Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Orchestra

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Concertgebouw Lollipops

Concertgebouw Lollipops


Berlioz:

Le carnaval romain Overture, Op. 9

Eduard van Beinum

Benvenuto Cellini Overture

Bernard Haitink

Clarke, Jeremiah:

Trumpet Voluntary 'Prince of Denmark's March'

Eduard van Beinum

Dvorak:

Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66

Bernard Haitink

Elgar:

Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major, Op. 39 No. 1

Antal Doráti

Franck, C:

Les Eolides - Symphonic Poem

Willem van Otterloo

Glinka:

Ruslan & Lyudmila Overture

Bernard Haitink

Grieg:

Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34

Eduard van Beinum

Nicolai, C O:

Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor overture

Eduard van Beinum

Rimsky Korsakov:

Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36

Igor Markevitch

Saint-Saëns:

Danse macabre, Op. 40

Bernard Haitink

Schubert:

Marche Militaire, D733 No. 1

orch. Guiraud

Paul van Kempen

Sibelius:

Finlandia, Op. 26

Eduard van Beinum

Sousa:

Semper Fidelis

Antal Doráti

The Stars and Stripes Forever

Eduard van Beinum

Strauss, J, I:

Radetsky March, Op. 228

Paul van Kempen

Strauss, R:

Der Rosenkavalier - Suite

Eugen Jochum

Thomas, Ambroise:

Mignon Overture

Eduard van Beinum

Verdi:

La Forza del Destino: Sinfonia

Bernard Haitink


This highly appealing collection of light-orchestral classics gathers up eighteen years in the history of one of the world’s most celebrated orchestras during the golden age of the LP.

Ever since its foundation in 1883, the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam has been blessed with a hall that, to all intents and purposes, belongs to them. Unlike many of their rivals, they not only perform but rehearse and record in the hall. The hall’s own superb acoustic has always been a further attraction for record companies, and between 1950 and 1968 microphones were frequently set up to record the orchestra.

Those microphones mostly belonged to Decca and to the fledgling local Philips company, and on the podium were not only its music directors – during this period, Eduard van Beinum and, from 1961, Bernard Haitink – but also celebrated guest conductors. There were long-established maestros and friends of the orchestra such as Eugen Jochum, Paul van Kempen and Willem van Otterloo, but also younger, dynamic maestros including Antal Doráti.

When recording sessions went well, and the main works were in the can ahead of schedule, the time was not wasted, but filled with shorter pieces. These would both conveniently fill out a short-measure LP and be guaranteed enticements to the ever-growing market of consumers, though in some cases, the reserve pieces were only released on a 45-rpm record, which sometimes disappeared from the catalogue after a short period.

Many of those recordings, often made on the hoof with a delightful spontaneity that shines through even now, are gathered on this set for the first time. Typical of them is The Stars and Stripes Forever. This was put on tape one day in September 1958 without rehearsal, played straight through, and at the end Van Beinum addressed the orchestra: ‘Now that, gentlemen, is a recording!’

Sometimes the juxtapositions of conductor and repertoire are immediately arresting: not only Van Beinum in Sousa but Haitink in Glinka and Verdi. The waltz-suites from Der Rosenkavalier play to Jochum’s under-rated strengths as an operatic conductor. Igor Markevitch conducts the Polovtsian Dances and Russian Easter Festival Overture to the manner born.

The booklet includes an informative and insightful note by Niek Nelissen, as well as cover illustrations of the LPs and EPs that gave rise to this unique collection.

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Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique


Berlioz:

Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

Le carnaval romain Overture, Op. 9

La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24 (orchestral excerpts)


Between the controversial Mengelberg and the versatile Bernard Haitink, Eduard van Beinum played a less distinctive role as principal conductor of the Concertgebouw in the postwar years until his death in 1959, but it is difficult to overestimate the positive effect he had on that orchestra, and the sincerity of his musicianship.

Van Beinum described his relationship with orchestral musicians as ‘first among equals’, and the implications of that collaborative approach to music-making may be appreciated in the beautifully moulded wind solos of this Symphonie fantastique. The Roman Carnival Overture was recorded during the same sessions as the symphony in September 1951, while the excerpts from The Damnation of Faust date from May 1952. The conductor’s unfussy mastery and elucidation of symphonic form also serve as a useful reminder that that Berlioz, for all his Romantic trappings was, in some respects, a Classicist.

‘A typical van Beinum recording is like a home-cooked meal,’ the critic Raymond Tuttle has remarked: ‘no ostentation, but no guilt, and the sensation of being in competent, judicious hands crosses the decades.’ He contributes a booklet note which discusses both these epoch-making works and the conductor’s humble service to them. These recordings have been newly remastered for this Eloquence reissue.

