Melodiya and Revelation have both just issued recordings by the great Russian violinist David Oistrakh, who was regarded as one of the most characteristic representatives of the Russian school in his day. Robert Cowan has been listening to these discs, which include concertos by Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Prokofiev, Bartok and Berg.
Stephen Johnson on recent Brahms reissues on EMI References, including songs from bass Alexander Kipnis, string quartets from the Lener Quartet, and music for piano from Wilhelm Backhaus.
Robert Philip reviews recordings made for German radio in the forties and fifties by Hermann Abendroth, Wilhelm Furtwangler and Hans Rosbaud that have recently appeared on VoxBox, Tahra and Wergo. Discs.
Chris de Souza has been listening to reissues of 20th-century English music on the Belart, Avid, Dutton and Testament labels, including music by Elgar, Bax, Holst, Vaughan Williams and Walton from Adrian Boult and George Weldon.
Martin Cotton looks at the latest offerings on Mercury Living Presence, including Albeniz and Tchaikovsky from Antal Dorati, Chausson and Lalo from Paul Paray, and Dvorak and Mozart from Rafael Kubelik.
Chris de Souza explores the latest batch of recordings from Dutton Laboratories, including Mozart from Thomas Beecham, Berlioz from Serge Koussevitzky, and Mahler from Bruno Walter.
Stephen Plaistow on some legendary pianists: Wilhelm Backhaus playing Beethoven, Artur Rubinstein playing Rachmaninov, and Vladimir Horowitz playing Chopin and Liszt.
Robert Cowan explores reissues on the Testament, Biddulph and Everest labels of music by Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Musorgsky and Prokofiev, with conductors such as Willem Mengelberg, Igor Markevitch and Leopold Stokowski. Discs.
Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache died last year, and EMI have just issued ten CDs of his recordings with the Munich Philharmonic. Celibidache was an artist who developed an intense dislike for the recorded medium which makes these performances, issued for the first time, particularly interesting. Robert Philip explores this batch, which includes music by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Tchaikovsky.
David Huckvale delves into the latest batch from Russian Revelation, including Mstislav Rostropovich playing the Elgar Cello Concerto in 1958, Yevgeni Mravinsky conducting Shostakovich's Symphony No 11 in 1959, and Sviatoslav Richter playing the last three Beethoven piano sonatas in the 1970s. Discs.
The German label CPO have just brough out a Hans Zender edition to celebrate the composer/conductor's 60th birthday. He was the principal conductor of the Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra for 13 years in the seventies and eighties. In these recordings, which range from Mozart to Morton Feldman, he brings a composer's insight and illumination to every piece. Robert Cowan investigates.
Stephen Johnson investigates reissues of recordings by the legendary Russian violinist David Oistrakh on the Testament and Pearl labels, including concertos by Khachaturian and Miaskovsky and chamber music by Mozart and Beethoven.
Richard Wigmore explores the new historical series from the budget label Naxos called Immortal Performances: live recordings from New York's Metropolitan Opera House by singers like Lily Pons, Rose Bampton, Rene Maison and Ezio Pinza in operas by Mozart, Donizetti, Offenbach and Gounod. Discs.
Martin Cotton investigates some recent reissues on the Dutton and Testament labels featuring conductors Thomas Beecham, John Barbirolli, Victor de Sabata, Rudolf Kempe and Erich Leinsdorf. Discs.
Legendary German conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler gave performances which were unique for their feeling of improvisation and firm structural control. Geoffrey Smith investigates some recent Furtwangler reissues of Brahms, Bruckner and Wagner in a mixture of live and studio recordings.
John Deathridge explores some byways of the operatic repertoire: works by Weber, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Lortzing brought to life by Helen Donath, Nicolai Gedda and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.
These recordings, made by EMI, have just been reissued by the German label CPO.
Iain Burnside reviews some recent reissues of vocal recordings from the 40s and 50s, including gems by artists such as Kathleen Ferrier, Nan Merriman, Giuseppe di Stefano, Aksel Schiotz and Gottlob Frick.
