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"Glenn Gould, with all his perceptive mind and exhilarating touch, is doomed to disaster, and won't earn my entrance fee until I know that he's given up baying the moon with melodies from Bach ... ruined by this melancholy obsessional vil canto. Since singing is so good a thing, to misquote Byrd, I wish Glenn Gould would learn not to sing."
- The Gramophone, 1959
Glenn Gould, one of the most brilliant interpreters of Bach's keyboard music of all time, was catapulted to international stardom in 1955 with his recording of the Goldberg Variations (PAKM 062), without doubt one of the great recordings of the 20th century. But there was, for many listeners, always a sticking point: Gould hummed, sang or perhaps at times, grunted along to the music he was playing, something the best efforts of sound engineers over the years never quite managed to avoid capturing, even during that first studio recording of the Variations.
However a year earlier, in a 1954 live radio broadcast in Canada, a complete Goldberg was performed without so much as a whisper from Gould's lips. First issued in 1995 in transfers from the only known copy, a 33rpm acetate discs from Gould's private archive, the recording has promised much but never quite delivered: wobbly pitch, scuffed surfaces, poor tonal quality have been its downfall.
This new Pristine XR remastering has taken huge leaps forward in fixing as much as currently possible with this historic first Gould Goldberg Variations: stable pitch, much improved piano tone, an enormous amount of digital cleaning - it's a revelation. Coupled with his two 1957 Partita recordings this is essential listening for all Gould and Bach fans - especially those who've never quite managed to cope with the "vil canto" of all Gould's later solo recordings.
BACH Goldberg Variations
BACH Partita No. 5
BACH Partita No. 6
Glenn Gould, piano
Studio & live recordings, 1954/57
PAKM068 (75:44 - 1CD)
"Throughout the performance, Beecham emphasizes the suave grandeur Mozart controls in this, his largest symphonic structure in his oeuvre at the time. The virtuoso syncopations of the last movement move with a lithe suppleness that makes this rendition a worthy companion to Beecham’s commercial endeavor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra."
- Audiophile Audition on Vol. 3
The final installment of Beecham's four-concert stint at the nascent ABC radio in April 1945 brings us a full Haydn symphony coupled with shorter works by Mozart, Haydn and Berlioz. Once again Beecham demonstrates his brilliance in taking a hastily-assembled orchestra on and producing musical excellence!
"What is truly memorable is the intensity Beecham gets from his players in Siegfried's Funeral March, the Schubert, the Elegy from Tchaikovsky's Serenade and Sibelius's Death of Mélisande."
- The Sunday Times on Vol. 2
Now the series is complete, you can order the full set of four volumes in FLAC download or audio CD format and save 10% on individual prices!
"In New York for concerts with the Rochester Philharmonic during the first week of April 1945, Beecham conducted a Blue Network afternoon broadcast on April 7, and this is the result ... a wonderfully entertaining album"
- Fanfare magazine on Vol. 1
MOZART The impresario - Overture
SAINT-SAËNS Omphale's Spinning Wheel
HAYDN Symphony No. 102
BERLIOZ Royal Hunt and Storm
BERLIOZ Hungarian March
Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor
Blue Network Symphony Orchestra
Live broadcast recording, 1946
PASC480 (53:37 - 1CD)
"Pierre Monteux (1875 -1964) was an amiable giant among conductors. His accomplishments are incredible. He gave the world premieres of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, Petrushka, Debussy's Jeux and Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe. Monteux led the Boston Symphony (1918 - 1924), the Amsterdam Concertgebouw (1924-1934), Orchestre Symphonique de Paris (1929 - 1938), the San Francisco Symphony (1935 - 1952), and in 1961, at the age of 86, became conductor of the London Symphony! In addition, he conducted French repertory at the Metropolitan Opera. He also found time for teaching and his students include many well-known conductors. A remarkable musician indeed."
- Classical CD Review
Pierre Monteux's six concerts at the Berkshire Music Festival - now better known as Tanglewood - in the summer of 1962 give little indication of the conductor's great age at the time beyond an amazing lifetime's experience. These two magnificent performances were captured for stereo radio broadcast in excellent sound quality, enhanced further here by Andrew Rose's XR remastering techniques.
"I remember him saying during rehearsals, "Play out, let yourselves be heard!" The orchestra loved him, of course, as did the capacity audience. Monteux recorded profusely throughout his career including premiere recordings of many major works. On this admirable Pristine Audio series we hear performances at Tanglewood ... I look forward to future issues in this fine series"
- Classical CD Review
Pierre Monteux, conductor
Boston Symphony Orchestra
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