OLD WIN E ... NEW BOTTLES Those who joyfully devoured Volume 1 of "Sprache der Welt, Music- The Universal Language" last year will need no prompting to acquire Volume 2 (DG 10 CDs 28947 754947). To recap, these recordings dating from 1949 through 1958 represent in the then state of the art sound and, more importantly, superb sometimes incomparable performances (except for Lehmann) from the emerging stars '---...--- of tomorrow. In Volume 2, Markevitch, Fricsay, Lehmann, Suitner, Konwitschny, and Jochum conduct the Berlin Philharmonic, the Lamoureux, the RIAS and Berlin Radio Symphony, the Bamberg Symphony, and Saxon State Orchestra. Each and every performance, except as noted, represents the cream of the DGG catalogue of the time and many are definitive. The recorded sound, mono or stereo, cannot be faulted and none of them displays evidence of being dynamically compressed. Pictures at an Exhibition from Igor Markevitch and the BPO is so refreshingly illuminated that even a jaded listener will want to hear it right through (as I did). Disc mates are the Russian Easter Festival and May Night Overtures, plus the suite from The Golden Cockerel all featuring the Lamoureux Orchestra. Happily, Ferenc Fricsay has three marvelous discs: The Tchaikovsky 4th and some Tchaikovsky ballet excerpts; Le Sacre du Printemps and Petrouchka; and finally a very exciting, ear opening disc comprising these then avant-garde works, Karl Amadeus Hartmann's 6th Symphony , the Finale of the 4th plus the Finale of Fortner's Symphony and Boris Blacher's Variations on Theme of Paganini. Eugen Jochum surprises with power -house Sibelius disc comprising The Tempest, The Oceanides, and Night Ride and Sunrise. A second Jochum disc contains two esoteric pieces by Karl Holler; his Symphonic Fantasy on a Theme by Frescobaldi and the Sweelinck Variations for Orchestra . Fritz Lehmann had little or no profile outside Germany and his two discs in this box will ensure his mortality. oo.oO r~~- The legendary Franz Konwitschny conducts his Dresden orchestra in an above average performance of the Sinfonia Domestica and an elegant reading of Friedrich Witt's forgotten Symphony in C once called the lena Symphony of Beethoven, to whom it was wrongly attributed. Finally, Otrnar Suitner conducts the two Peer Gynt Suites plus dynamic readings of Liszt's Orpheus and Mazeppa . Music may indeed be considered the Universal Language but with geopolitical vocabulary and mannerisms. No one could mistake most of Vaughan Williams as corning from anywhere else than England. Mussorgsky and Shostakovich sound Russian and Copland certainly sounds American. Berlioz' Harold in Italy has been a particular favourite since hearing the Victor's 1944 recording by Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony with the incomparable violist William Primrose. These 78s have been transferred three times to CD but a new disc from Naxos (8.110316) is exceptional. In fact this one is derived from a Vault Treasures LP issued by Victor half a century ago which in turn was derived from a set of superior lacquer masters made at the time of the original waxes. A miraculous restoration indeed. The Walton Viola Concerto conducted by the composer provides a fine disc mate. If you are old enough to be a fan of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass then know that there are newly issued CDs immaculately transferred from the original master tapes. A Taste of Honey kicks off 14 superb tracks on "Whipped Cream and other Delights" (SHOUT DK32868), the first of four discs in the Herb Alpert Signature Series which also includes "The Lonely Bull " and "South of the Border". These are a must for hot summer listening with a margarita in hand. Bruce Surtees OPERA Partners in Opera Ontario Da\ 1d Speers, General Director HAMILTON ~~ d~e- 9o-,t KITCHENER WATERLOO OPERA Laura Whalen, John Bellemer, Norine Burgess, Alexander Dobson October 15, 20 & 22 Hamilton October 28 & 30 Kitchener Waterloo ~~TM~ Alyson McHan:fY, Tracy Dahl, Gordon Gietz, James Westman November 24 & 26 Hamilton November 25 Kitchener Waterloo ~ ;ww-fMW'Vi,'~O)-:;( Russell Braun, Lyne Fortin, Sally Dibblee, Benjamin Butterfield February 3 & 5 Kitchener Waterloo February 11 , 16 & 18 Hamilton k ~""V'e-uli. Jeanine Thames, Marc Hervieux, John Fanning, Margaret Bardos April 29, May 4 & 6 in Hamilton May 12 & 14 in Kitchener Waterloo SUBSCRIBE TODAY 1.8oo.265.8977 www .operaon tario.com SUNDAY MATINEES!
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