KORNGOLD: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35. Symphony in F sharp, O;. 40.
Violin Sonata in G, Op. 6. Seche einfache Lieder, Op. 9. Marietta's Lied
from Die tote Stadt.
HONEGGER: Pacific 231. Symphony No. 3 "Liturgique." (Oslo
Philharmonic Orch/Mariss Jansons, cond.). Symphony No. 2 in D (Orchestre
Munch, cond.). Cello Concerto (Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; USSR State
Symphony Orch/Victor Dubrovsky, cond.). Symphony No. 4 in A "Deliciae
Basilienses." (Toulouse Capitol Orch/Michel Plasson, cond.). Pastorale
d'été. Rugby. (ORTF Orch/Jean Martinon, cond.). Concerto
da camera. Danse de la chéve. (John Solum, flute; English Sinfonia/Neville
RAVEL: Boléro. Daphnis et Chloé - Suite No. 2. Alborada
del gracioso. Rapsodiue espagnole. Une barque sur l'océan.
PROKOFIEV: Romeo and Juliet Suites 1 and 2. Sinfonietta,
Op. 48. Ivan
the Terrible, Op. 116.
BACH: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F, BWV 1047. BACH-RESPIGHI: Passacaglia
and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582. VIVALDI: Concerto in D Minor, Op. 3 No.
11. ROSSINI: String Symphony No. 3 in C. REHEARSAL EXCERPTS: Mozart, Beethoven,
EMI CLASSICS continues their commendable series of budget and mid price reissues, all in generous compilations. Riccardo Muti's 12 year leadership of the Philadelphia Orchestra ended in 1991 (it was said that one reason he did so is because he felt a new concert hall to replace the acoustically dry Academy of Music was essential—doubtless he would not have approved of the new hall the orchestra finally got in 2001, Verizon, known for its inadequacy as a concert venue). During Muti's tenure the Orchestra made a number of fine recordings, but not in the Academy, and sonically they usually were lacking in warmth. The Ravel CD, recorded in 1993, features a remarkable and slow (17:00) Boléro more than a minute longer than the composer's own recording, and about three minutes longer than most others. These are virtuoso performances showing the famous orchestra at its very best. The Prokofiev coupling is equally welcome, with the two suites from Romeo and Juliet recorded in 1981 and the famous 1977 Philharmonia Orchestra of film music for Ivan the Terrible augmented with the Sinfonietta recorded the same year. Both of these sets sound very good in their remasterings. No texts are provided.
Music of Arthur Honegger (1892-1955) is an acquired taste for many listeners but no one cannot be moved by the simple beauty of Pastorale d'été, the rhythmic energy of his powerful musical depiction of a thundering locomotive, Pacific 231, or the energy of his take on the vigorous game of Rugby. In addition to these, we have the famous 1964 recording of his cello concerto with Mstislav Rostropovich, and three of his five symphonies. Symphony No. 2 for strings has a solo trumpet appearing in the final pages expressing hope after the ravages of war, and the gentle No. 4 descriptive of the pleasures of Basle. Symphony No. 3, called the "Liturgical," again turns to the terrors of war. All of these recordings, made from 1963-1993, have been recognized for their excellence, and here they are at budget price.
The Swiss label Guild continues their allegiance to reissues of Arturo Toscanini with this 2-disk set called , rather oddly, "Memorial Tribute to Toscanini." The first CD consists of music seldom conducted by Toscanini, a Bach Brandenburg Concerto from a broadcast Oct. 29, 1938, Bach's Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor in the Respighi orchestration (October 29, 1938), Vivaldi's Concerto Grosso in D minor Op. 2 No. 4 (March 14, 1954), and Rossini's String Sonata No. 3 (November 15, 1952). These remasterings do what can be done with original recordings The second CD has rehearsal excerpts from 1946-1952 all introduced by Marcia Davenport, a name familiar to old-time Met Opera broadcasts, who was the daughter of famed soprano Alma Gluck, who often sang with Toscanini. None of Toscanini's more volatile outbursts are included. On my copy there is a track error (acknowledged on Guild's WEBSITE), with the Vivaldi and Rossini items reversed. Admirers of the conductor surely will find this of great interest.
R.E.B. (September 2011)