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Mercury Living Presence Vol.3
|Prix :||EUR 112,99 LIVRAISON GRATUITE en France métropolitaine. Détails|
|Tous les prix incluent la TVA.|
|Neuf à partir de||Occasion à partir de|
CD, 23 mars 2015
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Meilleurs commentaires des clients
Un problème s'est produit lors du filtrage des commentaires. Veuillez réessayer ultérieurement.
Même si on y trouve de bonnes surprises (Bloch par Hanson, Hindemith et Stravinsky par Fennell) les musiques de genre ne sont pas inoubliables, mais on y trouvera un brin de nostalgie des années 60 ... Les symphonies de Schubert avec Skrovaczewski sont bien indifférentes et le clavecin de Puyana (probablement un Pleyel) ferraille dans des micros placés à 1 cm des cordes !
Mais Paray est fidèle au poste, et son élégance racée, incomparable dans la musique française (Lalo, Chausson, Franck ...), nous vaut également, et ce sera une surprise pour certains, des symphonies de Schumann sveltes, alertes (j'allais dire "dégraissées"), même si je reste fidèle à Szell. Wagner subit un traitement identique, avec un Siegfried Idyll de rêve, une 2ème de Rachmaninov et de Sibelius, et même une Nouveau Monde !. A propos de musique française, on a la surprise de retrouver à nouveau la Fantastique, déjà parue dans le coffret 2. Comme le coffret 3 a bénéficié d'un nouvelle remastérisation à Abbey Road, j'ai eu la curiosité d'écouter (en aveugle !) les 2 versions, et le plus de la nouvelle gravure est net: scène stéréo plus large, timbres plus riches et détaillés.
L'autre fidèle, c'est Dorati, qui termine son intégrale Tchaikowsky, toujours d'excellente tenue: pas d'excès sentimentaux, sens du rythme et de la structure, que l'on retrouve aussi dans une belle intégrale Brahms. Quelques inédits, dont une Héroïque, tranchante, un peu à la manière de Reiner sans l'opulence sonore. Les Respighi souffrent d'une mono un peu confuse, et la symphonie de Copland ne semble pas savoir où elle va. A signaler de très belles et méconnues variations concertantes de Ginastera.
Mai la vraie surprise de ce coffret, c'est d'y retrouver Richter pour les concertos de Liszt (sûrement un de ses meilleurs disques) avec un confort d'écoute qui n'a rien à voir avec la 1ère réédition de Philips: on retrouve la chaleur et la présence du 33t (que j'ai ressorti pour l'occasion) sans les quelques saturations et confusions qu'il pouvait y avoir dans les forte. Même remarque pour les Beethoven avec Rostro et Vichnievskaia dans Moussorgsky.
Enfin, on a droit à un véritable inédit avec les quatuors 4 et 8 de Chosta par les Borodine: si le terme de "living presence" est justifié, c'est bien ici, et l'on regrette que ce soit le seul enregistrement de quatuor réalisé par Mercury (pas très porteur sur le plan commercial, non ! ...)
Un grand merci à Mercury pour tous ces bons moments !
Ps : les interprétations de Paul Paray sont toujours très rapides, mais il ne confond pas vitesse et précipitation, c'est extrêmement vivant, plein d'allant et d'une maitrise du tempo absolue. On reconnaît là ses talents de timbaliste. Il faut entendre comment il insuffle la vie aux songe d'une nuit d'été. Enivrant ! Pour ce qui est des quelques CD de Fennell et de Hanson, c'est plus anecdotique.
Bref une collection irremplaçable de CD tous largement minutés et trois beaux pavés dans la mare.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
In my review of vol. 2, Mercury Living Presence II, I stated that there were 32 more to go, 32 of the Wilma Cozart Fine CD reissues that had not yet been gathered on the vol. 1 and vol. 2 compilations. Now, this new set announces 53 CDs. So, will the music lover and potential buyer wonder, how does one jump from 32 to 53?
Well, partly, with some amount of milking it. For instance, CD 14 and 16 split in two short programs (corresponding to the two original LPs) one that Wilma Cozart had gathered on a single CD, Fennell Conducts Porter and Gershwin. So that's one.
Part of that milking comes from annexing recordings already CD-reissued, that are not really part of the genuine Mercury Living Presence canon, like the Tchaikovsky Suites by Dorati conducting the New Philharmonia Orchestra, released on LP on the Mercury label but not recorded by Robert Fine (CD 41-2), and the famous recording of the Beethoven Cello Sonatas by Rostropovich and Richter, of which only the 3rd is a Robert Fine recording (CD 45-46). We're up to five.
