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List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive"

107.207.107.77

Posted on May 17, 2020 at 15:13:12
pbarach
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As a way of leading Classical Courtiers to discover some new recordings, can people list 4 or 5 recordings that THEY PERSONALLY consider definitive. I'm suggesting a limit of 4-5 so we don't get page-long discographies. I'm also suggesting we merely list the recordings without explaining why we consider them definitive, and please NO ARGUMENTS (e.g., "Are you kidding? That recording sucks" "You're an idiot, ____ is a much better recording")

For this purpose, I'm defining a "definitive recording" as one that you feel captures the essence of what makes that composition meaningful to you.

Here are some of mine:

Brahms Piano Concerto 2: Gilels, Reiner, CSO
Mozart Piano Concerto 27: Casadesus, Szell/"Columbia Symphony" (CLE)
Mahler Das Lied von der Erde: King, Fischer-Dieskau, Bernstein/VPO
Vaughan Williams The Pilgrim's Progress: Boult
Mahler 5: Solti/CSO (the first one, despite multi-miking)

 

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RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 17, 2020 at 17:11:47
Ivan303
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Mahler without Fritz just doesn't work for me.





 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 17, 2020 at 17:15:10
pbarach
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Remember, this thread is not for comparing or degrading other people's definitive choices. It's the "nope" level I'm asking folks not to go to. And I like Fritz, too.

 

Sorry... I can't limit myself to 4-5....but these in no particular order..., posted on May 17, 2020 at 17:18:14
TWB
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Posts: 6442
Location: Long Beach, California
Joined: January 5, 2001
1. Tchaikovsky Ballet Highlights: The Nutcracker / Sleeping Beauty / Swan Lake
Adrian Leaper / The London Philharmonia Orchestra

2. J.S. Bach : Orchestral Suites 1-4
Neville Marriner / Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields

3. Beethoven : Symphony No. 6 Pastoral
Pierre Monteux / Wiener Philharmoniker

4. Morten Lauridsen / Lux Aeterna
Paul Salamunovich / Los Angeles Master Chorale and Sinfonia Orchestra

5. Gershwin / Bernstein : Rhapsody In Blue / West Side Story Symphonic Dances
Leonard Bernstein / Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra

6. Ravel Orchestral Works: Rapsodie Espagnole / Mother Goose Suite / Alborada Del Gracioso
Introduction and Allegro / Daphnis Et Chloe, Suite No. 2
Jean Martinon / Chicago Symphony Orchestra

7. Rachmaninov : Piano Concerto No. 2 / Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini
Julius Katchen : Piano / Georg Solti / London Symphony Orchestra

8. Rachmaninov : Symphony No. 2
David Zinman / Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

9. Holst / The Planets / St. Paul's Suite
Roy Goodman / New Queens Hall Orchestra

10. Vaughn Williams : Symphony No. 2 - A London Symphony
Richard Hickox / London Symphony Orchestra

*** Normally I would choose Solti's The Planets, but because the Goodman recording is done on period instruments keeping the same tempos recorded by Holst himself and the inclusion of the wonderful St. Paul's Suite also by Holst that one got the nod....

 

Two ninths with Giulini off the bat for me..., posted on May 17, 2020 at 18:55:18
semuta
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Beethoven with Berlin Philharmonic and Bruckner with Vienna
I return to these as definitive in my mind

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 17, 2020 at 21:10:08
Mel
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Posts: 2375
Location: New York City Area
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Shostakovich Symphony 15 Haitink LPO
Boyce Symphonies Marriner ASMF
Sibelius Symphony 7 Davis Boston
Mahler Wunderhorn Songs Quirk Norman
Liszt Concertos Richter Kondrashin

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 08:36:10
Todd Krieger
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In no particular order...... Both performance and sound......

Debussy "La Mer" Boulez/Cleveland/Deutsche Grammophon CD
Berlioz "Symphonie Fantastique" Solti/Chicago/Columbia LP
Mussorgsky/Ravel "Pictures at an Exhibition" Maazel/Cleveland/Telarc LP
Rachmaninoff Concerto 3 Horowitz/Ormandy/NYPO/RCA LP
Wagner "Karajan Conducts Wagner"..... Karajan/Berlin Phil/Angel LP (45 RPM)

Note that I'd likely give a different set if asked one week or one month later.......

