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Charles Mackerras, London Philarmonic Orchestra - Elgar: Falstaff Op.68, Enigma Variations Op.36 (1998)

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Charles Mackerras, London Philarmonic Orchestra - Elgar: Falstaff Op.68, Enigma Variations Op.36 (1998)

Charles Mackerras, London Philarmonic Orchestra - Elgar: Falstaff Op.68, Enigma Variations Op.36 (1998)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 255 Mb | Total time: 64:29 | Scans included
Classical | Label: EMI | # 5 72553 2 | Recorded: 1985

At the end of an overlong day laden with teaching and other duties, Edward Elgar lit a cigar, sat at his piano and began idling over the keys. To amuse his wife, the composer began to improvise a tune and played it several times, turning each reprise into a caricature of the way one of their friends might have played it or of their personal characteristics. "I believe that you are doing something which has never been done before," exclaimed Mrs. Elgar. Thus was born one of music's great works of original conception, and Elgar's greatest large-scale "hit": the Enigma Variations. The enigma is twofold: each of the 14 variations refers to a friend of Elgar's, who is depicted by the nature of the music, or by sonic imitation of laughs, vocal inflections, or quirks, or by more abstract allusions.

John Eliot Gardiner, Orchestre de l’Opera de Lyon - Gluck: Iphigenie en Aulide; La Rencontre imprevue; Don Juan [4 CDs] (2008)

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John Eliot Gardiner, Orchestre de l’Opera de Lyon - Gluck: Iphigenie en Aulide; La Rencontre imprevue; Don Juan [4 CDs] (2008)

John Eliot Gardiner, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Lyon, The English Baroque Soloisits - Gluck: Iphigénie en Aulide; La Rencontre imprévue; Don Juan (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1.18 Gb | Total time: 264:35 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Erato | # 2564 69562-0 | Recorded: 1981, 1987, 1990

This four disc set from Erato opens with Gluck’s three act lyric tragedy Iphigénie en Aulide, his first original ‘French’ opera for the fashionable Paris Opéra. In 1773 Gluck had been persuaded that he could establish himself at the Paris Opéra (also known as L’Opéra) by François du Roullet, an attaché at the French Embassy in Vienna. Baille du Roullet provided Gluck with the libretto for Iphigénie en Aulide, based on the tragedy of Racine and founded on the play of Euripides. Initially the Director of L’Opéra hesitated in accepting Gluck’s score. Fortunately he had a influential ally in Marie-Antoinette, the Queen of France, to whom he had taught singing and harpsichord. The first staging of Iphigénie en Aulide was at the Paris Opéra in 1774.

Modestas Pitrėnas, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra - Čiurlionis: The Sea; In the Forest; Kęstutis (2020)

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Modestas Pitrėnas, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra - Čiurlionis: The Sea; In the Forest; Kęstutis (2020)

Modestas Pitrėnas, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra - Čiurlionis: The Sea; In the Forest; Kęstutis (2020)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 229 Mb | Total time: 59:15 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Ondine | ODE 13442 | Recorded: 2019

This release by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Modestas Pitrėnas includes the complete surviving symphonic oeuvre of the great Lithuanian composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911) restored back into their original versions. Čiurlionis was conceptually ahead of his time and the uniqueness and aesthetic value of his compositions have been fully understood only during the last decades.

Howard Griffiths, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt - Offenbach: Folies Symphoniques, Ouvertures (2019)

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Howard Griffiths, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt - Offenbach: Folies Symphoniques, Ouvertures (2019)

Howard Griffiths, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt - Offenbach: Folies symphoniques, Ouvertures (2019)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 299 Mb | Total time: 57:54 | Scans included
Classical | Label: CPO | 555 275-2 | Recorded: 2017, 2018

As Adolf Tegtmeier, the alter ego of Jürgen von Manger, knew quite well, overtures exercise an important function in the opera: ‘They begin, you see, right off with the curtain and start by playing all the melodies in a row, everything that happens to come up later. But this is just to give you the chance to familiarize yourself with the music. And of course it’s important … so that later on you don’t get such a big shock’. The orchestral overtures brought together on the present recording make the listener eager to hear each of the particular works following them.

