RHEINBERGER: Organ Concerto No. 2. MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition.
Suzanne Rohn, organ. Konrad Graf, prcussion
HD KLASSIK SACD 001701 TT: 61:00

VIVALDI: The Four Seasons. Il Riposo per il S.S. Natale, RV 270. Concerto L'Amoroso, RV 271. Concerto Il Grosso Mogull, RV 208.
Rachael Podger, violin. Brecon Baroque
CHANNEL CLASSICS SACD CCS SA 40318 TT: 75:24
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WILHELM FURTWANGLER - LUCERNE FESTIVAL
SCHUMANN: Manfred Overfure. Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 129. BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E flat, Op. 55 "Eroica."
Lucerne Festival Orchestra / Wilhelm Furtwäangler, cond.
AUDITE 91.441 (2 disks) TT: 67:00 /. 30:30

Josef Gabriel Rheinberger's two concertos for organ and orchestra have attracted audiophiles ever since Columbia made their famous recording featuring E. Power Biggs with Maurice Peress cinductiung the Columbia Symphony. This was a sonic spectacular on regular LP. Fortunately for collectors, Dutton Epoch licensed the original multi-track tapes from Sony and issued them on SACD, praised on this site (REVIEW). Now we have this new recording of Concerto No. 2, in an arrangement for two organs. Jörg Endebrock plays an historic Walcker Organ, and Suzanne Rohn plays the Klais organ. Surely this version cannot match the grandeur of the original version! Then we have Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in an arrangement for organ and percussion, played by Rohn and percussionist Konrad Graf. There are two versions of the performances, one a "3D version in an artificial head recording in three-dimensional sound quality in a very purist manner with only two microphones....intended for headphone listening." Either way, audio is disappointing with large masses of organ sound but pecussion in the Mussorgsky is blured. Limited inerest here. If you'd like to hear Pictures played on the organ, investigate Cameron Carpoenter's amazing version mentuioned on this sie (REVIEW), which also includes a DVD wi appropriae artwork.

Baroque violinist Rachael Podger has made many magnificent disks, some reviewed on this sie. She already has recorded much Vivaldi, and she now turns her attention to hus most famous work, The Four Seasons. This is coupled with three other concertos as listed above. Podger is aided by Brecon Baroque. The eight members are all specialists in in the world of period instruments and blend perfectly with Podger. The recordings were made in London's St. Jude's Church October 9 - 12, 2017, and engineers have captured a clear, close-up sonic picture. Recommended!

This Audite HD Klassik release is Volume 12 in their Lucerne Festival series. This one features Furtwängler conducting Schumann and Beethoven in a concert August 16, 1953. These are live recordings, and apparently this Manfed is here released for the first time. Performances are predictably solid, but one always is aware we are not hearing one of the world's great orchestras. CD notes state the recordings are taken from original Swiss Radio and Television tapes, but these are mono tapes, with congested orchestral sound and limited high frequencies. I don't understand why they were released on SACD when engineers had so little to work with. The second disk is short (30:30). Why didn't they include more music? At any rate, this set sells for the price of one premium-priced disk. Furtwängler collectors might which to own it simply for this never before issued performance of Manfred Overture.

R.E.B. (March 2018)

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