Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by George P, Apr 12, 2015.
Isn't that the "Unreleased" set, the one below? Which, of course, wasn't authorized by Rudolf Serkin
Gergiev and Matsuev are far more intense too, although the Richter/Karajan reading has its moments. It's just to have such monumental artists captures in such good sound.
Indeed it is!
Serkin not authorizing that Op. 110 is one of the examples I use when people say the artist knows best. It's the best Op. 110 I have ever heard (our of more than two dozen.)
The best Op. 110 I have ever heard out of about two dozen, Claudio Arrau's on Philips:
Wow, I need to proofread more carefully. It should read, "Gergiev and Matsuev are far more intense too, although the Richter/Karajan reading has its moments. It's just nice to have such monumental artists captured in such good sound.
Johannes Brahms – Piano Quartet No.1 op.25
— Martha Argerich, piano, Gidon Kremer, violin, Yuri Bashmet, viola, Mischa Maisky, violoncello
Robert Schumann – Fantasiestucke op.88 for piano, violin and violincello
— Martha Argerich, piano, Gidon Kremer, violin, Mischa Maisky, violoncello (Deutsche Grammophon)
And as long as I'm on the subject, a few obs. regarding Claudio Arrau's 1960's Beethoven Sonata Cycle for Philips. I managed to hear this music the first time around about 40 years ago. After some years on U.S, pressings with added reverb and surface noise, Philips released the set as a mid-priced box with excellent mastering and pressings from the Netherlands. Along with Arthur Schnabel's pioneering set, this was my imprint version for many of the sonatas. Comparing the two, Schnabel's got the spirit but Arrau's got the notes. In the early sonatas, Schnabel has more than enough spirit to offset the wrong notes and there seem to be a lot less of them than later on—Schnabel's rendition of the #28, Op. 101 is a trainwreck, Arrau's is 'on' in every conceivable way. Conversely, Arrau's #1, Op. 2 is fussy and mannered compared to Schnabel's high-impact performance.
But and in any case, the difference in Sound Quality twixt the two—1930's and under duress, 1960's and in the Concertgebouw, one on 78's, unedited, the other on tape, edited—was and is immense. Immenser these days, in point of fact. This box of Arrau playing Beethoven is the most sonically appealing set of CDs of piano I have heard. I'm not sure of what went on in the mastering, but the sound of these CDs is better what I recall of the LPs and I recall the LPs being particularly good. Hearing Arrau's performance of the final sonata, #32, OP. 111, I could hear more music than in Schnabel's highly regarded performances, more clearly hearing the complex contrapuntal passagework in the opening movement. More so this time than back when I owned this collection on LPs. The greatest virtue of this collection is the quality of sound that Arrau produces and the quality of the audio capture of that sound. In that regard, in this music, he has no true rival.
In conclusion, if you like this sort of thing, you'll like this sort of thing.
This RCA sets looks good. I have the older box set issued in 2002 by EMI. Martinon conducts the Orchestre National De L'Orte and Orchestra De Paris performing works by Debussy and Ravel recorded in 1974 and 1975. All excellent.
Have you heard Serkin's 1960 recording?
Arrau was the first cycle I owned (on mid 70's LPs). (I had previously sampled late Schnabel - EMI was offering the cycle in multiple 3 or 4 disc box sets back in the early 70's - but the combination of poor sound, my not being prepared for late Beethoven, and perhaps wrong notes put me off them.)
I also held off buying Arrau on CD. I purchased it last winter, and I too, found the sound quality astonishingly good.
Fantastic on all accounts.
Yes, and he makes the same mistake as most other performers, speeding up the finale when it is more properly performed as a more traditional fugue, without the spurious accelerando for the finale. Good, other than that. But here I agree with Charles Rosen [and Claudio Arrau, apparently], in that the tradition of playing the finale with the accelerando is not Beethoven's intention. The music makes more sense with greater metrical regularity. And Arrau's sense of tone color is worth the trip all by itself.
Note that Schnabel re-recorded OP's 109 and 111 for RCA in the forties. Better sound, roughly equivalent as performances. Schnabel makes something of a mess of the opening and closing movements of the Hammerklavier sonata but makes up for it during the adagio.
Yes! Even though being super technically clean was not in his nature as a performer, I often wonder what higher level of amazing music he would have made if he was...but that's too scary to even think about
Now playing CD57 - Cantatas Nos 188 & 192 from the following box for a firs listen ...
Warner should do a new box of the complete Martinon EMI and Erato recordings. I'd be very tempted to buy it, despite the duplications.
Now playing CD58 - Cantatas Nos 194 & 195 from the following box for a first listen - 2 two CD's to go ...
Now playing the following LP from my Elgar collection ...
Excellent album of French music for winds performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet with Stephen Hough on Poulenc's Sextet.
Martinon's Debussy is available in hi-rez. Pretty good price for the download equivalent of 4 discs. The SQ is nice as well.
On the turntable tonight, this is a very rare LP:
If that's an original pressing you have,you aren't kidding.
There are clearly many relatively recent spin-offs from major orchestras. I have seen recordings by the Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and a few others and now this Gewandhaus Quartett appears to be a spin-off from the Gewandhaus Orchestra ...
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