Peter Paul Nash investigates the latest reissues, including Antal Dorati and Rafael Kubelik conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in music by Hindemith, Kodaly and Bartok.
Patrick O'Connor explores recent reissues of great French singers, including Ninon Vallin, Germaine Lubin, Charles Friant and Marcel Journet, ending with an unusual disc of Wagner excerpts sung in French.
Stephen Johnson explores some reissues of chamber music, including the Smetana Quartet playing Mozart, Haydn and Schubert, the Busch Quartet playing Brahms, and Adolf Busch and Rudolf Serkin playing the Beethoven violin sonatas.
The budget label Naxos takes a further plunge into the historical recordings market with the first issues in their Toscanini Concert Edition. Robert Cowan assesses these recordings by the great Italian maestro, including music by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Debussy.
Patrick O'Connor investigates some of the treasures from the Preiser label, including performances of Wagner from the 1940s with singers such as Set Svanholm and Paul Schoffler, Strauss's opera `Daphne' with Maria Reining in the title role, and Strauss accompanying singers in his own songs.
Robert Cowan picks out the most exciting recordings from the current batch of reissues, including Strauss's `Ein Heldenleben' from Willem Mengelberg, Sibelius from Eugene Ormandy and Leopold Stokowski, Beethoven's Choral Symphony from Hermann Abendroth, and Wagner's `Die Meistersinger' conducted at the 1952 Bayreuth Festival by Hans Knappertsbusch.
Michael Oliver investigates performances from the Salzburg Festival in the 1950s on the German label Orfeo, including Strauss's `Elektra' conducted by Dmitri Mitropoulos with Inge Borkh, and Mozart's `Die Zauberflote' conducted by George Szell with Lisa della Casa and Leopold Simoneau. Discs.
Edward Greenfield has been listening to the latest batch of BBC Radio Classics, including Herbert Howells's `Hymnus paradisi', Arthur Bliss's `Morning Heroes', Edmund Rubbra's Fourth Symphony, Alan Rawsthorne's violin concertos and Alfred Schnittke's Second Symphony (St Florian).
Robert Cowan explores a set of reissued performances from the New York Philharmonic, including the first ever recording of Bruckner's Ninth Symphony conducted by Otto Klemperer, Debussy's `La mer' from Guido Cantelli, and Bartok's `Bluebeard's Castle' from Rafael Kubelik.
Bernard Keeffe investigates the latest releases in Sony Classical's `Masterworks Heritage' series. They include soprano Ljuba Welitsch singing Strauss and Puccini, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky playing Dvorak and Saint-Saens, George Szell conducting Haydn, the Budapest Quartet playing Beethoven, and the 1963 cast recording of Kurt Weill's `Lady in the Dark', starring Rise Stevens and Adolph Green.
Edward Seckerson looks at the latest releases in Sony Classical's `Masterworks Heritage' series, including Berg's `Wozzeck' conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos, Puccini's `La boheme' with Bidu Sayao and Richard Tucker, and Strauss and Brahms conducted by George Szell.
Bernard Keeffe looks at the latest offerings in Sony Classical's `Masterworks Heritage' series, including music conducted by Beecham and Bernstein and sung by Paul Robeson, Lotte Lenya and Bidu Sayao.
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Bruce Wood has been listening to the latest batch in Archiv's reissue series, Codex. It includes music of the Gothic era from David Munrow and the London Early Music Consort, Schutz's `Psalms of David', Monteverdi's `Orfeo' from August Wenzinger, and Biber's `Mystery Sonatas' from Eduard Melkus.
The latest in the two-for-the-price-of-one format is a series from Warner Classics called `Ultima'.
Robert Cowan has been exploring the first batch, including the Elgar symphonies from Andrew Davis, Sibelius symphonies from Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and Tchaikovsky symphonies from Kurt Masur
Stephen Plaistow investigates some recent piano reissues, including a Liszt recital from John Ogdon on Testament, Bach's `Well-Tempered Clavier' from Sviatoslav Richter on Revelation, Eileen Joyce playing romantic piano concertos on Dutton, and Frederic Lamond playing Beethoven on Biddulph.