London Symphony Orchestra, Istvan Kertesz – Dvorak: Complete Symphonies, Tone Poems, Overtures & Requiem (2016) [PrestoClassical 24bit/96kHz]

Antonin Dvorak – Complete Symphonies, Tone Poems, Overtures & Requiem – London Symphony Orchestra, Istvan Kertesz (2016) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 11:02:40 minutes | 12,6 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: PrestoClassical | Booklet, Front Cover | © Decca
Recording: 1963-1970, Kingsway Hall, London; Remastered at 24-bit 96kHz from original analogue tapes by Ian Jones, Simon Gibson and Andrew Walter, Abbey Road Studios, London

It took just two days before the microphones for István Kertész to imprint his name in the minds of Decca’s senior executives. The Budapest-born conductor’s debut recording for the label, made with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in March 1961, projected his high artistry and deep imagination into a bold and individual reading of Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony. Producer Ray Minshull and sound engineer James Brown liked what they heard at Vienna’s Sofiensaal. They recognised Kertész as a conductor for the new stereo age: he was young and handsome — eternally marketable qualities — yet owned the charismatic power, mature musicianship and personal warmth required to draw the best from the best. Minshull’s post-session report opened the door to Kertész’s productive relationship with the label, one that lasted until he fell victim to a tragic drowning accident in the sea near the Israeli city of Herzliya in 1973.

Kertész launched his Decca discography with Dvořák. He soon underlined his credentials as an assured interpreter of repertoire landmarks with recordings of the Grieg and Schumann piano concertos, made with Julius Katchen and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and a disc devoted to a handful of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances and works by Smetana with the Israel Philharmonic.
The partnership between conductor and label gathered momentum when Kertész was engaged to make his first recording in February 1963 with the London Symphony Orchestra. He had worked with them a few weeks earlier in concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall and had established a good rapport with an orchestra recently enlivened by an influx of outstanding young players. While their concert of works by Mozart, Bartók and Dvořák attracted fewer than six hundred paying customers to the South Bank, their recording of Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony and Scherzo capriccioso drew critical acclaim and set secure foundations for what would soon become Kertész’s complete cycle of the Bohemian composer’s symphonies with the LSO. Those and subsequent sessions at Kingsway Hall, together with successful dates together on overseas tours, helped convince the orchestra’s board that Kertész was the man to fill the post of its principal conductor, vacant since the death of the veteran Pierre Monteux in 1964. By the time Kertész took charge in October 1965, he had already added a fine album of works by Kodály and Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony to his LSO discography.
Kertész was compared by some to Arthur Nikisch, among the most influential conductors of the early 1900s and a prominent figure in the LSO’s early history. It was clear, however, that Kertész’s approach to making music was more expansive, less restrained than that associated with his famed Hungarian predecessor. Of course he could harness and direct an orchestra’s dramatic power. But Kertész did so with an instinctive feeling for how drama is conditioned by the ebb and flow of emotions, of how tension often arises gradually from a context of genial warmth and relaxation. He turned these qualities to advantage in his Dvořák interpretations with the LSO; meanwhile, Decca’s sound engineers — Kenneth Wilkinson chief among them for the conductor’s Dvořák sessions — found the ideal microphone rig to register every detail of Kertész’s intentions within the matchless acoustics of Kingsway Hall.
The list of producers and engineers involved with the creation of Kertész’s Decca Dvořák recordings belongs to the broader history of stereo recording during the 1960s, a pioneering age of plenty for record companies and consumers alike. Ray Minshull, in the control room at Kingsway Hall for the first of the conductor’s Dvořák symphony discs in 1963, oversaw the series as it unfolded, with sessions in March 1964, December 1965, and October, November and December 1966. His place was taken in 1968 by Erik Smith for Dvořák’s D minor Serenade for wind instruments and by Christopher Raeburn for the composer’s Requiem Mass, and in 1970 by David Harvey, who came to Kingsway Hall as producer of Kertész’s final studio date with Dvořák, an album of symphonic poems and overtures, The Water Goblin and My Home among them.
Although Kenneth Wilkinson was responsible for maintaining the consistency and finesse of the celebrated Decca sound for most of Kertész’s Dvořák sessions, the series benchmark was set in 1963 by Arthur Lilley and Michael Mailes. Lilley was known not least for his role in developing the label’s Phase 4 Stereo, working with such masters of light music as Mantovani and Edmundo Ros, while Mailes had been part of Decca’s engineering team since joining the company as a sixteen-year-old trainee in the early 1950s. The sound they achieved for Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony, shrewdly balanced, full-bodied and clear, complemented the LSO’s playing and caught the collective swagger of an orchestra then flourishing on the international stage. It was essentially preserved under Wilkinson’s watch, with occasional assistance from James Lock, Jack Law, Gordon Parry, Stanley Goodall and Tryggvi Tryggvason, adding to the enduring value of István Kertész’s historic legacy of Dvořák recordings. –Andrew Stewart

