Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vol. All discs have been checked and are in near mint condition. The cardboard sleeves and booklet are in very good condition. The outer cardboard box shows minimal signs of wear. The photos form part of the description please message me if you need any further information.I have hundreds of new and used classical CDs being listed. The Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is a transcription in sound of the concert-giving history of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, based upon radio recordings from the archives of Dutch Radio and Radio Netherlands World Service. Six decades of the 20th century are put under the spotlight in six boxes, each containing 14 CDs. The RCO have chosen not only legendary performances by chief conductors of the Orchestra but also concerts led by countless guest conductors of both greater and lesser renown.
Famous soloists make their debuts alongside world premieres of works that have since become classics of the repertoire. This sixth volume of the Anthology features the radio recordings made by the orchestra in the 1990s, presenting an overview on 14 CDs of the orchestras artistic development under various conductors during that period.The RCO will celebrate their 125th anniversary in 2013, when Volume 7 will be issued and limited print runs of the early volumes. It's great it's still going strong. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 September 2011.
A few years ago, you would commonly see comments on the internet suggesting that it couldn't be the case that the Concertgebouw would be able to keep releasing these compilations. In short, with a few other releases such as some other own-label orchestral boxes and such things as Koopman's Bach Cantatas, the Anthologies of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra are steaming on as though Naxos, Brilliant Classics, internet downloads and the financial crisis had never happened. This set has, immediately on actually being released, as opposed to available for pre-order, leaped in price by about 30 pounds sterling on Amazon, and further exploration will reveal that collecting the whole sequence of anthologies from volumes one to this is a very, very expensive proposition indeed.
Let's hope that the re-release is a bit more affordable for more listeners! I should say that, although we don't get texts and translations for vocal items, the production values are very good, with each sturdy glossy cd envelope bearing the track listings, and there are excellent notes on all the works, as well as an interesting essay on developments at the Concertgebouw in the 1990s. Having gotten that out of the way, there are few series of classical music releases that I have more eagerly awaited the next instalment of. The sound quality is variable, as we are dealing here with radio recordings. Yet the sheer quality and diversity of the music and performances on offer, taking the series as a whole, must surely make this one of the most significant classical music releases in existence, and almost more interesting because it has accumulated slowly over several years without a great deal of fanfare.
If you add the boxes the same source has released of Concertgebouw performances by the various chief conductors (Mengelberg, Van Beinum, Haitink and Chailly so far) we are talking over 130 CDs of (mainly) 19th and 20th century orchestral repertoire... And the Concertgebouw has been, of course, a startlingly great orchestra over many decades (we do not need to enter into overstatements about'the world's greatest orchestra' to be very clear about this). So, what's Volume 6 like?As you might expect, in one way it is less exciting than some of the earlier volumes as it is populated by conductors and soloists that we are very familiar with from recent digital live and studio recordings, and some of the works here are duplicated in recordings you may have by the very same people (if not the same orchestra). This is the Chailly era at the Concertgebouw but, as we have already had a (superb) box devoted to his radio broadcasts, he does not dominate the performances here quite as much as you might expect. Repertoire-wise, however, I think the contents are a little more interesting than those of volume 5 although a quick guilty glance at volume 5 suggests I may be underestimating it! I'll give some initial reactions to each disc.
A good performance of Bartok's'Bluebeard's Castle', conducted by Ivan Fischer, with Hungarian soloists. Slightly recessed recording, but climaxes come over well enough. The notes suggest the compilers were very impressed by this. The Adagietto is dragged out annoyingly in particular. But it's great that the series has got around to Mahler 5 and I have no doubt many others will be more excited than me to hear him with this orchestra.
I Like Sawallisch's performance of the Beethoven'Pastoral' very much. Slightly congested sound in climaxes in the finale. Berglund gives us a very effective Sibelius 4, which is recorded in such a way that what can seem a very elusive and quiet thing in some versions has some bite and there's a sense of risk-taking I rather like. A performance of Martin's concerto for 7 wind instruments by the Concertgebouw under Chailly. Ditto Dutilleux's violin concerto and a very effective performance of Shostakovich 1 from Solti, who is a newcomer in this context and not someone I associate with Shostakovich (oddly, as it would seem a natural combination).I want to like Elgar's second symphony but simply can't grasp it (this is my fault not his). Andre Previn is the conductor.
