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

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Die Walküre: Legendary 1940 Flagstad and Melchior concert

"Mr. Leinsdorf achieved what was by all odds his best “Walkuere.” The score held together better than ever before under his direction. The second half of Act I, as it swept to the concluding measures, had line and continuity, and was not a series of chopped episodes which inadequately anticipated the climax. The accompaniment of Wotan’s narrative, an orchestral passage apparently simple to the point of bareness, was given a rare measure of salience. Orchestra and cast were infected with the conductor’s enthusiasm. The long applause and repeated curtain calls demonstrated the audience’s satisfaction." - New York Times, First night review, 1940

This legendary 1940 Metropolitan Opera performance of Die Walküre, which was broadcast live by NBC, has been XR remastered by Andrew Rose from fabulous transfers of new source material. The results of this, combined with careful and painstaking restoration of the 75 year old acetate discs, are superlative - one of the truly great live performances and casts in quite astonishing sound for its era: the so-called Golden Age. In addition are two recordings of the stars, Kirsten Flagstad and Lauritz Melchior, talking about their experiences as singers and in opera, broadcast during the performance interval as part of a fund-raising drive.

WAGNER Die Walküre

Siegmund - Lauritz Melchior
Sieglinde - Marjorie Lawrence
Hunding - Emanuel List
Brünhilde - Kirsten Flagstad
Wotan - Julius Huehn
Metropolitan Orchestra Orchestra
Conductor Erich Leinsdorf 

Stage performance broadcast live in 1940 
PACO125 (3hr 28:56)


The Complete Schalk

"Schalk has done great things at Vienna. Now nearing 70, he has had a stick in his hand since he was not much more than twenty, and he still has great vigour. This ode to optimism cannot fail to grip, however often heard. I hear a contrapuntal effect in it that I have not heard before—an instrument sticking out a trifle above others. The “ghost” in the finale is very good. A sound, well-spaced performance. " - The Gramophone, 1931

"The scope and stress of the music, its devouring energy and consistent nobility, are so truly impressed on me that I must praise the performance roundly" - The Gramophone, 1929

Franz Schalk (1863-1931) studied under Bruckner and violinist Joseph Hellmesberger; Mahler appointed him First Kapellmeister of the Vienna Court Opera in 1900. For the next three decades, he reigned as one of the most important conductors in Vienna, heading the (renamed) State Opera from 1919 to 1929, leading the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde for 17 years, and serving as one of the driving forces in the postwar revival of the Salzburg Festival. 

Here we present all of the released recordings made during his all-too-short recording career in superb new transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn.

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 8
BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No. 3
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8 "Unfinished"

Franz Schalk conductor
Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra 

Recorded 1926-28
PASC451 (2hr 9:08)


Kulenkampff and Solti play the Brahms Violin Sonatas

“The work of the partners in this sonata is particularly apt, neat, gracious, without the least sentimentality: with perhaps, as I suggested, even a trace of dryness that does not at all connote dullness: rather it is the opposite of sweetness, as in wine. There is a curious little inward withdrawnness in the finale, I feel: very typical Brahms, musing happily, self-contained, always solitary, yet the philosopher who cannot demand love, only offer it sullenly.”
-The Gramophone 

Georg Kulenkampff, star German violinist whose glittering career had included the première of the Schumann Violin Concerto, was just months away from death caused by sudden illness.  Georg Solti, entering the Decca recording studios where he'd make his name for the next half century for the very first time. It was as if a baton of greatness was handed from one to the other, to be carried forward into superstardom.

It was a magical moment of temporal crossover. The three Brahms Violin Sonatas were among the handful of recordings they made together in the radio studios of Zurich, Switzerland in 1947 and 1948 - they include Kulenkampff's last and Solti's first recordings. And in these new XR-remastered transfers they sound every bit as beautiful as you might hope - and expect. 

BRAHMS Violin Sonata No. 1
BRAHMS Violin Sonata No. 2
BRAHMS Violin Sonata No. 3 

Georg Kulemkampff violin
Georg Solti piano

Recorded 1947-48
PACM100 (78:44)

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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