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"The best version we have had so far of the Eroica Symphony"
- The Gramophone, 1930
"The latest Unfinished is a sound, musicianly piece of work-thoughtful and free from exaggeration. Schillings gives the music time to speak, and keeps its discourse on a high plane."
- The Gramophone, 1928
"These are important recordings which have not been reissued before, recordings that tell us something about the approach to interpretation and performance of a generation that grew up when Wagner was still alive and reached maturity at a time when Brahms and Tchaikovsky were contemporary composers. Their performances are different from those of the next generation (Furtwangler, Klemperer) in terms of pacing, orchestral sonority and approach toward interpretive license.
We've heard a lot from the later generation, because they lived and recorded into the LP era; but we have not heard quite so much from the earlier generation, which only recorded on 78s. That's why there's a need for releases such as this."
-Mark Obert-Thorn, producer
"I admire, as always, the discipline of this orchestra ... Its incisiveness, continuous forward movement, knowing where it is going, and general air of easy skill are attractive"
The Gramophone, 1930
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8 'Unfinished'
SCHILLINGS Mona Lisa (excerpts)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 'Eroica'
Max von Schillings conductor
Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Studio recordings, 1927-1929
PASC474 (76:34 - 1CD)
"For me the highlights are the ‘Italian’ Symphony, which is judiciously paced by Monteux in an interpretation that’s consistently light on its feet, and the Schumann Introduction and allegro appassionato. Here Rudolf Serkin is the excellent soloist. Serkin and Monteux make the music surge onwards with fine impetus."
- MusicWeb International
We return once more to Tanglewood for this, the second in our short series highlighting Pierre Monteux's stereo concert broadcasts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It follows on from PASC464, which featured music from Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel, Milhaud and Hindemith, recorded at the previous year's concert. This release is drawn from the concert given on 1st August, 1959, which featured the legendary pianist Rudolf Serkin in works by Mendelssohn and Schumann.
Sound quality is excellent throughout, with every detail and nuance captured and enhanced in this superb stereo XR-remastered release.
"Pierre Monteux (1875 -1964) was an amiable giant among conductors. His accomplishments are incredible. I had the privilege of meeting him (very briefly) when he appeared as guest conductor of the Baltimore Symphony for a single performance January 22, 1958. I remember him saying during rehearsals, "Play out, let yourselves be heard!" The orchestra loved him, of course, as did the capacity audience..."
- Classical CD Review
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 4 'Italian'
MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto No. 1
SCHUMANN Manfred Overture
SCHUMANN Introduction and Allegro appassionato
Pierre Monteux, conductor
Rudolf Serkin, piano
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Live stereo recordings, 1959
PASC473 (77:36 - 1CD)
"This is a powerful performance with tremendous energy, indeed, so much so that there is a moment early in the finale when the orchestra almost gets away from Maestro Toscanini for a bar or two - one of those moments that lends verve and excitement to a live performance. The sound is outstanding given the vintage and might easily be mistaken for a recording from seven or eight years later.
Of particular note is the wide dynamic range, made all the more impressive by the tympani presence - not a rumble, as is often the case, but crisp clear mallet strikes which are so important in this piece, providing the accented punch required, especially in the 1st movement. The horns are notably fine as well - brave, assured, and...well...heroic. This is an Eroica that will stand up to repeated listenings."
- R. M., Iowa City, IA
Of Toscanini's seven Eroicas performed with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, there's a good chance you've not come across this wonderful broadcast from February 1949. It was picked out as a personal favourite by a friend of Pristine's in Barcelona as something for me to look out for.
At first I wasn't sure. The opening announcement was crackly and lacked top end. But then the music came in and everything was transformed - blossoming out of restricted AM sound into glorious full hi-fi (or as hi as it got in 1949).
A real find!
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