LABELS: EMI: Double Forte
EMI’s ‘twofer’ Double Forte series offers competition for RCA in some areas. Davis’s SIBELIUS performances are matched by broadly conceived accounts from Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, coupled with Nos 4 and 6, always Karajan specialities (CZS 5 74858 2).
And Wand’s BRUCKNER Fourth is challenged by that of a great Brucknerian of earlier years, Eugen Jochum, with the Dresden Staatskapelle; the coupling is an equally authoritative Second (CZS 5 74837 2).
Also welcome back in the catalogue are Klaus Tennstedt’s strong-boned London Philharmonic accounts of MAHLER’s Fifth Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde, with excellent soloists in Klaus König and Agnes Baltsa (CZS 5 74849 2); and a collection of orchestral and choral works by KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI, conducted by the composer, including the Christmas Symphony and the Magnificat – conservative in style, but by no means comfortable listening (CZS 5 74852 2).
A FAURÉ anthology under Michel Plasson is notable for many rarities, and for guest soloists including Frederica von Stade, Nicolai Gedda and the Torteliers father and (violinist) son (CZS 5 74840 2).
On a smaller scale, Mikhail Rudy plays solo piano music by JANÁCEK with great understanding, but the companion recordings of chamber music are in an unflatteringly dry acoustic (CZS 5 74843 2).
The underrated André Watts gives a superb LISZT recital, including the Sonata, some of the fascinating late pieces and the Grandes études de Paganini (though not, as billed, their later, even more challenging reworking as Études d’exécution transcendante) (CZS 5 74846 2).
A BEETHOVEN set has forcefully characterised performances of the Op. 70 piano trios by Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman and Jacqueline du Pré, and ideal readings of two cello sonatas by du Pré and Stephen Kovacevich (CZS 5 74834 2).
The best bargain of all, if you don’t mind retrieving texts and translations from EMI’s web site or elsewhere, is SCHUBERT’s Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise cycles, in recordings by Olaf Bär and Geoffrey Parsons which must rank among the finest of recent years (CZS 5 74855 2).