What Classical are you spinning?

I very rarely listen to symphonic music. In the 1980s and 1990s I listened to loads of it. I used to go to cycles, the last two I’ve been to were Igor Levit playing the Beethoven piano sonatas and Ibragimova/Tiberghien playing the Mozart violin sonatas. There are recordings of both, the latter are excellent.

I go to and listen at home to all sorts of things. Last night was a most enjoyable mixed bag of Bach, superbly performed.

  • Suite No.2 in B Minor
  • Cantata No.54, Widerstehe doch der Sünde
  • Violin Concerto in A minor
  • Cantata No.170, Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust
  • Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G

Our next outing on Saturday is a ballet new in 2021 with a score by Thomas Ades (apologies to @JohannSeb, I saw it in 2021 and completely forgot who did the music). Then next week is contemporary dance Cloud Gate from Taiwan with music by the Iceland rock band Sigur Ros.

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I carried the DG LP box set from one hi-fi store to another back in 1978, auditioning my first high-end system. Nothing made the grade unless it provided the necessary weight and gravitas in the opening minutes of the 6th.

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That was one of the gifts that just kept on giving for DG, released in its various iterations and formats over the ensuing years!

I’ve recently been listening to Karl Böhm’s Schubert 5 which is my favourite recording of this work.
I didn’t know his 1971 recording of the Pastoral which is the other work here, and fell completely in love with it. Plenty of gravitas here from the off, and the VPO strings are simply more luminous than their Berlin counterparts. Don’t know how true this is, but apparently HvK didn’t like the 6th particularly.

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I have these, and the String Quartets too.
Such an under-rated composer (and he was also a penguin). Glad you picked them up :grinning:

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Such a fabulous list, many among my favourites too (not that that should matter)

The Martinon Chicago box is a treasure. He was so maligned during that tenure, but as a composer himself, knew the scores inside out.

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As an alternative to Walter in a completely different interpretation, you could consider Jochum for the Brahms.

He made 2 recordings, the first in Mono is the more incendiary. But I know sonics are important to you too, so the LPO set is extremely fine and at the moment the one I come back to.

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Oh how funny - I just picked up the Warner Classics box of Jochum’s works. Found it used but in shrink for a song. Haven’t jumped into it yet I’m afraid

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If you mean the ‘Icon’ set, then you have those and also the Bruckner Symphonies (also my favourite cycle) and a lovely Bach B minor.

You lucky thing :wink:

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Yes, its the Icon set… and it is A LOT to go through. Will take me quite some time.

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IMG_0579

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Martinon was not rejected from Chicago for truly technical nor artistical reasons, but rather for conspiring ones against him…
The Decca “Original Masters” box too is full of treasures.
Philips, Decca, Vox, RCA, Erato, EMI… Fortunately, his recording legacy has been largely reissued.
For Debussy in the previous list, I chose Martinon (with the French Radio Orchestra) because of his light touch, simplicity and a sense of making everything obvious. Never impressionnistic nor foggy.

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George Onslow - -

Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - -

The Onslow recording has been re-released on the Aparté label with a different cover.

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I suspect part of the problem was he wasn’t Reiner! It took his return to France before he was truly appreciated in his homeland. Totally agree about his Debussy (who hated the term ‘impressionism’) and what marvellous French sounds those woodwinds make. For a similar reason I like Boulez for his clarity and total un-sentimentality.

This prompted me to listen yesterday to a similar approach by Haitink back when the Concertgebouw still sounded different!

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Here’s another huge Romantic box I can thoroughly recommend in stunning MLP sonics from a conductor all but forgotten:

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Paul Paray is not all but forgotten to me, since he was born in a harbour 60 kms ago from my birthplace. His mono legacy is far less known than his glorious stereo era. Symphonie Fantastique is outstanding, also his Chabrier, Suppé (maybe Mercury’s best recording ever as for technics). His Debussy and Ravel rather thin and speedy seems peculiar, but Pierre Monteux didn’t conduct otherwise.

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Back to the land of the living, here’s another one from the Irish Baroque. Recorded and produced by Philip Hobbs, probably the best in the Baroque business. As the booklet explains the raison d’être for this set, as is obvious to those who enjoy live baroque performances, multi-tasking is the general order of the day. Vocal and instrumental soloists come from the choir and orchestra respectively, not some prima-donna hired for the occasion. Last Tuesday Peter Whelan conducted, played the organ and harpsichord, and sometimes plays the bassoon (his original job). The oboe soloist doubled up as second recorder. Sometimes it’s a bit like a football match, with a reserves bench of people coming on and off when required. Asa result, there are often multiple solo parts and more much more colour to the music.

Violin Solo with baroque Music. For some people bizarre for others like me wonderful interwoven voices like complex dialogues …


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