STRAVINSKY: Petrushka. Pulcinella Suite. Leonard Bernstein discusses Stravinsky and Petrushka.
New York Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein, cond.
SONY CLASSICAL 78749 TT: 78:14
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PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat, Op. 10. Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Op. 26. Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 14. Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28 "From the Old Notebooks."
Gary Graffman, pianist;Cleveland Orch/George Szell, cond.(concertos).
SONY CLASSICAL 78743 TT: 67:10
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BACH: Suite No. 1 in G, BWV 1007. Suite No. 2 in D, BWV 1008. Suite No. 3 in C, BWV 1009. Suite No. 4 in E flat, BWV 1010. Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011. Suite No. 6 in D, BWV 1012.
Yo-Yo Ma, cellist.
SONY CLASSICAL 78751 (2 disks) TT: 63:22 & 63:57
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BRAHMS-SCHOENBERG: Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25. BACH-SCHOENBERG: Prelude and Fugue in E FLAT, BWV 552 "St. Anne." Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele, BWV 654. Komm, Gott, Schöpfer, Heilger Geist, BWV 631. SCHUBERT-SCHOENBERG: German Dances, D. 820.
Chicago Symphony Orch (Brahms); CBC Symphony Orch (Bach BWV 552); Columbia Symphony Orch (Bach BWV 631 & Schubert)/Robert Craft, cond.
SONY CLASSICAL 78746 TT: 67:35
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MUSSORGSKY: Excerpts from Boris Godunov. Pictures at an Exhibition.
George London, bass; Columbia Symphony Chorus and Orch/Thomas Schippers, cond. Philadelphia Orch/Eugene Ormandy, cond. (Pictures).
SONY CLASSICAL 78747 TT: 69:58

BACH: The Two- and Three-Part Inventions. Sinfonias Nos. 8, 15, and 9
Glenn Gould, pianist
SONY CLASSICAL 78766 TT: 70:02
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TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64. Capriccio Italien, Op. 45.
Cleveland Orch/George Szell, cond.
SONY CLASSICAL 78744 TT: 60:35
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"The Glory of Gabrieli"
E. Power Biggs, organist; The Gregg Smith Singers; The Texas Boys Choir of Fort Worth;The Edward Tarr Brass Ensemble; The Gabrieli Consort La Venice/Vittorio Negri, cond.
SONY CLASSICAL 78762 TT: 72:38
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MAHLER: Symphony No. 10 (Deryck Cooke version)
Philadelphia Orch/Eugene Ormandy, cond.
SONY CLASSICAL 78742 TT: 70:15
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BARTÓK: Sonata (1926). Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Op. 20. Suite, Op. 14. Out of Doors, Sz. 81. Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion.
Murray Perahia, pianist; Sir George Solti (pianist); David Corkhill & Evelyn Glennie, percussion
SONY CLASSICAL 78750 TT: 73:42
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This set of ten reissues in Sony Classical's mid-price Great Performances series is most welcome, restoring to the catalog a number of memorable performances along with some initial releases. Even if you already own some of these you should investigate these newly remastered issues all of which sound extraordinarily good, much better than previous CD releases. Publicity for the series states that this is the first CD issue of Eugene Ormandy's magnificent Philadelphia recording of Deryck Cooke's initial performing version of Mahler's Symphony No. 10—not true: Columbia issued it in their Masterworks Portrait series (MPK 45882), and there also was a superb private issue on Locked in The Vault that sounded much better than Columbia's CD which was strident to the extreme (see REVIEW). This new remastering is reasonably successful in taming the closely-recorded Philadelphia violins, and much worth having. Also of great interest is Ormandy's late-'60's recording of Pictures at an Exhibition which never before has been released on CD in the United States (it was issued in Japan and France). It is a knock-out both interpretively and sonically, and is here coupled with George London's powerful singing of excerpts from Boris Godunov, in brilliant, wide-range sound.

We also have some previously unissued Bach with Glenn Gould, and Yo-Yo Ma's superlative cello suites of the same composer. Murray Perahia's Bartók shows his versatility and gives us one of the rare opportunities to hear Sir George Solti as a pianist. Sony lists Gary Graffman as playing Prokofiev's Concerto No. 2 but, of course, it is No. 3 in this brilliant performance with Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. And Szell's blazing Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, one of the major recordings of the work, is now accompanied by the first CD release of Capriccio Italien.

Leonard Bernstein's superlative Petrushka includes his discussion of the composer and this score, coupled with Bernstein's dazzling performance of a suite from Pulcinella. The Glory of Gabrieli is just that, with spectacular antiophonal effect in placement of brass, choruses and organ. Of least interest perhaps in this group is the Robert Craft collection of Schoenberg and Webern orchestrations of Brahms, Bach and Schubert.

Ten new titles will be released August 2006 including the Rostropovich/Ormandy recording of Shostakovich's Cello Concerto, along with "memorable recordings by Daniel Barenboim, Jacqueline du Pré, Eileen Farrell, Zino Francescatti, Dimitri Mitropoulos and guitarist John Williams, plus classic performances by Bernstein, Fleisher, Szell and others."

R.E.B. (July 2006)