WAGNER: Die Walkure
CHARLES MUNCHG NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC BROADCASTS"
DELIUS: Alppalachia. In a Summer Garden. Over the Hills
and Far Away.
Two Pieces fore Small Orchestra.
Admirers of Charles Munch will find much pleasure in Pristine's 2-disk issue of performances with the New york Philharmonic. The first disk features recordings made for Columbia in 1947 (Saint-Saëns) and 1948 (D'Indy and Mozart), both recorded on the same day, December 20. The other disk offers a concert of December 19, 1948 in Carnegie Hall with Robert Casadesus as soloist—that concert also included the D'Indy but we do have the Mozart symphony;hony, Liszt concerto and Chabrier piece on this disk. .Incidentally, some years later, Casadesus would once again recorded the d'Indy with Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Munch would later record it with Nicole Henriot-Schweitzer and the Boston Symphony—recently reissued on Pristine (REVIEW). ). Munch was a volatile, vigorous conductor highly respected by the orchestras he worked with. All of these are outstanding performances. The Saint-Saéns symphony is imprelives although of course the mono recording cannot match the stereo spectacular sound of his 1959 RCA recording with the Boston Symphony. The performance of the Liszt concerto is magnificent showing the distinguished Frencianist to be a true virtuoso —an exciting performance indeed..There is much of interest ghere for collectors,.
Pristine's reissue of music of Delius conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham is a gem. Beecham pioneered the composer's music both in concerts and the recording studio. Here we have a major r early work, Appalachia, composed in the late 1880s when Delius was managing an orange plantation in Florida. At that time he heard many African-American farmers singing in the fields. Delius was so impressed by this he was motivated to become a composer. He incorporated much of this music in Appalachia. This is the conductor's second recording of the work (the first was dates from 1949; this newer one was tapedtape in1952. Sonically it is a fine example of well-balanced monophonic sound, even more impressive in Andrew Rose's ambient stereo remastering. Also included are other Delius favorites, In a Summer Garden, Over the Hills and Far Away, and Two Pieces for SMall Orchestra (the latter, recorded in 1956 the only true stereo original recording).. An excellent issue!.
Walhall seems to have a source for unusual recordings and they surely have provided one with this issue of Lohengrin sung in Russian recorded in a studio performance in 1949. No details are provided as to circumstances of this recording, but it is an excellent performance throughout, and the recorded sound is remarkably clear and resonant for its era. The set seems to be a tribute to the famous Russian tenor Ivan Koslovsky (1900-1993) who sings the title role in this performance. He was an acclaimed tenor at the Bolshoi Opera for almost three decades. . He was a favorite singer of Stalin, and never was allowed to leave Russia.Disk 3 in this set contains 9 tracks of recordings made at the height of his career ranging from opera arias to pop music. No texts, of course, or program notes—but it is super-budget price. What other odd items are lurking in the vaults?
R.E.B. (October 2015)