Sir John Barbirolli

Conductor

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Sir John Barbirolli conducts Nielsen & Mahler

Sir John Barbirolli conducts Nielsen & Mahler


Mahler:

Symphony No. 7

Nielsen:

Symphony No. 5, Op. 50 (FS97)


BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra & Hallé Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli

The Barbirolli Society’s latest release isa 2-CD set of the complete concert given in the Free TradeHall, Manchester on 20October 1960,with the combined forces of theHallé and BBC Northern SymphonyOrchestras. The concert consisted of Nielsen’s Symphony No.5 and Mahler’s Symphony No.7.

Michael Kennedy, writing in 2000, stated: ‘Performances of the (Mahler) Seventh were much rarer then than they are today, and Mahlerian scholars and enthusiasts flocked to Manchester for the event, among them Deryck Cooke who was profoundly impressed by Sir John’s ability to make the work’s structure cohere. This was an especially significant comment coming from Cooke, who harboured many doubts about the symphony and confessed to finding it most ‘problematical’.’

“Some ‘truly remarkable music-making’, as critic Rob Cowan puts it in Replay.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - July 2016

Barbirolli Society - SJB108485

(CD)

$15.50

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Haydn & Boccherini: Cello Concertos

Haydn & Boccherini: Cello Concertos

Stereo · Recorded In 1967


Boccherini:

Cello Concerto No. 9 in B flat major, G 482

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli

Haydn:

Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major, Hob. VIIb:1

English Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim

Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major, Hob. VIIb:2 (Op. 101)

English Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim


Jacqueline du Pré, performing with the two conductors most closely associated with her career, brings characteristic exuberance, passion and colour to three cello concertos rooted in the 18th century. In his memoir A Life In Music, Daniel Barenboim wrote: “I have never encountered anyone for whom music was such a natural form of expression as it was for Jacqueline … She had a capacity to imagine sound such as I never met in any other musician.”

Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues - 2564640415

(CD)

$8.25

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Brahms: The Four Symphonies

Brahms: The Four Symphonies


Brahms:

Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Tragic Overture, Op. 81

Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80

Variations on a theme by Haydn for orchestra, Op. 56a 'St Anthony Variations'


The music of Brahms held an important place in Sir John Barbirolli’s repertoire and these recordings of the symphonies, made with the Vienna Philharmonic in 1966 and 1967, stand as one of the peaks of his discography. Barbirolli’s relationship with this music is rooted in his time as an orchestral cellist, and these performances are notable for their rich, ripe sonorities and expansive warmth.

Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues - 2564676771

(CD - 2 discs)

$18.75

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Elgar: Cello Concerto; Sea Pictures

Elgar: Cello Concerto; Sea Pictures


Elgar:

Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85

Jacqueline du Pré (cello)

London Symphony Orchestra

Sea Pictures, Op. 37

Dame Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano)

London Symphony Orchestra

Cockaigne Overture, Op. 40 'In London Town'

Philharmonia Orchestra


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.

Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues - 2564607600

(CD)

$8.25

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Mahler: Symphony No. 1

Mahler: Symphony No. 1


Barbirolli:

An Elizabethan Suite

Mahler:

Symphony No. 1 in D major 'Titan'


For Barbirolli, the 1950s and 60s became a golden age for his art and the gramophone, and his reputation became more widespread than those famous recordings of his from the 1930s with the London Philharmonic, London Symphony, and New York Philharmonic Orchestras which originallly established his name on disc.

Having first visited the Prague Spring Festival in 1958 with the Hallé, making a considerable impact in the then communist country of Czechoslovakia (a concert from that visit is available on the Barbirolli Society label SJB 1083) a return engagement to Prague for Barbirolli became an urgent necessity – for him alone if necessary. And so, almost two years later to the day, we can hear part of the programme he gave with the Czech Philharmonic in May 1960, comprising his own Elizabethan Suite and Mahler’s First Symphony. The Mahler is a performance of rare quality, the players responding to this late 19th-century evocation of their Bohemian provenance with demonstrable love and affection, keen to impress their distinguished conductor with their dedication to the recreation of this masterpiece. The remaining work in the programme was a Concerto for Two Pianos by Jan Dussek (released on CD by Supraphon) in which the soloists were František Maxián and Jan Panenka. For his second visit, Barbirolli spent more than a week in Prague, and nine days before conducting the concert recorded here, he was interviewed on Czech Radio (included as a bonus track on this CD), in which conversation he discussed his impressions of the Prague Spring Festival, the great Czech conductor Václav Talich (who was to die less than a year later) and the city itself. The recordings are from the archives of Czech Radio and are published here for the first time.

