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Charles Munch conducts Mozart & Handel
Access to the publicly broadcast BSO concerts from this era has been extremely difficult even for researchers. This series of DVDs will make these performances available for the first time since they were broadcast.
Munch launched the BSO into television in 1955. He was an immensely popular conductor and well suited to being filmed.
This material represents some of the earliest televised concerts with the Boston Symphony and Charles Munch, and has been restored using the greatest care and state-of-the-art techniques.
It is of exceptional musical interest and rare historic value.
Munch was particularly fond of the Sir Hamilton Harty arrangement of Handel’s Water Music Suite, having performed it 53 times with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and having recorded it with the BSO for RCA in 1950.
His interpretations of the two Mozart symphonies are characteristically lively and exhilarating with the usual committed performances from the BSO.
Never commercially recorded by Munch, both Mozart symphonies are completely new to his discography. The booklet note contains references to an interview the writer conducted with Doriot Anthony Dwyer, the BSO’s principal flautist, who was appointed by Munch and remained in the position for 38 years. It gives a fascinating insight into Munch as a conductor and his interaction and relationship with the orchestra.
Two of ICA’s BSO DVDs featuring Charles Munch as conductor have been awarded the Diapason d’Or in France’s Diapason magazine.
Sound format: Enhanced Mono
Picture format: 4:3
Running time: 62’
Menu languages: English
Booklet languages: E/F/G
Region code: 0
Territory Restrictions: None
“Exhilarating performances of Mozart's Linz and Prague Symphonies and a splendid Handel Water Music, all from 1959-60. Occasional picture fuzziness.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2012 ****
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Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 38 & 39
“… played with great verve and polish on modern instruments by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra…. Harnoncourt is certainly generous in the matter of repeats. The Prague (No. 38) includes every repeat
possible: the first movement runs to 19'26", and the performance overall must be the longest on record at just over 38 minutes … The effect is very dramatic, with a high adrenalin level …” Symphony 39 in E flat
major “… has an exhilarating finale running to 7'53“ which many will welcome, for it fizzes along vivaciously.” Gramophone Magazine
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Mozart - Symphonies Nos. 32, 35, 36, 38 & 39
Sir Charles Mackerras’s performances of Mozart’s Symphonies with the Prague Chamber Orchestra were considered to be benchmark recordings when they first appeared. This specially priced 2-CD set includes five of the late symphonies, Nos. 32, 35 “Haffner”, 36 “Linz”, 38 “Prague”, and 39.
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Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - Volume 24
For the next installment of Profil’s Staatskapelle Dresden Edition, they present Bernard Haitink conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden for Bruckner’s Eight Symphony and Mozart’s Prague Symphony. Symphony No. 8 is one of Bruckner’s most memorable scores and regarded as the quintessence of his accomplishments in the form.
Haitink was Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden from 2002 to 2004 and has also proven himself to be an outstanding Bruckner-interpreter. For this recording the maestro shows a perfect Symphony No. 8.
“The Bruckner Eighth… a valuable addition to the Haitink discography. …this is both vital and grand. The Dresden playing is superb, mellow and golden-toned, caught in an acoustic that has warmth and elasticity. The Mozart receives a well bred performance, stylish and free-flowing.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2009
(also available to download from $20.00)
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Mozart Gala from Salzburg
Recorded at Felsenreitschule Salzburg, Austria
Directed by Brian Large.
The highly acclaimed gala concert celebrating the 2006 Mozart anniversary from the Salzburg Festival featuring some of the world´s top singers, including exclusive DG artists Anna Netrebko, Magdalena Kozena, Patricia Petibon and Rene Pape with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Daniel Hardingat last on DVD!
