WAGNER: Siegfried Idyll. Love Music from Tristan and Isolde. Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin. Wotan's Farewell from Die Walküüre
.NB C Symphony Ortchestra / Leopold Stokowsi, cond

TELEMANN: Suite in A Mihor for Fute and Strigs. MOZART: Divertimento No 10 in F K.247. BEETHOVEN: Symphony No 1 in C, Op. 21. SIBELIUS: Finlandia,Op. 26. The Swan of Tuonela. Lemmenkainen's Return. Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39. ENESCU: Roumanian Rhapsody No 1
Philadelphia Orchestra / Eugene Ormandy, cond
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC605 (2 disks) TT: 63:19 / 68:48

JANACEK: From the House of the Dead. Sinfonietta.
Soloists, choruses and orchestras / Jascha Horensteinmcond,
PRISTINE AUDIO PACO 173 (2 disks) TT: 2 hours 7 min.

Performances by sopranos Agnes Baltsa, Grace Bumbry, Brigitte Fassbaender, Edita Gruberova, Adrianne Pieczonka, Krassimira Stoyanova and Julia Varady; tenors Carlo Bergozi, Piotr Beczala, Franco Bonisolli, and baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
ORFEO 200011 (9 disks)

Pristine Audio already has issued many superb live performances conduced by Leopold Stokowski, and nd nw we have another gem, more Wagner performances with the NBC Symphony. Siegfried Idyll is from a broadcast December 6, 1942, the Love Music from Tristan and Isolde is from a concert February 26, 1943. The two other works are from the same broadcast, January 23, 1944. The Stokowski magic always is apparent and well conveyed through Andrew Rose's expert XR remastering. Let us hope Pristine will continue to find treasures such as these.

The second set in Pristine's valuable Eugene Ormandy early recordings series is of particular interest. It features RCA recordings made 1937 - 1941, in perfect new remasterings by Mark Obert-Thorn. We usually don't associate Ormany with Telemann, Mozart and Beethoven, but here they are. The Telemann was played by an ensemble of only 29 players with principal flute William Kinkaid as soloist. For me, most interest is these early Sibelius recordings. Ormandy championed music of Sibelius throughout his career and recorded it often. These are virtuoso, sensitive performances and one can understand why the composer felt Ormandy was an ideal interpreter. MOT's informative program notes point out that Ormandy ads three tam-tam strokes in the nine bars before Letter P of the score (they are heard beginning at 4:19 into track 3), and that Beecham also made this addition. Ormandy recorded all of these Sibelius years later in splendid stereo, but collectors surely will enjoy these earlier ones.

Jascha Horenstein's live Berlin Phiharmonic reording of Janacek's Taras Bulba recently was praised on this site (REVIEW). Horenstein championed Janacek's music and gave many performances. When the two first met at the ISCM Festival in 1927, Janacek was still writing From the House of the Dead which was his final opera. Horenstein led the fully-sagedpremiere April 12,1930 at the National Theatre Brno, . Pristine gives us the French premiere, a concert performance form Radio France's Paris studios May 14, 1953. It was sung in French before an invited audience. A closing announcement in French is included. Disk 2 ends with a superb remastering f Horenstein's 1955 Vox recoring with a Viennese orchestra of Sinfonietta, another welcome addition to the cataog. Andrew Rose's XR remastering is excellent. This is an unusual and important addition to the atalog.

To commemorate their 40th Anniversary, the Munich-based ORFEO label ha issued a series of multiple-disk sets focusing on leading musicians and singers. Now we have this nine-disk set caled Legendary Voices that features the artists listed above in studio recordings made when the singers were ing their prime. There are many familiar names and we have a disk of rare recording of duets sung by Carlo Bergonzi and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, The most recent recording is from tenor Piotr Beczala who s career like the unfortunate situation with all performers, has been shut down by the Corona19 virus. Audio throughout is excellent. Brief program notes and complete recording information is provided but no texts. This is a budget issue.

R.E.B. (October 2020)