We ended 2018 with some fine-sounding Toscanini, and we begin 2019 with some astounding-sounding Toscanini, and in doing so mark the 70th anniversary of the death of Richard Strauss with a double-CD containing fine examples of each of the Strauss works that survive in recordings conducted by the Italian maestro.
As with the Russian disc, we have once again been able to access mint sources, offering unprecedented sound quality throughout. Indeed, I'm not sure if I've ever heard recordings from 1938 which sound quite as fresh, new and vibrant as this Don Quixote - you can almost hear the rosin jumping from Emanuel Feuermann's bow!
I was working on the opening recording of Don Quixote and thought to compare it with a previous issue, one I'd not heard for maybe ten years or more. The difference could not be more stark. Gone was not only the noisy, scratchy surface, but also the thin, harsh sound, to be replaced with something of real beauty. What an honour and privilege to be able to unlock such a thing from an 81 year old artefact. A humbling experience indeed.