Held in the Felsenreitschule on 30 July 2006 at the start of the Salzburg Festival, the gala performance represents the full spectrum of the Mozart festivities through a selection of arias and orchestral works
Celebrated soprano Anna Netrebko lives up to her reputation as a fiery dramatic diva with her passionate rendition of Elettra's aria D'Oreste, d¡'Aiace from Idomeneo, while Magdalena Kozena, who was acclaimed for her performance as Idamante in the festival's production of the opera, sings the duet S'io non moro a questi accenti with Ekaterina Siurina as Ilia
Other highlights include renowned baritone Thomas Hampson Rivolgete a lui lo sguardo from Cosi fan tutte and Rene Pape's spirited rendition of Leporello's famous catalogue aria from Don Giovanni
As well as providing superb accompaniments, the Wiener Philharmoniker makes a contribution of its own to the programme with the overtures to Don Giovanni and Idomeneo, and concluding the performance with the Prague Symphony, K. 504
Filmed in HD, released in 16:9 widescreen; audio in PCM and 5.1 DTS Surround Sound
First DVD release
“The orchestral playing is impeccably groomed, opening with a fast and fiery account of the Don Giovanni overture followed later by a dynamic Idomeneo overture and finishing with an accomplished Prague Symphony. The vocal contributions are less even and, except in the case of the two Russian artists, marred by some ugly face pulling to produce particular vowels. The Russians sing magnificently too, Anna Netrebko nearly bringing the house down with Elettra's 'fury' aria from Idomeneo and Ekaterina Siurina scoring as Ilia with her fresh tone and simplicity of manner.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2009 ***
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Mozart - Symphonies
ABBADO 2008 is a celebration of Claudio Abbado's 75th birthday in June, and a cornucopia of six releases is planned to mark the occasion. These include two new Mozart recordings; a new version of his landmark Beethoven symphony cycle plus a new collection of Beethoven concertos; a DVD of Abbado in Concert; as well as a new CD compilation, for which Abbado himself made the selections. Two Times Mozart – Symphonies and Violin Concertos. The two new recordings are both Mozart themed. They feature the Orchestra Mozart, a handpicked group of players founded in Bologna in 2004, with Abbado as their artistic director – and with Giuliano Carmignola as concert-master. Both recordings bear witness to Abbado’s continuing love of Mozart. Abbado has prepared the orchestra by touring throughout Italy – gathering acclaim for their performances, not only for their Mozart, but also Bach (Brandenburg Concertos) and other composers. The energy and freshness found in the performances of the Violin Concertos is also evident in the recordings of five Mozart symphonies, including the "Haffner", the "Prague" and the "Jupiter". Consider these as Abbado’s “home recordings” of the five symphonies – recorded live from concerts in Bologna, Bolzano, Modena and Ferrara between 2004 and 2006 – giving them an extraordinary, raw energy, with the impact of drama and lyricism at the forefront. The recordings of Symphonies nos. 33 and 38 (Prague) are new to Abbado’s discography.
“Throughout these symphonies, recorded "live" with his young, hand-picked orchestra, articulation is crisp and pointed, vibrato abstemiously applied. Mozart's intricate contrapuntal textures in the first movement of the Prague and the finale of the Jupiter have rarely sounded so lucid. There is no denying the finesse of Abbado's phrasing and his care for inner detail. The flowing tempos for the andantes are ideally chosen. Too often, though, I hear coolness, a touch of over-calculation, in Abbado's conducting. Some of the detached, period-style bowing can sound finicky. The outer movements of the Jupiter and the stupendous first movement of the Prague have nothing like the incandescence of Charles Mackerras's recent Scottish Chamber Orchestra recordings (Linn).” The Telegraph, 26th July 2008
“The booklet quotes Abbado saying, “The study of phrasing in Mozart is endless.” Yes indeed, and the fruits are borne out in the conductor's live performances of five selected symphonies with his bouncy, young Orchestra Mozart. The Haffner first movement is especially thrilling and the pianissimos in No 29 would charm a mouse. Effects in No 33 seem more heavy-handed, but the set’s major drawback is the sound: constricted in tuttis, lacking air.” The Times, 25th July 2008 ***
“Mozart emerges here as a vital elixir: using the period-instrument orchestra he founded to perform music of the classical era, Abbado brings a time-honoured Mozartian tradition, learnt from the pianists Friedrich Gulda and Rudolf Serkin, to bear on these much-recorded works. The prestos of the Haffner and “Prague” positively tingle with excitement; the great finale of the Jupiter reveals Mozart’s complex counterpoint with unerring clarity. Textures are bright and clear, the balance between wind and strings is ideal and the sublime melodies of the slow movements are “sung” with an Italianate cantilena Mozart would surely have revelled in. A classic set.” Sunday Times, 10th August 2008 *****
“This is some of the best Mozart conducting you will ever hear. These performances are above all triumphs of experience, innate musicality and understanding, meticulous yet clear thinking, and… the art of listening.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2008
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