FRITZ REINER CONDUCTS WAGNER
WAGNER: Prelude to Act I of Die Meistersinger. Prelude to Act I of Parsifal. (New York Philharmonic). Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walküre. Venusberg Music from Tannhäuser. Preludes to Acts I and III of Lohengrin. Forest Murmurs from Siegfried. Prelude to Act I and excerpts from Act III of of Die Meistersinger.(Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
PRISTINE CLASSICAL PASC 517 TT: 79:26
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ISAAC STERN IN CONCERT
HAYDN: Violin Concerto No. 1 in C. ( New York Philharmonic / Leopold Stokowski). MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (Philadelphia Orchestra / Pierre Monteux). TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35 (Hollywood Bowl Orchestra / Serge Koussevitzky).
PRISTINE CLASSICAL PASC 519 TT: 77:51
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OSSY RENARDY EARLY RECORDINGS
PAGANINI: 24 Caprices, Op. 1 (with pianist Eugene Helmer). FRANCK: Violin Sonata in A. RAVEL: Violin Sonata No. 2 (with pianist Eugene List).
PRISTINE CLASSICAL PACM 103 (2 disks) TT: 1:49:22
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Fritz Reiner, acknowledged as one of the great Wagner interpreters of his time, appeared often at Bayreuth, the Met and the Vienna State Opera. Surprisingly, he made relatively few commercial recordings of Wagner. He did record profusely wih the Chicago Symphony and collectors surely should invesigqte the superb RCA set of all of his RCA recordings (REVIEW). This includes the only Chicago Wagner recording, music from Götterdämmung and and Die Meistersinger. We are fortunate to have his Meistersinger (1853) and Flying Dutchman (1950) in live performances from the Met. This fine new release contains all of the Hungarian conductor's commercial Wagner recordings. The opening Meistersinger and Parsifal excerpts were recorded in Carnegie Hall November 1938, and have excellent mono sound. This Meistersinger Prelude is one of the most exciting you'll ever experience. Other recordings were made in Pittsburgh's Carnegie Music Hall and that city's Syria Mosque 1940-1941.Those venues were not as flattering to orchestral sound, but the dynamic performances impress in Mark Obert-Thorn's expert transfers. A welcome disk!

Ukraine-born violinist Isaac stern (1920 - 2001) was one of the greatest violinists of his time acclaimed by fellow musicians and the public. Perhaps one of his greatest achievements was organizing a campaign to save Carnegie Hall, which in the 1960s was about to be demolished. This intriguing new disk offers live performances made during his technical prime. Leopold Stokowski leads the New York Philharmonic in a performance recorded December 4, 1949 from Carnegie Hall. Serge Koussevitzky, very late in his career, leads the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in a dynamic performance of the Tchaikovsky August 29, 1950. (You can hear the conductor shgouting Bravo! at the end). The Mendelssohn concerto is from a broadcast January 13, 1945 with Pierre Monteux on the podium and the Philadelphia Orchestra. CD notes state this appeared to be unrehearsed, and at one point Stern dealt professionally with a broken string. MOT's transfers are superb, and this is an important release giving us an opportunity to hear live performances by one of the century's greatest violinists.

Pristine issued a splendid remastering of violinist Ossy Renardy's 1948 recording of the Brahms concerto with Charles Munch and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw (REVIEW). The amazing young violinist made few recordings; Pristine also has issued a disk of his Columbia recordings. Renardy's career was tragically short; he died in a car accident in 1953 when only 33. He made what were to be his final recordings for the budget label Remington in New York where in 1953 these recordings were made in Mastertone Recording Studios. Renardy was in top form. The Paganiniu Caprices are in the arrangement with piano accompaniment by Ferdinand David, assisted by Eugene Helmer. In the Franck and Ravel sonatas, Renardy is accompanied by a very young Eugene List, then at the beginning of his career. These are important recordings and collectors should welcome these perfect transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn.

R.E.B. (January 2018)