Warner: Ultima

COMPOSERS: Beethoven,Bruckner
LABELS: Warner


An exhaustive list of new double-disc reissues on Teldec/Erato’s ‘Ultima’ label includes several fine chamber discs which should have wide appeal.

Visually, they’re pretty unappealing, though, and the annotations provided are rudimentary, but it’s good to see the Vermeer Quartet’s survey of BEETHOVEN’s Razumovsky triptych finally available at minimal cost, coupled with an equally eloquent account of the Op. 74 Harp Quartet (8573-87797-2).

Trio Fontenay’s performances of the two Op. 70 trios and the Archduke (Op. 97) are finely calculated and well engineered, too (8573-87821-2). Schubertians will welcome the chance to obtain the Berlin Soloists’ spirited performance of the D803 Octet and a sublime account of the C major String Quintet from the Brandis Quartet with Jörg Baumann, both recorded in the Eighties (8573-87803-2).

Lastly, three highlights from Ultima’s latest orchestral offerings. From Eliahu Inbal’s Frankfurt RSO BRUCKNER series come authoritative performances of first versions (1873 and 1874 respectively) of the Third and Fourth Symphonies, both in exemplary sound (8573-87801-2).


Other bargains include Rostropovich’s relentlessly driven Washington National Symphony Orchestra recordings of Symphonies Nos 4 and 8 by SHOSTAKOVICH (8573-87799-2), and two generously filled VAUGHAN WILLIAMS discs (Symphonies Nos 4, 5 and 9, and Job), highlights from Andrew Davis’s years with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (8573-87798-2).