Many collectors would agree that Sviatoslav Richter was the greatest pianist of the 20th century. His enormous recorded legacy hides hundreds of treasures, many of which are included in this beautiful 51CD set. Released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth (20th March 2015), the edition encompasses his complete Decca, Philips and DG recordings, including his Sofia Recital as well as his collaborations with Rostropovich, Karajan and Benjamin Britten.
Hip-O Select’s 2010 double-disc set Sweet Dreams: The Complete Decca Masters (1960-1963) gathers all of the 51 master takes Patsy Cline recorded with Owen Bradley after she left 4 Star Records for Decca in 1960, running right until her tragic death in 1963. This is the first time all these master takes have been issued in a complete set, which is hard to believe because they form the core of Cline’s legacy. Patsy had been recording frequently since 1954 when she first signed a deal with 4 Star, but the label’s president, Bill McCall, insisted that she only recorded songs for which he owned the publishing rights, a restrictive deal that resulted in only one hit, the classic career-making “Walkin’ After Midnight.”
This is a superb collection comprised of Billie Davis' singles for England's Decca Records, most of them dating between 1967 and 1970 (with four tracks from her 1963 stint with the label), and augmented with a handful of tracks from her self-titled 1970 album. It's all superb girl group-style pop, with a distinctly American, soulful edge and even an occasional psychedelic intrusion, highlighted by her spirited rendition of "I Want You to Be My Baby" and her impassioned version of "Wasn't It You," among other tracks. There's not a loser in the bunch and, in fact, the songs all show an amazing consistency despite origins as different as Joe Cocker, Carole King, Ian Anderson (yes, she covered "Living in the Past"), and Neil Diamond. Strangely enough, the appending of the four early Decca sides at the end of the CD is sort of jarring, throwing listeners back to an earlier (though still eminently enjoyable) era of British pop/rock. The sound is excellent throughout and the CD comes with an excellent career overview on Davis.
Although Ute Lemper is best known to her devoted cult following as one of the great cabaret singers of all time, the German-born singer began as a stage actress, and has continued this career in tandem with her cabaret work. 1995's CITY OF STRANGERS combines the two sides of Lemper's musical persona, putting songs by the idiosyncratically brilliant Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim next to chansons by the equally unique French composer Jacques Prevert.
THE ANALOGUE YEARS presents a 50-Album overview across 54 CDs, in original jackets, of the celebrated international recordings that emerged from the London-based record label in that pre-digital era.
Here is another recording of Liszt s Sonata displaying absolute mastery, complete insight. With Bolet one is aware of Liszt the transcendental virtuoso who discovered whole new areas of expression within the piano. -Gramophone.