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Elgar: Cello Concerto & Sea Pictures - Vinyl Edition

Elgar: Cello Concerto & Sea Pictures - Vinyl Edition


Elgar:

Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85

Jacqueline du Pré (cello)

Sea Pictures, Op. 37

Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano)


At the premiere of Elgar’s Cello Concerto in 1919, John Barbirolli – himself a cellist – was playing in the London Symphony Orchestra. When he recorded the work in 1965 he chose Jacqueline du Pré as soloist and she remains inextricably linked with this elegiac, but passionate work. Barbirolli’s special affection for Elgar’s music is just as evident in the glorious account of Sea Pictures with Janet Baker and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

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Warner Classics - 9029587188

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Verdi: Requiem

Verdi: Requiem


Recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda gathered together an outstanding cast of Italian stars for these searing performances of Verdi’s Requiem to open the LSO’s 2016/17 season.

Originally destined to be a collaboration of movements from Italian composers to honour the death of Rossini, the Requiem evolved into a memorial for the Italian writer and poet Alessandro Manzoni, whom Verdi revered, and premiered on 22 May 1874 – exactly a year after Manzoni’s death.

The most complex and dramatic sequence is the 'Dies irae' (Day of wrath). The vivid text of the Last Judgement allows Verdi's operatic talents to flourish amidst the drama and pathos. The main theme erupts in violent fury of brass and percussion while the chorus roars a descending scale pattern of intimidating catastrophe and fear. In a momentary lull, a single trumpet in the orchestra opens a simple fanfare, answered quietly by a trumpet out in the concert hall. The fanfare builds in intensity and numbers until the four trumpets on stage and four house trumpets, often spatially arranged for maximum effect, join the full orchestra for a blazing opening to the choral entrance of the 'Tuba mirum' (The trumpet shall sound).

Whilst not a devout Catholic, Verdi was influenced by a profound sense of higher power: combining his gifts for the theatrical with his admiration for the great Italian liturgical music of the past, he created a passionate and deeply moving masterpiece, beloved of performers and audiences alike.

“this is an impressively disciplined account of the mighty score, with expressive Italian soloists, a superb choir (trained by Simon Halsey) and the LSO on top form.” Sunday Times, 3rd April 2017

“Under Gianandrea Noseda, this live recording by the London Symphony Orchestra, LSO Chorus and evenly matched vocal quartet of Erika Grimaldi (soprano), Daniels Barcellona (mezzo soprano), Francesco Meli (tenor) and Michele Pertusi (bass), play honestly and powerfully to its strengths. Noseda paces it with dramatic verve and fresh intensity. The chorus has focus, girth and versatility. The soloists strike that fine balance between discipline and indulgence. There are many moments that will send shivers up the spine.” The Scotsman, 18th April 2017

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Min Kym: Gone - The Album

Min Kym: Gone - The Album


Brahms:

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77: II. Adagio

Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis

Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108 - Allegro

Ian Brown (piano0

Chausson:

Poème for Violin & Piano, Op. 25

Gordon Back (piano)

Elgar:

Salut d'amour, Op. 12

Gordon Back (piano)

Lalo:

Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21: Rondo - Allegro

London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Wordsworth

Massenet:

Meditation (from Thaïs)

Gordon Back (piano)

Paganini:

Caprice for solo violin, Op. 1 No. 16 in G minor

Prokofiev:

Sonata in D major for solo violin, Op. 115: Moderato

Saint-Saëns:

Introduction & Rondo capriccioso, Op. 28

Gordon Back (piano)


Min Kym (violin)

Born in South Korea and raised in the UK, Min Kym began playing the violin at the age of six. At sixteen she became the youngest ever foundation scholar at the Royal College of Music; at twenty-seven, the first recipient of the Heifetz Prize. The legendary conductor George Solti praised her “exceptional natural talent, mature musicality, and mastery of the violin.” Min had her Stradivarius stolen at a sandwich shop in London in 2010 just as her career was about to kick off. The story struck high waves in media, but being traumatized Min could not play anymore. In 2013 the violin was then found under mysterious circumstances…

Min has now written a book about her story, her love to the instrument and what this incident did to her life.

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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.

