oh great! I guess due to his frail health this recording might be the closest I get to experience his art.
It’s a piece that always brings a tear to my eye.
In the same way that the great Wotan of his generation, Hans Hotter, brought to his extraordinary recording of ‘Winterreise’ with the peerless Gerald Moore, which I have as an EMI Great Recordings of the Century CD.
Hotter made, I think, five recordings of the piece, but this was his last, and his only traversal of the song cycle with Gerald Moore at the piano.
I wish that EMI would remaster it and issue it as an LP.
Just in case you might not notice that La Traviata is almost entirely written as a waltz, Kleiber drives home this point with insistence. For this reason I ultimately prefer Riccardo Muti’s recording with Kraus and Scotto, but Kleiber had at his disposal the ultimate dream cast and the best recording team available, so this remains essential listening.
The first CD edition added some reverb to the recording, which is a matter of taste, and omits the pause at the start of Ebben? (Track 6), which is how Verdi specified it and works much better for the flow. (I’m listening to the hires download and edited out the pause myself).
Members may know that I’m a huge admirer of Carlos Kleiber.
His ‘Traviata’ recording was controversial at the time of its release, because of the conductor’s characteristic insistence on fast speeds throughout the opera.
I think that CK’s pace is perfect, and Ileana Cotrubas sings and plays the doomed courtesan to perfection. And Domingo and Milnes are ideal for their roles.
At the time of the recording’s release, Domingo expressed his regret that he had not worked more with Kleiber in the opera house and on records. There had been a plan for Kleiber to conduct a recording of Verdi’s ‘Otello’ for EMI, and an accompanying film, but (as so often) nothing came of it. But the project went ahead with another conductor being brought in (Riccardo Muti, I think.)
Is it this one @graham55?
Might give it a play later.
Yes, that’s it. It was originally sold as a 2LP box, but now comes a gatefold sleeved 2 LP set.
This was never on my radar to acquire, but when the cue mechanism on my brand new Clearaudio 12" Universal tonearm failed, Musical Surroundings sent an immediate replacement to my house, along with this album as a gift. I really enjoy it. The recording sounds excellent and the music is great fun to listen to.
Accardo/Paganini, Diabolus in Musica
I’m listening to my all-time favorite version of the Bach St. Matthew Passion. I just love everything about this album. The instrumental and vocal performances, the recording, the mastering, the pressing. It’s all great.
It’s the best. My organ teacher invited me to join him to visit the Matthew Passion in the domkerk Utrecht in 1990. Peter Kooy was the bas, his father Maarten Kooy the conductor and Janine Jansens father Jan Jansen the organist. When I visited it, I continued to beg my parents to buy a cd recording of it and my father listened. He bought a cd player (technics) and this recording, @JosquinDesPrez .
This was a life changing event and this cd (which I’ve stolen from my parents when I left home) is still a token of it.
There is much to say about the Matthew Passion on a personal level which I don’t for now. I’ve kind of ignored it since it has become too popular.
If you zoom in on the right bookshelves, you’ll see the box
Nice story. Thanks for sharing.
I was lucky enough to see Maurizio Pollini in the Royal Festival Hall a number of times, often with his childhood friend Claudio Abbado conducting.
I have recently taken delivery of a 2LP set of his new re-recordings (for DGG) of Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas (Opp 109, 110 and 111). That will make for a couple of hours of musical delight later today.
I believe that he retired from the concert platform a few years ago.
He and Emil Gilels are the two best pianists that I have ever seen. DGG were lucky to have them both as recording artists.
I think I have a copy of Pollini/Abbado performing Bartók’s Piano Concertos on DGG. Must check when I get back from work… I’m sure it’s Abbado, less sure it’s Pollini.
It almost certainly is, as I don’t think that either recorded the Bartok Concertos without the other.
Featuring Pollini on vocals and piano! Please let us know what you think of these, Graham.
I listened to the LPs last night - very good indeed.
Jump in quick, if you’re interested, as it is a limited edition of 1,000 sets. (I don’t know why DGG have started doing this.)
As a footnote, the back cover of the LP sleeve has a photo which shows that the piano used by Pollini is a ‘Fabbrini Steinway’. Apparently, Signor Fabbrini buys new Steinways from the Hamburg factory and adapts the mechanisms for added clarity.
(Other users are Michelangeli, Richter and Andrew Schiff, which I suppose is a pretty good recommendation.)
I’ve heard Pollini play his personal ‘D’ on a number of occasions in Amsterdam, a few excellent nights and also lesser recitals (he’s been one of the more inconsistently excellent performers in my experience, of course that’s all the more reason to be excited to hear him play). As far as the instrument goes, I understand the custom job is mostly in the key / pedal action, perhaps a different felt. Alfred Brendel was known to ‘roughen up’ the felt of the Concertgebouw house piano in a way that made it emit a more rounded, softer sound than usual. I can’t recall this effect from Pollini but it’s been ages since I last saw him live.
The 2019 and 2022 Beethoven recordings do sound excellent, however - technically, far more accomplished, with a proper bottom end, than the famous records from the late 70s.
Yes, those famous DGG Chopin recordings by Pollini tended to have a pretty ‘thin’ bottom end.
Elgar’s violin concerto is one of those works that I feel work best when played in technicolor, with obsessive regard for colour and detail within its structure. And it doesn’t get more obsessive than in Nicola Benedetti’s performance. This is grand playing, super technical but not losing focus for a second. Not your granny’s Elgar as Clarkson would inappropriately say. Highly recommended!
I only know the Nigel Kennedy recording, and I haven’t listened to that for years. Must give this one a spin.