“Van Beinum's approach serves as a reminder that Berlioz, for all of his Romantic trappings, was, in some respects, a closet Classicist. And neither Toscanini nor Davis brought to the Roman Carnival Overture the delineation of woodwind detail that can be heard in this recording” Fanfare, September/October 2003

“Van Beinum’s conducting of Berlioz (as shown best in his Symphonie fantastique) is both scrupulous and spirited; and the Dutch orchestra responds splendidly.” Gramophone Magazine, November 1952 (Damnation of Faust excerpts)

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Mozart: Symphonies & Concertos

Mozart: Symphonies & Concertos


Mozart:

Flute & Harp Concerto in C major, K299

Hubert Barwahser (flute), Phia Berghout (harp)

Concertgebouworkest

Symphony No. 29 in A major, K201

Concertgebouworkest

Symphony No. 33 in B flat major, K319

FIRST RELEASE ON DECCA CD

Concertgebouworkest

Symphony No. 35 in D major, K385 'Haffner'

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K491

FIRST RELEASE ON DECCA CD

Kathleen Long (piano)

Concertgebouworkest

Clarinet Concerto in A major, K622

FIRST RELEASE ON DECCA CD

Bram de Wilde (clarinet)

Concertgebouworkest


With reissues of music from Haydn to Sibelius, Eloquence has returned to availability much of the recorded legacy of Eduard van Beinum, the chief conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam in the post-war years. This is the first time that his complete Mozart studio recordings have been gathered together in a single issue, and they have been newly remastered for the occasion.

Van Beinum prized warmth over clarity, according to some of his musicians, but there is no lack of incisive attack in Classical repertoire such as the previous reissue of Haydn symphonies (4768483). Of the three symphonies presented here, No. 33 KV 319 was a particular favourite of Van Beinum’s: he performed it more than any other Mozart symphony, and this 1951 recording is an object demonstration of the art of orchestral legato, relaxed and easy-going in mood even in the momentum of the opera-buffa-style finale.

The soloists in the Clarinet Concerto and the Flute and Harp Concerto were the orchestra’s principals in those instruments, resulting in a memorably collegial atmosphere to these sessions in May and June 1957, which were the conductor’s last Mozart recordings before his death two years later. The C minor Piano Concerto was recorded at the earliest sessions here, in September 1948, when Van Beinum’s sober intelligence and immaculate sense of style were complemented by the British pianist Kathleen Long.

A fascinating booklet note by Niek Nelissen details the history of these recordings and of the conductor’s warm relationship with his musicians, including several personal testimonials: one violinist pays tribute to the ‘more flowing lines’ of van Beinum’s art, which disregarded barlines to craft interpretations of outstanding suppleness and spontaneity.

“The performance of the [Flute and Harp] Concerto is delightful, and flautist Hubert Barwahser is splendid here. Pia Berghout coaxes from the instrument a surprisingly wide range of dynamics and colours, she can very effectively suggest legato in melodic lines, and plays with a great deal of rhythmic vitality.” Fanfare, July/August 1997

“This “Haffner” Symphony boasts an aptly festive pomp tempered with a stylish transparency and grace not always present in the accounts of such admired Mozartians as Beecham and Walter.” Fanfare, September/October 2003

“The balance between piano and orchestra, the clean, sensitive style of playing, the actual size of the orchestra, are all so right, so completely Mozartian in proportion, that this recording can be held up as a model.” Gramophone Magazine, March 1949 (Piano Concerto KV 491)

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Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto

Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto


Strauss, R:

Oboe Concerto in D

Alexei Ogrintchouk (oboe)

Andris Nelsons

Serenade in E flat major for Winds, Op. 7

Alexei Ogrintchouk (dir.)

Sonatina No. 2 (Symphony) in E flat major for 16 wind instruments, AV 143 'Fröhliche Werkstatt'

Alexei Ogrintchouk (dir.)


Despite his advanced age and the chaos surrounding him, Richard Strauss remained highly productive well into the 1940s. As the Second World War was coming to an end in 1944-45, the eighty-year-old composer was working on his Oboe Concerto and Sonatina No. 2 for winds, as well as the Metamorphosen for strings. While the latter work was an explicit response to the destruction Strauss was witnessing, in the Concerto and the Sonatina the composer seemed to be turning his mind away from the events surrounding him. There is a pastoral quality to the oboe concerto, with a highly tuneful solo part and more than occasional touches of nostalgia for the 18th century. Similarly, Strauss headed the score of the sonatina with a dedication ‘to the spirit of the immortal Mozart at the end of a life full of thankfulness’.