Martyn Brabbins, BBC Philharmonic - Arnold Bax: London Pageant; Concertante; Suite from 'Tamara'; Cathaleen-ní-Hoolihan (2001)

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Martyn Brabbins, BBC Philharmonic - Arnold Bax: London Pageant; Concertante; Suite from 'Tamara'; Cathaleen-ní-Hoolihan (2001)

Martyn Brabbins, BBC Philharmonic - Arnold Bax: London Pageant; Concertante; Suite from 'Tamara'; Cathaleen-ní-Hoolihan (2001)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 298 Mb | Total time: 74:33 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Chandos‎ | CHAN 9879 | Recorded: 2000

This disc in Chandos’ continuing survey of the works of Arnold Bax contains world premiere recordings. It opens with the London Pageant, which Bax composed for the 1937 British Coronation. The piece, ostensibly a march but with the dimensions and diversity of a symphonic poem, rings with brightly glittering flourishes suitable for the occasion, and contains more than a hint of Elgar’s celebratory style. Next comes the 1949 Concertante for Three Winds and Orchestra, a beautifully melodic work in the style of Bax’s later symphonies that features a different instrumental soloist–English horn, clarinet, and French horn–in each of the three movements, with all coming together for the brief finale.

Vasily Petrenko, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Louisa Tuck - R.Strauss: Don Quixote; Don Juan; Till Eulenspiegels (2019)

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Vasily Petrenko, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Louisa Tuck - R.Strauss: Don Quixote; Don Juan; Till Eulenspiegels (2019)

Vasily Petrenko, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Louisa Tuck - Richard Strauss: Don Quixote; Don Juan; Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (2019)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 313 Mb | Total time: 76:27 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Lawo Classics ‎| LWC1184 | Recorded: 2017

Vasily Petrenko is one of the most significant and galvanizing musicians alive. He became famous for his transformative work at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the oldest orchestra in the United Kingdom, where he refashioned the orchestra's sound, reconnected the organization to its home city and presided over a huge increase in ticket sales. Vasily is one of the most acclaimed classical recording artists alive and has won numerous accolades for his recordings of Russian repertoire, including two Gramophone awards.

Carlos Bonell, Charles Dutoit, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal - Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez (1988)

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Carlos Bonell, Charles Dutoit, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal - Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez (1988)

Carlos Bonell, Charles Dutoit, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal - Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez, Fantasía para un Gentilhombre; Falla: El sombrero de tres picos (1988)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 232 Mb | Total time: 55:59 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Decca ‎| 417 748-2 | Recorded: 1980, 1981

Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez is performed and recorded more than all the other guitar concertos put together, and the outer movements are full of Spanish warmth and color, framing a central adagio that builds in intensity like a poignant prayer. This recording is justly famous for "Bonell's imaginative account of the solo part" and "an exceptionally clear, atmospheric recording".

Riccardo Chailly, Lucerne Festival Orchestra - Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé Suites 1 & 2, Boléro (2019) [BDRip]

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Riccardo Chailly,  Lucerne Festival Orchestra - Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé Suites 1 & 2, Boléro (2019) [BDRip]

Riccardo Chailly, Lucerne Festival Orchestra - Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales, La valse, Daphnis et Chloé Suites Nos. 1 & 2, Boléro (2019) [BDRip]
BluRay-rip | AVC | MKV 1920x1080 / 6215 kbps / 29,97 fps | 87 min | 4,18 Gb
Audio: AC3 / 6ch / 48.0 KHz / 640 Kbps
Classical | Accentus Music

Riccardo Chailly pays tribute to Maurice Ravel with a program of waltzes and wild reveries of ecstasy and elegance. He ushers us into Ravels musical worlds filled with ever-changing colors, scents, and flavors: the pulsating three-quarter time of waltzes that reflect just how much the Great War transformed European culture, the ancient love story of Daphnis and Chloé, and the relentless rhythms of Boléro. Magnifique! Recorded live at the Concert Hall of KKL Luzern, August 2018.

Antal Doráti, Detroit Symphony Orchestra - Béla Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin; Music For Strings, Percussion & Celesta (1985)

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Antal Doráti, Detroit Symphony Orchestra - Béla Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin; Music For Strings, Percussion & Celesta (1985)

Antal Doráti, Detroit Symphony Orchestra - Béla Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin; Music For Strings, Percussion & Celesta (1985)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 278 Mb | Total time: 60:32 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Decca ‎| 411 894-2 | Recorded: 1983

Bela Bartok was indisputably one of the 20th century's greatest composers; and his very modern approach, leavened with the rhythms of his native Hungary's folk music, are to be found on this recording that pairs his complete 1924 ballet "The Miraculous Mandarin" with his 1936 "Music For Strings, Percussion, & Celesta."

