MAHLER: Symphony No. 3.. Kindertotenlieder. Lieder eines fhrenden Gesellen..
Helen Watts, contralto.Highgate School Choir. Orpington Junior Singers. Norman Foster, baritone. Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. London Sympony Orchestra / Jascha Horenstein, cond.
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 565 (2 disks) TT: 2 hr. 10:39

MOZART: Overtures ( Die Zauberflöte (Mozart Festival Orchestra), Le nozze di Figaro (British Symphony Orchestra).La Clemenza di Tito . La finita giardinera . Three German Dances, K. 605. Piano Concerto No 20 in D minor, K. 644. Symphony No. 38, K. 504 "Prague." Symphony No. 39 in E flat, K. 543. Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K 550. Symphony No. 41 in C, K. 551 "Jupiter." Serenade No.13 in G, K. 525 "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik." Requiem in D nminor, K. 626.
Vienna Philharmonic Orhestra (uness otherwise stated). Bruno Waler, cond.
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 564 (3 disks) TT: 3hr. 43:44

BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37. BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15.
Rudolf Serkin, piano. Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York / Artur Rodzinski, cond.

Bruno Walter's Mozart was legendary, and early in his career he made many recordings. . Most of †hese already have been issued , but now we have this 3-disk set that contains virtually all of them in great remasterings by Mark Obert-Thorn. This Requiem from a 1937 concert at the Paris Exposition. is the first recording of the work. Famous singers are Elisabeth Schumann, Lorsten Thorborg, Anton Dermota and Alexander Kipnis. with the Vienna State Opera Chorus. Walter was not satisfied with the performance. It was issued on EMI some years ago, bu† in †his new transfer we hear it edited and complete—an historic documentl Pristine already has issued many Brtuno Walter recordings, and this new set is supplemental. MOT gives details of the other Pristine issues in his program notes. Collectors surelywill wish to get all of these major important recording.

Jascha Horenstein conducted a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 in Royal Festival Hall November 16, 1951. He had conducted the symphony before, particularly notably in 1953 when he led the Italian premiere of the work. He also made a commercial recording in 1970 for the Unicorn label. CD notes identify featured instrumental soloists: Dennis Eagen, posthorn, and Denis Wick, trombone. The London Symphony is in top form although as one might expect in a live performance of this demanding score, there are occasional minor slipups. It is unfortunate this performance wasn't presented in Royal Albert Hall, a more appropriate venue than the smaller Festival Hall. Some years ago this site mentioned this performance when released on Archipel (REVIEW). Andrew Rose's superb remastering presents the symphony in a superior sonic picture. The set also includes the September 1964 recordings of the two song cycles sung by American bass-baritone Norman Foster who sings with the greatest sensitivity. This set is a major addition to the Mahler discography.

I only had the pleasure of attending a Rudolf Serkin concert once, many, many years ago in Chicago;s Orchestra Hall when he gave a recital. When he appeared on stage, he seemed almost embarrassed by the audience, and timidly approached the piano. Then he gave assured virtuoso performance of a wide range of repertory including the knuckle-busiing Chopin Etudes Op. 25! Amazing! Serkin on stage was a gentle giant, and his playing had a remarkable intensity. This is displayed in these live performance with the New York Philharmonic directed by Artur Rodzinski from the same era. The Beethoven is from a concert April 9, 1945, the Brahms from a concert February 10 the following year. Serkin made several commercial recordings of both concertos, and there are various live performances as well. No timidity in this dynamic reading of the Brahms. He †osses off those double octave trills with ease, and has chosen a brisk tempo for the final rondo. Exciting music-making here. Audio is excellent thanks to Andrew Rose's XE remastering.

R.E.B. (June 2019)