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“In spite of the existence of a magnificent recording of his Violin Concerto by Albert Sammons, whose authority and interpretation of this greatest English work for violin will never be bettered, I had a great ambition to have Sir Edward himself conduct the work. As a youthful and pliant performer without prejudice, who would respond best to his instruction, I selected Yehudi Menuhin as the most promising soloist.” - Fred Gaisberg, HMV
Thus this fortuitous musical meeting between the aged composer and the youthful virtuouso in Abbey Road's famous Studio 1 took place in the summer of 1932 and produced an enduring classic which has remained in the catalogue ever since its first 78rpm release. In 1999 Mark Obert-Thorn's transfer for Naxos received multiple plaudits from the critics, with Gramophone stating that it "astonishes in its sense of presence, startling bite and amazing depth of tone."
To mark the centenary of Menuhin's birth, Obert-Thorn has returned to the recording, sourcing the very finest discs from which to produce a truly fabulous new transfer, demonstrating once again that with over a quarter of a century's professional experience under his belt and with the latest technology at his fingertips, he remains unsurpassable. These new transfers are a triumph!
BRUCH Violin Concerto No. 1
ELGAR Violin Concerto
Yehudi Menuhin violin
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Edward Elgar conductor
SIr Landon Ronald conductor
Studio recordings, 1931/32
PASC459 (72:36 - 1CD)
In the spring of 1945 Sir Thomas Beecham was in the United States conducting a short series of concerts with the Rochester Orchestra in New York City. At this time of momentous world events, a shake-up was underway in the world of American radio, as the forcibly-split NBC Blue Network gradually morphed into ABC, the American Broadcasting Company.
It was during this transitory months that the nascent ABC engaged Sir Thomas to conduct a series of four hour-long Saturday afternoon concerts, with the somewhat mysterious "Blue Network Symphony Orchestra". Each contained one longer work - a shorter symphony or, in this case, Elgars's Serenade for Strings - plus three or four shorter works, introduced by Milton Cross.
These recently rediscovered recordings of those broadcasts are being carefully and lovingly restored and remastered for a series of four releases at Pristine by Andrew Rose. This is the first, and it includes the radio première of several excerpts from a ballet Beecham had developed, "The Great Elopement", using music from Handel's operas Rodrigo, Serse, Ariodante and Il pastor fido which Beecham would also work into a suite entitled Love In Bath.
NICOLAI Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor
ELGAR Serenade For Strings
HANDEL-BEECHAM The Great Elopement
DELIUS The Walk to the Paradise Garden
J. STRAUSS II Voices of Spring Waltz
Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor
Blue Network Symphony Orchestra
Live broadcast recording, 1945
PASC461 (54:43 - 1CD)
Two fabulous live broadcast recordings are presented here for the first time. Michael Tippett's Symphony No. 2 was premièred in London in January 1958 and broadcast live to the nation. Despite a false start which drove a wedge between the angry composer and the conductor Sir Adrian Boult, the performance itself was far more successful than the historic record suggests. Presented here in superb clarity with an XR remastered transfer by Andrew Rose it deserves a complete reevaluation, moreso following technical fixes that were until recently impossible to achieve.
In December 1956 Sir Arthur Bliss stepped into the BBC studios to record a series of shorter pieces as conductor, interspersed with short conversations about his works. This fascinating broadcast with the BBC Concert Orchestra and featuring violin virtuoso Alfredo Campoli has, like the Tippett, never been issued before - and like that recording is offered in superlative sound quality from highest quality transfers.
TIPPETT Symphony No. 2 (world première)
BLISS March: Welcome The Queen
BLISS March from 'Things to Come'
BLISS Checkmate (excerpts)
BLISS Theme and Cadenza for violin and orchestra
BLISS Overture: Edinburgh
Sir Adrian Boult, conductor
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sir Arthur Bliss, conductor
Alfredo Campoli, violin
BBC Concert Orchestra
Live concert and studio recordings, 1956 & 1958
PASC460 (77:49 - 1CD)
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