Skrowaczewski gives us an excellent performance of the Lutoslawski Concerto for orchestra. Mariss Jansons appears, giving us a straightforward performance of the Rienzi overture of Wagner. Haitink is predictably good in Mother Goose by Ravel and then we get Willard White in the Symphonic Songs of Zemlinsky, conducted by Chailly. These are very worth hearing, although Chailly and the same artist have recorded them before and you may have them already. I havent heard Martha Argerich's other recordings of the Bartok 3rd Piano concerto but this is very, very good.
This series has introduced me to a number of works by Dallapiccola and so I wasn't surprised that the Liriche Greche turn out to be beautiful and absorbing. As for the other vocal works here, we get no texts and translations for our exorbitant outlay, but in the context of the current crisis, I felt privileged to spend some time with these.The Anthology has taken a long, long time to get around to including something by Messiaen, so I'm glad to report that the Trois Petites Liturgies that close this disc, with Marc-Andre Hamelin (no less) on piano, are absolutely splendid. Debussy's Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune is a familiar piece, receiving a rather lovely performance here under Jean Fournet, and I don't think it has appeared before in this series. Chailly conducts Hindemith's rather wonderful Symphonic Metamorphoses after Weber, and then De Waart (strangely I don't think we have heard him before in this context) leads a performance of Bernd Alois Zimmermann's Trumpet concerto with Peter Masseurs as soloist. This is a bit of a change from the Mozart 4th horn concerto that managed to turn up in both volumes 4 and 5 for whatever reason, but if you are nervous it is only 13 minutes long! Pierre Boulez apparently now has to be accompanied by Deutsche Grammophon logos if he is to be included (perhaps his contributions on Volume 3 didn't attract these as he wasn't under contract to them in the 1960s). Never mind, we get Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht here, which he can do awfully well. Perhaps this isn't quite so interesting as hearing Klemperer do it on an earlier volume, but honestly, who is going to mind? Brahms' Tragic Overture under Harnoncourt. I find this a quite riveting performance. Then we get Schumann's Fantasie for violin and orchestra, Zehetmair as soloist. Best case for a work you are unlikely to have heard before, and I think its rather good.
Gardiner has recorded the Schubert 9th symphony to my knowledge twice before with a'modern' orchestra (most recently a fabulous performance with the VPO on DG). I'm very happy the series has included this great work in this volume.
My memory may be deceiving me, but this is in many ways a more interesting performance than the VPO one - brisker and more bracing - and rather more like something you'd expect from this conductor. I was quite happy to see another performance from this source of Schoenberg's 5 pieces for orchestra, as the earlier performance by Van Beinum, however fascinating because unexpected, was not in the best sound and a little unsettled. However, I don't think Janson's performance here is really anything special. Harnoncourt gives us a rather good account of Mozart's Symphony 40 (which the compilers have deliberately included various performances of from over the years).
I don't always like him in Mozart but I found this quite stimulating. As there are only potentially two of these boxes left in the foreseeable future (2000-10 and, depending on circumstances, a Jansons box) I was slightly disappointed that Symphony number 3 by Bruckner was chosen, under Kurt Sanderling, as there has already been a performance of this under Kubelik in Volume 2, and it would be good to hear a Nr 5 or Nr 8. Nonetheless, I don't suppose the idea is to be comprehensive in this way, and this is a good performance- though not preferable to the Kubelik except on sonic grounds. More Dutch music in the form of a lengthy piece for contralto and orchestra by Diepenbrock with a text by Novalis. I quite like Diepenbrock's particular late-romantic vibe, his music is not recorded that often, and so this is worth having.