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 10:12:56
blakey
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Bass Mass in B minor: Herreweghe/Collegium Vocale Gent (HM)
Franck Symphony: Pierre Bartholomee/Liège Symphony (Ricercar) Anyone heard this recording?
Mahler 9: Neumann/Czech Phil. (Canyon Classics)
Tchaikovsky 6: Mravinsky/Leningrad (DG stereo)
R. Strauss Vier letzte Lieder: Norman/Mazur (Philips)




 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 10:17:21
pbarach
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Looking at the "definitive" lists posted so far, I've found a number of recordings that I know and love, and others I'll definitely check out.

Keep 'em coming!

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 10:46:45
Todd Krieger
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"Franck Symphony: Pierre Bartholomee/Liège Symphony (Ricercar) Anyone heard this recording?"

No...... But I believe the Munch/BSO performance of the Franck "D" Symphony on RCA LP would be very hard to beat.......

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 10:58:20
Todd Krieger
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Mozart Concerto 21/24 Istomin/Schwarz/Seattle Reference Recordings CD
Tchaikovsky Six "Pathetique" Ashkenazy/NHK Exton CD
R. Strauss "Also Sprach Zarathustra" Reiner/Chicago/RCA (1954) LP
Holst "The Planets" Dutoit/Montreal Decca CD
Chopin "Four Scherzi" Antonio Barbosa Connoisseur Society LP

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 11:05:39
blakey
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I love that Antonio Barbosa recording!

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 11:10:29
Todd Krieger
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Antonio Barbosa's early and unexpected passing was one of the great tragedies in music...... I personally think he would have come down as the second-greatest pianist, ever...... Vlad Horowitz being number one.

 

Here's mine, posted on May 18, 2020 at 11:39:31
andy evans
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Schumann Carnival - Rachmaninov. Nothing else comes close.
Parsifal - Boulez, gets the speeds right at last.
Scriabin works - Sofronitsky
Ravel L'Enfant et les Sortilileges - Maazel. Magic
Mozart quartets - Hagen Qt. Unique
Bartok quartets - Tatrai Qt. The true inside story

Michelangeli Debussy Preludes Bk 1 - Vatican 1977 or London 1982. NOT the studio DG.

 

RE: Here's mine, posted on May 18, 2020 at 11:51:41
DrChaos
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nothing too surprising...

Heifetz / Hendl -- Sibelius Violin Concerto
Heifetz / Reiner -- Tchaikovsky violin concerto
Callas, di Stefano -- Puccini "Tosca"
du Pre -- Elgar Cello Concerto

 

Love your Mahler 9 choice!, posted on May 18, 2020 at 12:49:05
Chris from Lafayette
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This was, I believe, Neumann's last recording. He and the CzPO were working through the cycle again (recording for Canyon this time around, rather than for Supraphon, with SQ much improved), and after this Ninth, they had only the 7th and the 8th to go. In fact, when Neumann died in Vienna, I believe he had just been in the process of rehearsing the VPO for a concert he was to do with them of the Mahler 7th.

Anyway, I've always loved all three of the Neumann Mahler 9th performances (with the LGO on Eterna / Berlin Classics, and the CzPO on Supraphon/Denon and Canyon/Exton). I felt particularly fortunate to have obtained the MCh incarnation of his last recording on an Exton SACD. There have been many wonderful recordings of this work, but this last Neumann/CzPO album is really special IMHO.

In the late 60's, we had a local critic in our area who, even at that time, contended that Neumann's performances of Mahler were the nearest thing we had to a continuation of the Bruno Walter approach to this music, and on this point, I agree with him. In fact, I felt this even more strongly as Neumann's career continued.

I'm showing the cover of my Exton incarnation of this recording (except that mine has a small "5 Surround" graphic down in the lower right-hand corner). There's a later Exton incarnation of this recording, also SACD and part of their "Gold Line" series - I haven't been able to find out whether the "Gold Line" incarnation contains MCh tracks too (Exton is a weird company in the way they manage the various incarnations of their recordings!)

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 12:56:18
Vegman70
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Some of these I've not heard since we moved two years ago.