To an extent, one might say that Strauss at the end of his life returned to the musical models of his youth. It is therefore fitting that these two works frame the Serenade in E flat major for wind ensemble, composed more than sixty years earlier in the tradition of entertainment music by Schubert and Mendelssohn. Alexei Ogrintchouk, one of today’s leading oboists, has proven himself in previous recordings for BIS ranging from Bach to Nikos Skalkottas and Antal Doráti. With sterling support from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons, he here makes light of the considerable difficulties of the solo part of the oboe concerto, and also directs his colleagues from the orchestra’s wind section in the works for wind ensemble.

“It's an enchanting recording of [the Oboe Concerto]. Ogrintchouk's tone is sweet and yet robust where required, and the Concertgebouw play wonderfully for him. There's a freedom and a flexibility of pulse that is most impressive...Both [chamber works], directed by Ogrintchouk, are full of some extraordinarily refined wind playing. Indeed the whole disc oozes charm, grace and style; an utter delight.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 4th August 2017

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Wagner: Parsifal

Wagner: Parsifal


Christopher Ventris (Parsifal), Petra Lang (Kundry), Falk Struckmann (Gurnemanz), Kurt Rydl (Titurel/Klingsor), Alejandro Marco Buhrmester (Amfortas)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra & Chorus of the Dutch National Opera, Iván Fischer (conductor) & Pierre Audi (director)

Iván Fischer makes his DNO debut. He conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Pierre Audi, artistic director of DNO and the Holland Festival, directs his first new DNO production since Saint François d'Assise (2008). For Parsifal Audi once again joins forces with the British sculptor Anish Kapoor (décor). Alejandro Marco-Buhrmester previously sang the role of Amfortas at the Opéra National de Paris and the Bayreuther Festspiele. Kurt Rydl (Titurel/Klingsor) made previous DNO appearances as Hagen/Hunding in Der Ring des Nibelungen and as Heinrich in Lohengrin. Kurt Rydl has been an honorary member of the Wiener Staatsoper since 1999. Falk Struckmann has frequently sung the role of Amfortas, but now makes his first DNO appearance in his role debut as Gurnemanz. The title role is sung by Christopher Ventris, who previously appeared at DNO as Steuermann in Der fliegende Holländer. Petra Lang (Kundry) previously sang Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde and Venus in Tannhäuser at DNO.

“Of the singers, Alejandro Marco-Buhrmester is great as Amfortas, Falk Struckmann is a tireless and moving Gurnemanz, while Petra Lang is wild, sometimes in the wrong way, as Kundry.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2017 ***

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Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade & Borodin: Polovtsian Dances

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade & Borodin: Polovtsian Dances


Borodin:

Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances

London Philharmonic Choir & London Philharmonic Orchestra

Rimsky Korsakov:

Scheherazade, Op. 35

Concertgebouw Orchestra


For the first century of its history, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam had only four principal conductors, and it was the second and fourth, Willem Mengelberg and Bernard Haitink, who enjoyed a truly international reputation.

Previous issues on Eloquence from Haydn (476 8483) to Debussy (4646362) have shed light on the recordings made with the Concertgebouw by the third of its directors, Eduard van Beinum. With him the orchestra made many recordings for Decca which are being restored to the catalogue and uncovering the particular interpretative gifts identified by Classical Source: ‘With Van Beinum there is no artifice, just wholesome regard for the music. His is an intelligent approach to the music he plays through scrupulous attention to detail.’

Speaking of a recording made in July 1956 for Philips of Scheherezade, the four-movement tone poem in which Rimsky-Korsakov demonstrated his supreme gifts as an orchestrator, Classical Source called it ‘a superbly musical account, blessedly free of crass mannerisms and cheap vulgarities – with power and sensitivity in equal measure’. Particular praise was accorded on all sides to the solo part of the story-teller Scheherezade herself: ‘really beautiful solos by the Concertgebouw concertmaster of the day, Jan Damen’, noted Jay Nordlinger in the National Review.

This is among the fleetest accounts of Scheherezade on record, and Van Beinum’s control of line even at the swiftest of tempi is also a distinguishing feature of the Polovtsian Dances from Borodin’s unfinished magnum opus, Prince Igor. These were recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus (singing in English) several years earlier.