I hadn't paid much attention to Stravinsky's Fairy's Kiss before, despite having the composer's own recording of the ballet. Hearing the'Divertimento after the ballet' here has been a great surprise. It does not sound like cod-Tchaikovsky at all, and has an urgency and pungency that some of Stravinsky's original neo-classical works of this period do not have. Highly recommended Rozhdestvensky is the very effective conductor but that's not the point!
I had also, strangely, never heard- as opposed to heard about- the Sinfonia of Berio, here conducted by Berio himself. There are obviously cheaper options for both, but I was bowled over by both of them and by the performances. This disc opens with some music by Willem Pijper, six'symphonic epigrams' of Webernesque brevity, conducted by Haitink.
Anne Murray sings Berlioz's'Nuits d'ete' next and it's great music, although there are so many alternatives for this its best just to enjoy the particular qualities of this one rather than wondering how it stacks up against the competition. Strauss''Death and Transfiguration' is then conducted by Masur and the choice of this particular tone poem is great, given what has been in the previous issues. I rather like the performance.
John Adams then conducts'Three Places in New England' by Ives, again a welcome diversification of repertoire in these boxes, and I'm not sure we have any non-Adams Adams conducting on disc already. It's great and obvious that Adams has a great love for these pieces. I'm happy to hear the Concertgebouw, under John Adams, in Takemitsu's'A Flock descends into the pentagonal garden. This isn't the first Takemitsu piece from this source (there's a piece in the Haitink box, I think) but its great to have.
Sanderling then conducts a performance of Shostakovich's 5th Symphony which is, like the Bruckner 3, perhaps a little deliberate in places, but beautifully played and intense. The set ends with a rarely-heard vocal piece by Schreker, who is surely one of the most unjustly neglected early 20th century composers, and not just because tastes change, but because of anti-semitism. Like Zemlinsky, who Chailly has done so much to re-promote, his work is almost always fascinating to hear, and I have to say that of the operas I have heard by him, their sense of dramatic line is actually a bit better than Zemlinsky's (although I would encourage any curious listeners to explore them both). Vom ewigen Liebe' is not the most striking Schreker work I have heard but it is relatively late, and doesn't exhibit the super-lushness/ syrupyness usually (and sometimes mistakenly) attributed to him. Gerd Albrecht is the conductor here, but with Whitman lyrics, this makes a nice counterpart to the Zemlinsky earlier in the set.
Hopefully, as this sort of thing is a big investment, my disc-by-disc review will be of some use to you if you are curious about this particular issue or have been collecting the whole series. I apologise for not listing every single soloist or singer but it's taken me a while to listen through the whole thing and write this and I must stop. The bottom line is that this is another superb set. I'm sure I'll dip into it over and over again for years, as I have surprisingly often with the others. It's wonderful that the Concertgebouw have sustained the whole series in difficult times, however costly it is for audiences to support it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 November 2011. I bought this shortly after my first visit to the Concertgebouw itself, when I was bowled over by the hall's superb acoustics and atmosphere.
So these live broadcast recordings were pungent evocations of the experience. But even without that, this is a box worth having, if you can afford it. The first two discs alone are dynamite: a marvellously dramatic, idiomatic account of Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle with Ivan Fischer and Hungarian soloists, followed by one of the best Mahler Fifths I've heard, from Tennstedt in 1990. Depending on your preferences, you may or may not find other things here to match these two performances.
But there's something for everyone, actually. Sanderling provides an excellent Bruckner Third and an even better Shostakovich Fifth.
Dutoit and soloists excel in Dutilleux's'L'arbre des songes' and Messiaen's'Trois petites Liturgies'. There are lots more, including Schoenberg from Boulez, Mozart from Harnoncourt, Schubert from Gardiner, and Berio conducting his own Sinfonia in 1997. And all performed by one of the world's greatest orchestras.
Reviewed in Germany on 4 November 2013. This box set is very interesting, and has a high quality of sound. The concertgebouw is splendid, the works are classical and well known mixed with new discoveries for me of modern pieces. High level and I appreciate a lot. This item is in the category "Music\CDs".
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