The Complete Columbia Recordings, Vol. 2

COMPOSERS: Beethoven,Bizet,Grieg,J Strauss II,Mahler,Mendelssohn,Ravel,Suppé,Tchaikovsky,Wagner
LABELS: Pearl
PERFORMER: Mengelberg and the Concertgebouw Orchestra
CATALOGUE NO: GEMM CDS 9070

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Old 78s can still pack a fair sonic wallop. Take, for example, the recordings (Suppé, J Strauss II, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Grieg, Mahler, Ravel, Beethoven, Wagner, Mendelssohn) that conductor Willem Mengelberg made with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw back in the late Twenties and early Thirties.

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The hall itself allowed for astonishing clarity and tonal bloom, so that Mengelberg’s rigorously disciplined, tantrums-and-tears Tchaikovsky (Symphonies Nos. 4 and 5) could explode and expand with a dynamic range that was rare even 20 years later.