BACH-STOKOWSKI: Tccata and Fugue in D minor. Prelude in E flat
minor. Arioso from Harpsichord Concerto No.5. Prelude on Ein Feste
Glauben all' an Einem Gott. Adagio from Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in
C minor. Es ist Vollbracht from St. John Passion. Christ lag in Todesbanden
Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor. Final Chorus from St. Matthew Passion
HANDEL-HARTY: Water Music Suite. SIBLIUS: Pohjola's Daughter,
Op. 49. DEBUSSY: Nuage and Fetes from Nocturnes. BEETHOVEN: Symhony
No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67.
This is a superb performance of Aida recorded August 10 - 24, 1955 for EMI. Callas was in her prime t he time, just before her voice began to lose control. She manages the high C in "O patria mia" easily,and she is a magnificent, sensitive Aida. She does not add the notorious high E flat at the end of final scene of Act II as she did in the live Mexican performancesof five years earlier (you can hear it on You Tube). The complete performance once was issued on CD (REVIEW). Andrew Rose's XR remastering has worked wonders with the original recording. Recommended!
Bah always was a favorite of Leopold Stokowski and he made his own transcriptionsttions of many of his woks, the most famous being the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. When Stokowski was conducting the NBC Symphony in broadcasts 1941 - 1944 he often include tthese on his programs and Pristine here has assembled a group of them, as listed above. As a bonus we have a non-Stokowski transcription, the closing chorus from the St. Matthew Passion, from a broadcast March 31, 1944. Pristine's remastering is skillful, and tthese are welcome additions to the Stokowski discography, although he made commercial recordings of most of them,
Arturo Toscanini hired Arturo Rodzinski to help form the NBC Symphony Orchestra, which later would play a major part in Toscanini's career. Here have Rodzinski in a concert broadcast December 4, 1937, a varied program. The Orchestra, this early in its career, was not the virtuoso ensemble it later turned into. Handel and Debussy usually are not associated with Rodzinski; later he would record Sibelius' Symphony No. 5 in Cleveland available on Pristine PASC 618 (REVIEW). The opening announcement is included on this new disk and it is surprisingly distorted. However, other tracks sound remarkable good in Andrew Rose's XR ambient stereo remastering We look forward to future issues in this series.
R.E.B. (June 2021)