Today we take high fidelity sound quality for granted, but how did it start? When was the moment when compressed and scratchy sound gave way to natural, realistic sound that captured the whole picture of a performance?
Decca Sound ‘Mono Years’ seeks to answer that question and shows how, 70 years ago, amidst war-time privations, a small team at Decca made technological breakthroughs that brought hi-fi to the world. This latest cube explores Decca’s earliest high-fidelity history, and restores some restores critically acclaimed albums from ensembles such as the Trio di Trieste, Quintetto Chigiano and Griller Quartet which have not been available since their original LP release more than sixty years ago. An equally impressive array of soloists includes pianists Clifford Curzon, Julius Katchen, Friedrich Gulda and Moura Lypmany and violinists Ruggiero Ricci and Alfredo Campoli. Several generations of cellists are represented with recordings by Pierre Fournier, Maurice Gendron and Zara Nelsova.
This 53-CD set is more than the sum of its parts. While not all the performances and recordings are top-notch, the overall quality is very high and as a historical overview of a label known for its sonic as well as musical merits, it's full of treasures. The Mercury sound at its best is vivid and still sounds remarkable and many of these recordings - such as the marches, show tunes and orchestral showpieces conducted by Frederic Fennell - demonstrate this amply. But it's not all lollipops by any means.
Between 1980 and 1998 Simon Rattle conducted no less than 934 concerts with the CBSO. Together they performed works by many 20th-century composers, as well as established favourites, and gave a total of 16 world premieres. Rattle also made 69 recordings for EMI with the orchestra. This box brings together that recorded legacy, which includes pieces by composers pivotal to his work, such as Mahler, Sibelius and Szymanowski, as well as some of the new compositions he championed — Nicholas Maw’s Odyssy, Mark Anthony Turnage’s Momentum, Three Screaming Popes and Drowned Out, and Thomas Adès’ Asyla.
Originally released on ECM in 1971, and here reissued on CD in Japan, this historic date features the two British bassists engaged while at the top of their powers, exploring not only tonality and the dynamic and harmonic possibilities that exist between two double basses, but also the expanded notions of how the different players' styles and musical intuitions dovetail, rather than work in opposition. Holland's pizzicato attack is far more languid and lush than Phillips,' whose style is over the top; they approach each encounter as one in which sheer propulsiveness becomes an aesthetic.
Recorded at RoSfest 2015, Glass Hammer “Double Live” marks the band’s first live album in over ten years. The Deluxe Edtion will feature 2 cds and 1 bonus DVD of the show that Prog Magazine declared as “the boldest set of the weekend”…
It was a deeply affecting and appropriate farewell. The spirit of Claudio Abbado, the great conductor and founder of orchestras who died in January 2014, was present in music, words, and silence. Thousands upon thousands came to the Basilica di Santo Stefano in Bologna and the Piazza della Scala in Milan to pay their last respects. In Lucerne, the members of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA paid tribute to this extraordinary man and friend with a deeply moving concert – “The emotional intensity was unbelievable; this could only be achieved by true musicians, by those capable of love.” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) Friends and associates look back fondly on Claudio Abbado and speak of how they experienced these moments of grief and farewell.