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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 5, Marche slave, Sleeping Beauty & Swan Lake

Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 5, Marche slave, Sleeping Beauty & Swan Lake


Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op. 29 'Polish'

FIRST RELEASE ON CD

Wiener Symphoniker, Moshe Atzmon

Marche slave, Op. 31

Berliner Philharmoniker, Ferdinand Leitner

Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66: Ballet Suite

Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, Witold Rowicki

Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Swan Lake, Op. 20 Suite

Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, Witold Rowicki


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 the CD premiere of one of Tchaikovsky’s least-known symphonies – the third. Moshe Atzmon’s airborne reading, stunningly recorded in 1973 in Vienna makes a long-overdue appearance. Rowicki’s accounts of the two popular ballet suites – Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty – are expansive and symphonic in their outlook.

“[Abbado] secures clean, brilliant playing from the LSO in the first movement, finely controlled emotional climaxes in the slow movement … and a strong, urgent but unhysterical account of the finale.” Gramophone Magazine, April 1972 (Symphony No. 5)

“by far the most refined recording of any current version of the Polish Symphony, warmly reverberant but well-enough defined in detail” Gramophone Magazine, August 1974 (Symphony No. 3)

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Adès: Asyla, Tevot & Polaris

Adès: Asyla, Tevot & Polaris


Adès:

Asyla

Tevot

Polaris: Voyage for orchestra

Brahms Op. 21

with Samuel Dale Johnson (baritone)


For his LSO Live debut, Thomas Adès, the acclaimed conductor, pianist and composer, conducts all of his seminal ‘Trilogy’ works - Asyla, Polaris and Tevot. Recorded in 2016 during his first LSO ‘Composer Focus’, this is the first time all three works have been presented together on one album, offering a unique chance to hear the musical development of one of the world’s foremost contemporary composers, in Dolby’s new Atmos surround sound format.

Composed in 1997 and winner of the 1999 Grawemeyer award, 'Asyla' is the earliest of the Trilogy pieces, and one of the works that announced Adès as a major new voice. Sir Simon Rattle, a long-time champion of the composer, conducted the work’s premiere with the CBSO as well as programming it in his inaugural concert as Artistic Director of the Berlin Philharmonic. The title is the plural form of the word asylum, and plays on the dual meaning of both madhouse and sanctuary. Typical of his orchestral works, it utilises a large orchestra (including six percussionists and a variety of treated pianos) to achieve an array of colours, textures and timbres. It also showcases Ades’ wide-ranging influences, with a ‘four-on-the-floor’ techno drumbeat as the impetus behind the famous 'Ecstasio' movement.

'Tevot' is a one-movement symphony that builds upon the ideas of 'Asyla' and pushes the players to the limits of their technical ability, with long passages written in stratospheric registers. Again, there is a dual meaning at play in the title, as 'Tevot' is the Hebrew word for bars as well as closely related to the word used in the Bible when referring to Noah’s ark. Adès himself explains: “I liked the idea that the bars of the music were carrying the notes as a sort of family through the piece. And they do, because without bars, you’d have musical chaos. But I was thinking about the ark, the vessel, in the piece as the earth. The earth would be a spaceship, a ship that carries us - and several other species! - through the chaos of space in safety. It sounds a bit colossal, but it’s the idea of the ship of the world.”

The final Trilogy work, 'Polaris', was composed in 2010 and is subtitled ‘A Voyage for Orchestra’. Taking the North Star as its inspiration, despite a relatively short running time it conjures up a definite sense of vastness, with musicians placed offstage to enhance the sense of space. The piece is built up from a simple, looping pattern of notes in the piano, that evolves to suggest a massive spiral with musical magnetic fields expanding, exploding and beautifully rearranging themselves.

The album also includes the Adès miniature 'Brahms'. Sung here by baritone Sameul Dale Johnson, it is an ‘anti-homage’ to the composer inspired by the cold logic of his music, taking his compositional compulsions to extreme conclusions.

