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.…
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.
Many thanks to Jean-Luc for these Sibelius pearls These are wonderful performances which have always been highly regarded. Karajan captures the immense gloom and introspection of the crystal, northern beauty of the 6th. Tapiola is intensely dramatic and breathtaking in its sweep.The 7th performance given here is one of the most awe inspired interpretations ever put to record. No conductor can convey the emotion which Herbert von Karajan can in this piece…
…listen to the trombone solo at the end and your hair will rise on the back of the neck…truly wonderful. The strings in the opening are beutiful…an awe inspired 7th with a tremendous 6. Strange that Sibelius never wrote another note after this for over a 30 year period…
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.
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.
Many thanks to our friend Urbanox for this stunning box With this special edition DG pays tribute to an extraordinary musical partnership. The 6LP box set collects all the concerto recordings made by pianist Martha Argerich with conductor Claudio Abbado over more than 45 years. Their final meeting on stage took place at the Lucerne Festival at Easter 2013, where they performed two Mozart concertos. This special occasion was recorded, and the release was not only highly praised but is also Deutsche Grammophon’s most successful release of 2014 so far. Martha Argerich and Claudio Abbado got to know each other through Friedrich Gulda, with whom they both studied in the late 1950s. Their close collaboration in the studio began in 1967 with Argerich’s brilliant concerto-debut release of the Prokofiev Third and Ravel G major. Each recording since then has been a success, as much with the critics as on a commercial level.
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Liszt, Frederik Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven, Maurice Ravel, Peter Tchaikowsky, Sergej Prokofiev
Performer: Martha Argerich Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Mozart
Conductor: Claudio Abbado
Number of discs: 6
DR-Analysis: DR 15/14/15/15/14/17 Size: 11.67 GB
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Number of discs: 1
DR-Analysis: DR 13 Size: 800 MB