Beethoven – Sonatas for Piano & Cello
Beethoven – Sonatas for Piano & Cello
Possessing a complete recording of Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas gives far more satisfaction than merely having the set to fill the shelves. On the one hand it offers one the opportunity to compare Beethoven’s art of composition at various stages in his life. And on the other hand one can already recognise in the early Opus 5 how he breaks with the traditional sonata in which the solo instrument merely provides an accompaniment and treats the two instruments as equal partners in the creation of the movements.
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Beethoven – Violin Sonatas No’s 5 & 9
Beethoven – Violin Sonatas No’s 5 & 9
At first sight Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas appear to occupy only a subordinate role when placed alongside his great symphonic works and the piano sonatas. While the earlier works in the genre were viewed in their time with scepticism due to the “rare difficulty” and “learnedness” of their piano part, the later sonatas however display an increasingly marked independence of the violin part. For this reason, the A major Violin Sonata (which was dedicated to the French violinist Rodolph Kreutzer), and the so-called Spring Sonata (whose nickname was added by an unknown hand) soon became two of the most famous representatives of their genre.
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Bruckner – Symphony No. 5 in B flat / Mozart – Symphony No. 36 in C, “Linz”
Bruckner – Symphony No. 5 in B flat / Mozart – Symphony No. 36 in C, “Linz”
Eugen Jochum was a modest man who did not use the media to draw attention to himself but rather to document his musical intentions. And right from the very beginning he focussed on magnitude. Aged only 23, he made his debut in Munich with Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 and so laid the foundations for his lifelong devotion to the Austrian composer’s works, as is demonstrated by his complete recording of the Symphonies that was made during the years 1958–1967.  
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Legrand : Jazz
Legrand : Jazz
This record is experimental, that is, it should be considered as such, since no more daring and flashing musical ideas have been brought forward by the eminent young French conductor/composer/arranger Michel Legrand, who is particularly responsible fr the magnificent tracks of this longplayer.  The music featured on these tracks stays well within the bounds of jazz; in fact, the indefinable spirit of jazz is always there.
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Liszt – Concerto No.1 / Concerto No.2
Liszt – Concerto No.1 / Concerto No.2
Any pianist who tackles Franz Liszt’s great works must possess outstanding skills in many areas. Technical prowess is absolutely necessary to play the extremely difficult score, as is immense physical energy in order to compete with the hefty onslaughts from the orchestra. But a great awareness of the unusual conceptual forms, refined energy and passion are also required to make the keyboard sing.
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Mozart – Oboe Quartet, K.370
Mozart – Oboe Quartet, K.370
The term 'chamber music' alone makes one think that such music is created just for a private circle of listeners. In many cases, however, public figures or great virtuosos were the dedicatees of compositions for small instrumental ensembles. Mozart wrote his Oboe Quartet K. 370 for Friedrich Ramm, the first oboist in the Bavarian Elector’s orchestra. Heinz Holliger treads in Ramm’s footsteps in this recording and proves to be a worthy follower with his rich sound and prominent demeanour.
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Mozart : Piano Sonatas KV 331 & 332 – Mitsuko Uchida
Mozart : Piano Sonatas KV 331 & 332 – Mitsuko Uchida

Uchida’s Mozart has been endlessly celebrated for its lucidity and acuteness… Uchida does not just peck at Mozart. Without loss of simplicity and transparency of style and texture, she leaves no note uncherished, moreover with a left hand just as … Continued

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Rodrigo – Concierto de Aranjuez
Rodrigo – Concierto de Aranjuez
The frenetic applause with which both the public and the experts greeted the Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, composed in 1940, is certainly astounding – one would have thought that 20th-century music was dominated chiefly by composers of twelve-tone music and the avantguardists. Rodrigo, however, remained faithful to the Classical three-movement form, employed a late-Romantic orchestral colouring, and followed in the tradition of Spanish composers who, perhaps more than any others, won their inspiration from the folkmusic of their native country.
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Sale! Stravinsky – Histoire du Soldat
Stravinsky – Histoire du Soldat
The spoken word is also brimful of rhythmic vitality and is impressively rendered by the enormously adaptable voices of Jean Cocteau as the Narrator and Peter Ustinov as the Devil. Igor Markevitch urges on the excellent musicians in his little orchestra with élan and accuracy, with the young Maurice André’s brilliantly performed trumpet part being particularly conspicuous. It is pointless to look for a recording that is remotely as good as this one. It doesn’t exist!  
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Tchaikovsky – Symphony No.4 in F minor Op.36
Tchaikovsky – Symphony No.4 in F minor Op.36
Does it make sense to revive an early stereo recording of one of the most recorded works and put it on the market again? Certainly a valid question when one considers the enormous number of recordings of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. But when one listens to the Russian maestro’s mature work, it become quite clear why there is such a flood of recordings – although one often has the feeling that they are taking part in a musical Olympics, trying to go faster or louder, rather than achieving musical depth.
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Woody Herman – 1963
Woody Herman – 1963
Three big bands remained true to swing in the Sixties: those of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Woody Herman. Although the Count ventured into the spheres of James Bond and the Beatles, and despite the Duke’s musical hits, it was Woody Herman who best made the transition into the world of new sounds and compositions. The “Herds” (as Woody called his various bands, with himself as shepherd) galloped through the second half of the 20th century, leaving giant footprints in the history of jazz.
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