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Leopold Stokowski, New Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons; Handel: Messiah (2004)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Leopold Stokowski, New Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons; Handel: Messiah (2004)

Leopold Stokowski, New Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons; Handel: Messiah (Highlights) (2004)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 565 Mb | Total time: 45:50+58:05 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Cala Records | # CACD0538 | Recorded: 1966

As the notes to this welcome release make clear Stokowski had never conducted The Four Seasons before the Phase Four series of LPs of which this is so engaging an example. He, soloist Hugh Bean and the New Philharmonia went to the BBC’s Maida Vale studios and taped it for later broadcast (in the end it wasn’t until 1968 that it hit the airwaves), recording it the following day. The late Hugh Bean has recalled that it was in the can in one session – Stokowski remaining the professional to his batonless fingertips.

Daniel Barenboim, English Chamber Orchestra, John Barbirolli, New Philharmonia Orchestra - Mozart, Verdi: Requiem (2002)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Daniel Barenboim, English Chamber Orchestra, John Barbirolli,  New Philharmonia Orchestra - Mozart, Verdi: Requiem (2002)

Daniel Barenboim, English Chamber Orchestra, John Barbirolli, New Philharmonia Orchestra - Mozart, Verdi: Requiem (2002)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 561 Mb | Total time: 72:04+75:56 | Scans included
Classical | Label: EMI | # 5 75383 2 | Recorded: 1969-70, 1971

This double CD makes an excellent introduction to two great works even if other individual recordings might be preferable. This is particularly true of the Mozart in that although the ladies are peerless vocally, Barenboim's conducting is quite heavy and neither Gedda - typically somewhat pinched and throaty at times - nor Fischer-Dieskau - too light and woolly of tone for the bass-baritone required - is ideal.

Andre Previn, London Symphony Chorus & Orchestra - Carl Orff: Carmina Burana (1998)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Andre Previn,  London Symphony Chorus & Orchestra - Carl Orff: Carmina Burana (1998)

André Previn, London Symphony Chorus & Orchestra - Carl Orff: Carmina Burana (1998)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 310 Mb | Total time: 62:43 | Scans included
Classical | Label: EMI | # 7243 5 66899 2 3 | Recorded: 1975

André Previn's 1975 EMI recording of Carmina Burana sounds better than ever in this new transfer. The analog tape hiss has been tamed, yet there's more "air" between the notes and a greater sense of dynamic and timbral definition. Engineering-wise, the mid-70s were golden years for EMI, and the rhythmic verve, dramatic momentum, and unbuttoned joy that Previn and his brilliant forces project still pack a sonic wallop. The soloists especially are outstanding. Thomas Allen navigates Orff's cruelly high tessitura with no effort, and Sheila Armstrong wraps her warm, flexible pipes around "In trutina mentis dubia" to moving effect.