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This rare 1961 production of Mussorgsky's original score of Boris Godunov finds Christoff in superb form in the title role, ably supported by a fabulous Covent Garden cast and production. The recording, sourced from a high quality BBC broadcast tape, despite occasionally showing signs of ageing, sounds marvellous in this XR remastering from Andrew Rose, and it's a rare chance to hear Reginald Goodall conducting during this period in his lengthy career.
"Mr. Boris Christoff’s interpretation of the title-role is justly famous, but last night he seemed to have refined it still further; purged of obvious theatricality, this was at once a noble and a spine-chilling performance, excellently supported by Mr. John Lanigan’s foxy Shuisky ... Under Mr. Reginald Goodall’s somewhat score-bound direction ensemble was often sluggish, but for all that he showed a real sympathy with the score, and the performance eventually took fire from the sheer integrity with which he approached it."
- The Times
MUSSORGSKY Boris Godunov
Boris Christoff - Edgar Evans
Margreta Elkin - Joseph Rouleau
Michael Langdon - John Lanigan
Covent Garden Opera Soloists, Orchestra & Chorus
Reginald Goodall conductor
PACO123 (2hr 34:04)
Horenstein's allegiance and devotion to Schoenberg and his school developed at a very early age. The Kammersymphonie and Verklärte Nacht, two of the works Horenstein encountered at a young age, remained permanently in his repertoire. His first known performance of the latter took place in 1927 at one of his early concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic. Schoenberg himself was delighted by the performance and “had to shout bravo” before joining Horenstein on stage for the applause. With Alban Berg, whom he whimsically described as “a renaissance type with a touch of Oscar Wilde in him, tall, languid and very sophisticated”, he developed a long and close friendship that only ended with the Austrian composer’s premature death in 1935.
This recording brings together the first ever recording of Berg's Altenberglieder, Horenstein having conducted the first performance a few weeks earlier in 1953 with the same soloist, and two stereo Vox recordings of Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht and Chamber Symphony No. 1, all sounding fabulous in these new Pristine XR remasters
BERG Altenberglieder (world première recording)
SCHOENBERG Verklärte Nacht
SCHOENBERG Chamber Symphony No. 1
Jascha Horenstein, conductor
Írma Kolássi, mezzo-soprano
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française
Orchestra of the Southwest German Radio (SWDR)
A 2-CD collection of rare and brilliant early electrical recordings by the renowned Budapest String Quartet, recorded in London between 1926 and 1929, in new transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn for Pristine.
The early quartet’s recordings have had only spotty availability in extended-play format - the Haydn, Dittersdorf, Mozart and Tchaikovsky Second Quartet make their first appearances here since the 78 rpm era.
"When this time I read the title and saw that H.M.V. had recorded Schubert’s String Quartet in D minor (“Death and the Maiden”) performed by The Budapest String Quartet my heart leapt, knowing that something really good was in store for me—and I was not disappointed...
To create such music means unselfishly to serve the ideas and never to stop before the last and only expression has been found. To perform such music means just the same, and that is why I do not hesitate in saying that this recording of the D minor Quartet is the best I know of."
HAYDN Quartet in G, Op. 76, No. 1
MOZART “Hunt” Quartet
SCHUBERT “Death and the Maiden” Quartet
DVOŘÁK “American” Quartet
TCHAIKOVSKY Quartet No. 2 in F, Op. 22
Encores by Dittersdorf, Mendelssohn and Borodin
The Budapest String Quartet
PACM098 (2hr 35:50)
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