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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)


Horenstein conducts Brahms

"In the Third Symphony, Horenstein seems somewhat more measured and considered in his approach, no bad thing, it might be said, in this most serene and cerebral of Brahms symphonies. In this regard, I found this flexible, reflective, but never self-indulgently nostalgic performance deeply satisfying, and the countless, perhaps slightly dated felicities of orchestral playing—the usual string portamentos and the highly characterful sonorities of the SWF SO's winds and horns—that one might usually associate with the golden epoch are certainly nowhere out of place in this performance ... a truly great performance" - Fanfare, 2000

This release brings together newly XR-remastered stereo recordings of Brahms' Third Symphony and Haydn Variations from the very earliest of Vox's European stereo sessions in Germany in 1957, with a wonderful 1956 live broadcast on French radio of the Tragic Overture. In each case the sound quality is superlative and the performances excellent!

"Recommended, then, for Horenstein’s outstanding Brahms" - Fanfare on Horenstein's Brahms Symphony No. 1 on Pristine (PASC 436

BRAHMS Symphony No. 3
BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Haydn
BRAHMS Tragic Overture

Jascha Horenstein, conductor
Orchestra of the Southwest German Radio (SWDR)
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française

Recorded 1956/57
PASC449 (68:53)


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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