“The three pieces do share extra-musical associations...their titles evoke notions of safe havens and the ways of finding them – but what links them more importantly is the sheer mastery of their orchestral writing, as this recording from the Barbican shows so vividly.” The Guardian, 23rd February 2017 *****

“The LSO come into their own in Tevot and Polaris. Adès makes more of Tevot's abrupt juxtapositions than Rattle and Berlin Philharmonic, giving full rein to the work's almost wilful appropriation of extreme registers and dynamic contrasts…this is an excellent recording all round, with the LSO responding superbly well to the many technical and expressive challenges posed in performing Adès's orchestral music.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“Tevot's scintillating surge is brilliantly realised, as Ades's ark rides the glistening orchestral waves towards us. There's sheer pleasure to be had in its sonic grandeur, a sense of music being hurled and kneaded by some deranged baker, and of moving across different kinds of dance floor, before floating away upon stillness.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ****

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Stokowski conducts Bach: The Great Transcriptions & Wagner: Brünnhilde's Immolation

Stokowski conducts Bach: The Great Transcriptions & Wagner: Brünnhilde's Immolation


Bach, J S:

Partita for solo violin No. 2 in D minor, BWV1004: Chaconne

Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E major, BWV1006: Preludio

Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV1068: Air ('Air on a G String')

Arioso - Sinfonia from Cantata No. 156

Chorale Prelude BWV645 'Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme'

Wagner:

Starke Scheite schichtet mir dort 'Brünnhilde's Immolation Scene' (from Götterdämmerung)

trans. Stokowski


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Dutton Epoch - CDLX7337

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Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 and Ballades

Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 and Ballades


Chopin:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11

London Symphony Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda

Ballades Nos. 1-4


Winner of the 17th International Chopin Piano Competition 2015, one of the most prestigious titles in all of classical music, Seong-Jin Cho presents his first ever studio recording on DG.

Combining Chopin’s immensely popular 1st Piano Concerto with the almost equally popular 4 Ballades, this coupling displays his brilliant fingerwork and mastery of characterization.

Cho recorded the work at London’s famous Abbey Road Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra and its new Principal Guest Conductor, Gianandrea Noseda. His interpretations of the composer’s Ballades were set down at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Harburg, Germany.

“Cho is impressive” – Gramophone

“Unequivocally brilliant” – The Telegraph

“Nothing is done just for show; it’s all about the music” – The Guardian

“Everything is poetic, introspective, graceful” – Financial Times

“The tenderest passages in the concerto have a touching reticence, and there are times in the Ballades when he almost seems to be enjoying hanging back and confounding our expectations of exactly where this music’s passionate eruptions happen.” The Guardian, 22nd December 2016 ****

“what a performance it is: utterly commanding and highly impressive. From his very first entry he shows off the range of his formidable technique...With Noseda's help, the LSO offers some of the most sensitive orchestral accompaniment that I can recall hearing. They're alive to every nuance of Cho's playing, and match his rubato perfectly.” Presto Classical, 25th November 2016

“it is not so much [Cho’s] effortless clarity and articulation or lightly pedalled fioritura that capture the attention as much as his ability to let the music breathe. Every time the first movement’s ineffably lovely second subject returns, it becomes more poignant in Cho’s hands…[a] memorable interpretation” Gramophone Magazine, January 2017

“In the four magnificent Ballades Cho's playing has all the poetic imagination, freshness of new discovery and tender warmth you could wish for, allied to a bomb-proof technique that totally eschews any suggestion of flashy display – the genius of Chopin's inspiration always comes first.” Classical Ear, 1st February 2017

“…his playing is unfailingly cultivated and his sound beautifully focused and poised.[Concerto in E minor]…Cho commands the work, and he leads the dance in the finale” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ****

Presto Disc of the Week

25th November 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

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DG - 94795941

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Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 2 & Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto

Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 2 & Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto


Shostakovich:

Violin Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 129

Tchaikovsky:

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35


Linus Roth pairs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto - the world premiere recording of its original version - with the Violin Concerto No.2 by Shostakovich, accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Sanderling.

This is the first recording of the Tchaikovsky Concerto that takes the new Urtext, published by Henle Edition as a source. There are a few different notes, phrasings and bowings from what is usually played but the most obvious audible difference is that the whole second movement is played with the mute on. While it has become a tradition that violinists remove the mute for the second theme, this was never intended by Tchaikovsky - the mute imparts to this slow movement the feeling and sound of intimacy.

