Boston Symphony Orchestra

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Three First Performances: Rachmaninov & Prokofiev

Three First Performances: Rachmaninov & Prokofiev


Chopin:

Nocturne No. 16 in E flat major, Op. 55 No. 2

Prokofiev:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26

recorded 1947

Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26

recorded 1953

Boston Symphony Orchestra, Richard Burgin

Rachmaninov:

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43

recorded 1945

New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Artur Rodzinski


JSP Records is delighted to release this new album with mainly previously unreleased material from Rachmaninov and Prokofiev, performed by pianist William Kapell.

The CD is well presented, has some fascinating recordings from the hugely talented pianist William Kapell and is supported by a large booklet containing lots of interesting photos and archive materials.

A must for all collectors.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

JSP - JSP684

(CD)

$13.50

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Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra & Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta

Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra & Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta


Bartók:

Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116

Rafael Kubelik

Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, BB 114, Sz. 106

Seiji Ozawa


Bela Bartok's brilliant orchestral tour de force, the Concerto for Orchestra is coupled with his spine-tingling Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta in these newly 'Remastered Classics' recording with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rafael Kubelik and Seiji Ozawa.

Bartok's at times breezily energetic Concerto for Orchestra was an instant hit on its premiere given by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1944 and it has remained popular ever since. It's a compelling work, bursting with Central European folk melodies, North African rhythms, shimmering harmonies and vivid orchestration that culminates in a strident final movement guaranteed to bring the house down. In a darker vein, Bartok's earlier Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta is a powerful and eerily atmospheric work which has been used in film soundtracks to great effect, notably in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.

Rafael Kubelik recorded the Concerto for Orchestra several times throughout his career but it was this 1974 recording with the Boston Symphony Orchestra that has been singled out for especial praise, Gramophone magazine commending Kubelik's "sheer animal excitement and biting intensity ... with the rhythms pointed to bring out the wit, above all the peasant-like jollity ... This is a performance to keep making you smile with delight."

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Pentatone Remastered Classics - PTC5186247

(SACD)

$12.75

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons are pleased to announce the release of their latest recordings on BSO Classics-a three-disc set of the four Brahms symphonies, recorded live during concert performances at Symphony Hall this past November, engineered by the same in-house team that produced the BSO's recent Grammy-winning Shostakovich recordings under Maestro Nelsons on Deutsche Grammophon. This new Brahms symphony cycle follows two others recorded previously by the BSO, under Erich Leinsdorf in the mid-1960s and Bernard Haitink in the early 1990s. "It makes me so proud and happy," observes Andris Nelsons, "that the Boston Symphony Orchestra of today, filled with so many great musicians, will now have its own place in recorded history with this amazing music."

“There’s not a single bar that feels heavy or stodgy, and yet amongst the lightness there is real weight when required...Aside from that, what impressed me most was the absolute clarity achieved, with every facet of Brahms’s orchestration there to be heard...This set is quite exceptional, and surely one of the finest to have come along in recent years.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 26th May 2017

“His Brahms is as vital, impulsive and rhythmic as all his work strives to be – though not as sheerly dynamic as one might have imagined – but there is blend and bloom, too...he truly listens to the music, feeling its pulse and allowing the phrasing to evolve with as little intervention or ‘shaping’ as possible. He is generous without indulgence, muscular without vulgarity.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2017

Presto Disc of the Week

26th May 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

BSO Classics - BSOCL1701

(CD)

$36.75

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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, Manfred Symphony, Romeo and Juliet & Capriccio italien

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, Manfred Symphony, Romeo and Juliet & Capriccio italien


Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'

Wiener Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado

Romeo & Juliet - Fantasy Overture

Boston Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Capriccio italien, Op. 45

Berliner Philharmoniker, Ferdinand Leitner

Manfred Symphony, Op. 58

London Symphony Orchestra, Yuri Ahronovitch


A collection of all of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies and ballet suites from the rich archives of Deutsche Grammophon.

All the performances have been justifiably critically appraised. This volume includes Tchaikovsky’s final symphony, the ‘Pathétique’ and the tone poem Romeo and Juliet – both recorded by Claudio Abbado in the early 1970s – as well as a rare recording of the Manfred Symphony by Yuri Ahronovitch and Ferdinand Leitner’s bright 1959 account of the Capriccio italien.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4826184

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.75

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Krystian Zimerman plays Rachmaninov - Vinyl Edition

Krystian Zimerman plays Rachmaninov - Vinyl Edition


Rachmaninov:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18


DG - 4796868

(Vinyl - 2 discs)

$27.75

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Shostakovich Under Stalin's Shadow: Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9

Shostakovich Under Stalin's Shadow: Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47

Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65

Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70

Hamlet - Concert Suite from incidental music, Op. 32a: Introduction And Night Patrol

Hamlet - Concert Suite from incidental music, Op. 32a: Funeral March

Hamlet - Concert Suite from incidental music, Op. 32a: Flourish And Dance Music

Hamlet - Concert Suite from incidental music, Op. 32a: The Hunt

Ophelia's Song (from Hamlet, Op. 32)

Hamlet - Concert Suite from incidental music, Op. 32a: Cradle Song

Hamlet - Concert Suite from incidental music, Op. 32a: Requiem


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Andris Nelsons is the Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and in fall 2015 he was announced as Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, commencing in the 2017/18 season. With both appointments, and in leading a pioneering alliance between these two esteemed institutions, Andris Nelsons is firmly underlined as one of the most renowned and innovative conductors on the international scene today.

