Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vol. 4: Live, The Radio Recordings, 1970-1980

(CD - RCO / RCO Live #06004)

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Naturally, this 14-disc set of live recordings of the Concertgebouw Orchestra from 1970 through 1980 is only for the hardest of hardcore collectors. Who else would be interested in a collection that mixes Beethoven with Boulez, Baird and Berio, Tchaikovsky with Lutoslawski, Ginastera and Caplet, Rachmaninov with Reger, and Martin and Walton? But for the hardest of the hardcore, this set will be filled with delights. Where else could one find Karel Ancerl's suave account of Haydn's "Oxford" Symphony, Eugen Jochum's sweet account of Reger's Serenade in G major, Kiril Kondrashin's thrilling account of Sibelius' En Saga, Elly Ameling's seductive account of Berg's Der Wein, or Paul Badura-Skoda's evocative account of Martin's Second Piano Concerto? Although the sound is at best variable -- sometimes as clean as the best Philips' recordings, sometimes as noisy as the worst pirated recording -- the orchestra is never less than magnificent no matter what's on the music stand or who's on the podium. With its burnished tone, intuitive ensemble, and effortless virtuosity, the Concertgebouw is clearly one of the finest European orchestras, and this set shows them to their best advantage. So while not perhaps for everyone, anyone who loves the Concertgebouw will have to hear these recordings.

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