About what makes a genuine Mercury Living Presence recording, if you are brave, see my review of Volume II and the comments appended to it - more a doctoral thesis than a review, in fact. In capsule: C. Robert Fine and his one-then-three microphones. It's not just enough to have been issued in the US on LP under the "Mercury Living Presence" moniker, to make a recording a genuine "Living Presence". Mercury published not just their own productions, but licensed recordings from Europe, especially Philips (there were many other labels as well in their early mono years). But the true "Mercury experience", the reason for the afficionados' craze, is a sonic one: it is the naturalness of sound, the absence of artificiality, the ideal balances resulting from Fine's spare use of mics (he would rather move the orchestral seats around to achieve the desired balances). On the other hand there are a few cases of recordings made by the Mercury team for other labels, Ricordi, Pye or Philips, that could legitimately and should be annexed to the authentic Living Presence. And there is the grey area of the few recordings made by Fine but NOT using his customary and defining three Living Presence microphones, but multiple mics. And it is very significant that those were not originally issued under the Living Presence series, but in another one, Perfect Sound Series. The Porter/Gershwin album mentioned above is a typical example, see my review for the details.
Some of the reissues on the new set, then, are actually genuine recordings by the Mercury team, which had been already CD reissued, but by Philips: other than the Beethoven Cello Sonata mentioned above, the Liszt Piano Concertos by Richter and Kondrashin (CD 44) and the Soler recital by Rafaël Puyana (CD 51); and by Australian Eloquence : the program of Russian songs by Vishnevsaya and Rostropovich (CD 47). But - although some of these have been widely circulated and probably already belong to the collections of many listeners (especially the Liszt Concertos and Beethoven Cello Sonatas), it's good to have them back where they belong, with their "Living Presence" brethren. And it makes eight.
CD 27 is also puzzling, as it reissues Paray's Berlioz program that was already on the vol. 1 box, CD 15. According to my info, this is simply a production mixup. Nine.
Another puzzling thing is what Universal did with the program of Howard Hanson called "The Composer and His Orchestra", on CD 24-25. I noted in my review of vol. 2 that the CD of explanations by Hanson of his own works, which came with the original CD reissue of his Merry Mount Suite, Mosaics, For The First Time and Piano Concerto, on Mercury CD 434 371, The Composer and His Orchestra, had been left out of the vol. 1 compilation (where it should have come after CD 8) and surmised that it was gone for good. Not so: it is here. But Universal has cleverly done it, and made an exception to the rule of reissuing the Wilma Cozart Fine releases "straight", with no reshuffling of tracks: they have placed the explanations immediately before the respective composition, rather than, as in the original CD reissue, allocating the compositions to one CD and the explanations to the other. But it means also that you get twice the compositions themselves, here and on vol. 1 CD 8 - but with the Piano Concerto left out, since Hanson never recorded a commentary on that one. And this makes 11.
So, ultimately, the new set offers ten true novelties:
CD 15 Fennell Conducts Victor Herbert
CD 38 Ginastera & Britten by Dorati (mono)
CD 39 Copland by Dorati (mono)
CD 40 Respighi by Dorati (mono)
CD 43 Beethoven Eroica by Dorati
CD 48 World of Flamenco by the Romeros
CD 49 Vivaldi Handel Telemann Recorder Concertos by Bernard Krainis and Neville Marriner
CD 50 Hindemith Schoenberg Stravinsky by the Eastman Winds under Fennell
CD 52 Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture by Dorati mono version
CD 53 Shostakovich String Quartets 4 & 8 by Borodin Quartet
And by "true novelties", I mean TRUE NOVELTIES: all these recordings had never been reissued to CD, and Universal, now under the supervision of the Fines' son, Thomas, himself a sound engineer, has lavished exra great care on the remasterings, especially problematical with the mono recordings, where the original master tapes were not in ideal condition.
Here's the complete list of contents, with comments and reference to label numbers and ASIN numbers of the original CD reissues.
CD 1 + 2
Brahms Symphonies conducted by Dorati with London Symphony + Minneapolis (in No. 4 - called by Universal Minnesota, which it wasn't back then) = (434 380) ASIN B0000057NB.
