Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by George P, May 29, 2015.
For their (unique) performances alone, yes, they are recommendable.
Thanks. Yeah I’m pretty sure the performance will be good. Just wondered if anyone knows if these discs are well mastered or not.
Sorry, don't have that one. I just checked a few that I do have on that label and they sound like they were noise reduced. Certainly not the worst I have heard, but far from the best. As I said above, in the cases where this is the only label that released the material, I still find their discs worth having.
That’s great thanks for that George. Appreciated.
Speaking of Russian Music...spinning.
It's been a very long time since I saw one of those! They made quite the big splash in the review magazines back before Tower went bankrupt. Like so many reissue initiatives during the period, the label was the talk of the critics for a little while until the next "flavor of the month" fixation came along, whereupon nobody talked about it at all (see, for example, the abrupt "discovery" and nearly as abrupt re-disappearance of Hermann Scherchen), and like so many attempts to mine the old Soviet Melodyia catalogue for Western audiences dating all the way back to the early days of the LP (Colosseum, anyone?), it never took off in the way one might have hoped or expected. I think part of the trouble was/is that the Soviets tended to box their artists in at home, preventing them from developing "name recognition" in the general public abroad. Some broke through that; many didn't. Then, too, you could never quite be sure whether the record in your hands would sound fine or really, really drab.
I think the things weren't all that expensive, but if memory serves they sold at a little more than the bottom-end budget price. That probably didn't help, either.
Thanks for the information.
Listening to Artur Rubinstein play the Schubert "Wanderer" Fantasy and the Liszt Sonata in B minor.
Perhaps I've heard the Schubert "Wanderer" too often, as Rubinstein's performance didn't inspire... but I'm mid-way through the Liszt Sonata and there's a freshness and immediacy that puts it near the top for me.
LP is an RCA "Dynagroove" White Dog label from 1966.
Concertos for Violin
Orchestre de Chambre Jean-Francois Paillard
Very fine interpretations. Excellent sound on this remastered disc from the Paillard box.
Scandinavian Music Grieg/Sibelius/Nielsen/Dag Wiren
The Academy of St. Martin In The Fields
Wonderful playing and sound from the legendary tandem of St. Martin & Marriner. I'm listening to the remastered (enhanced) edition, CD #43 from the Academy's 60th Anniversary Box Set, which includes their performance of Grieg's Holberg Suite which the original Argo lp (posted above) did not. The YouTube Music edition includes the new additions, too.
Can't say I blame you on the Wanderer Fantasy. As much as I adore Schubert, I've never been an admirer of that work.
Got this CD a few years back. Hard to beat Moravec, especially when it comes to Chopin.
This song is currently being used on the trailer for the superb documentary The Truffle Hunters (go and see it if you haven’t already).
This version os HEAVENLY .
As always, stunning work from Moiseiwitsch.
Looks like a great Moravec / Chopin CD. since it is from "original digital" recordings, they can't be the same as what I have-- which are analog recordings, mainly from the '60s.
Somewhere I saw a Moravec box set with 10 or 11 CDs and a DVD. I was tempted to get it, but hesitated. Do you have that or know if it is well-regarded?
Yeah, that disc was recorded in 1982. I don't have the recent box, as with so many pianist box sets that have come out lately, I already had most of it. I am curious about the DVD and some of the stuff that I don't have already, but not enough to make the space for the set.
Also, I find that when I get the big pianist boxes, like Cortot and Serkin, I tend to listen to their performances a lot less, since getting it out and finding the disc I want is more a chore than just grabbing the original CD I want off the shelf.
An update to my "clear the shelves of nondescript LP box sets" project.
Last night I finished copying the Time-Life "The Baroque Era" box, four LPs in automatic sequence. I didn't bother copying the excerpts from Klemperer's Bach St. Matthew Passion, as I have a complete original issue of that recording. The last side that I did copy was billed as "side 7"; I took things however they were left in the box by whoever owned it before me. It presented two Scarlatti sonatas played by Ingrid Heiler and Bach's 2d B'burg with something called the Bath Festival Or. under Yehudi Menuhin, who also played the violin solos. Trumpet soloist was someone named Denis Clift. The Scarlatti performances were spirited in a "(probably too) big, bold harpsichord sound" kind of way, but both cut the repeats--instead of form AABB as intended, they were just AB. Whether that was a choice of the artist or of Time-Life, cutting them to make them fit with the Bach on one LP side, I don't know, but: boo! Said Bach was interesting. Modern instruments, very much in the fashion of "modern instrument ensemble dipping its toes into the pond of period awareness" current in the early '60s--small orchestra, tempos that were fairly lively by the standards of that day but a bit sluggish by those of ours, vibrato in the strings, and so on. One impressive detail, though, something I've never heard elsewhere that really made me sit up and take notice: trumpeter Clift takes the final note not down, as is universal, but up. And presumably at modern concert pitch. Wow.
