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Pristine Classical:  the finest historic recorded music, remastered to award-winning acclaim

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Cortot Concertos Volume Two: Schumann & Bach

"The Brandenburg, with its soloists, is as napable as strawberries and cream. These players, a-tiptoe in elegance and phrase-pointing, are a happy team. The long cadenza for the pianist is reticently done. The tone records rather less fully than in many discs. There is no showiness anywhere. That allows us to enjoy the shaping of the music—Bach’s and theirs. The second movement (side 3), for the trio alone, is an everlasting retreat of beauty; and the finale sets—perhaps not the feet, but the heart dancing." - The Gramophone, 1933

The major work here is Cortot's pioneering first recording of Bach's six Brandenburg Concertos, made in Paris between 1931 and 1933, in which he conducts and, in the fifth concerto, performs at the piano keyboard as soloists alongside violinist Jaques Thibaud and flautist Roger Cortet (he may well also have provided harpsichord continuo elsewhere - this was not noted). This double-CD also includes Cortot's 1927 recording of the Schumann concerto with the LSO and Landon Ronald, plus Cortot's own piano arrangement of Bach's Organ Concerto No. 5 from 1937.

SCHUMANN Piano Concerto
BACH Brandenburg Concertos
BACH (arr. Cortot) Organ Concerto No. 5

Alfred Cortot, piano, conductor
London Symphony Orchestra
Landon Ronald, conductor
Gabriel Bouillon, violin
Roger Cortet, flute
Jacques Thibaud, violin
Orchestre de l'Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris

Recorded 1927-1937 
PASC447 (2hr 0:27)


Bruno Walter: previously unissued Bruckner and Strauss

"What adjectives shall we apply to this, Bruckner’s last symphony? It is the one of which he finished three movements, praying the Lord God to accept his Te Deum for the final movement, if he did not live to finish the score. And this has been followed on some occasions. But the better plan, as this incomplete symphony stands today, seems to be to perform the three instrumental movements as they are, without a finale. And we will discount adjectives about the work, pro or con, and content ourselves for the moment with a conditional clause: if we are to have Bruckner, let it be as he is interpreted by Mr. Walter" - New York Times, 3 Feb 1950

Could this be Bruno Walter's finest Bruckner 9 ever? The collector and Walter expert who provided these recordings stated his firm opinion that it is - a live recording preserved, unheard, for 65 years, now XR remastered for Pristine by Andrew Rose and sounding magnificent.

It's accompanied by even rarer musical fare: only two recordings are known of Walter conducting Strauss's Till Eulenspiegel, and this - the better performance of the two - has likewise been the preserve of a small handful of collectors until now. A very special treat indeed!

BRUCKNER Symphony No. 9
R. STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

Bruno Walter, conductor
Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York

Recorded 1950 & 1954
PASC446 (65:47)


Charles Munch: Complete New York Philharmonic Recordings

The recordings in this collection document a brief but memorable collaboration in the histories of Charles Munch and the New York Philharmonic. Munch began a two-week stay with the Philharmonic on January 23, 1947. The response from audience, critics and orchestra alike was ecstatic. The backstage reception at the end of his stay was reported to have rivaled that given to Arturo Toscanini at his departure from the ensemble. 

Each work is significant in Munch’s repertoire.  He never made a commercial recording of any Mozart symphony, usually being relegated on disc to concerto accompaniments.  His only other recording of Liszt was a wartime set of the First Concerto; and despite his many discs of French repertoire, he never recorded any Chabrier at all.

“I first met this symphony two years ago, when Eugene Goossens played it at a Festival Hall concert. The Münch performance here recorded is a better one, and it emerges from the loudspeaker with great tonal splendour.”
-The Gramophone 

SAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No. 3, “Organ”
D’INDY: Symphony on a French Mountain Air
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 21
MOZART: Symphony No. 35, “Haffner”
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2
CHABRIER: Bourée Fantasque

Charles Munch conductor
Robert Casadesus piano
Édouard Nies-Berger organ
Walter Hendl and Arthur Schuller piano
Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York

Recorded 1947/48
PASC448 (2hr 12:55)

Pristine Classical - what the reviewers say:

These transfers represent such clean, careful, and intelligent work that they still demand to be heard" - Fanfare
"Pristine Audio is to be commended for their stunning remastering" - Classical CD Review
"Recording quality such as could only be dreamed of back then..." - MusicWeb International
"The Pristine sound has a clarity, body, presence and focus..." - International Record Review
"Quite a revelation - they've done an amazing job!" - CD Review, BBC Radio Three
"Studio 8-H is transformed into a free, open space, as beautifully atmospheric as the originals were dead" - Classical Recordings Quarterly
"The SACD was nice, but next to the Pristine remasterings, the piano was rather wooden-sounding and somewhat opaque..." - Audiophile Audition

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