Lovro Von Matacic – Balakirev: Thamar, Russia & Islamey (2022) [FLAC 24bit/192kHz]

Lovro Von Matacic – Balakirev: Thamar, Russia & Islamey (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 45:05 minutes | 849 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Toscanini lavished on the Philharmonia when, after the second of two all-Brahms concerts included in the present collection, he announced to the Orchestra’s founder Walter Legge that if he were ten years younger he would have all his published records withdrawn (meaning, one presumes, the ones he made with the NBC Symphony Orchestra in New York) and devote the rest of his life to recording the whole of his repertoire with the fledgling London Orchestra. Later still Toscanini recalled how when rehearsing Brahms’s Second Symphony for the same series at the Royal Festival Hall, he stopped only once; ‘for the only time in my life I was simply a musician making music with other musicians’ [‘The Birth of the Philharmonia’, The Times Saturday Review, December 27th 1975]. Listening now to those vigorous and transparent Brahms performances one senses mutual respect between the Orchestra, then merely seven years sold, and a conductor who many years earlier had led the premieres of Puccini’s La bohème and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and who before the Second World War was lionized at the Bayreuth Festival. Pre-War, Toscanini was in London leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra in coltish, firebrand accounts of Brahms’s Second and Fourth Symphonies, the latter, from 1935 (also available from Warner Classics) quite different in mood and texture from the equally energetic but more fastidiously balanced live Philharmonia version – also lacking the senseless firecracker intervention that you’ll hear in the Philharmonia finale!

Toscanini’s polar opposite, the German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, a Dyonisus to compare with Toscanini’s Apollo, made what is surely the Orchestra’s greatest opera recording, a surging traversal of Wagner’s music drama Tristan und Isolde, its vocal spearhead the great Norwegian soprano Kirsten Flagstad. Otto Klemperer’s live 1958 accounts of Strauss’s tone poems Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel are revelatory, for while there is discernible common ground between Toscanini’s Brahms in post-war New York and London, the extra shot of adrenalin that charges through Klemperer’s Don Juan, pushing the tempo as it goes, really makes you sit up. Suddenly his claim of being an ‘immoralist’ as opposed to the ‘moralist’ Bruno Walter makes perfect sense.

Tracklist:
01. Lovro von Matacic – Tamara (21:53)
02. Lovro von Matacic – Russia (13:44)
03. Lovro von Matacic – Islamey, Op. 18 (Orch. Schalk) (09:26)

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