Post by Sol L. Siegel
On Tue, 19 Aug 2008 19:32:52 -0700, Bob Harper
Post by Bob Harper
...your recommendations for recordings, especially of the orchestral
and chamber music, are solicited.
There have been many threads on this. But I'll give you my $.02
Symphonies: The Boult box on Universal is mostly mono, but also close
to definitive. Stereo versions I like (involving duplications of
"Sea Symphony": Boult/EMI, Previn
"London Symphony": Those two again, and the earlier (ca. 1958)
Barbirolli, coupled with 8.
"Pastoral Symphony": Previn, though I don't care for the 4 it's
4- Bernstein. I have the Daniel, which seemed fine, but I have to
play it again to be certain. There are also historic renditions by
Stokowski, Mitropoulos and the composer that should be heard.
5- Handley, Barbirolli/EMI. Koussevitzky/Boston may be best of all,
despite the ancient sound - what string playing!
6 & 9 - Handley, Previn
7 & 8 - Previn, Bakels
Job - Handley
There's a Boult/EMI disc including The Lark Ascending and Serenade to
Music that's as essential as any of these; Amazon's selling it for $8.
The cantata Dona Nobis Pacem is a major-major IMHO, which is perhaps
warped by the fact that I once sang with a choir in it. Boult and
Thomson are just fine here. A disc I'd like to hear but haven't is
the composer's live performances of this and the 5th Symphony.
After that: the operas The Pilgrim's Progress and Sir John in Love,
EMI's splendid recordings of which have made it to CD.
- Sol L. Siegel, Philadelphia, PA USA
A good choice above as far as I am concerned. Essentially Previn figures
a lot, and I agree that he is mostly excellent. The Previn/LSO
combination was dynamite at its best. Also agree about Handley's Job,
and his 5th symphony, which rate very highly, although I was
disappointed with his 3&4 and 7&8 couplings, which lacked any real
urgency. I still maintain that in the IceFall section of the 7th, that
the off-key horns, set against the organ, is far more terrifying in
Previn's account, regardless of the fact that many criticize the dynamic
of the organ. It isn't the organ that terrifies here, but the LSO horns,
and Previn has it entirely correct, and he creates a truly terrifying
picture. Previn, in general, goes for atmosphere, and it pays off.
Not too far back, I got the Haitink set, and discovered that apart from
a very disappointing London symphony, there is much to be enjoyed,
especially with richer sound, and a more symphonic approach. His Tallis
is rather weak though, as is his Lark Ascending, and for the Tallis then
Silvestri, and or Barbirolli, are much finer.
I have yet to get Boult's set Belart set, but am put off by it being mono.
As for the 'ancients' then I may be missing out, but I hear good reports
about Lenny's 4th too, but Previn or Haitink are very good too, and
nothing clangs or chimes as brilliantly as with Previn in the 8th,
although Barbirolli really scores here. Agree about Daniel's 4th too,
but is it as biting as Previn? I think not.
Ray (Dawg) Hall, Taree