There are several reasons to own this Vox Box 2CD set. For the first, it includes five great violin concertos in some of the very best performances in their discography. For the second, Ivry Gitlis (born 1922) is a great living violinist and these recordings made in early 1950s show his art in the best way, when Ivry's violin sounded powerful and brilliant.
It usually takes about ten seconds to identify Ivry Gitlis' playing. No offense intended, but he is perhaps one of the most "anti-Classical" violinists, or the one whom you would least like to hear playing the Bach solo partitas. His free-wheeling approach to vibrato and intonation are not what wins praise in conservatories and awards at competitions these days. Often, it is said that Gitlis sounds like a gypsy violinist. There's nothing wrong with that, though, at least in certain repertoire. Gitlis takes us back to a time when classical music and musicianship were a little more wild and unpredictable than they are today.
Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich is widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the second half of the twentieth century. In celebration of her 75th birthday, Sony Classical is pleased to release Martha Argerich The Complete Sony Classical Recordings, a new 5-CD original jackets collection featuring two albums available for the first time on CD remastered from the original analogue tapes. Argerich rose to international prominence when she won the seventh International Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1965 at age 24. In that same year, she debuted in the U.S. in Lincoln Center s Great Performers Series.
Rarely performed but recognized as a hidden masterpiece, Sibelius's score for Jedermann is unusual in that the music closely follows the words and action of this morality play, intensifying Everyman's hubris, penance, escape from the Devil's clutches and ultimate salvation.The Two Serious Melodies reflect Sibelius' dark mood during the difficult years of World War I, while In memoriam resonates with his preoccupation with death in 1909 following a life-saving throat operation, and was performed at his own funeral in 1957. This is the fourth of a six volume set that explores Jean Sibelius's orchestral works beyond the higher profile symphonies, violin concerto and tone poems.Finnish conductor Leif Segerstam is an acclaimed Sibelius interpreter, having been awarded the annual Finnish State Prize for Music in 2004; and in 2005 the highly esteemed Sibelius Medal.
George Enescu (1881-1955) was known primarily as one of the great virtuoso violinists of his day, although he was also a celebrated conductor and influential teacher of his instrument – Yehudi Menuhin, Arthur Grumiaux, Ivri Gitlis, and Christian Ferras were just a few of the great violin soloists of the latter half of the 20th century who passed through his classes in Paris. Apart from the First Romanian Rhapsody, it is only recently that Enescu, the composer of a small but substantial catalogue of works, has come to the fore and this set, comprising his three completed symphonies and his best-known Violin Sonata, should further enhance his reputation.
From the notes: Until the last years of his circumscribed life, Hans Rosbaud lived and worked within a geographical triangle that had Graz at one corner, Aix-en-Provence at the other, and Frankfurt-am-Mein at the apex. His zeal on behalf of twentieth-century music was far-reaching, however, just as his excellence deserved bigger posts that the ones he chose….. Rosbaud was a notable advocate of music that other conductors tended to neglect or overlook after their first performances, and beyond that was a consistently diligent, profoundly insightful interpreter.
This double CD from EMI features the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by their Finnish principal conductor at the time (1970s), Paavo Berglund. It doesn't have to be that a conductor originates from the same country as the composer whose works he or she is conducting, but it often happens that this combination seems to produce performances of greatest sensitivity. So it is here, as Berglund conducts 10 works by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. The discs include quite familiar works like En Saga, one of Sibelius' first compositions when he was in his late 20s. We also have Pohjola's Daughter, The Bard and two of the four Lemminkäinen Legends, and a beautiful version of Luonnotar sung by the Finnish soprano Taru Valjakka. The rest of the discs is made up of less frequently heard pieces. We have the five-movement suite from the incidental music Sibelius wrote for Adolf Paul's play King Christian II (1898); the Spring Song (Vårsång) of 1894; the suite of incidental music from Maeterlinck's Pelleas and Melisande.