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Klaus Tennstedt : The Great EMI Recordings (Coffret 14 CD)
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Descriptions du produit
Description du produit
Beethoven : Symphonies n°3 ‘Eroica’, 6 ‘Pastorale’ & 8 - Ouvertures : Prométhée,
Coriolan, Egmont, Fidelio, Leonore
Brahms : Symphonie n°1 - Un Requiem allemand * & ** - Schicksalslied **
Bruckner : Symphonie n°8
R. Strauss : Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra - Don Juan - Mort et transfiguration
Moussorgski : Une nuit sur le mont chauve
Kodály : ‘Háry János’ Suite
Prokofiev : ‘Lieutenant Kijé’ Suite
* Jessye Norman, Jorma Hynninen - **London Philharmonic Choir, BBC Symphonie Chorus
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Klaus Tennstedt
Bruckner : Symphonie n°4 ‘Romantique’
Dvorák : Symphonie n°9 ‘Nouveau monde’
Mendelssohn : Symphonie n°4 ‘Italienne’
Schubert : Symphonie n°9 ‘la Grande’
Schumann : Symphonies n°3 ‘Rhénane’ & 4 - Konzertstück pour 4 cors Op.86 ***
Wagner : Grandes pages symphoniques d’opéras (Le Ring, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Rienzi, Les Maîtres
chanteurs de Nuremberg)
*** Norbert Hauptmann, Manfred Klier, Christopher Kohler, Gerd Seifert
Berliner Philharmoniker / Klaus Tennstedt
Mahler : Symphonie n°1 ‘Titan’
Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Klaus Tennstedt
The Great EMI Recordings propose en 14CD l'art de Tennstedt à travers les plus grandes pages symphoniques du répertoire (en dehors des Mahler ci-dessus) avec les orchestres philharmoniques de Berlin et de Londres poussés à leur quintessence : Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Dvo?ák, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Richard Strauss. sans oublier les grandioses extraits d'opéras de Wagner !
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Le LPO est encore en bonne place dans ce coffret, même si la baguette de Tennstedt profite aussi du Chicago Symphony Orchestra dans une fameuse « Titan » qui répond à celles effectuées avec le LPO autant qu'à celle de Giulini également à Chicago ; et surtout des Berliner Philharmoniker dans une grande partie du coffret.Lire la suite ›
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Although occasionally patchy and inconsistent, Tennstedt's greatness is clearly revealed by these recordings; it helps that he is directing some of the finest orchestras of his or any day in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic and, of course, his beloved London Philharmonic Orchestra. It has often been said that Tennstedt was best live. Two symphonies here are live recordings; otherwise EMI has made a judicious selection from the studio recordings. For someone who had to be coaxed into the recording studio, Tennstedt was mighty busy for EMI in the mid 80's. I drew attention in my recent review of his similarly packaged and equally impressive Complete Mahler Symphonies EMI box set to what I might call his tectonic quality; whatever he is conducting is moulded and shaped in function of his overview of the music's structural integrity. Very often, one begins by thinking that Tennstedt has undercooked the tempo and tension a piece requires, only to be ultimately convinced, if not seduced, by the aptness of his pacing; Tennstedt delivers climactic release in his own time.
His beat is not in fact by any means extreme in the Celibadache fashion, although amongst the most daringly slow items here is the Brahms Requiem, which takes risks with etiolated tempi but stays this side of the stodginess that mars Rattle's account with the BPO. I think it's a grand interpretation, far preferable to Gardiner's perkiness and in the tradition of Klemperer, Previn and - my favourite versions - Karajan. As is so often the case with Tennstedt, the metronome will tell you that the speeds are abnormally slow yet he injects momentum and tension when required. A key point for me is "Aber des Herrn Wort" which takes off as it should and the contribution of the two soloists is superb: both Jorma Hynninen and Jessye Norman have big, V8 voices whose majesty and might suit Tennstedt's sepulchral conception. Brahms' First Symphony is played on a comparably large scale. It is not so much slower than my favourite interpretation, which is one of Karajan's later recordings, the live performance at the Royal Festival Hall in 1988 on the Testament label.
