Penguin Guide Rosette Winners

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

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Herbert von Karajan - 100th Anniversary Collection

Herbert von Karajan - 100th Anniversary Collection


Beethoven:

Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Egmont Overture, Op. 84

Coriolan Overture, Op. 62


Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Marga Höffgen (contralto), Ernst Haefliger (tenor) & Otto Edelmann (baritone)

Philharmonia Orchestra & Chor der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Herbert von Karajan

Herbert von Karajan’s first cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies with the Philharmonia Orchestra on EMI has always been something of an ugly duckling when compared to the various Berlin Philharmonic incarnations on Deutsche Grammophon. Now reissued in a bargain 5 CD box, this is part of the truckload of Karajan 100th anniversary releases, which will no doubt raise controversy in some quarters and be welcomed in others. For me, if it’s nicely produced and cheaper than a box of quasi half-decent cigars then ‘bring it on’ as they say, and this box is certainly no slouch when it comes to presentation.

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

EMI - The Karajan Collection - 5158632

(CD - 5 discs)

$27.25

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Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture & Capriccio Italian

Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture & Capriccio Italian


Beethoven:

Wellington's Victory, Op. 91 (Battle Symphony)

London Symphony Orchestra

Tchaikovsky:

1812 Overture, Op. 49

Capriccio italien, Op. 45


spoken commentary by Deems Taylor

Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra & University of Minnesota Brass Band, Antal Dorati

Cannon and musket fire directed by Gerard C. Stowe

Recorded - 1955-60

“it sounds even more spectacular than it did in its vinyl format, vividly catching Beethoven's musical picture of armies clashing.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Decca - Originals - 4758508

(CD)

$11.75

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Beethoven - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3

Beethoven - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3


Beethoven:

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

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37


'For me Beethoven is like a god. I worship him, and I admire his music. It always produces very deep emotions in me when I'm conducting it or playing it on the piano.' (Mikhail Pletnev)

“…there were times when I genuinely wondered if even five stars wasn't insulting to playing of such glorious playful penetration. …the next minute Pletnev does something that makes you howl with disbelief.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2007 ***

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Presto CD

DG - 4776415

(Presto CD)

$17.75

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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 (complete)

Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 (complete)


Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Presto CD

DG Rosette Collection - 4765299

(Presto CD - 3 discs)

$30.25

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Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92

Live Recording 3 May 1982


Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Orfeo - Orfeo d'Or - Bayerische Staatsoper live - C700051B

(SACD)

$14.25

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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 8, 23 and 31

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 8, 23 and 31


Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 'Pathétique'

Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 'Appassionata'

Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110


Emil Gilels (piano)

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Presto CD

DG Rosette Collection - 4762194

(Presto CD)

$13.50

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Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72

Beethoven: Fidelio, Op. 72


Sena Jurinac (Leonore), Jon Vickers (Florestan), Gottlob Frick (Rocco), Hans Hotter (Pizarro), Elsie Morison (Marzelline), John Dobson (Jaquino), Forbes Robinson (Fernando), Joseph Ward (First Prisoner), Victor Godfrey (Second Prisoner)

