National Symphony Orchestra – Conductor’s Gallery, Vol. 11: Piero Coppola, George Enescu (2023)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:08:21 minutes | 630 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.
The Decca Conductor’s Gallery series presents an A–Z of 23 conductors in a feast of classic recordings from Decca’s early years – 1929–1949 – including the golden age of its ‘ffrr’ technology. Newly remastered from the best available sources by Mark Obert-Thorn, Ward Marston and Andrew Hallifax, this comprehensive set features several new digital releases. It is a must-have for any follower of historical recordings.
Spanning almost twenty years, the unique story of this set begins in May 1929 with Decca’s first major recording, Delius’s Sea Drift – a performance whose merits were obscured at the time by surface noise, but which the latest technology reveals to be a gloriously sympathetic reading of Delius’s poignant elegy. Back then, the conductor (Anthony Bernard) was not even printed on the 78 labels; yet, for a later recording in the set, a suite of Handel, the name of Erich Kleiber stands out: a sign of how far the label travelled in its first twenty years, through some choppy commercial waters, to become a byword for technological excellence and world-class musical artistry drawn from around the globe.
The pre-war recordings inevitably centre on British/Irish conducting talent, old and new: Hamilton Harty, dynamic in Haydn and Walton; Walton himself, in a definitive first recording of Façade; atmospheric Vaughan Williams, Elgar and Coates from Henry Wood. One of the rarest items in the set is Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins as led by Mengelberg in 1936.
The post-war material includes several great names of the podium from those pre-war days, judiciously picked up by Decca when they might otherwise have been forgotten: Albert Coates whipping up a frenzy in the Russian repertoire he made his own; Clemens Krauss, incandescent in Strauss from Milan and London; Leo Blech’s genial ‘Surprise’ Symphony of Haydn.
Senior composer-conductors include Fitelberg in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 and Enescu in Schumann’s Second. Then there are thrilling young podium tyros who were setting London musical life alight in the postwar years: Celibidache’s electrifying and wayward Tchaikovsky, Martinon’s exquisite Ravel, Coppola’s majestic Schumann.
1-1. National Symphony Orchestra – I. Andante un poco maestoso (10:32)
1-2. National Symphony Orchestra – II. Larghetto (07:13)
1-3. National Symphony Orchestra – III. Scherzo. Molto vivace (05:53)
1-4. National Symphony Orchestra – IV. Allegro animato e grazioso (07:44)
1-5. London Philharmonic Orchestra – I. Sostenuto assai – Un poco più vivace – Allegro ma non troppo (09:55)
1-6. London Philharmonic Orchestra – II. Scherzo. Allegro vivace (07:15)
1-7. London Philharmonic Orchestra – III. Adagio espressivo (09:46)
1-8. London Philharmonic Orchestra – IV. Allegro molto vivace (10:00)