Pristine Classical

The finest historic recorded music, remastered to award-winning acclaim

Pristine Classical

The finest historic recorded music, remastered to award-winning acclaim

Pristine Classical

The finest historic recorded music, remastered to award-winning acclaim

Pristine Classical

The finest historic recorded music, remastered to award-winning acclaim

Pristine Classical

The finest historic recorded music, remastered to award-winning acclaim

Most Recent Releases

SCHWARZKOPF, GRÜMMER, KARAJAN Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel

In the summer of 1953 Walter Legge assembled an all-star cast for the very first studio recording of Humperdinck's finest opera, Hansel and Gretel. Herbert von Karajan was chosen to conduct, continuing the relationship that Legge had forged with him during the recordings of Le Nozze di Figaro and Die Zauberflöte in 1950. Legge used the orchestra he had himself founded after the war. The Philharmonia lacked a permanent conductor but successfully enticed guest conductors such as Furtwangler and Toscanini to perform with them in London. Karajan conducted the orchestra regularly in the early 1950s and this recording clearly reflects the comfortable familiarity between them.

The siblings, Hansel and Gretel, are sung by Elisabeth Grümmer and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. While Schwarzkopf gives us all the clarity, precision and insight anyone could want, Grümmer gives us youthful innocence as well as a very credible boyish boldness in her singing. It’s a performance as Hansel that surely has never been bettered on record.

Also included are six bonus tracks of arias sung by Elisabeth Grümmer by Mozart and Richard Strauss. All the recordings have been XR remastered by Andrew Rose for Pristine, and rendered in Ambient Stereo for a superb listening experience.

MUNCH conducts Sibelius and R. Strauss in Boston

These excellent stereo broadcast recordings of Charles Munch with the Boston Symphony Orchestra were drawn from the extensive tape archives of a major private collector and film director. The tapes were in excellent condition and sound quality throughout is superb.

In both cases the broadcasts captured one of several performances that season: the Sibelius Violin Concerto was played by Ruggiero Ricci and the Boston Symphony three times in January 1960, with another four performances to follow in Connecticut, New York and at Tanglewood later that year.

Boston concert-goers had four opportunities in 1959 to hear Munch conduct the Strauss Symphonia Domestica, a work he also conducted with the BSO in three concerts elsewhere that year. It was something of a surprise return for the Symphonia - Munch hadn't conducted it since 1949 until this revival a decade later. As you'll see from the review reproduced here on our website, it was very well received indeed!

RICCARDO STRACCIARI in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia

This release is the first of two which will present both of the complete opera recordings of baritone Riccardo Stracciari. Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia was recorded in 1929, and Verdi’s Rigoletto, with the same principal cast members and conductor, followed the next year. Despite their importance, these sets have never received satisfactory new transfers during the CD era, with the last “official” transfer of Il barbiere from EMI having been made as long ago as 1955 (reissued from those tapes for a 1979 LP edition). Mark Obert-Thorn has now made these fabulous new transfers for Pristine to redress the balance.

Riccardo Stracciari (1875 - 1955) was born near Bologna and made his professional debut there in 1899. He first sang at La Scala in 1904, and his international career began the following year with appearances at Covent Garden in 1905 and the Metropolitan Opera in 1906. He sang widely throughout Europe and the Americas before retiring in 1944. He was best known for his portrayal of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, which he reportedly sang 1000 times, and for Rigoletto. No less an authority than Rosa Ponselle admired his singing, and he is still considered one of the finest Italian baritones of his era.

Little is known about conductor Lorenzo Molajoli (1868 – 1939). His early career was spent conducting in the Americas, South Africa and provincial Italian theatres. In 1926, he became Italian Columbia’s house conductor, under which guise he recorded twenty complete or abridged operas between 1928 and 1932. His tight control of the ensemble and fast tempi often produced dramatic and exciting performances.

Pristine Streaming

Digital Music Collection

What the reviewers say

FURTWÄNGLER Wagner Ring Cycle: 4. Götterdämmerung (1950, La Scala) - PACO093

Flagstad pours it on—the quality of her voice and her stamina are remarkable

Fanfare magazine

KLEMPERER in Philadelphia, Vol. 1: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms (1962) - PASC465

This “Eroica” is one of Klemperer’s great statements of the work

Fanfare magazine

LEINSDORF Wagner: Die Walküre (1940, Met) - PACO125

Probably the most significant recording to come along since the recent Wagner bicentennial

The Washington Post

TOSCANINI All-Verdi Concert (1943) - PACO106

Never have I heard the entire broadcast in such excellent sound ... one of the greatest of all Toscanini concerts

Fanfare magazine