Andris Nelsons even though he is only in his mid 30ies has had a long journey with Shostakovich. He is one of the last conductors of his generation who still grew up in the Russian and, more especially, the Soviet musical tradition ever since he started his training as a conductor. He studied in St Petersburg with Alexander Titov and also with Mariss Jansons. His new orchestra has had a great tradition in performing many of Shostakovich’s works in America for the first time.

This recording provides a kaleidoscope of Shostakovich’s struggle with historical events and political pressures. The pre-war eclectic but accessible and popular 5th, in which he would seem to bow to political pressure, ensured his temporary rehabilitation. The beautiful but dark and gloomy mid-war 8th provoked yet again his fall from favour and instead of providing the political authorities with a triumphant post-war 9th Symphony, Shostakovich wrote a light Haydnesque work which would not be performed until after Stalin’s death. Selections from the Hamlet Suite, possibly Shostakovich’s best film score, rounds out this 2 CD set.

“what for me makes this performance [of No. 9] interesting is how Nelsons takes care to temper any potential frivolity by bringing out the shade as well as the light...Having said that, there's no shortage of blithesome gusto in the third movement...[in the Fifth] Nelsons removes any crudeness to make them smoother and more rounded. It's fascinating to hear how this changes the mood from the usual one of open terror to something more quietly unsettling.” Presto Classical, 27th May 2016

“The young Latvian conductor is as effective in projecting Shostakovich’s sardonic black humour — the antimilitaristic episodes of the Eighth come across with terrifying irony — as he is in evoking his dark emotional inner world...Great performances from a conductor and orchestra at the top of their game.” Sunday Times, 29th May 2016

“Nelsons is spry and precisioned and his insistence on super-keen rhythm pays off big-time...The Fifth Symphony is quite marvellous...and like the Tenth should dominate the catalogue for a long time to come...To say that it brings the house down is something of an understatement.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

27th May 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Orchestral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2016

DG Shostakovich Under Stalin's Shadow - 4795201

(CD - 2 discs)

$19.75

(also available to download from $12.50)

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Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps & Le Roi des Étoiles

Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps & Le Roi des Étoiles


Stravinsky:

Zvezdolikiy

The Rite of Spring


According to the official police report, 27 people were injured and the distinguished Théâtre des Champs-Elysées was almost completely ruined. This was the result of the tumultuous 1913 première of Le Sacre du printemps for which ballet impresario Sergej Djagilev commissioned Igor Stravinsky to write for his Ballets Russes. The audience was shocked by Stravinsky’s barbaric and savage music and Nijinsky’s revolutionary choreography.

However, it didn’t take more than three performances to turn Le Sacre du printemps into a huge success and not more than a year for Stravinsky to become a highly respected composer in Paris. A century later, it is clear that Stravinsky is one of the greatest composers of the 20th century and his Le sacre du printemps a benchmark composition in Western music.

While working on Le sacre du printemps, Stravinsky also wrote a cantata for male choir and orchestra entitled Le roi des étoiles (Zvezdóliki), based on a poem by symbolist poet Konstantin Balmont and dedicated to Claude Debussy. Musicologists have interpreted the work as a kind of Christian counterpoint to the pagan images of Russia in Sacre.

This Super Audio CD combines these two fascinating Stravinsky compositions, recorded in 1972 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Men’s Chorus Of The New England Conservatory Choir (track 1) and conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. As with all releases in PENTATONE’s REMASTERED CLASSICS series, these 1972 quadraphonic recording tapes are now finally presented in the quality they deserved right from the start.

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Pentatone Remastered Classics - PTC5186225

(SACD)

$12.75

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Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 3, 6 & 7

Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 3, 6 & 7


Sibelius:

Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52

Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105

Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Op. 104


Decca 20C - 4788349

(CD)

$10.00

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Shostakovich Under Stalin's Shadow: Symphony No. 10

Shostakovich Under Stalin's Shadow: Symphony No. 10


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk: Passacaglia


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

This recording marks the first instalment of a long-term collaboration with one of the most exciting young conductors of our time: Andris Nelsons the newly appointed Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The goal of this massive undertaking is a complete Shostakovich cycle on Deutsche Grammophon with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The core of which - Symphonies Nos. 5-10 - is scheduled for recording and release over the next two years.