Tracklist:

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

Symphony No.1 in C Minor, Op.3, B.9 – “The Bells of Zlonice”
1 1. Maestoso – Allegro 00:19:02
2 2. Adagio di molto 00:13:43
3 3. Allegretto 00:08:43
4 4. Finale (Allegro animato) 00:12:47

Symphony No.2 in B Flat Major, Op.4, B.12
5 1. Allegro con moto 00:16:33
6 2. Poco adagio 00:14:11
7 3. Scherzo (Allegro con brio) 00:12:35
8 4. Finale (Allegro con fuoco) 00:11:15

Symphony No.3 in E Flat Major, Op.10, B.34
9 1. Allegro moderato 00:11:39
10 2. Adagio molto, tempo di marcia 00:16:12
11 3. Finale (Allegro vivace) 00:08:02

Symphony No.4 in D Minor, Op.13, B.41
12 1. Allegro 00:12:46
13 2. Andante sostenuto e molto cantabile 00:11:19
14 3. Scherzo (Allegro feroce) 00:06:21
15 4. Finale (Allegro con brio) 00:09:50

Symphony No.5 in F Major, Op.76, B.54
16 1. Allegro, ma non troppo 00:12:54
17 2. Andante con moto 00:08:15
18 3. Scherzo. Allegro scherzando 00:06:42
19 4. Allegro molto 00:12:22

Symphony No.6 in D Major, Op.60, B.112
20 1. Allegro non tanto 00:15:57
21 2. Adagio 00:11:36
22 3. Scherzo (Furiant: Presto) 00:07:56
23 4. Finale (Allegro con spirito) 00:10:25

Symphony No.7 in D Minor, Op.70, B.141
24 1. Allegro maestoso 00:10:24
25 2. Poco adagio 00:10:10
26 3. Scherzo (Vivace) 00:07:23
27 4. Finale (Allegro) 00:09:21

Symphony No.8 in G Major, Op.88, B.163
28 1. Allegro con brio 00:10:09
29 2. Adagio 00:10:03
30 3. Allegretto grazioso – Molto vivace 00:06:05
31 4. Allegro ma non troppo 00:09:10

Symphony No.9 in E Minor, Op.95, B.178
32 1. Adagio – Allegro molto 00:12:33
33 2. Largo 00:12:29
34 3. Scherzo (Molto vivace) 00:07:27
35 4. Allegro con fuoco 00:11:19

Requiem, Op.89, B.165
36 Requiem aeternam 00:10:41
37 Graduale 00:05:08
38 Dies irae 00:02:09
39 Tuba mirum 00:08:35
40 Quid sum miser 00:06:02
41 Recordare, Jesu pie 00:06:59
42 Confutatis maledictis 00:04:15
43 Lacrimosa 00:06:12
44 Offertorium (Domine, Jesu Christe) 00:11:12
45 Hostias 00:11:18
46 Sanctus 00:05:56
47 Pie Jesu 00:05:12
48 Agnus Dei 00:10:59

Serenade in D Minor, Op.44, B.77
49 1. Moderato, quasi marcia 00:03:25
50 2. Minuetto (Tempo di minuetto) 00:06:13
51 3. Andante con moto 00:08:32
52 4. Finale (Allegro molto) 00:06:11
53 Scherzo capriccioso, Op.66, B.131 00:11:54
54 Symphonic Variations, Op.78, B.70 00:23:19
55 My Home, Op.62, B.125a 00:09:36
56 Hussite Overture, Op.67, B.132 00:14:14
57 In Nature’s Realm, Op.91, B.168 00:13:36
58 Carnival, Op.92, B.169 00:09:05
59 Othello, Op.93, B.174 00:14:56
60 The Water Goblin, Op.107, B.195 00:19:38
61 The Noonday Witch, Op.108, B.196 00:13:51
62 The Golden Spinning Wheel, Op.109, B.197 00:26:25

Personnel:
London Symphony Orchestra
István Kertész, conductor
Pilar Lorengar, soprano
Erzsébet Komlóssy, mezzo-soprano
Róbert Ilosfalvy, tenor
Tom Krause, baritone
The Ambrosian Singers
John McCarthy, chorus master

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