Simply put, this set is a treasure that is also a bargain. Two masterful performances by Barshai and the outstanding Junge Deutsche Philharmonie (a youth orchestra playing like a world class orchestra), both performances among the best available versions of each work. Mahler's unfinished score for his Tenth symphony has been ably projected and realized in performing editions of (most commonly) Deryck Cooke, Joe Wheeler, Clinton Carpenter, Remo Mazzetti, and others. Performances of the Tenth are now commonplace, and there are numerous recordings, many compelling.
This 16-disc set contains what is without a doubt the most distinguished collection of Mahler performances ever to have been assembled in one place. DG has sensibly collected all of Bernstein's Mahler for Polygram labels, including the London "Das Lied von der Erde," and all of the orchestral song cycles: "Song of a Wayfarer," "Kindertotenlieder," "Rückert-Lieder," and "Des Knaben Wunderhorn." All of these recordings have been issued separately to general critical acclaim, and despite a veritable warehouse of new Mahler discs in the '90s, Bernstein's versions by and large still reign supreme.
"Rejoice, rejoice, up, praise the days!" - What Bach presents here cannot be summed up in criteria of masterful orchestral treatment and skilful text adaptation alone. The music-making of this opening chorus, unleashed by pithy kettledrum beats, directly grips the heart, belly and not least the legs of the listeners before any rational reflection, who want to jump up spontaneously from pews and desk chairs and do not have the slightest chance of escaping the contagious jubilation.
Rudi Stephan was a promising German composer whose life, like that of George Butterworth, was snuffed out in the heat of battle during "The War to End All Wars." Behind him, Stephan left a tiny output of 33 works, and of these, Music for Orchestra 1912 has proven by far the best known, receiving a decent amount of exposure in the concert halls of German-speaking lands since its 1912 premiere. None of Stephan's music has been recorded with any great frequency, and Chandos' deluxe Super Audio CD Rudi Stephen: Orchestral Works enters the field practically on its own.
Rafael Kubelik's highly chromatic, poetic Mahler recordings have been staples in Duetsche Grammophon's catalogue since their inception. Tempos overall tend to be quicker than the norm (Symphony No. 8 for instance fits conveniently on one CD), yet never at the expense of glossing over the composers renowned wealth of inner details. Many Mahler aficionados still regard Kubelik's readings here of the Symphonies No. 1 and No. 7 as reference recordings. Distinguished soloists include Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Edith Mathis, Norma Proctor, Franz Crass, and Julia Hamari. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra as well as the various outstanding choirs employed throughout the cycle couldn't be more in sync with Kubelik's inspired visionary interpretations.
With Kempe at the helm we can be assured of elevated and noble performances. The BBC Legends issue captures him in two concerts given four months apart. The February 1976 concert was given at the Royal Festival Hall and gives us not unexpected fare – Berg – and decidedly unusual repertoire for Kempe in the form of Tippett’s Concerto for Double String Orchestra. This positively crackles with rhythmic energy and dynamism, the strings responding with admirable precision and unanimity of attack. The result is a performance of real standing and a precious surviving example of Kempe’s small repertoire of British works.
Bernstein leads the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra through Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 8-10 and Das Lied von der Erde . Special highlight: the breathtaking vocals on Symphony of a Thousand !
The J.S. Bach Foundation has embarked on a remarkable undertaking: over a period of some 25 years, the Foundation will perform the complete vocal works by Johann Sebastian Bach (16851750). Each month, one of the over 200 Bach cantatas is performed in the idyllic town of Trogen in Appenzell, Switzerland. With a rhythm of 12 cantatas per year, the project is estimated to conclude in the year 2030. All introductory workshops, concerts and reflection lectures on the cantata texts are recorded; the texts of the lectures are published in a continually expanding Bach Anthology. The main aim of the J.S. Bach Foundation's ambitious project is to provide a living Bach experience for today's listeners and to deepen our understanding of the great composer's works. The artistic director of the foundation is Rudolf Lutz, who rehearses and conducts all performances with the choir, orchestra and solo vocalists.
Auf der vorliegenden CD werden die Flöte, die Violine und die menschliche Stimme zur "Beute" dieses Mannes: Der Solo-Oboist der Berliner Philharmoniker, Albrecht Mayer, wagt sich nach dem Erfolg seiner Bach-Platte nun an Werke von W. A. Mozart und dessen Zeitgenossen Ludwig August Lebrun.