BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 1, Op. 21. Symphony No. 4 , Op. 60.
London Symphony Orchestra (Symphony No. 1). Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Rafael Kubelik, cond,
PENTATONE SACD 5186248 TT: 62:00

BARBER: Music for Organ
Rudolf Innig, organ
MDG SACD 917 2010 TT: 65:04

BACH: Ciaccona and its References
Gertrud Schilde, violin. Jan Philip Schulze, piano. Norddeutscher Kammerchor. Maria Jürgensen, cond.
MDG SACD 903 2004 TT: 56:24

Rafael Kubelik was one of DGG's favorite conductors, and they decided to record a Beethoven symphony cycle with him, using a different orchestra for each. This Symphony No. 1 was recorded in London's Wembley Brent Town Hall June 1974 with the London Symphony. Symphony No. 4 was recorded in Munich's Herkulessaal, September 1975. Most of the original four-channel recordings made during this period are impressive e. However, these are not. Little use is made of rear channels, unfortunately. Pentatone is competing with itself here: some years ago they released all of the Beethoven symphonies with Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandbhaus Orchestra, recorded 1972 - 1974. This site praised that issue for the superb performances and outstanding multi-directional sound (REVIEW). Surely those are preferred versions.

The organ always was a major part of Samuel Barber's musical life, and this superb new MDG SACD offers a splendid collection. The program consists of: To Longwood Gardens, Three Chorale Preludes, Partite diverse sopra 'Straf' mich nicht in deinem Zorn 1 & 2, Prelude and Fugue in B minor, Suite for Carillon, Chorale for a New Organ, Wondrous Love: Variations on a shape-note hymn, Op. 34, Chorale prelude on 'Silent Night," and the famous Adagio for Strings. Except[t for the last, all are presented in chronological order. Rudolf Innig plays Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche Detmold organ in recordings made October 2016. Innig has numerous recordings including complete organ works of Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Schumann. He is in fine form here, and the audio captures the rich sound of the instrument.

MDG has another unusual release that will fascinate Baroque scholars. Titled Ciaccona and its References, it features Bach's Partita No. 2 in D minor, which includes the mighty†y Chaconne. This is played by violinist Gertrud Schilde, and the disk also includes ten brief Bach choruses possibly related to the Partita—plus an arrangement by Felix Mendelssohn for violin and piano of the Chaconne in which she is joined by pianist Jan Philip Sch Schulze.¹he choral works are sung with Baroque purity by †he North German Chorus. There are profuse program notes in English, French and German. Excellent audio in these recordings made November 2016 in Abtei Marienmünster†er Hall.

R.E.B. (October 2017)