Andris Nelsons has had a long journey with Shostakovich. He is one of the last conductors of his generation who still grew up in the Russian and, more especially, the Soviet musical tradition ever since he started his training as a conductor. He studied in St Petersburg with Alexander Titov and also with Mariss Jansons. His new orchestra has had a great tradition in performing many of Shostakovich’s works in America for the first time.

The theme of the first album with Shostakovich´s 10th Symphony and Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth is a reflection on Shostakovich and Stalin. Lady Macbeth was the piece which brought criticism of his work and the radical change of style, whereas Symphony 10 is from the year Stalin died: the long arc of censorship of Shostakovich until Stalin's death, and the composer's response to this.

“Powerful and beautifully crafted, this recording – the first from the relationship between DG and the Boston Symphony under Nelsons – is a hugely impressive sign of just what this ensemble/maestro partnership may go on to achieve.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2015

“Nelsons excels at building momentum and paces [the first movement] masterfully...If that level of dramatic engagement isn’t quite sustained, it’s partly because the glamorous sound of the orchestra, caught live in Boston, sometimes contradicts Nelsons’s own assertions about the piece...Put that to one side and this is thrilling music-making, already whetting the appetite for the next instalment” The Times, 31st July 2015 ****

“I’ve heard scratchier strings, raspier brass and screechier woodwind in this music, but what intrigued me was the impact of Nelsons’s relatively restrained energy and his resistance to caricature...It may sound perverse to praise an interpretation of this particular work for its introspectiveness, but bear with me: the nightmarish scherzo somehow speaks of internalised, psychological terror rather than Terror With A Capital T here.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 31st July 2015

“We shall never know whether the second movement is, indeed, a “portrait” of Stalin, but it undoubtedly is a depiction of tyranny in music, electrifyingly played here. The 10th is the main work of the BSO’s first programme, and the recording certainly whets the appetite for the rest of the series.” Sunday Times, 16th August 2015

“Don’t press play without checking the volume levels first: Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra begin their new Shostakovich series with the Passacaglia from the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and its first chord is genuinely cataclysmic...It at once recalibrates your ears and sets the tone for the ensuing performance of the 10th Symphony.” The Guardian, 20th August 2015 *****

“Nelsons triumphs overwhelmingly, crafting the long first movement with a mix of probing strength and disquiet, and elsewhere combining whiplash rhythmic incisiveness with breadth of phrasing and a telling spectrum of dynamics. With the apocalyptic tragedy of the Lady Macbeth passacaglia, the cumulative effect of this disc is both profoundly moving and electrifying” The Telegraph, 26/10/2015 *****

Presto Disc of the Week

31st July 2015

Presto Discs of 2015

Winner

GGramophone Awards 2016

Winner - Orchestral

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - August 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - November 2015

DG Shostakovich Under Stalin's Shadow - 4795059

(CD)

$14.00

(also available to download from $8.25)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Sibelius: Symphony No. 2

Sibelius: Symphony No. 2


Sibelius:

Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43

Wagner:

Tannhäuser: Overture


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons are very pleased to announce their first compact disc recording, a BSO Classics release pairing the overture to Wagner's Tannhäuser and the Symphony No. 2 of Jean Sibelius. Both works are taken from concert performances earlier this season at Symphony Hall-the Wagner from Maestro Nelsons' inaugural concert as music director on September 27, 2014, the Sibelius from his BSO program of November 6-11. The selections are particularly meaningful. It was hearing Wagner's opera when he was just five years old that made Andris Nelsons want to be a conductor; the Sibelius reflects his strong interest in music of the Scandinavian and Slavic countries, and also builds upon the BSO's distinguished history of past Sibelius recordings.

“this is a performance of great energy, especially in the first movement, which has a huge amount of drive and motion. This is a symphony that has lots of tricky corners for a conductor to negotiate, and Nelsons manages them all with ease; everything seems to flow naturally without any awkward transitions.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 5th January 2015

“The Boston Symphony Orchestra never sounds less than sumptuous. These live recordings...suggest that, in their new music director, Andris Nelsons, the Bostonians have found a kindred spirit. The danger is overkill...Balance that, however, against searing passion and unflagging energy.” The Times, 10th January 2015 ****

“Nelsons directs with his customary zest and watchful sensitivity, while securing uncommonly articulate results from his dedicated band…a memorably alive and intrepidly characterful conception of the entrancing sweep, elasticity and grip that hits indisputable heights in the bardic second movement and exultant finale, the latter sounding as refreshingly unhackneyed and confident in its stride as I can ever recall…it really does warm the cockles to hear this great orchestra firing on all cylinders in repertoire in which it enjoys such a doughty tradition” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

Presto Disc of the Week

5th January 2015

Presto Discs of 2015

Finalist

BSO Classics - BSO1401

(CD)

$15.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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