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CLASSICAL  February 2007

CLASSICAL February 2007

Subject:

Re: The Week in Classical Vinyl

From:

Roger Hecht <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 1 Feb 2007 11:52:39 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (65 lines)

John Smyth wrote:

>Mussorgsky-Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition L'OSR/Ansermet (London BB
>CS6177).  Once again Ansermet turns in a performance that is uniquely
>refreshing. ...

This was one of my first LPs and as such has always been a fond memory.
I still return to it occasionally and am never disappointed, though this
not be a first choice for this piece.  Is it coupled with Liszt's the
Huns, as the LP was?  That was a kick.

>Ansermet's Beethoven Symphony No. 7 (CS6183) This is only my second
>encounter with Beethoven's Symphony 7, the other one being Klieber's on
>DG, and I couldn't find any reviews at all regarding Ansermet's Beethoven
>legacy.  From a recording point of view, I like the Ansermet better: ...

I occasionally sampled Ansermet's Beethoven, especially the Ninth, but
have to agree with John Culshaw, producer for Decca at the time, who
said that this was not Ansermet's or the Suisse Romande's strength,
though Decca liked him enough to let him record Beethoven and even Brahms.

>Beethoven's 3rd: Walter/CSO Columbia and Szell/Cleveland: Epic blue
>label vs. Columbia Great Performances re-release, (MY37222).  I don't
>have much experience with the Eroica either.  To acquaint myself with
>it, I played, mov 't by mov't, Szell's and Walter's.  I can see why
>people are enthusiastic about the Szell, especially in the 1st mov't.
>While Walter's is lovely enough, his kind of rattles along like an antique
>car when compared to Szell 's extremely tight, urgent and rhythmically
>pointed performance. ...

I have both complete sets--Walter's in the early "book binder"
issue.  The Walter Eroica was one of my first acquaintances with
classical music, long long before I was a collector.  Maybe I was
9 at the time.  For that reason, it always had a hold on my affections,
though I haven't listened to it in years (or the Szell).  Of course,
there are the observations that the Columbia Symphony was a pickup
group in California (in this case), but Walter could achieve some
great things with them, especially in the Sixth, which is a classic.

>Now here is a miracle, in every way: Sibelius Symphony 2 with Barbirolli
>on Chesky, (CR3).  I know quite a few Sibelius 2nds, including the usual
>suspects, Karajan, Szell, and Davis.  This one beats them all. ...

Agreed on all counts.  For more of Sir John's Sibelius, seek out his
complete set of the symphonies plus some tone poems on EMI.  Big romantic
Sibelius, though the Halle is not as good as the Royal Phil on the Chesky.

The Chesky, by the way, was originally from a Readers Digest set of great
symphonies.  The sound is great there, too--better, I think, than the
Chesky, but I haven't made comparisons in a long while.

>Three quick mentions:
>
>Not a reference for sounstaging, or much else technically, but who cares:
>Janacek's Gagmewithit Mass.  (Glagolitic Mass) Ancerl/Czech PO (Supraphon
>50 519).  ....
>
>Monteux's Rite of Spring with the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra.  (RCA
>LSC 2085). ...

Agreed on both, but I'd want more recordings than these of both works.
Two of my favorite conductors, though, though you're right that the
Monteux is not on the #1 hit list for Shaded dogs.

Roger Hecht

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