EMI brought out the Brahms Symphony in its Great Conductors of the Twentieth Century series where it joined some other famous Scherchen discs – notably Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony, Haydn’s No. 100 in G and Stravinsky’s Firebird review. Scherchen’s live recording of the Kalinnikov with the Czech Philharmonic has formed part of Tahra’s Scherchen sets. So neither of these performances constitutes terra incognita for admirers of this conductor, who will know, only too well, that when Archipel claim that these 24 bit 96 kHz (whatever that is) restorations derive "from the original sources" the truth is nothing of the kind.
If there is any doubt about Fabio Zuffanti being a prog icon, the disbelievers have some kind of chip on their shoulder! This gifted Italian bassist/composer owns a distinguished career one could only dream about, fronting Finisterre back in the late 90s, recharging the dormant RPI School once so prolific in the 70s and then consolidating the legacy with the splendid La Maschera di Cera project…
Whether it's the luscious all instrumental four-album `Seasons' cycle or bombastic classical- influenced rock-operas such as `The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' and its live interpretation `Alive in Theatre', Hostsonaten has always been the most purely symphonic project modern Italian progressive music icon Fabio Zuffanti is involved in, and he and his music collaborators here return in 2016 with `Symphony N. 1: Cupid and Psyche'. Zuffanti and his musical friends, including La Coscienza di Zeno's keyboardist Luca Scherani, Laura Marsano on classical and electric guitars, Paolo `Paolo' Tixi on drums and Danielle Sollo on fretted and fretless bass…
Daniel Barenboim continues his acclaimed Elgar series with the landmark First Symphony. These new issues mark the first time that indefatigable maestro Barenboim has returned to recording Elgar’s symphonic works since the 1970s.
This recording is the latest step in maestro Barenboim’s Elgarian journey with the Berlin Staatskapelle, following on from well-received performances of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, the Cello Concerto (recorded live with Alisa Weilerstein for Decca), and Elgar’s Second Symphony – about which the Guardian wrote: “The surging, unquenchable energy of this account is obvious from the opening bars, which are borne on an irresistible flood of sound from the Berlin Staatskapelle
"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 recording, made in 1991, contains two fine performances. Indeed the performance of Hamlet is better than fine, it is positively thrilling. The Polish orchestra are well able to deliver on this and Leaper shows considerable empathy for the music. The recording is good, if a little lacking in absolute clarity at the bottom end which tends to be just a touch inclined to 'muddiness' at moments of greatest demand. This should not be over-emphasised in view of the excellence of the music making and the general acceptance of the recording. Indeed, the weighty sound-stage and quite close balance suits the heavier approach of Leaper when compared to Karajan on DGG for example, and to a lesser extent, Jansons on Chandos.