Covent Garden Opera Orchestra & Chorus, Otto Klemperer

Recorded 1961, mono

“Here is the first night of Otto Klemperer's legendary 1961 Fidelio, from the Royal Opera House, to challenge his noted studio set from a year later.This confirms the Achilles' heel of Walter Legge, EMI's leading mogul at the time, in his unwillingness to record live occasions, probably because he liked to have every aspect of a recording under his control. In this case there is more to it than that. Klemperer wanted, in the studio, to retain his Covent Garden cast; Legge preferred to make changes with two exceptions (Jon Vickers and Gottlob Frick). On the evidence of this magnificent issue, Klemperer was right. Not only are the singers, by and large, better equipped for their roles, but given the electricity of the occasion the conductor's interpretation is more vital (often faster tempi) and even more eloquent. For his own staging, Klemperer decided to include far more dialogue than is usually heard so that we have as much a play with music as an opera. The singers speak and act with such feeling and immediacy, most particularly Jurinac, Hotter and Frick, as to justify the added text. Add to that the dedication on all sides to Klemperer, and you can imagine why this was such a special occasion.
Compared to Christa Ludwig on Klemperer's studio version, Sena Jurinac creates a more believable and vulnerable Leonore. Her heartfelt sympathy with the role is evident in every line she speaks and sings, most notably in key phrases in her duet with Rocco near the end of Act 1 and the melodrama in Act 2. Once past some first night nerves evident in 'Abscheulicher!' she proves an ideal Leonore. Vickers, even in these early days of his career, is inclined to sentimentalise his Florestan with scoops and lachrymose effects, but all is forgiven when he provides the heroic thrust and inner feeling which the part demands and which is so notably absent from the Florestan on the recent Rattle version. Frick's Rocco is, if possible, even more admirable than on the studio set, expressing the jailor's terrible dilemma in the kind of incisive, warm tones few other basses on disc match.
It is incomprehensible that Legge preferred as Pizarro the too-comfortable sounding Walter Berry to Hans Hotter. Hotter, usually known for his noble roles, is here the epitome of evil, a threatening force of nature, his voice and diction full of menace so that he can be forgiven one or two wobbles in his aria. The young lovers are personably sung and enacted by Elsie Morison and John Dobson, and another Royal Opera stalwart, Forbes Robinson, is a dignified Don Fernando.
There was a fuss at the time about Klemperer's inclusion of Leonore III, but he fully justifies it by his electrifying interpretation. He insisted on placing the wind in the middle of the orchestra spectrum, and the balance is improved throughout as a result. His reading overall has the stature and sense of the work's philosophical basis which will be familiar to those who know his discs of the symphonies.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“the quality of the splendid (1962) Kingsway Hall recording is very apparent, with the voices beautifully caught in relation to the orchestra, all within a glowing ambience. The result is a triumph to match the unique incandescence and spiritual strength of the performance, superbly cast” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition ***

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Testament - SBT21328

(CD - 2 discs)

$33.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, etc.

Beethoven:

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

Mozart:

Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K219 'Turkish'


Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

DG Originals - 4474032

(CD)

$11.75

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Beethoven - Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7

Beethoven - Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7


Beethoven:

Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67

Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92


“The recording of the Fifth, always very fine, comes up superbly in this transfer.
What, though, of the Seventh, an equally distinguished performance though always perceptibly greyer-sounding on LP, and on CD? The result is a performance of genius that now speaks to us freely and openly for the first time. In some ways this is a more important document than the famous Fifth.
Great recordings of the Seventh, greatly played and conducted, but with first and second violins divided left and right, are as rare as gold dust. Freshly refurbished, this Kleiber Seventh would go right to the top of any short list of recommendable Sevenths. It's wonderful to have these two legendary performances so expertly restored.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Mercurial, thrilling accounts of two warhorses from the unique Carlos Kleiber” Gramophone Magazine, 1000th issue (James Jolly)

“an essential recommendation for any collection. These are performances which seem to present a Beethoven 'for the ages', a distillation of a long interpretative tradition, without concern for historical accuracy in text or performance practice. The sense of something monumental is enhanced by the imposing Vienna Musikverein acoustic.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2012

“In Carlos Kleiber's hands the first movement of the Fifth is electrifying, yet still has an underlying hushed intensity...In the Seventh the symphonic argument never yields to the charm of the dance. Incisively dramatic, his approach relies on sharp rhythmic contrasts and thrustful rhythms.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

GGramophone Magazine

100 Greatest Recordings

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Building a Library

First Choice - October 1999

Building a Library

First Choice - October 2007

DG Originals - 4474002

(CD)

$11.75

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Harp Concertos

Harp Concertos


anon.:

Theme, Variations and Rondo pastorale

Beethoven:

Variations (6) in F major on a Swiss Song, WoO 64

Boieldieu:

Concerto for Harp and Orchestra in C

Dittersdorf:

Harp Concerto in A major

Handel:

Sixteen Concertos for Organ and Strings

Theme and Variations in G minor


“The ASMF accompaniment, so stylish and beautifully balanced, is a treat in itself, and the recording is well-nigh perfect.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Decca - 4257232

(CD)

$11.75

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