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