Shortly before composing this work Tchaikovsky married, followed closely by a nervous breakdown and severe depression. His composing was always strongly connected to his personal life, and this work is his coming back to life, a concerto full of optimism and positivity. Linus Roth has played the piece for 20 years and now feels the time is right to record his unique interpretation.

Shostakovich’s Second Violin Concerto is a late work written when the composer was already ill and aware that his life would be soon over. The conductor of this recording, Thomas Sanderling, was a friend who knew Shostakovich well in his late years and provides unique musical insights into a work full of pain and struggle beneath its glittering surface.

The relationship between Roth and Sanderling is very special because they co-founded the international Weinberg Society together. Linus Roth has been an advocate of Weinberg’s music for years. He was the first violinist to record the Complete Works for Violin and Piano (3-CD box, CC72567), receiving great critical acclaim. His next recording, combining the Violin Concertos of Weinberg and Britten (CC72627), was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice. Most recently Roth released Weinberg’s Solo Sonatas for Violin 1-3, also on Challenge (CC72688).

“his delicate, internalised playing is as lovely as his technical dispatch is thrilling. Shostakovich’s second, rarer concerto is a bold coupling, intensely played.” Sunday Times, 11th December 2016

“His tone is strong and dark [in the Tchaikovsky], with plenty of sinew, even if his playing can be over-emphatic…[Shostakovich’s Second Concerto is] given a gritty, deliberate reading” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

“Roth is stark and uncompromising throughout, drawing you into its claustrophobic world, especially in the central Adagio. Thomas Sanderling and the London Symphony Orchestra provide sturdy support with forwardly placed cellos and double basses in the opening dialogue.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2017 ****

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Stravinsky: The Firebird

Stravinsky: The Firebird


Bartók:

Piano Concerto No. 3, BB 127, Sz. 119

Yefim Bronfman (piano)

The Miraculous Mandarin, Op. 19, Sz. 73 (suite)

Prokofiev:

Romeo and Juliet - Suite No. 2, Op. 64b (excerpts)

Stravinsky:

The Firebird


On 24th October 2015 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Valery Gergiev took to the rostrum for his penultimate concert as Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. An explosive programme of Stravinsky, Bartók and Prokofiev - repertoire that always fires Gergiev’s imagination - this live recording captures a major milestone in the Orchestra’s history.

Stravinsky’s Firebird was an instant hit with audience and critics alike at its 1910 premiere it is a constant in Gergiev’s repertoire.

Piano Concerto No 3 is Bartók’s final work, completed only four days before he succumbed to a long battle with leukaemia. The New York Times found Yefim Bronfman’s interpretation of Piano Concerto No 3 "brilliantly charismatic" and he is an acknowledged master of the great Hungarian’s music, winning a Grammy award for his 2009 recording of all three Bartók Piano Concertos. A story of prostitution and violence, 'The Miraculous Mandarin', performed here in the suite version, is dramatic, mysterious and sinister. Incredibly entertaining, it’s now one of Bartók’s most well-known works and never fails to lure the listener into a deep, dark world of seduction and horror. The LSO’s performance of the work on tour was met with critical acclaim: Closing the album is the encore from the concert, excerpts from Prokofiev’s incredibly popular ballet 'Romeo & Juliet'. That Gergiev chose this work to close his farewell concerts is not surprising, as the music and its composer have special signficance for the conductor and for the LSO. 2016 sees the world mark the 125th anniversary of Prokofiev’s birth and Gergiev has long been a champion of the great Russian’s music. His award-winning recording of the complete score on LSO Live is among the best-selling on the label, winning BBC Music Magazine Best Orchestral recording of 2011.

“This one’s a cracker, a double-CD, recorded live in New Jersey by New York’s classical radio station, with the LSO on tour and Gergiev flying in repertoire he has made his own.” Herald Scotland, 2nd December 2016

“The three main works on offer plus the Prokofiev encore come across with clarity and balance … the performances themselves all show considerable boldness of style … the combination of largeness of scale and extreme tonal refinement in Yefim Bronfman’s solo Bartok playing is answered with wonderful specificity by conductor and orchestra. It’s a concert well worth recreating at home” BBC Music Magazine, February 2017 ****

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