Dorati Wiener Walzer Paprika = (434 338) B0000057MA
Handel-Harty Water Music, Royal Fireworks + Mozart Nachtmusik, Three German Dances etc. Dorati = (434 398) B000006PKR
Mendelssohn Symph. 3 + 4, Fingal's Cave-Overture Dorati / Skrowaczewski = (434 363) B0000057MZ
Rimsky Scheherazade + Sibelius, Liszt, Smetana Dorati = (462 953) B00000AFRU
Rimsky Capriccio Espagnol, Golden Cockerel-Suite, Russian Easter Festival-Overture + Borodin Dorati = (434 308) B0000057LJ
Rossini & Verdi Overtures Dorati = (434 345) B0000057MH
Richard Strauss Dorati = (434 348) B0000057MK
CD 10 + 11
Tchaikovsky Symph. 1 - 3 + Arensky Dorati = (434 391) B0000041JT
Tchaikovsky Symph. 5, Slavonic March, Eugene Onegin Waltz & Polonaise Dorati = (434 305) B0000057LG
Wagner Preludes & Overtures Dorati (434 342) B0000057ME
Fennell Conducts Gershwin The Studio Recordings. As indicated, this is in fact half of the program that was reissued on (434 327) Frederick Fennell conducts Cole Porter & George Gershwin The Studio Recordings, B0000057LZ (see link above). They derived from two different LPs (recorded in 1960 and 1961) and Wilma Cozart Fine had sensibly gathered them on one CD, but for some reason Universal has seen fit to dispatch them back on two short running ones (this one times 36 minutes) - possibly, to present them as a trilogy with the Victor Herbert program on CD 15. Indeed, these three programs were NOT recorded with Robert Fine's usual three microphones, but heavily multi-miked, and they were not released, back in the LP era, on the "Living Presence" series, but on their "Perfect Sound Series" (PPS). See my review of the Gerswhin/Porter CD for more details on this.
Fennell Conducts Victor Herbert (The Streets of New York, Habanera, I'm Falling In Love With Someone, March Of the Toys, Sweethearts, Ah Sweet Mystery of Life, Italian Street Song, The Irish Have a Great Day Tonight, A Kiss in the Dark, Romany Life, Thine Alone, Kiss Me Again)
This is NEW, this program, originally released on Mercury PPS 6007, hadn't been reissued by Wilma Cozart Fine. Run-time 32 minutes.
Fennell Conducts Porter see CD 14 TT 36
Fennell London Pops & Eastman-Rochester Pops Carousel Waltz & Other Favourites = (434 356) B0000057MS
CD 18 Fennell Eastman Wind Ensemble Ballet for Band Sullivan Rossini-Respighi Gounod Wagner = (434 322) B0000057LU
CD 19 Fennell Eastman-Rochester Orchestra Fabulous Marches = (434 394) B000006PKN
CD 20 + 21 CD 20: Adam: Giselle/Offenbach: Gaité Parisienne; Strauss, J. II: Graduation Ball = (434 365) B0000057N1
CD 22 Bloch Concerto Grosso 1 & 2, Schelomo Miquelle Hanson = (432 718) B0000057L3
CD 23 Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto in F, Cuban Overture + Sousa Stars & Stripes Forever Eugene List, Hanson = (434 341) B0000057MD.
CD 24 + 25 Howard Hanson - The Composer & His Orchestra, a reshuffling of (434 371) B0000057N4, see observations above. With comments on Merry Mount Suite followed by Merry Mount Suite (CD 24, TT 49:30), comments on Mosaics and Mosaics, comments on For the First Time and For the First Time (CD 25, TT 77:40)
CD 26 Kaleidoscope: An Orchestral Extravaganza. LSO, Mackerras = (434 352) B0000057MO
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, Marche hongroise, Marche troyenne, Overture Corsaire & Roman Carnival. Paray (434 309) B0000057LK or B000C4CCAK. See comment about the duplication with Vol. 1.
Dvorak Symph. 9 Sibelius Symph. 2 Paray = (434 317) B0000057LP
Franck Symphony Rachmaninoff Symph. No. 2 Paray = (434 368) B0000057N2
Lalo, Barraud, Chausson Symphony Paray = (434 389) B0000041JR or B0006B4U90
Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream, Symph. 5 + Haydn Symph. 96 Paray = (434 396) B000006PKP
CD 32 + 33
Schumann Symphonies, Manfred-Overture Paray = (462 955) B00000IIX6
CD 34 Marches & Overtures à la Française Paray = (434 332) B0000057M4
CD 35 Paray Conducts Wagner = (434 383) B0000057M4
CD 36 Schubert Symphonies No. 5 & 8, Rosamunde Overture & 2 movements. Skrowaczewski = (462 954) B00000AFRW
CD 37 Schubert Symph. No. 9 (Skrowaczewski) + 6 (Schmidt-Isserstedt) = (434 354) B0000057MQ
So this completes the reissue of the Wilma Cozart Fine reissues of the 1990s. AND HERE COME THE GOODIES
Ginastera Variaciones Concertantes + Britten Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.: Minneaopolis, Dorati, 20 November 1954, MG50047 (TT 39). Of this one, I commented in the appendixes to my review of vol. 2 "Now that's one I'm dying to see back on CD". I fortunately survived the torments of desiring.