Hervé Niquet, Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra - Max d'Ollone: Cantates, chœurs & musique symphonique (2013)

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Hervé Niquet, Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra - Max d'Ollone: Cantates, chœurs & musique symphonique (2013)

Hervé Niquet, Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, Flemish Radio Choir - Max d'Ollone: Cantates, chœurs & musique symphonique (2013)
XLD | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1.57 Gb | Total time: 51:06+54:40 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Ediciones Singulares ‎| ES 1010 | Recorded: 2012

Who today has heard of Max d'Ollone? He studied with Massenet, was a contemporary of Richard Strauss, composed operas and cultivated a sensuous and deeply Romantic approach to vocal music. The Prix de Rome competition gave him the opportunity to compose several impressive cantatas and pieces for chorus and orchestra, characterised by a combination of grandeur and refinement.

Andrew Manze, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending (2019)

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Andrew Manze, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending (2019)

Andrew Manze, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending; Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; Five Variants of ‘Dives and Lazarus’ (2019)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 292 Mb | Total time: 69:23 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Onyx Classics | ONYX 4212 | Recorded: 2017, 2019

Following their hugely successful cycle of Vaughan Williams’ nine symphonies, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is led by Andrew Manze in this album of the composer’s most popular shorter orchestral works. This disc features Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Fantasia on Greensleeves, The Lark Ascending and The Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus, as well as the rarely performed orchestral version of The Serenade to Music.

Karl Böhm, Berliner Philharmoniker ‎- Mozart: Haffner-Serenade, Divertimento für Bläser (1990)

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Karl Böhm, Berliner Philharmoniker ‎- Mozart: Haffner-Serenade, Divertimento für Bläser (1990)

Karl Böhm, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bläservereinigung der Wiener Philharmoniker ‎- Mozart: Haffner-Serenade, Divertimento für Bläser (1990)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 335 Mb | Total time: 70:19 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | # 429 806-4 | Recorded: 1972, 1976

Mozart was the only composer to successfully conquer this hybrid form. For him, an orchestral serenade meant a large work (often nearly an hour long) combining all of the parts of a symphony with several aspects of the concerto. There are marches, minuets, and sections featuring a solo violin or horn. Karl Bohm was a Mozart specialist–his interpretations have just the right combination of discipline and spontaneity. This is music from an era when the pace of life was much more leisurely than it is now. So sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert - Handel: Orchestral Works [6CD] (1985)

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Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert - Handel: Orchestral Works [6CD] (1985)

Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert - Handel: Orchestral Works [6CD] (1985)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1.67 Gb | Total time: 05:42:04 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Archiv Produktion ‎| # 423 149-2 | Recorded: 1981-1984

Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert's famed Handel recordings, performed with period instruments! Includes Water Music; Music for the Royal Fireworks; 6 Concerti Grossi, Op. 3; 12 Concerto Grossi, Op. 6; Concerto a due cori No. 3 in F major, "Concerto in Judas Maccabaeus," and more.

Susanna Mälkki, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra - Béla Bartók: The Wooden Prince; The Miraculous Mandarin Suite (2019)

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Susanna Mälkki, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra - Béla Bartók: The Wooden Prince; The Miraculous Mandarin Suite (2019)

Susanna Mälkki, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra - Béla Bartók: The Wooden Prince; The Miraculous Mandarin Suite (2019)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 307 Mb | Total time: 73:07 | Scans included
Classical | Label: BIS | # BIS-SACD-2328 | Recorded: 2017, 2018

The Wooden Prince and The Miraculous Mandarin are – together with the earlier opera Bluebeard’s Castle – the only stage works by Béla Bartók. They stand apart from the more abstract and often more explicitly folk-related character of the music that we primarily associate with the composer. They are nevertheless major achievements that in different ways highlight Bartók’s imaginative use of the modern orchestra. Set in an enchanted forest, The Wooden Prince is based on a fairytale-like libretto featuring a prince and princess.

Sakari Oramo, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra - Russian Masquerade: Prokofiev, Scriabin, Arensky, Tchaikovsky (2019)

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Sakari Oramo, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra - Russian Masquerade: Prokofiev, Scriabin, Arensky, Tchaikovsky (2019)

Sakari Oramo, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra - Russian Masquerade: Prokofiev, Scriabin, Arensky, Tchaikovsky (2019)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 276 Mb | Total time: 59:27 | Scans included
Classical | Label: BIS | BIS-SACD-2365 | Recorded: 2017

Composed in Russia between 1884 and 1917, the four works appearing on this disc all do so in some kind of disguise. Prokofiev and Scriabin both conceived their respective collections for the piano, and it is later arrangers that have adapted them for string orchestra. Rudolf Barshai took on Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives in 1962, selecting 15 of the 20 brief pieces and arranging them for his own ensemble, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. Scriabin’s Preludes received a similar treatment in 1999 when the Finnish composer Jouni Kaipainen chose 13 from the original 24, rearranging the order they appear in and transposing them in some cases.