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Claudio Arrau and The Romantics

Claudio Arrau and The Romantics


Chopin:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21

recorded 9th March 1960 in Munich

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Massimo Pradella

Schumann:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

recorded 31st May 1962 in Cologne

North German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rafael Kubelik


Previously unreleased.

Arrau was in his late fifties when he gave these performances; yet he had decades in front of him, too. The music of the Romantics was in his blood, and programs from 1933/34 reproduced in Joseph Horowitz’s book Conversations with Arrau reveal, for example, the Chopin B flat minor Sonata nestling between Beethoven and Ravel; Schumann, Liszt, Beethoven and Schubert all figure largely in those recitals. That the music on this present disc is music close to Arrau’s heart is an understatement. Both these concertos are ideal vehicles for Arrau’s insightful way with the music he chose to deliver to a grateful public. Pianists will appreciate his true technique – technique not in terms of velocity but in terms of tone production, pedalling (he always used little pedal, a condiment rather than a vital ingredient in the recipe) and, most of all, legato. Musicians of all heritages will respond to his deeply-ingrained sense of service to the music he plays.

“Impassioned, full-bodied playing in the Chopin, though the piano and orchestra sound far apart.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2014 ****

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West Hill Radio Archive - WHRA6050

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Arrau in Boston: Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5

Arrau in Boston: Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5


Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58

Charles Munch

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 'Emperor'

Pierre Monteux


The two performances in this disc were given with Charles Munch in 1961 (in No.4) and Pierre Monteux (in No. 5) in 1960, both with the Boston Symphony. Both performances demonstrate collaborative assurance.

“Arrau at his most direct and committed, with any hints of earthbound stolidity transfigured by the pianist's warm tone and the Boston Symphony's joyful playing.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2013 *****

“[in the Emperor] we have two vastly experienced musicians, both of whom have a deep understanding of the music and a determination to put their skills completely at the service of the music...There are several studio recordings of both concertos by Arrau but notwithstanding that this disc is an impressive and important addition to his discography.” MusicWeb International, 13th May 2013

“Arrau’s credentials as a Beethoven interpreter are second to none...the hard tone of the piano, on this live recording from Tanglewood (1961), is inimical to the lyrical No 4, and the eloquence of Arrau’s left hand is heard to beautiful effect in the finale’s magical second theme, but the Emperor fares better; again, the orchestra, now under Monteux, is on incisive form.” Sunday Times, 25th November 2012

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West Hill Radio Archive - WHRA6047

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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

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West Hill Radio Archive - WHRA6044

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Sviatoslav Richter’s Boston Debut

Sviatoslav Richter’s Boston Debut

first release of the complete concert from the original broadcast tapes


Beethoven:

The Creatures of Prometheus Overture, Op. 43

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15

Sviatoslav Richter (piano)

Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83

Sviatoslav Richter (piano)


Munch met and heard Richter in 1958 when the Boston Symphony Orchestra toured Russia. He was so impressed that he invited him to appear with the BSO.

Richter’s Boston debut two years later, is presented here from the original stereo tapes for the first time. “The result took your breath away” Boston Globe

“Richter and his accompanists are elegant and airy as well as noble, with the pianist offering a curtailed version of the longest cadenza option. The slow movement has a rapt, meditative quality that seems more compelling than ever experienced live...Richter retains his poise in the finale, the orchestral contribution turning beefier though still adequately pointed...Richter mavens will be gratified by the clear and truthful mono recording.” International Record Review, January 2012

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West Hill Radio Archive - WHRA6035

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Arrau with Szell: Live from Carnegie Hall

Arrau with Szell: Live from Carnegie Hall


Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15

11 November 1945

Chopin:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21

9 January 1955

Liszt:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S125

15 December 1946

Strauss, R:

Burleske for Piano and orchestra in D minor, AV85

11 March 1945

Weber:

Konzertstück in F minor, Op. 79 for piano & orchestra

11 March 1945


Claudio Arrau (piano)

Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, George Szell

These 1945-1955 broadcasts of live collaborations between Claudio Arrau and George Szell are being released for the first time and stem from well preserved and carefully restored broadcast transcription discs. The works include Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1, Chopin Piano Concerto No.2 and Liszt Piano Concerto No.2. All are performed with dynamism, daring and volatility.

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West Hill Radio Archive - WHRA6037

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Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, K620

The fabled 1956 Met Opera Broadcast (sung in English)


Laurel Hurley, Lucine Amara, Brian Sullivan, Theodor Uppman, Roberta Peters, Jerome Hines, George London, Paul Francke

Bruno Walter

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West Hill Radio Archive - WHRA6007

(CD - 2 discs)

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Pierre Monteux in Boston

Pierre Monteux in Boston

Previously Unissued Performances


Brahms:

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

1/28/54

Leon Fleisher (piano)

Franck, C:

Psyche Suite

1/29/54

Strauss, R:

Der Rosenkavalier - Suite

4/11/53

Stravinsky:

The Firebird Suite

4/11/53

Pulcinella Suite

1/19/57


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West Hill Radio Archive - WHRA6012

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Verdi: Il Trovatore

Verdi: Il Trovatore


Stella Roman (Leonora); Leonard Warren (Il Conte di Luna); Margaret Harshaw (Azucena); Jussi Björling (Manrico); Giacomo Vaghi (Ferrando); Lodovico Oliviero (Ruiz); Inge Manski (Ines) & John Baker (gypsy)

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Emil Cooper

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West Hill Radio Archive - WHRA6010

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Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor

Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor


Beverly Sills (Lucia); Alfredo Kraus (Edgardo); Gian-Pero Mastromei (Ashton) & José Nait (Arturo)

Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Colón, Juan Emilio Martini

Recorded Buenos Aires, 4/7/1972

“The amazing thing about her Lucia is not so much the way she sings it, though that has moments of incandescent beauty, but the way she manages to make a living, breathing creature of the unhappy girl...[Ms Sills] delivered by far the most believable mad scene I have ever seen in any opera house” New York Times

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West Hill Radio Archive - WHRA6013

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Mascagni - Cavalleria Rusticana (Two Legendary Performances)

Mascagni - Cavalleria Rusticana (Two Legendary Performances)


Mascagni:

Cavalleria Rusticana

10/4/1937 Boston

Elisabeth Rethberg (Santuzza), Sidney Rayner (Turiddu), Carlo Morelli (Alfio), Irra Petina (Lola) & Anna Kaskas (Mama Lucia)

Gennaro Papi

Cavalleria Rusticana

Alberto Erede 3/3/1951 New York

Zinka Milanov (Santuzza), Richard Tucker (Turiddu), Clifford Harvuot (Alfio), Martha Lipton (Lola) & Jean Madeira (Mama Lucia)


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West Hill Radio Archive - WHRA6002

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