Every major conductor, and most not-so-major ones, comes around to recording Eine kleine Nachtmusik, but not so many do it as well as George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra strings. And let’s face it, you won’t find a period-instrument ensemble that plays with anything like this level of polish. The fact is, Szell’s conception of Mozart was not terribly far from “period” sensibilities: restrained use of vibrato, incisive rhythms, crisp ensemble, lively tempos, but also a welcome degree of warmth to the sound and of course incredible ensemble discipline and some of the best players on the planet. And he had real period instruments, meaning performers who owned top quality old violins and bows, not inferior modern reproductions of them. The result is as lovely a performance of Mozart’s perennially delicious Serenade as we are ever likely to hear.
The Zurich Opera House has recorded more productions for DVD than any other opera house in the world. During the last twelve years, conductor Franz Welser-Möst has conducted more than fifty premieres with the Zurich Opera. They perform regularly together in London, Paris, Tokyo and other major international cities. Welser-Möst has enjoyed a long and very fruitful relationship with the Zurich Opera. From 1995 - 2002, he was Chief Conductor of the House, was Principal Conductor from 2002 - 2005 and was then appointed General Musikdirektor. In June 2007, Welser-Möst was appointed General Musikdirektor designate of the Staatsoper, Vienna, a position he will assume in the 2010/11 season. Prior to that, he undertakes a new production of “The Ring" in Vienna, which started in the 2007/8 season. He is also Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra. Welser-Möst has assembled over the years a close-knit ensemble which is frequently praised for both its vocal and acting abilities.
Editorial Reviews - Amazon.com
The brilliant, energetic readings of Robert Casadesus and George Szell set a standard for this repertory that has yet to be surpassed. Dramatic and tightly wound, but never dry or unsmiling, these accounts combine grace and lucidity with an almost operatic lyricism, and remain among the most satisfying and evocative in the catalog. The sound is dry but firm and detailed, and Sony has done an excellent job of remastering. –Ted Libbey
The benchmark recording of Beethoven Piano concertos with incomparable Leon Fleisher and George Szell.
As one customer form amazon.com wrote: “This is an outstanding recording. Leon Fleischer and George Szell are a match made in heaven. The standouts in this collection are the Beethoven 4th and the Mozart 25th. George Szell was one of the absolute best conductors of concerti. The musicality and ensemble playing are flawless. The recording of the Mozart 25th is the best I've ever heard. Don't overlook one of Mozart's later masterpieces played so flawlessly. This particular work comes off best with a large modern orchestra,like the CSO, as opposed to a smaller ensemble. Great performances!”
Other reviews from Amazon.com
This was to be the end of the line for Italian word-setting by Viennese composers: once the confident sentiments that belonged to the poet Metastasio's opera seria felt the chill and threatening wind of Enlightenment and Revolution, their time was up. Even we, for the most part, prefer to remember the German-speaking Beethoven, Schubert and Haydn. So it is good to be reminded of their responses to the Italian muse (usually as part of their craft-learning student work) in this particularly well-cast recital. Central Europe, in the person of Andras Schiff meets Italy, in Cecilia Bartoli, to delightful, often revelatory effect.
The arena rock band behind one of the fastest-selling debut albums in history, Boston was essentially the vehicle of guitarist and studio wizard Tom Scholz, born March 10, 1947 in Toledo, Ohio. A rock fan throughout his teen years, he began writing songs while earning a master's degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology…
After the success of Così fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro, René Jacobs' CD recording of this centrepiece of the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy offered us his reflections on Classical opera and garnered serious acclaim worldwide. Performed at the Innsbruck festival in August 2006 and filmed in Baden-Baden, this production is nourished by his thoughts on Don Giovanni as taboo-breaker but still respects Mozart's intentions as closely as possible.
In the documentary Looking for Don Giovanni, the director Nayo Titzin follows the creation of this production in the search for musical truth.