277 tracks 1928-50, 64bit mastering. Django Reinhardt recorded prolifically in many different group settings over 4 decades. It's difficult to know where to start or where to go once you've gotten started collecting a few of his recordings. The 20 cd Djangologie box set is the place to go once you've decided to take the plunge into Django's music. It covers all 4 decades chronologically, but rather than trying to comprehensively collect all of Django's recordings (including all of the ones where he is a sideman in dance bands etc) it largely concentrates on the Quintette and other small group recordings, which is what most people want to hear. The sound quality is very good and relatively consistent throughout the collection. There is a minimum of tape hiss, clicks and pops. The sound mastering hasn't overemphasized any portion of the audio spectrum and has instead gone for a balanced group sound. Highly recommended if you want to get serious about listening to Django without all of the confusion that comes from piecing together smaller complilations.
What a versatile artist Steven Isserlis is. Having made his name as a sympathetic interpreter of a wide variety of romantic and modern music, here he shows he can be just as persuasive in eighteenth-century repertoire. His stylistic awareness is evident in beautiful, elegant phrasing, selective use of vibrato and varied articulation, giving an expressive range that never conflicts with the music’s natural language. In the cello concertos he is helped by an extremely sensitive accompaniment, stressing the chamber musical aspects of Haydn’s pre-London orchestral writing. The soft, intimate sonority at 3'06'' in the first movement of the D major is a typical example. The Adagios are taken at a flowing speed, but Isserlis’s relaxed approach means they never sound hurried. The Allegro molto finale of the C major Concerto, on the other hand, sounds poised rather than the helter-skelter we often hear. In his understanding of the music, Isserlis is a long way ahead of Han-na Chang, whose version places the emphasis on fine, traditional-style cello playing. Mork’s vivacious, imaginative performances characterize the music very strongly, but my preference would be for Isserlis’s and Norrington’s lighter touch and greater refinement.