Strauss, Four Last Songs: Sena Jurinac, Fritz Busch

Praetorius, Terpsichore, etal: Munrow

Dvorak, Terzet: Smetana Quartet

Bach, Violin Sonatas, Partitas: Sigiswald Kuijken

Mahler 10th Sym: Szell

Beethoven, Overtures: Szell

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 13:58:08
blakey
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I actually happen to like Monteux, Paray, or even Dutoit more than Munch for Franck symphony, but far prefer Bartholomee's interpretation for the lyricism, crispness, drama, and perfectly judged tempos.

This performance was recorded in 1981 and the sound quality is absolutely firt class - one of the best sounding of 6000 or so LPs I have, which by the way I rarely listen to ever since I started streaming Qobuz.

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 14:09:16
srl1
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In no particular order:




Holst: Planets





Schubert: Piano Sonata D.960



Ravel: Gaspard



Mahler: Ninth



Liszt: Transcendental Etudes

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 14:20:15
Russell
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Vaughan Williams: Tallis Fantasia/Lark Ascending/etc. - Marriner/ASMF (Argo)
Dvorak: Symphony No. 7 - Davis/Concertgebouw (Philips)
Copland: Billy the Kid/Rodeo - Bernstein/NYP (Columbia/Sony)
Nielsen: Symphony No. 4 - Martinon/CSO (RCA)
Walton: Symphony No. 1 - Previn/LSO (RCA)

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 14:34:20
jimbill
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Posts: 2508
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Chopin Nocturnes, Moravec
French Suites, Gould
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5, Michelangeli, Giulini
Vivaldi Four Seasons, Drottingham Ensemble
Pines of Rome, Reiner

 

The Vaughn Williams, posted on May 18, 2020 at 14:36:35
jimbill
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would have been my 6th.

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 14:37:50
Chris from Lafayette
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OK - but I agree with previous posters that you can't really restrict it to 4 or 5.

Liszt Sonata

I suspect this recording has had quite a bit of ex post facto surgery on it (because it's just impossible to play leaping octaves as fast and as accurately as is heard on this recording!), but my suspicions don't detract from the overall effect of Khatia's wild roller coaster ride of a performance. Even it it can't be done in reality, it's still an incredible conception, and I appreciate the way she always "goes for broke" (even more so than Martha Argerich does!). I also like Pogorelich's similarly iconoclastic recording on DG, but Khatia's is certainly in its own class!


Liszt: Rhapsodie espagnole

Silly me! When I was young, I had Lazar Berman's recording of the Rhapsodie espagnole - I thought it could never be surpassed. But these days, people surpass it all the time in terms of beauty of tone, and no one surpasses him more in that respect than Vanessa does! She even has "the power to make people like my music", as Stockhausen once said. (Sorry, Karlheinz - I'm going to need Vanessa to convince me further - it'll take a LOT of time - LOL!)

Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

When I think Rhapsody in Blue, I immediately think Tatarstan NSO and Rabotkina! The US may be the "exceptional" nation when it comes to a lot of things (such as the IQ level of its politicians!), but in Gershwin's masterpiece, I always go with Daria and friends! Kind of a paradox, isn't it?

Wolf: Italienisches Liederbuch

Ah! Incomparable Ms. Erdmann! How happy I would be if you were in my living room singing these precious gems! I would be wafted beyond the clouds into another dimension! (Oh yeah, there's someone else on this recording besides Mojca - baritone Christian Gerhaher. He's good too!) BTW, I'm not showing the actual cover of the album here - the photo I've actually copied over is much nicer!)


No babe violinists this time around, but the thing that makes this list even more gratifying is that I've exchanged emails with one of the artists shown - it's delightful when they become your close personal friends - even if restricted to the virtual world! ;-)

 

Oh man! Sorry, srl1! I hadn't seen your post before. . . , posted on May 18, 2020 at 14:51:52
Chris from Lafayette
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. . . I posted about Berman's Rapsodie espagnole in connection with Vanessa's recording of it. I still DO like Berman's recording however!

 

RE: Here's mine, posted on May 18, 2020 at 15:54:50
banpuku
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Andy, tell us more about "the true inside story" with the Bartok Quartets.

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 16:11:12
banpuku
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Now for something different. 20th and 21st Century string quartets.

