jean Sibelius
Orchestra: Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
Vinyl 1975/80

Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC
Label: EMI/Melodyia
DR-Analysis: DR 12
Size: 2.19 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
Continue reading HD-Vinyls 24/192 (EMI/Melodyia) Jean Sibelius – Symphonies No. 5 & 6 (Rozhdestvensky)

HD-Vinyls 24/192 (DGG) Anton Bruckner – Symphony No. 7 (Karajan)


Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony is considered his most perfectly conceived, and it has remained among the most performed of his works. The immediate success of his Seventh certainly must have given Bruckner some much needed confidence over the fate of his music.

Composer: Anton Bruckner, Richard Strauss
Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Vinyl 1975/77

Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC
Label: DGG
DR-Analysis: DR 12
Size: 3.2 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
Continue reading HD-Vinyls 24/192 (DGG) Anton Bruckner – Symphony No. 7 (Karajan)

HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Decca) Gustav Holst – The Hymn Of Jesus (Boult)


Gustav Theodore Holst (born Gustavus Theodore von Holst; 21 September 1874 – 25 May 1934) was an English composer, arranger and teacher. Best known for his orchestral suite The Planets, he composed a large number of other works across a range of genres, although none achieved comparable success. His distinctive compositional style was the product of many influences, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss being most crucial early in his development. The subsequent inspiration of the English folksong revival of the early 20th century, and the example of such rising modern composers as Maurice Ravel, led Holst to develop and refine an individual style.

Composer: Gustav Holst
Orchestra: B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Sir Adrian Boult
Vinyl 1962

Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC
Label: Decca
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 875 MB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
Continue reading HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Decca) Gustav Holst – The Hymn Of Jesus (Boult)

HD-Vinyls 24/96 (CBS) Maurice Ravel – Complete Works For Solo Piano (Entremont)


Many thanks to Trottar for this gem
Philippe Entremont was born in Reims to musical parents, his mother being a Grand Prix pianist and his father an operatic conductor. Philippe first received piano lessons from his mother at the age of six. His father introduced him to the world of chamber and orchestral music. He studied in Paris with Marguerite Long, and entered the Conservatoire de Paris. He won prizes in sight-reading at age 12, chamber-music aged 14, and piano at 15. He became Laureat at the international Long-Thibaud Competition at the age of 16. In the following year he won a prize in the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels, and then began his career of serious concert-giving at the piano.

Composer: Maurice Ravel
Performer: Philippe Entremont, Dennis Lee
Vinyl 1975

Number of Discs: 3
Format: FLAC
Label: CBS
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 2.83 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
Continue reading HD-Vinyls 24/96 (CBS) Maurice Ravel – Complete Works For Solo Piano (Entremont)

HD-Vinyls 24/192 (Melodyia) Dmitri Shostakovich – Symphony No. 14 (Kondrashin)


Many thanks to Jean-Luc for this rarity
The 14th Symphony, a cycle of 11 songs, is a series of meditations of one sort or another on death (or immortality, dissent or loss of some sort), for solo bass and soprano voices, and scored for strings and percussion (made up of castanets, woodblock, three tom toms, whip, bells, vibraphone, xylophone, celesta). The songs are potent indeed, each being a microcosm of some type of pain. Kondrashin gets great playing from the orchestra, with the percussion startling with each of its aggressive entrances. The performance is excellent. Highly recommended.

Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer: Eugenia Tselovalnik, Eugeni Nesterenko
Orchestra: Ensemble Of Soloists Of Moscow Philharmonic Academic Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Kirill Kondrashin
Vinyl 1974

Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC
Label: Melodyia
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 1.86 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF
Continue reading HD-Vinyls 24/192 (Melodyia) Dmitri Shostakovich – Symphony No. 14 (Kondrashin)