Sir John Barbirolli

Conductor

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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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$20.25

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Elgar Rediscovered: An Anthology of Forgotten Recordings

Elgar Rediscovered: An Anthology of Forgotten Recordings


Elgar:

Elegy for strings, Op. 58

Sonatina

May Grafton (piano)

Serenade, Op. 73 No. 2

La Capricieuse, Op. 17

Coronation March, Op. 65

Coronation Ode, Op. 44: Crown the King

The Dance (No. 1 from Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27)

Lullaby (No. 3 from Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27)

The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38, Part I: Kyrie eleison

Fringes of the Fleet No. 1. The Lowestoft Boat

Fringes of the Fleet No. 2. Fate's Discourtesy

The Pipes of Pan

Sea Pictures, Op. 37 - Where Corals Lie

Violin Concerto in B Minor, Op. 61 (abridged version)

Albert Sammons (violin)

Salut d'amour, Op. 12

Albert Sammons (violin)


May Grafton (narrator & piano), Alfredo Campoli (violin), Harold Pedlar (piano), Stanley Roper (organ), Baker (piano), Fred Taylor (baritone), Frederic Austin (baritone), Maartje Offers (contralto), Albert Sammons (violin), Gerald Moore (piano)

BBC Symphony Orchestra, Alfredo Campoli & His Salon Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Imperial Bandsmen, Sheffield Cathedral Choir, Leeds Cathedral Choir, Edward Elgar, Landon Ronald, Henry Coward, John Barbirolli, Henry Wood

We are proud to issue a CD of Elgar recordings including the first ever release of Elgar’s April 1933 recording of his Elegy Op. 58 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In August 1933 Elgar recorded the work for a second time with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and it was this recording that was released shortly after Elgar’s death in 1934. In 2015 a test pressing of the earlier recording was discovered and is now being released for the first time. There is no doubt that this recording has more energy with a greater sense of ‘line’ and ebb-and-flow than the later performance and its neglect by Elgar and HMV is something of a mystery. In addition the CD contains a recording of the composer’s Sonatina played by its dedicatee, Elgar’s niece May Grafton. Privately recorded in 1958 at her home by the Elgar biographer, Jerrold Northrop Moore, this is an enchanting reminder of a close relationship that flourished particularly when Miss Grafton acted as Elgar’s secretary. The great violinist Albert Sammons performed the Elgar concerto with the composer over many years. However, they were each contracted to different record labels so in 1929 Sammons recorded the concerto complete with the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra conducted by Sir Henry Wood. Sixteen years earlier, in October 1916, Sammons and Wood made the first recording of the concerto in a version cut by Wood to fit on four sides of 78 rpm discs which Columbia released at the end of 1916. This recording has not been reproduced in any other form since its release in 1916, until now. Sammons’s masterly technique is also displayed in his final Elgar recording — Salut d’amour which concludes this CD but there are several other treasures on the same disc. SOMM is now filling in the gaps with recordings which have not been heard since their original release.

“Copiously detailed presentation and judicious transfers grace a fascinating issue that all experienced Elgarians are sure to appreciate.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

“Not essential listening, perhaps, but intriguing.” Sunday Times, 9th July 2017

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Somm - SOMM0167

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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

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$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

(also available to download from $8.00)

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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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Sir John Barbirolli conducts Mahler & Stravinsky

Sir John Barbirolli conducts Mahler & Stravinsky


Mahler:

Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Victoria Elliot (soprano), Eugenia Zareska (mezzo)

Stravinsky:

Symphony of Psalms


By the time of his death, Sir John Barbirolli had conducted all the Mahler symphonies except the Eighth “Symphony of a Thousand”, and the reconstructed Tenth. He conducted the two completed movements of the Tenth (the Adagio and Purgatorio). Recordings are available for Nos. 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9.

He conducted the Adagietto of the Fifth on several occasions, the first of these being in New York. He performed the song-cycle Kindertotenlieder, with Elena Gerhardt at the Royal Philharmonic Society concert on 29 January 1931. He conducted it in Manchester in 1946 and several times later with Kathleen Ferrier (see the Barbirolli Society release SJB1080).

In 1959 he decided to prepare the Ninth Symphony and the acclaim for his interpretation inaugurated 16 years of almost an obsession with Mahler.

He repeated the Ninth in the next Hallé season and programmed it in Edinburgh, Sheffield, Leeds, Houston, Chicago and elsewhere. He conducted the Second in La Scala, Milan, for he was determined to spread the gospel of Mahler worldwide. In January 1963 he conducted the Ninth in Berlin, where Mahler’s music was little known. In 1965 he conducted the Second three times in Berlin with Janet Baker.

We are fortunate that this thrilling performance, recorded on 12 March 1959 in the Free Trade Hall, with Victoria Elliot and Eugenia Zareska as soloists and the Hallé Orchestra and Choir, is now available for the first time. Probably few people think of Barbirolli as a Stravinsky interpreter, but he regularly programmed a handful of works and did them impressively. The rhythms and colours of the Firebird and Petrushka ballets evoked some exciting performances. He gave excellent accounts of the Symphony in Three Movements and the more classic Symphony in C. The Symphony of Psalms was a favourite too if there was enough rehearsal time to do justice to the great work. It obviously had been well prepared for performance on the evidence of this disc taken from a broadcast from the Edinburgh Festival on 28 August 1957.

The choir had to travel overnight from Manchester and arrived at Prince’s Street Station at 5am on a miserable cold and wet morning. Their spirits lifted when they saw the familiar figure, with his large hat and carrying his stick, waiting to greet them.

As can be heard on this disc, he gives the music a reverential quality but does not indulge in any exaggerated religiosity. Typically, he probes the score for every ounce of lyricism without compromising the music’s baroque style.

“Barbirolli and his Hallé forces make an excellent job of the finale. The recording is somewhat stretched by some of the loudest passages – the opening being one such case – but on the other hand the offstage effects are very well managed and the incandescent ending is sonically well conveyed...admirers of this great conductor will surely want to hear them.” MusicWeb International, 10th October 2014

Building a Library

Also Recommended - April 2017

Barbirolli Society - SJB107879

(CD - 2 discs)

$15.50

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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

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$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

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$9.00

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