Bartok Quartets: Tatrai Quartet on LP
Shostakovich String Quartets: Taneyev Quartet on Melodiya LP
Schnittke String Quartets: Kronos Quartet
Gorecki String Quartets: Kronos Quartet
Toshio Hosokawa: Landscapes I, II & V : Arditti Quartet

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 18, 2020 at 16:26:44
dave@liveandrun.com
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Livia Rev, Chopin Nocturnes

 

RE: Love your Mahler 9 choice!, posted on May 18, 2020 at 16:30:40
blakey
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Yes, Chris! It's a shame this recording is not more widely known. Mahler, perhaps more than any other composer, benefits from a state-of-the-art stereo (or multi-channel in your case) recording.

Who needs the screech, ancient recordings from the likes of Horenstein, Sanderling, and even Bruno Walter when you can have it all?

 

RE: Great music, genre defining, truly virtuosic performance, singular recording, posted on May 18, 2020 at 17:23:01
B. Scarpia
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Stravinsky Petrushka; Ansermet Suisse Romande: London CS 6009

Liszt Concerto #2 - Weber Konzertstuck F Minor; Casadesus, Szell Cleveland Columbia Odyssey Y35216

Rachmaninoff Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini; Wild, Horenstein/RPO Quintessence PMC 7006

daahoud; Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Harold Land, George Morrow, Richie Powell MRL 386

Tchaikowsky; Mercury Olympian MG50054
Not the 1812, Not the Capriccio Italien (which is mighty fine), but rather the sound of the water tank ringing and Deems Taylor' incomparable Radio Voice.





Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase...as true of humans as of molecules - Pardot Kynes

 

Impossible request, but off the top of my humble head...., posted on May 18, 2020 at 18:09:27
jdaniel@jps.net
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Bernstein's DGG live recording of Copland's 3rd.
Bernstein's DGG Mahler 2nd
Munch's '54 Ravel Daphnis et Chloe
Ansermet's stereo Stravinsky Petrushka
Annie Fischer's Complete Beethoven Sonatas, (for my tastes, Schnabel's intuition, better accuracy, better recording, and not a babe).

 

RE: Impossible request, but off the top of my humble head...., posted on May 18, 2020 at 18:25:40
B. Scarpia
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Schnabel's intuition, Check

better accuracy, Check

better recording, Check

not a babe, Next!



Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase...as true of humans as of molecules - Pardot Kynes

 

RE: Impossible request, but off the top of my humble head...., posted on May 18, 2020 at 18:42:06
jdaniel@jps.net
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She looks like she starves herself though, points there? : )

 

Not that I don't like the other recordings you list [nt] ;-), posted on May 18, 2020 at 20:25:18
Chris from Lafayette
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"not a babe" is a requirement for you?, posted on May 18, 2020 at 20:29:04
Chris from Lafayette
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I do feel that "not a babe" IS a requirement for some listeners! ;-)

 

RE: Here's mine, posted on May 19, 2020 at 06:36:30
andy evans
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Hi banpuku - you clearly know the Tatrai Bartok Qts. By the "inside story" I was using a figure of speech to imply they seem to have access to the blueprint of how the music should sound, probably from familiarity of the idiom combined with astute interpretive gifts in purely musical terms. In simple language, they just sound more "right" to me than other versions.

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 19, 2020 at 09:25:10
garymuffley
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Strauss, Four Last Songs- Norman/Masur/Philips

Vaughan Williams, Serenade to Music- Boult/EMI

Tchaikovsky, Symphony #1- Tilson/Thomas/DGG

Sibelius, 5th & 7th-Bernstein/VPO/DGG

Vaughan Williams, 7th Symphony-Bakel/Naxos

 

I have that recording by Tilson/Thomas as well..., posted on May 19, 2020 at 09:47:16
TWB
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never found another recording of that symphony that I like as well...Funny enough, I think that it is the ONLY recording by Tilson/Thomas that I own...unless I have something with him on piano that I have forgotten about.

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 19, 2020 at 17:16:58
vahe
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And here are mine:

Granados Goyescas, Alicia De Larrocha, 1977 Decca
Chopin, Nocturnes, Maria Joao Pires, DGG
Tchaikovsky Trio, Elmar Oliveira, M. Pletnev, Nathaniel Rosen, Sony
Shostakovich 11, Bernard Haitink RCO, Decca
Beethoven 5, Carlos Kleiber VPO, DGG

 

I'm a huge fan of the Tchaikovsky Trio but, posted on May 20, 2020 at 08:14:35
John N
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I don't think I've heard the recording you mentioned. What makes it definitive to your ears? Any comparisons you care to mention? I must have 7-8 different recordings of it.