The other side of that record, which I copied first, was billed as "side 3" and contained a Telemann concerto for 3 oboes and 3 violins and, spoiling the predominance of the number 3, the Bach concerto for 4 harpsichords and or. The Telemann was a useful reminder of just what a debt we owe Reinhard Goebel and Musica Antiqua Koln for rescuing that composer for us. The performance is by the Moscow Chamber Or. under Rudolf Barshai, like Menuhin doing double duty as one of the violin soloists; the only other name I recognized was oboist Pierre Pierlot. Nicely played, decently recorded, tempo (maybe more than) a bit sluggish in the opening allegro, on the moderate but sensible side elsewhere--in other words, pretty but a bit dull, which was the Telemannic norm back then and on up until MAK showed us just what a colorful, inventive, exciting composer the man really was, in the process absolving the town fathers in Leipzig of being entirely daft for preferring him to J.S. Bach (who thought enough of and was friendly enough with Telemann, by the by, that he named the latter godfather to one of his umpty-ump children). Since then, any number of other ensembles have joined the cause of taking Telemann seriously, and we are all the richer for it.
As an aside, just to give you an idea of the contrast, Barshai and co. take 5:03 for the first mvt. MAK get through the thing in a bracing 2:27.
As with the other "era" themed boxes I have from T-L (Romantic, Renaissance), these recordings were drawn from Angel. Pressings are just OK, middlin', not as bad as Murray Hill but not the best by any means. The labels indicate they were manufactured in Canada. The other two T-L series represented on my shelves are a Mozart cycle (late piano concerti and late string quartets, as I've mentioned before, drawn from London supplemented with Telefunken), and six or eight one-composer boxes from the "Great Men of Music" series. Not sure about the provenance of those, but I'll find out when I get to them. One thing I *will* give T-L: the printed matter is top-notch, with large, lovely color plates and extensive annotations that, if not aimed at the scholar, don't condescend to the reader, either, and that do go beyond rehashing the same old same old one more time. A good balance, especially for those who were the likely audience for these sets when they were new. Recording details in each are in a separate little booklet, with the two designed to fit spine-to-spine flat across the face of the records, the historical annotations being maybe 9" wide and the recording annotations 3". While not free of the "first we hear a gentle trilling in the kazoo" approach, they are not limited to that--again, a fair balance. I'll confess, I'm tempted to keep the pretty historical annotations when I dispose of the boxes and records--we shall see whether wins out over .
Now enjoying Cortot's 1928 recording of Chopin's second piano sonata and his 1929 recording of the Chopin Ballades.
David, I must sheepishly admit that I, too, have those T-L "era" themed boxes-- purchased new back in the day through a mail-order subscription. I've not looked through them in many years, but your commentary piqued my curiosity, so I just now plucked the "Baroque" era box from the shelf to take a look. Indeed, it's all there-- 4 LPs and 2 booklets -- exactly as you describe. Copyright dates are "1966, 1968"... yet I stamped a "71" on the small booklet, indicating the year I bought the set. I recall playing these LPs a few times in the early '70s when my music library was small, but then I basically abandoned them for better performances elsewhere.
Prior to seeing your review today, if you had asked me about the music & artists in these sets , I would have had zero recollection! I did not even recall the beautiful books they contained -- and they are impressive. Why keep them? In my case, they serve as shelf dividers (placeholders): The big, colorful boxes indicate the beginnings of the Renaissance (yellow), Baroque (red), and Romantic (blue) eras of my LP collection.
Yes, I know -- that's lame.
And they really take up too much shelf space for this purpose. Three thin dividers would serve better. One day, I'll likely take the time to purge them-- and dozens of other sets and LPs that I no longer listen to -- and file them in the basement. Already down there are several Murry Hill "complete" composer boxes, the DG 1970 Beethoven "Bicentennial" set and the T-L "Mozart" set. That last one, which I noticed you are also working through, seemed to be an attempt by T-L to issue a complete (or near complete) Mozart discography in multiple volumes. I think I have about a dozen of those black boxes, though I can't recall if I finished the series or just dropped the subscription. That was in the early '80s and the CD era was just on the horizon. The quality of that set, as I recall, was pretty good.
The funny thing about those boxes: they have exactly no collector's value, and no one ever gives them a second look--I've seen copies languish for months in our local thrift store--but if you take the trouble to examine what's in them, the recordings are for the most part well chosen, and some are really fine reissues. Maybe not "ultimate" choices, but good, solid, "would be a reasonable choice if you had to live with just one" records.
My two outtakes from the Mozart series came to me from my parents; Dad picked them up at some thrift store or flea market because Mom loved Mozart. (As do I, but alas our tastes differ--she liked "Dresden china" Mozart, which leaves me at best lukewarm; I prefer mine with some muscle, which she accused of "making Mozart sound like Beethoven.") The rest were a roadside pickup, spotted out with somebody's trash on collection day as I drove to work, oh, probably a good 20 years ago now. I remember the people sitting on their porch next door looked quite nonplussed as this guy in a suit slammed on the brakes of his car, jumped out, and started heaving their neighbor's garbage into his trunk!
If that 88H (?) Avatar isn't just a prop how could you tire of playing "Til", and I don't mean on the radio. Those 16th note runs do become an Earwig for a few days after a performance, though.
As the saying goes, "One man's garbage..."
Some wild music from Liszt on a Saturday night. (Or maybe I should be saving it for Halloween...)
John Ogdon, piano.
Seraphim / 1970 / US pressing (Capitol) / Recorded in England
Now enjoying this set (again.)
Due to Hurwitz's recent youtube survey of Beethoven SQ sets, I decided to give this one, which both he and I recommend highly, a spin. Tonight it's Op. 18, Nos 1-3.
Now enjoying a rare spin of this lovely CD.
Separate names with a comma.