“The orchestral playing in this issue of these vivid dances is positively brilliant – the whirling introductory dance is quite breathtaking.” Gramophone Magazine, November 1950 (Polovtsian Dances)

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Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Violin Concerto & Schumann: Piano Quartet

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Violin Concerto & Schumann: Piano Quartet


Brahms:

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77

Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15

Emanuel Ax (piano)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink

Schumann:

Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47

Emanuel Ax (piano)

RCO Chamber Soloists


Bernard Haitink was the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's chief conductor from 1961-88, and was named honorary conductor in 1999.

This album features his 2010 live Johannes Brahms recordings with Emanuel Ax (Piano Concerto No. 1) and Frank Peter Zimmermann (Violin Concerto). A brand new studio recording of Robert Schumann's Piano Quartet with Emanuel Ax and RCO principals Vesko Eschkenazy, Henk Rubingh and Gregor Horsch is offered as a makeweight.

“Haitink’s enduring association with this music ensures that every gesture has a naturalness to it, drawing out an oboe line here, a clarinet phrase there. Temperamentally, Frank Peter Zimmermann is on exactly the same wavelength, finding a balance between heart and head…there’s so much colour from the orchestral players and so much variety of touch in Ax’s playing [in the Piano Concerto] that the result is constantly engaging” Gramophone Magazine, June 2017

“[Zimmermann’s] Brahms is not only an example of technical and musical mastery, but above that demonstrates an intelligent stylistic organisation with, here and there, subtle portamentos, a marvellously nuanced sound production and a radiant vibrato…it is the same with Emanuel Ax…[whose] performance is perfect unity between high mastery and powerful emotion” Diapason, May 2017 *****

“[Zimmermann's] newer version [of the Brahms] has even more verve, the supple sweetness of his playing matching the burnished orchestral sound Haitink coaxes from his players. Ax too is hugely convincing in the dark storm of the D minor concerto, letting every note unfold naturally, pacing and colouring every phrase with warmth and authority” Classical Music, July 2017 *****

“A born Brahmsian, Ax gives full rein to the sheer massiveness of the First Piano Concerto, producing a performance of range and depth, intimately captured in this recording…the estimable Frank Peter Zimmermann is soloist in a blazing, flawless live performance of Brahms’s Violin Concerto…his high-tension, heroic style is matched by crisp precision from the orchestra” BBC Music Magazine, September 2017 ****

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Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique - Vinyl Edition

Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique - Vinyl Edition


Berlioz:

Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14


With the release of this live recording of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, RCO Live celebrates the start of its collaboration with Daniele Gatti as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's seventh chief conductor on 9 September 2016.

His unconventional take on this spectacular score evokes the astonishment audiences must have experienced at the time of the 1830 premiere. It is exactly this sense of surprise and freshness – founded on a thorough knowledge of the score – and the sheer joy of making music together that prompted the members of the RCO to choose Daniele Gatti as their new chief conductor.

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Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Recorded Live at Concertgebouw Amsterdam on 31 March and 1 & 3 April 2016


Berlioz:

Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

Liszt:

Orpheus, symphonic poem No. 4, S98

Wagner:

Tannhäuser: Overture (Dresden version)


With the release of this live recording of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, RCO Live celebrates the start of its collaboration with Daniele Gatti as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's seventh chief conductor on 9 September 2016. His unconventional take on this spectacular score evokes the astonishment audiences must have experienced at the time of the 1830 premiere. It is exactly this sense of surprise and freshness – founded on a thorough knowledge of the score – and the sheer joy of making music together that prompted the members of the RCO to choose Daniele Gatti as their new chief conductor.

The Bluray and DVD formats include Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture (Dresden version, 1845) and Franz Liszt's 'Orpheus' (1854).

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Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14


With the release of this live recording of Hector Berlioz's 'Symphonie fantastique', RCO Live celebrates the start of its collaboration with Daniele Gatti as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's seventh chief conductor on 9 September 2016.

His unconventional take on this spectacular score evokes the astonishment audiences must have experienced at the time of the 1830 premiere. It is exactly this sense of surprise and freshness – founded on a thorough knowledge of the score – and the sheer joy of making music together, that prompted the members of the RCO to choose Daniele Gatti as their new chief conductor.

“the string sound is silky, the brass glowing, the woodwind characterful” The Times, 16th September 2016

“Gatti’s reading is poised and energetic, lucid and detailed. Its unconventional emphasis on scene-painting over sweeping gesture yields some fascinating results in the opening movements…the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s characteristic burnished sheen and the mellow restrained horns [is] spaciously captured by the SACD recording” BBC Music Magazine, January 2017 ***

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