“Mahler's First Symphony was always a Barbirolli party piece, and the superlative Czech Philharmonic play out of their skins for him in Prague's acoustically gorgeous Smetana Hall.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2014 *****

Barbirolli Society - SJB1082

(CD)

$12.00

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Rubbra: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6

Rubbra: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6


Rubbra:

Symphony No. 5, Op. 63

Symphony No. 6, Op. 80


Edmund Rubbra established his reputation with his first four Symphonies. But in many ways, Rubbra’s Fifth Symphony may be considered his most immediately attractive. It was premiered on 26 January, 1949 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Adrian Boult at the Royal Albert Hall, but it was Sir John Barbirolli and the Hallé Orchestra’s recording of the work under the auspices of the British Council – the first recording of any Symphony by Rubbra – which had a notable impact and substantially reinforced the composer’s name internationally.

The recording was made in December 1950 at EMI’s No.1 Studio in Abbey Road, London, with Rubbra present. Early commentators were at one in their admiration of Rubbra’s Fifth Symphony, The Times critic in particular singling out the impression that the symphony ‘accords with the famous definition that music is thinking in sound without concepts’, continuing that the ‘slow movement has a grave beauty that is impressive.’ Many also naturally referred to the solo horn tune which opens the Scherzo, noting its genuine instantaneous memorability.

For such a work, no finer choice of interpreter could have been chosen than Barbirolli: the composer himself was forever fulsome in his praise of Barbirolli, and on more than one occasion said of his deep appreciation for what the conductor and his orchestra had revealed.

The Sixth Symphony was the result of a commission from the Royal Philharmonic Society, and Barbirolli’s was clearly (if not quite the work’s second performance) one of the earliest accounts the Symphony had received up to that time. This CD includes a previously unpublished ‘live’ recording from the 1956 Cheltenham Festival – taken from Rubbra’s own private collection.

What is quite clear, almost 60 years later, are the depth and concentrated power of Barbirolli’s reading of this great work. Here is music that has the compelling inner drive and utterly convincing grasp of the conductor’s perception – knowing where each phrase is going, and why – the result is a reading such as can never have been exceeded by those conductors drawn to this profound symphony.

Barbirolli’s sense of organic growth is astonishingly convincing, his perception and understanding of this music being a practical demonstration of what Harold Truscott described as prerequisites for musicians approaching Rubbra’s music – ‘application and thought’ – here demonstrated by Barbirolli and his orchestra at the height of their powers.

“Rubbra fans will welcome the appearance of this previously unreleased world premiere performance of the Sixth Symphony. Fine, warm-toned playing graces the Fifth as well.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2014 ***

Barbirolli Society - SJB1081

(CD)

$12.00

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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde: Act 2

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde: Act 2

recorded in concert at Carnegie Hall on 16th April 1939


Kirsten Flagstad (Isolde), Eyvind Laholm (Tristan), Enid Szántho (Brangäne) John Gurney (King Marke), Daniel Harris (Kurwenal, Melot)

New York Philharmonic, John Barbirolli

First complete performance in the U.S. of Act II; a rare opportunity to hear Barbirolli conducting a substantial portion of this opera of which he left no commercial recording. A co-production with The Barbirolli Society.

“Barbirolli and the NY Phil respond enthusiastically to the music’s erotic excitement. The other roles are decently sung — Tristan by the Swedish-American Eyvind Laholm — but the glory is Flagstad’s.” Sunday Times, 10th June 2012

West Hill Radio Archive - WHRA6044

(CD)

$11.00

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Mahler: Symphony No. 9

Mahler: Symphony No. 9


“Barbirolli brings out the grotesque brilliance of the second movement beautifully, is entirely at home in the clattering uproar of the Rondo-Burleske, and digs deep into the emotion of the music in the final heart-rending Adagio. All in all, this is an extremely fine issue of the Mahler Ninth.” Gramophone Magazine

EMI Masters - 6782922

(CD)

$9.00

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English String Music

English String Music


Delius:

Brigg Fair

Elgar:

Introduction & Allegro for strings, Op. 47

with the Allegri String Quartet

Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20

Elegy for strings, Op. 58

Sospiri, Op. 70

Vaughan Williams:

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

Fantasia on Greensleeves


Presto Greatest Recordings

1960s

Warner Classics Masters - 0851872

(CD)

$9.50

(also available to download from $8.00)

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Beethoven & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos

Beethoven & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos


Beethoven:

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

Recorded 16-17 & 22.06.1936, Abbey Road Studio No. 1

John Barbirolli

Mendelssohn:

Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64

Recorded 08.04.1935, Abbey Road Studio No. 1

Landon Ronald


“The strength, the absolute certainty of Kreisler’s playing, the sweetness and sonorousness of his tone, and his impeccable taste, are breathtaking, and in Beecham’s LPO he has an orchestra to do him justice. Barbirolli shapes and controls the Beethoven with a sure hand, and the recorded sound is crystal clear.” Sunday Times, 7th August 2011 ****

Dutton Historic - CDVS1917

(CD)

$5.50

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