SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 3 in E flat, Op. 97 "Rhenish." BRAHMS:
Serenade No. 2 in A, Op. 16.
FRANCK: Symphony in D minor. BERLIOZ: Benvenuto Cellini Overture.
GRIFFES: The White Peacock. DEBUSSY: Ibéria. CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO:
King John Overture. BRAHMS: Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102. BENJAMIN:
Overture to an Italian
Comedy. CORELLI-BARBIROLLI: Concerto Grosso. MAHLER: Excerpt from Adagietto
PFITZNER: Symphony in C for large orchestra, Op. 46. STRAUSS: Don
Op. 20. Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Op. 28. Salome's
Dance. Festive Prelude for large orchestra and organ, Op. 61
"KARAJAN - THE MUSIC, THE LEGEND
Bearac Reissues has provided a great service to collectors by restoring to the catalog Carlo Zecchi's performance with the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Schumann's Symphony No. 3—in a splendid transfer taken from the original LP. Also included is Serenade No. 2 of Brahms, already released by HAYDN HOUSE. Both recordings were made in May 1954 (at the same time, Zecchi made two other recordings with the Concertgebouw, Verdi's I vespri Siciliani Overture and Haydn's Symphony No. 100, neither yet issued on CD). Zecchi (1903-1984) initially was known as a pianist. He studied with Ferruccio Busoni and Artur Schnabel and was considered to be Italy's leading pianist at the time. He made few recordings: one is mentioned on this site (REVIEW). After a car accident in 1939, Zecchi turned primarily to conducting. It seems rather odd that his career didn't seem to be affected by his performing in Berlin for Hitler. According to Zecchi's comments, Hitler showed an unexpected knowledge of Mozart and Beethoven ("I said I would play a sonata by Mozart and he asked which. I said in D major and he asked which one. Then he asked for Beethoven. I told him I would play from Opus 31. He asked which one? There are three sonatas! I also played Petrushka for him. It was a very exciting evening, the first meeting with...this Devil." Regardless of politics, he elicited wonderfully warm, lucid performances of the two works on this CD. The rich mono sound vividly captures the Concertgebouw acoustic. Highly recommended! For information, contact bearacreissues.com
Guild offers a twin-CD set of broadcast performances1937-1943 by John Barbirolli and the New York Philharmonic. Barbirolli was conductor of the NYP for seven seasons beginning in 1936, a tenure that ended when Barbirolli, with his close ties in England, did not become an American citizen, a requirement at the time, not only for orchestra members, but conductors as well. Barbirolli would go on to become one of the most revered conductors of the era, and these live performances are welcome. The orchestra is in top shape, and of particular interest is the performance of the Brahms Double Concerto from March 26, 1939, with Albert Spalding and Gaspar Cassado as soloists. An oddity is a Shakespearean overture by Castelnuovo-Tedesco called King John which has fallen into oblivion (where it should be). Also included is Barbirolli's arrangement of several works by Corelli into a "concerto grosso," and a bonus offers about 5 minutes of the Adagietto from Mahler's Symphony No. 5, with quick tempi very unlike the norm today in this music. Sound throughout is surprisingly good, except for the Mahler. Some radio announcements are included. It's unfortunate this issue isn't less costly. If you are a Barbirolli fan, don't miss his NYP performances with Vladimir Horowitz of concertos of Tchaikovsky (1940) and Rachmaninoff (1941) (REVIEW).
Volume 13 in Profil's Günter Hänssler Edition offers early recordings by Karl Böhm of music of Strauss recorded from 1939-1941 (Don Juan, Till, Salome's Dance), and Symphony in C, Op. 46 by another composer he championed. Also included is a 1944 recording of the Festival Prelude conducted by Kurt Striegler, whose recordings otherwise are restricted to opera aria accompaniments. Böhm would record all of these Strauss works later, and those surely are the versions to have.
DGG is reissuing many of the recordings of Herbert von Karajan to commemorate the conductor's centenary (1908-1989). This 2-disk set contains a CD with Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5 in its "first general release on CD," a previously unreleased Bach Double Concerto for two violins with Christian Ferras and Michel Schwalbé (concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic), and the 1963 recording of Symphony No. 4 of Brahms. The DVD is a mish-mash of bits and pieces from various video productions from 1968-1981, plus the 1973 Beethoven Symphony No. 5. Of most interest is the final scene from Das Rheingold which is shortly to be issued in its entirety on DVD, a studio recording from 1981—we can hope perhaps the remainder of the Karajan Ring will follow on DVD? This 2-disk set is announced as "specially priced" but it still lists for about $30.It does include rather profuse notes in English, French and German, and a complete listing of Karajan's DGG recordings.
R.E.B. (February 2008)