Copland Symphony No. 3. Minneapolis, Dorati 5-7 February 1953, MG50018 (TT 38:30). Of this one I commented: "It MUST come back on CD, alongside Hanson's essential recordings of American 20th Century music."
CD 40 Respighi Roman Festivals, Church Windows Minneapolis Dorati 20 November 1954, MG50046 (TT 50). Dorati recorded in stereo for Mercury Fountains and Pines of Rome (19 April 1960), as well as The Birds, Brazilian Impressions (July 1957, all on vol. 2 CD 2) and Ancient Airs & Dances (June 1958, vol. 2 CD 4), but never the Roman Festivals and Church Windows.
CD 41 + 42
Tchaikovsky The Four Suites. New Philharmonia, Dorati, 16 to 21 August 1966, originally published as a "Living Presence" LP but not recorded by Robert Fine and not included by Wilma Cozart Fine in her batch of Living Presence reissues, but already CD-reissued by Philips, Tchaikovsky: Complete Suites for Orchestra or Tchaikovsky: Four Suites for Orchestra (DECCA The Originals)
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 Minneapolis Dorati 9 March 1957 SR90011 (TT 50). Tower Records Japan has reissued some Mercury material not hitherto available in the West, including some early Paray Beethoven, Brahms and Wagner recordings, but I'm not aware that this one was ever reissued to CD.
Liszt Piano Concertos Richter LSO Kondrashin, 19, 20 & 21 July 1961 (TT 39)
A recording not associated with Mercury Living Presence but indeed it WAS recorded by Robert Fine using his three microphones - and it WAS remastered to CD by Wilma Cozart-Fine, although, for some reason, not released on the "Living Presence" CD series, but on a budget series of Philips, Liszt: The Two Piano Concertos / The Piano Sonata, with the complement of the Piano Sonata played by Richter.
CD 45 - 46
Beethoven Cello Sonatas Rostropovich Richter.
To be honest, the presence of these recordings among the Living Presence compilation is not really legitimate, since only op. 69 (No. 3) was recorded by the Mercury team, on 24-26 July 1961. I think Universal could have added only the third Sonata as a complement to the Liszt Concertos.
CD 47 Songs of Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky and Prokoviev by Galina Vishnevskaya and Rostropovich at the piano. TT 47. Yes, that's also a recording by the Mercury team, from July 22 & 23, 1961. Already CD reissued by Australian Eloquence, Galina Vishnevskaya sings Russian Songs.
World of Flamenco by the Romeros. 27-30 December 1966. Reissue of a 2-LP Album, SR2-9120. I haven't found the info about the sound engineer, but I am doubtful that the genuine Mercury team was involved. 1966 is already very late for Living Presence: Fine wasn't working for them any more (he moved on to other things in '64). Maybe his former assistant, Robert Eberenz, was involved, but given that the program was recorded at the United Recording Studio in LA rather than at the Fine Studio in New York, I am doubtful. But as a compensation of sorts, TT is 90 minutes.
Vivaldi Handel Telemann Recorder Concertos. Bernard Krainis, London Strings, Neville Marriner, July 22 1965 (TT 43:30). Yes, that's a genuine Living Presence recording, part of the July-August sessions in London that yielded Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Romance No. 2 by Szeryng and Schmidt-Isserstedt, Fennell's programs of Eric Coates (vol. 2 CD 25 & 27) and Carousel Waltz (vol. 3 CD 17), Tchaikovsky's Symphonies 1-3 with Dorati (vol. 3 CD 10 & 11), a selection of Brahms Hungarian Dances by Dorati (vol. 1 CD 19), Dorati's French program (vol. 2 CD 7) and a few other things not reissued to CD. It was released on SR90443.
Hindemith Symphony in B flat, Schoenberg Theme & Variations, Stravinsky Symphonies for Winds. Eastman Wind Ensemble, 24 March 1957, SR90143 (TT 36). Of it I commented: "One of the best programs of Fennell, for once not marches, marches, marches, and a pity it was never reissued". Done.
