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Owen Williams
Owen Williams

DG The Originals Legendary Recordings

Martha Argerich in Verbier pairs live recordings of a chamber and an orchestral work from performances at the Verbier Festival in 2000 and 2001. In Haydn's Piano Trio No. 39 \"gypsy\" from 2000 she teams up with her long-term collaborators Mischa Maisky and Vadim Repin, while for her jaw-dropping performance of Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto from 2001 she performs with the Verbier Festival Orchestra under the baton of Yuri Temirkanov. The album is a highlight of the now 5 releases on our new joint label Verbier Festival Gold.

DG The Originals Legendary Recordings


For this project, Universal Music Group provided access to its archives containing the greatest recordings from over a century of music history. Every single Edition is handcrafted in the Viennese Supersense manufactory by a small team of experts in the fields of record cutting, traditional printing methods and packaging design.

Having said all this, the following recordings seem to me to be exceptional and among the best of the releases of last year. They are listed in no particular order of preference. Of course, I do not pretend to have heard every record released during this time.

* J. S. Bach: Goldberg Variations. Glenn Gould. (CBS Masterworks Digital - IM 37779). Bach's remarkable set of variations were the vehicle for the late Glenn Gould's legendary recording debut in 1955. This rerecording, done almost 26 years later, offers further insights into the musical and analytical mind of an acclaimed eccentric and musical genius, and manages to be equally compelling in complementary fashion to the original classic performance.

* Stephen Sondheim: ''Merrily We Roll Along.'' Original Broadway cast recording. (RCA Red Seal CBL1-4197). In a year that brought us recordings of the musically shoddy ''Dreamgirls'' and the often lovely ''Nine,'' Sondheim's work stands apart, as it does every time he puts pen to verse and music paper. This is a vintage - and structurally sophisticated - Sondheim score with predictably remarkable lyrics. It is superbly recorded, and is released on RCA's high-quality ''Half-Speed Mastered'' line.

* Shostakovitch: Symphony No. 10. Berlin Philharmonic. (DG Digital 2532 030). Karajan's records are almost invariably remarkable, and DG has released a good deal of Karajan this year. He made a recording of this very work in the '60s, but this particular performance of the mighty Shostakovitch Tenth has to rank as one of his finest recordings - interpretively and sonically dazzling.

* Stravinsky: Stokowski Conducts Stravinsky: ''Le Sacre du Printemps,'' ''Firebird,'' ''Petrouchka.'' The Philadelphia Orchestra. (A limited edition available for $25 through the Philadelphia Orchestra Marathon, 1420 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19102.) True, this is not strictly a commercial release. However, it brilliantly honors one of the great originals of this or any time. Stokowski was a performer, and these recordings - from '27 and '37 - are splendid examples of his unique art. 041b061a72


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