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

Szell conducts Czech music

"It is not possible at the hour of writing to say as much about the remarkable performances of Mr. Szell as they deserve. He is evi­dently a conductor of high rank ... Mr. Szell, in a unique degree, knows how this music should be played and how to make an orchestra play it. And here was that spontaneity, integrity, naturalness and creative glow that American music has yet to attain." - New York Times, 1941

Thus did the New York Times' reviewer greet the second of four concerts George Szell gave with the NBC Symphony Orchestra as guest conductor in the early months of 1941. It followed rave reviews of his debut with the orchestra a few weeks earlier and went on to anticipate the great things to come from Szell in the weeks ahead.

These concerts, broadcast to the nation, served greatly to raise Szell's profile in the country he was to adopt and in which he would carve out a hugely successful career. With this concert of Czech music we hear in amazing sound quality not only familiar works from Dvořák and Smetana, but also Szell's own brilliant orchestration of the latter's first string quartet, "From My Life". It really is a superb document of the dawning of a stellar career.

Hans Hopf in Leinsdorf's 1962 Siegfried

"This uncut "Siegfried" was full of delightful discoveries. I can offer Erich Leinsdorf no higher praise than to say that the beautiful playing of the orchestra brought back may vivid memories of Fritz Stiedry's inspired interpretation of this score. Nowhere was Wagner's miraculous sense of color and atmosphere more subtly employed than in this music, which stirs the intellect as it intoxicates the senses."
- Musical America, 1962

Siegfried is a tour de force for any Wagnerian tenor, and only the very greatest manage this supremely demanding role well. Hans Hopf here is superb. His voice is large and carries a certain heft that the role demands. He also possesses that rare stamina that enables him to sing this role successfully. He sounds just as fresh in Act 3 as he did in Act 1. 

Meanwhile Birgitt Nilsson is a superlative Brünnhilde, and Erich Leinsdorf directs the ensemble to near perfection. An essential addition to any Wagner collection, this release brings us three-quarters of the way through this epic Met Opera Wagner Ring cycle.

Verdi's Otello - Mario Del Monaco stars

"Mario Del Monaco has grown astonishingly in the role of the Moor. From the moment of his appallingly difficult "cold" entrance on the "Esultate!," with its high A, he is the alternatingly regal, brooding, tender, sickly jealous, ferocious Moor of Shakespeare's creation. And he has brought an added dignity to his performance -a restraint in the frenetic moments and a vocal refinement and nuance which are highly commendable."

Thus began Musical America's review of the fabulous 1958 Metropolitan Opera production of Verdi's Otello, conducted by Fausto Cleva and starring Mario Del Monaco, Victoria de los Angeles and Leonard Warren in the lead roles.

Working from superbly recorded source material, the broadcast matinee performance of 8 March 1958 springs to life in this Pristine XR release, remastered by Andrew Rose in Ambient Stereo. Not only is Del Monaco singing perhaps as well as he ever did, but Victoria de los Angeles' rare appearance as Desdemona is quite simply brilliant. Her liquid and creamy soprano is ideally suited to the role, infusing it with a touching sense of injured innocence. Rarely has the pivotal Ave Maria at the start of Act 4 been sung with more beauty of tone and tenderness.

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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