 

RE: I'm a huge fan of the Tchaikovsky Trio but, posted on May 20, 2020 at 15:10:40
vahe
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I am also a huge fan of this Tchaikovsky Trio and have countless recordings on vinyl and CD/SACD. This particular performance was released in 1981, its release coincided with several other versions that featured big name players including Perlman/Ashkenazy/Harrell which I consider fairly boring, this particular recording did not sell well and was discontinued in a short order, I was hoping for it to reappear on CD but that did not happen for obvious reasons.

What I find attractive about this performance is unusual degree of intensity offered by all three players particularly in the final variations section, there is no star player among the three performers, all three performers appear on equal footings and there is total absence of sugar coating so common in most Tchaikovsky performances these days, I can't give you a reference among the currently available versions as a go by to describe this performance.
At the end it all comes down to personal preference and this particular performance is IMO head and shoulder above any other version that I am familiar with.

Here is a video of Oliveira performing the Trio with different partners 30 years after that recording was made, just to give you some idea of his performing style;

https://www.chambermusicsociety.org/watch-and-listen/video/2011-video-archive/tchaikovsky-trio-in-a-minor-for-piano-violin-and-cello-op-50/

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 20, 2020 at 15:33:12
svisner
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A recording of historical significance and one that is emotionally powerful is the 1962 performance of Dmitri Shostakovich's 13th Symphony, which includes Yevteshenko's poem "Babi Yar." Music can great power; in this case, exceptional.

I am not certain this link conveys the correct recording, which I do have in original vinyl.

 

Amazon says it's a live recording of the second performance of Shosty 13 in 1962 , posted on May 20, 2020 at 19:05:31
pbarach
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This Praga reissue claims to be "an echo of the second performance of Shostakovich's Symphony No.13 in December of 1962. It still features the original text by Yevtushenko." Are these claims true?

The first performance in 12/62 featured the original text. According to the liner notes for the Kondrashin recording on Philip and Petrenko's more recent issue, the second performance in 1962 (which is what Praga says we have on this SACD) was canceled. Both sets of liner notes say that the first performance with the revised text, which was actually the second performance, took place in February 1963.

This Praga reissue may be the first performance in 1962 with the original text, or the second performance in 1963 with the revised text. Basically, I dunno.

Here's an interview with Yevtushenko:


 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on May 22, 2020 at 01:40:57
Todd Krieger
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I think I like the Munch the best because the BSO at the time still had that "Koussevitzky sound"...... It's kind of like the Mahler Six with Szell and Cleveland..... There are better reads of the M-6 out there, but the orchestra's playing was kind of an overriding factor.

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on June 3, 2020 at 03:13:11
Dr. Fuse
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1. Stravinsky conducts Rite of Spring (Columbia Symphony, Columbia)
2. Bartok Concerto for Orchestra (Reiner, Chicago Symphony, RCA)
3. The Kinks Greatest Hits
4. Bartok, Concerto For Two Pianos, Percussion, and Orchestra, & Music for Strings, Percussion, & Celesta (Bernstein, New York Phil, Columbia)
5. Prokofiev, 5th Symphony, Von Karajan, Berlin Phil, DG

 

RE Granados: Vahe, May I Suggest . . ., posted on June 13, 2020 at 17:22:10
goldenthal
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that her 1963 performance is even better?

Jeremy

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on June 13, 2020 at 17:41:42
goldenthal
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Granados playing Granados (1913); also de Larrocha's 1963 Goyescas.

Rhapsody in Blue with Gershwin & the Paul Whiteman band.

Cortot/Thibaud/Casals playing Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn.

Toscanini.

Schnabel.

Britten conducting Peter Grimes.

Vaughan Williams G-minor Mass cond. by Roger Wagner.

Mozart Violin & Piano sonatas with Grumiaux & Haskil.


More when time permits.


Jeremy

 

RE: List 4 or 5 recordings YOU consider "definitive", posted on June 14, 2020 at 09:22:46
bald2
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Posts: 262
Location: Oregon
Joined: January 21, 2006
Bach WTC Richter live- thanks to recommendations on this forum:)
Beethoven Quartets Barylli Quartet Westminster
Mozart Figaro Fricsay DG
Schubert with Fisher Dieskau
Handel Julius Caesar Harmonia Mundi

So many more....

 

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