Ultimately, Tennstedt's conception of how music from the Central European tradition should be played is all of a piece: he favours a massive solidity, unfailingly beautiful orchestral tone and a constant sense of spiritual profundity. In this, he reminds me very much of Karajan. Just as that conductor has no shortage of detractors, Tennstedt may be criticised for the very features which are virtues to some and flaws to others. I am puzzled by reviewers elsewhere who first confirm Tennstedt's stature in the pantheon of Twentieth Century conductors then go on either flatly to excoriate or at least damn with faint praise the bulk of the recordings here. Just as Karajan's insistence upon rich tone from his orchestra was condemned as "superficial", "bland" and "smooth", Tennstedt's direction of the LPO and the Berlin Philharmonic may be dismissed as prizing "pure sound" above interpretative novelty; certainly, I was newly struck by the virtuosity of the playing here and its sheer beauty as sound.
Time and again when listening to these discs I found myself warming to Tennstedt's sincerity of utterance. Not everything here is in marmoreal vein: his "Also sprach Zarathustra" is thrilling and takes its place among my preferred versions alongside Karajan and Maazel, while the "Night on a Bald Mountain" is similarly electric. I have long known and loved the thrust and drive of his 1978 analogue recording of Schumann's mini-masterpiece the "Konzertstück" for four horns and orchestra.
You may alight on any of the big symphonies in this collection and find yourself swept along by Tennstedt's power and conviction, although I would particularly commend his energised versions of the two Schumann symphonies and the marvellously fluid and flexible performance of Dvorak's "New World". Bruckner's grand gestures also ideally suit this most Romantic of conductors. However, I can understand doubts about the live Mahler symphony. This extends some five or six minutes beyond the norm - although some of that is vociferous applause at the end. Tennstedt uses the extra time to underline a coarser, more menacing mood than he evoked in his more delicate 1978 recording, yet the climax of the fourth movement is heroic, giving full scope to the Chicago brass, and the audience reaction is appropriately enthusiastic. This account by no means bored me and I suspect its measured majesty will grow on me with time. The Beethoven symphonies, however, could be termed conventional in the same way that Gunter Wand's Beethoven can seem faceless to some and faithful to others. I find them to be direct and unfussy. The "Eroica" is a live recording from a 1991 performance in the Royal Festival Hall and presses all the right buttons. Both the "Pastoral" and the Eighth are studio recordings: the former is light, sprung and joyful, the latter weighty in traditional mode. Similarly, I find no fault with the overtures which seem to me to models of concentrated propulsion.
The "Tannhäuser" overture on the second Wagner disc of orchestral excerpts is especially thrilling and powerful; indeed that disc of overtures and preludes is markedly more exciting than the disc of orchestral excerpts from the "Ring". The playing in the latter is sometimes a tad stodgy, just as Tennstedt's accompaniments to Jessye Norman's Wagner recital album of the same era were uninspired and as such constitutes one of this set's few comparative failures, rather as the Mahler Nine on the comparable bargain Mahler box set failed to lift off. The Berlin Philharmonic is for once hardly on form: the strings in "Wotan's Farewell" are decidedly edgy, orchestral tone is often rather coarse and blatty, there are blips in the brass playing and ensemble occasionally goes awry. To compound the disappointment, whoever typeset or proofread the booklet text thinks Wagner wrote something called "Forest Murmers".
The recording quality on this set is not perhaps the finest; apart from two Schumann items in analogue sound most here are early digital and hence rather opaque, yet still too bright when the sound peaks, with too great a contrast between loud and soft. Nonetheless, the sound is very acceptable, if not on the same level even as the recent spate of bargain box sets in analogue sound from Sony/RCA which are exceptionally full and vivid.
We have the standard EMI bargain box packaging: cardboard sleeves and a booklet containing timing and location details plus a biographical article about the conductor.
Like Kubelik, Tennstedt could be dismayingly variable, and when he was off, his roots as an obscure Kapellmeister in East Germany showed. The performance would be stolid, conventional, and dutiful. Some of that is evident here, even in a composer like Beethoven who was central to Tennstedt's repertoire - his live Beethoven far surpasses anything EMI captured. There is also the issue of the conductor's long struggle with cancer (as Kubelik struggled with crippling arthritis), but there is no simple correlation here. At moments when he was gravely ill, Tennstedt could summon a fiery, phoenix-like performance.
Since so few listeners are likely to know all of these recordings beforehand, let me give them simple ratings with a few comments, realizing, of course, that this is my personal view.
Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 'Eroica'
Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 'Pastoral'
Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93
Fidelio Overture Op. 72c
Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b
The Creatures of Prometheus Overture, Op. 43
Coriolan Overture, Op. 62
Egmont Overture, Op. 84
Score: B- to C-
I cannot explain how a conductor of riveting Beethoven performances could turn around and produce thoroughly ordinary ones. Anyone who came to Tennstedt's Beethoven symphonies through his studio recordings for EMI would hardly guess at the galvanizing maestro heard on several BBC Legends reissues. Those CDs of the First, Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth are glorious. These of the Eroica, Sixth, and Eighth lack all distinction. Even the overtures, which should be sure fire, are variable.
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
Tennstedt avoided the Brahms symphonies but left an impressive live Sym. # 1 on BBC Legends.
Sadly, this 1984 Brahms First is rather ordinary. It was one off the earliest accounts to appear in the CD format, and at the time some comparisons were drawn to Klemperer. I have no idea why. After three movements that proceed with energy and conviciton but no real involvement, Tennstedt becomes almost wan in the finale.
Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45
My rating is a provisional one, based on the live performance, now on BBC Legends, that was made at the same time. The pacing is slow, but the spiritual impact is profound. I trust some veteran Amazon reviewers who gave this recording five stars, and it comes in much better sound than the dodgy live radio broadcast.
Schicksalslied, Op. 54
This performance is unknown to me.
Symphony No. 4 in Eb Major 'Romantic'
Symphony no. 8 in C minor
All of Tennstedt's Bruckner done for EMI was superb. Live concert readings of both works exist and are even better in their spontaneity and passion.
Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World'
A knockout, worth considering as the best "New World" in the modern era. It's great to see it back in print again.
Háry János, Op. 15
Another out-of-print recording that finds Tennstedt at his best; there's a live reading on BBC Legends also. Tennstedt left few recordings of Russian music, but the ones we have are exciting and by no means Teutonic in style.
Symphony No. 1 in D major 'Titan'
This is a live recording with the Chicago Sym. that has gained some acclaim, but both of the Mahler Firsts that he made for EMI strike me as lacking magic. Seek out the live reading on the LPO label, which is the best of his four accounts on disc.
Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 'Italian'
A lovely reading from Berlin, full of warmth and musical insight. The maestro has found the secret of making repetitive music sound fresh each time around. The finale is thrillingly fast.
A Night on the Bare Mountain
Lieutenant Kijé Suite, Op. 60
The Mussorgsky and Prokofiev recordings came on the same CD as the Kodaly 'Hary Janos Suite' and are equally exciting. It's good to have them back in print.
Symphony No. 9 in C major, D944 'The Great'
There's also a live account on BBC Legends, and both are magnificent. The Schubert "Great" is repetitive and hard to bring alive. Tennstedt has no such problem, and the orchestra is fully engaged.
Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 97 'Rhenish'
Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120
Score: B to C+
I know of no other Schumann symphonies in print under Tennstedt, but here, as in EMI's Beethoven recordings, he seems pulled back into his Kapellmeister past. Both readings are solid and assured, yet also foursquare at times.
Konzertstück for four horns, Op. 86
I'm working from memory but believe that this is an exciting reading with riveting horn playing.
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30
Don Juan, Op. 20
Tod und Verklärung, Op. 24
In a just world, Tennstedt would be recognized as the equal of other great Straussians who crowd the limelight, especially Karajan. These are magnificent readings that sound warmer and more spontaneous than Karajan's, if less cosmic in scale.
Die Walküre: Ride of the Valkyries
Götterdämmerung: Siegfried's Rhine Journey
Götterdämmerung: Siegfried's Death & Funeral March
Das Rheingold: Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla
Leb wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind! (from Die Walküre)
Lohengrin: Preludes to Acts 1 & 3
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Overture
Here from the early 90s are two Wagner discs that Tennstedt recorded with the Berlienrs, one of excerpts from the Ring, the other a collection of ovrtures (they can also be found in a bargain twofer reissue). Several of these selections are duplicated in a magnificent live Wagner concert with the London Phil. on the orchestra's house label, which is a must-listen. The Berlin versions aren't as spontaneous, but they display the conductor's complete involvement and intense expressivity.