Chandos are delighted to present the first complete recording of the masque The Crown of India, performed here by Clare Shearer and Gerald Finley, with the BBC Philharmonic and Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Completed by Anthony Payne in 2008 the work conveys all the pomp and pageantry with which Elgar is associated. The work is presented on 2 CDs. Disc 1 includes the entire masque with narration, whilst Disc 2 contains only the music and Marches. The set is sold at the price of one full price CD.
This 6-CD set captures Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Daniel Barenboim in some of their most significant recordings together and features the astonishingly beautiful and highly regarded lieder of Hugo Wolf.
Bernard Haitink conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Brahms's great orchestral works, including the complete symphonies. The concertos feature three great soloists: pianist Claudio Arrau, violinist Henryk Szeryng, and cellist János Starker.
These are the best reproductions I have ever heard of these famous recordings. All credit to Mark Obert-Thorn, who created them from pre-war US Victor sets. In the early days of audio tape and long playing records, it was rumoured that the original masters of the Elgar concerto in the EMI vaults had been destroyed after a transfer to audio tape had been deemed satisfactory. True, the audio tape transfers when issued on LP sounded good enough, but many music lovers regretted that future processing work on the original masters was no longer an option. Well, here in a new century and at the price of a cup of coffee and a sandwich are miracles of sound reproduction that banish all regrets. Of all the recordings Elgar made of his music, this is the one that has the least "historic" sound to modern ears. String playing in the old-fashioned "slide from note to note" way was apparently something Elgar allowed or encouraged when he recorded his orchestral works, but it is barely evident here, and even less so in the playing of the young Yehudi Menuhin. The recording of the Bruch Concerto, an all round success, was made in London's Small Queen's Hall in 1931 and was, I believe, Menuhin's first concerto recording.