CD 51 Soler by Puyana: Concerto for 2 Harpsichords with Genoveva Galvez (22 & 23 April 1963), Fandango (12 December 1966), 6 Sonatas (January 4 & 5, 1967) (TT 46:30), issued on SR90459 and already CD reissued by Philips, Harpsichord Works.
CD 52 Tchaikvosky Overture 1812, Capriccio Italien. Minneapolis, Dorati with Commentary on the 1812 Overture by Deems Taylor (TT 40). The stereo remake of this same 1812 Overture, made on 5 April 1958, was one of the all-time best-sellers of Mercury (it is on vol. 1 CD 9), but this here is the first version, in mono, from 2 & 4 December 1954, originally on MG50054. That said, since the stereo LP kept the same filler as the earlier mono LP, the Capriccio Italien from 22 December 1955, which Wilma Cozart reissued with the 1958 1812 on her series, it means that Universal has reissued twice the same recording, here and on vol. 1 CD 9. It'll be interesting to see if they use the Wilma Cozart Fine transfer, or did not even notice that the older recording had already been remastered and reissued and made a new transfer of it.
Shostakovich String Quartet 4 & 8 Borodin Quartet, Moscow 17 June 1962, SR90309. That's one of the recordings made by Mercury on their famous trip to Moscow. Others were the famous Balalaika program (vol. 1 CD 30) and Byron Janis in Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff (vol. 1 CD 32), Liszt (vol. 1 CD 31) and a program of Encores dispatched as fillers on these various CDs and on vol. 1 CD 24.
As the two previous ones, despite the dispensable inclusion of the Beethoven Cello Sonatas other than No. 3 and possibly of the Liszt Concertos that are probably already in everybody's collection, and notwithstanding my few nitpicking reservations with this or that detail, the new set is a must-have for all those who weren't around in the 1990s and didn't already collect the original Wilma Cozart Fine reissues. For the seasoned collector as myself, it is a mixed bag but, even more than the previous set, a tantalizing decision. The opening price of 200, which sets each CD at less than 4 postage included, might seem a very attractive one (even when you consider that, given the short timing of many of its individual CDs, it could have been released on less than 53), but not any more when set against the 10 true novelties contained in the set. And with all that, Universal missed a great opportunity to make available in the West some of the early Kubelik Chicago, which have been reissued to CD but only in Japan (Brahms 1st, Tchaikovsky's 4th and 6th, Bloch's first Concerto Grosso - but according to private info, the Japanese Kubeliks were unauthorized reissues and poor transfers), or some of those Paray Beethoven made available by Tower Japan. In the comments to my review of volume 2 I give the complete list of all the genuine Living Presence still awaiting reissue: and there's still quite a lot to go, from William Schuman's Judith and Undertow (28 December 1950) to Haydn's Symphony No. 59 ("Fire") & 81 by the Bath Festival Chamber Orchestra under Dorati (6 & 7 August 1965), Hindemith's Ludus Tonalis for piano by Käbi Laretei (recorded by Robert Eberenz at Fine Recording Studio, October 19 & 20, 1965) and possibly the Scriabin recitals recorded in 1968 and 1970 by Hilde Somer (the second was done at Fine Studios by George Piros, himself a member of Fine's "authentic" Living Presence team, in charge of transferring the master tapes to LP) by way of Mercury's first extant stereo recording, Dorati's Brahms Academic and Tragic Overtures from 27 November 1955 (there was stereo recording of Beethoven's Symphonies 4 & 8 by Dorati from the day before, but it was never issued stereophonically on LP and apparently the stereo tapes were not kept).
But I hear that the process of remastering especially the worn mono tapes up to the Living Presence standards is horrendously expensive, and the state of the Classical music CD market is what it is: dire. So whether Universal will pursue its efforts and investments hangs on the success of this set. So do me a favor please: buy it.
For years I have used my Altec 604E coax speakers as a studio standard. They do at times reveal slight inadequacies in recordings not always noted otherwise. So many smaller record companies over the years have vanished (example: Audio Fidelity Records to name one of many), and along with them, their master Ampex studio tapes, but Wilma Cozart Fine has been wise in protecting these master tapes and now transferred to CD format. Great job!
Thanks for preserving music that will survive the oncoming years!
is like going to "Sound Heaven". Recorded originally with state of
the art equipment they have not aged over time. Beautiful music!!