Carlo Maria Giulini

Carlo Maria Giulini: The Chicago Years

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Between 1969 and 1976, Carlo Maria Giulini and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra made these important recordings, representing their extraordinary working relationship. This 2013 Warner box set is a reissue of the 2004 EMI box, and it contains 4 CDs in the same track configuration, covering the repertoire that Giulini found most congenial to play in Chicago, especially the symphonic music of Beethoven, Mahler, Brahms, and Bruckner, which dominated orchestral concerts in the 1970s. Of course, Giulini's interpretations were among the most balanced and refined of any conductor's, and the CSO enjoyed its status as one of the world's leading orchestras, so the performances are among the finest in the catalog. Unfortunately, the inelegant arrangement of the recordings on these discs splits Berlioz's Roméo and Juliet and Brahms' Symphony No. 4, creating unnecessary interruptions in playback. Furthermore, listeners should know that these recordings were analog and originally released on LP, so in spite of exceptional digital remastering, some of the original tape hiss and sounds of splicing survive. Even so, this is an affordable way to collect some of Giulini's most essential recordings, and in spite of the drawbacks, is well worth owning, especially by fans who remember the original albums.

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