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Klassiknet's Christmas '98 Selection (Part one)

Eleni Karaindrou: Eternity and a Day
Vangelis Christopoulos, oboe ; Nikos Guinos, clarinet; Manthos Halkias, clarinet; Sypros Kazianis, bassoon ; Vangelis Skouras, french horn; Aris Dimitriadis, mandolin; Iraklis Vavatsikas, accordion; Eleni Karaindrou, piano
La Camerata String Orchestra, Athens
Loukas Karytinos, director
ECM New Series 1692 465 125-2

Theo Angelopoulos' film Eternity and a Day was awarded the Palme d'Or at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. Here are the romantic, top-of-the-chart melodies from that film.

Eternity and a day

Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1-4; Quintet K. 452
Dennis Brain, horn
Dennis Brain Wind Ensemble
Philharmonia Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan, conductor
Great Recordings of the Century: EMI Classics 7243 5 66898 2 4

Chopin: 14 Valses; Barcarolle; Nocturne Op. 27 No. 2; Mazurka Op. 50 No.3
Dinu Lipatti, piano
Great Recordings of the Century: EMI Classics 7243 5 66904 2 4

Strauss: Four Last Songs; 12 Orchestral Songs
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
Radio Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
London Symphony Orchestra
Great Recordings of the Century: EMI Classics 7243 5 66908 2 0

Ravel: Piano Concertos; Gaspard de la nuit
Samson François, piano
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire
André Cluytens, conductor
Great Recordings of the Century: EMI Classics - 7243 5 66905 2 3

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
Schwarzkopf, Höngen, Hopf, Edelmann
Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele
Wilhelm Furtwängler, conductor
Great Recordings of the Century - EMI Classics: 7243 5 66901 2 7

Grieg: Peer Gynt
Beecham Choral Society
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor
Great Recordings of the Century: EMI Classics - 7243 5 66914 2 1

Connoisseurs and novice collectors alike will welcome several reissues in the first batch of EMI's Great Recordings of the Century. The Christmas gift selection above represents distinguished musical achievement, should be part of any serious record collection, and in the case of the Strauss/Schwarzkopf and the Ravel/François/Cluytens, they already figure in Klassiknet's 101 Best.

Dennis Brain / EMI

Varèse: The Complete Works

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Asko Ensemble

Riccardo Chailly, conductor
Decca: 460 208-2 (2 CDs)

Edgard Varèse (1883 - 1965) without an agenda and Klassiknet's vote for the most important classical recording of 1998. A review and interview with Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly will be published shortly.

Fritz Reiner conducts Richard Strauss: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Fritz Reiner, conductor
RCA Victor/BMG 09026 68635 2 (5 Disc Set)

The Hungarian conductor Fritz Reiner (1886 - 1963) was a personal friend of Richard Strauss for some thrity-five years. His interpretations of the German composer's most popular works are legendary. The five-CD-set includes both the 1954 and 1962 recordings with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra of Also sprach Zarathustra, Don Juan (1954), Byron Janis' historic interpretation of the Burleske for piano and orchestra, Scenes from Salome and Elektra with soprano Inge Borkh, Der Rosenkavalier Waltzes, Don Quixote (1959), Ein Heldenleben, among other works. BMG's omission of Reiner's version of Till Eulenspiegel can only be qualified as mean-spirited.

Fritz Reiner / Richard Strauss

Praetorius: Nativitas
New London Consort
Philip Pickett, director
Decca: 458 025-2

An attractive and joyful collection of popular German Christmas carols, arranged by the Renaissance composer Michael Praetorius and others.


Great Pianists of the 20th Century: Jorge Bolet
Philips 456 742-2

Volume 10 in this much publicised recording project is devoted to the Havana-born pianist Jorge Bolet (1914 - 1990). Recognition came scandalously late to this musician, and one wonders whether more than just the racial prejudices of the United States - where Bolet struggled with his career - were an issue. After all, Cuba was hardly considered a musical pedigree equal to Central Europe or Russia. Whatever the reasons, the repertoire is staggering and the performances a triumph.

Great Pianists of the 20th Century / Jorge Bolet

Debussy: Sonate pour flûte, alto et harpe; Syrinx; Chansons de Bilitis; Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Philippe Bernold, flûte Gérard caussé, alto Isabelle Moretti, harpe Ariane Jacob, piano Iréne Jacob, récitante
harmonia mundi: HMC 901647

A splendid recital disc of impressionist masterpieces for flute, harp and viola.


Schumann: Concerto pour piano; Davidsbündlertänze; Kreisleriana; Etudes Symphoniques; Fantasie op.17
Geza Anda, piano
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Rafael Kubelik, conductor
Deutsche Grammophon "Double" 457 967-2

Recorded in the years 1963 and 1964, this long-awaited reissue is one of the finest Schumann piano recordings in the catalog. At 2 CDs for the price of 1, a real Smart Buy!

Schubert: Winterreise
Thomas Quastoff, bass-baritone
Charles Spencer, piano
RCA/BMG 09026 63147 2

Thomas Quastoff is currently on tour with Schubert's masterpiece. That in itself is an event. However, if you are unable to hear him live, then do not hestiate to acquire the recording.

Schubert / Quastoff

Henri Dutilleux: The Shadows of Time
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Seiji Ozawa
, conductor
Erato: 3984-22830-2

Henri Dutilleux is to music what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is to theology. The 82-year-old French composer's new score for orchestra is an important entry in the canon.

Henri Dutilleux

The Tallis Scholars: 25th Anniversary
Gimell: 454 990-2 (2 CDs)

A retrospective recording spanning twenty-five years by Britain's leading interpreters of Renaissance sacred music. The specially-priced double CD set provides an excellent introduction to the music of Allegri, Victoria, Palestrina, Lassus, Tallis, Byrd, Josquin and others.

The Tallis Scholars

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