Few conductors have made a greater contribution to our present-day understanding of Bruckner than Günter Wand (1912-2002).
This first box includes Bruckner symphonies nos. 5, 6 and 8 in their original or restored versions as well as an elegant, but rarely performed Haydn Symphony and the "Unfinished" symphonies by Bruckner and Schubert. Later, TDK released the second box of 4 DVDs including the popular Bruckner Symphonies Nos. 4 and 7 and symphonic works by Brahms and Schubert.
This concerto includes Prokofiev's Classical Symphony No.1 and Tchaikovsky's piano concerto No.1 featuring Evgeny Kissin. Karajan is in very good mood despite the pain in his back that kept him leaning back (instead of his customary forward position) in the special supporting device prepared for him in the conductor's podium.
Editorial Reviews - Amazon.com essential recording
When Istvan Kertesz drowned while swimming in Israel, the world lost a major conductor of irresistible musicality and charm. The performance of the Haydn Variations is famous. The orchestra finished it without the conductor, as a tribute to him after his death. Kertesz was very much alive for the performances of the First and Second Symphonies, however, and his relaxed and genial interpretations really let this great orchestra shine. These are just as much "their" performances, as is the case with the Variations, and the fact that the conductor doesn't impose his personality on this great ensemble is something that would have bothered Kertesz not a bit. It's still great Brahms. –David Hurwitz
"Felix August Bernhard Draeseke was a composer of the "New German School" admiring Liszt and Richard Wagner. He wrote compositions in most forms including eight operas and stage works, four symphonies, and much vocal and chamber music.During his life, and the period shortly following his death, the music of Draeseke was held in high regard, even among his musical opponents. His compositions were performed frequently in Germany by the leading artists of the day, including Hans von Bülow, Arthur Nikisch, Fritz Reiner, and Karl Böhm. However, as von Bülow once remarked to him, he was a "harte Nuß" ("a hard nut to crack") and despite the quality of his works, he would "never be popular among the ordinary"." ~Wikipedia
This is a very fine release, superbly played by musicians who really believe in the music and give it dedicated, committed readings. Excellent recording and informative notes by Frans Lemaire. This is by far the finest introduction to Ustvolkaya’s unique sound world.
Milhaud’s six little symphonies are brief, lighthearted experiments in sound combinations, and they are also very charming. These performances are delightful … precise, spirited, brilliant …
I don’t see how anyone could go wrong with these performances, which MDG captures in bright, characterful sound.