Monday, March 28, 2016

Readers' Poll: Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto

What are your favorite vinyl performances and recordings of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto?







Please click on the comments link below to tell us your top choices.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

EMI HMV ASD 304: Popular Movements from Symphonies

EMI HMV ASD 304
Popular Movements from the Symphonies


Andre Cluytens, conductor
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Pressing: UK, ED1, gold/cream

Condition: VG+

Date first published: 1959

Stampers:
2YVH 9-1, 10-4

Performance: 6-7/10

Sound: 7/10

Price range: $37-300 (mean $94) on popsike.com

Comments:  A somewhat atypical EMI release containing a potpourri of symphonic movements by Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky that is among the rarer birds in the EMI/HMV early stereo catalog.  While I am generally a fan of Andre Cluytens the conductor, I wouldn't exactly put this recording on my "must-have" list of his discography.  The performances are not the most inspired to my ears, and unfortunately none of them left an indelible mark on me.  The first movement of Beethoven's 5th and third movement of the 8th are among the better performances here.  In contrast, the first movement of Mozart's 40th fails to do much of anything, and the third movement of Tchaikovsky's 4th sounds too polite when compared with more passionate interpretations by Mravinsky, Markevitch, and Muti.  The addition of the opening movement of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik makes the album title a bit of a misnomer, but I suspect it was thrown in for popular appeal.  The Largo movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony is sadly tainted by a rather bland and blase sounding English horn solo.  The record concludes with the third movement of Tchaikovsky's 6th that also lacks in intensity, especially when juxtaposed with Mravinsky or Giulini.  The sound is warm and tubey with decent dynamics and bass depth.  My copy revealed some mild distortion in more dynamic passages in the Tchaikovsky 6th.  In summary, this one is primarily for die-hard Cluytens collectors. 


Readers' Poll Results: Elgar's Enigma Variations

It looks like Barbirolli and Boult may have been the favorites, but we had a pretty good spread of recording recommendations this week:


Contour Classics 2870 440
Norman Del Mar, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Decca ACL 55 (mono)
Sir Adrian Boult, London Symphony Orchestra

Decca SXL 6795 (London CS 6984)
Sir Georg Solti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Deutsche Grammophon 2530 586
Eugen Jochum, London Symphony Orchestra

EMI HMV ALP 1464
Sir Edward Elgar, Royal Albert Hall Orchestra

EMI HMV ASD 548
Sir John Barbirolli, Philharmonia Orchestra

EMI HMV ASD 2750
Sir Adrian Boult, London Symphony Orchestra

EMI HMV SXLP 20007
Sir Malcolm Sargent, Philharmonia Orchestra

Lyrita SRCS 77
Andrew Davis, New Philharmonia Orchestra

Philips 6500 481
Bernard Haitink, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam

Pye Records GSGC 4057
Sir John Barbirolli, Halle Orchestra

RCA Living Stereo LSC-2418 (SB 2108 or VICS 1107)
Pierre Monteux, London Symphony Orchestra

World Record Club WRC ST 158 (EMI CFP 40022)
Sir Adrian Boult, London Philharmonic Orchestra

Friday, March 18, 2016

Readers' Poll: Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations

What are your favorite vinyl performances and recordings of Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations?







Please click on the comments link below to tell us your top choices.

Readers' Poll Results: Debussy's La Mer

Claude Debussy: La Mer

Our apologies for the delay in posting the results of this poll, but here they are:

Columbia SAX 2463
Carlo Maria Giulini, Philharmonia Orchestra

Columbia SAX 2532
George Szell, Cleveland Orchestra

Decca LW 5267 (mono)
Ernest Ansermet, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Decca Phase Four PFS 4220
Leopold Stokowski, London Symphony Orchestra

Deutsche Grammophon SLPM 138 923
Herbert von Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

HMV ALP 1228 (mono)
Guido Cantelli, Philharmonia Orchestra

London CS 6024 (Decca SDD 214)
Ernest Ansermet, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Mercury Living Presence SR 90010
Paul Paray, Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Philips 9500 359
Bernard Haitink, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam