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Lorin Maazel - The Cleveland Years - Complete Recordings Cleveland Orchestra/Lorin Maazel rec. 1973-79 DECCA 478 7779 [19 CDs: 1292:14]
The words "complete" and "edition" seem to be obsessing the famous old 'big' Classical Music labels. Shorn of any extensive, let alone coherent, new releases they are falling back on large box sets of back catalogue collections in a final desperate attempt to wring some income out of their archives. The salient word there is 'large'. Where once having the entire Ring Cycle in one box would be about as big as a set got now some of these editions are truly huge. Whether its a complete 157/172 CD Bach Edition from Brilliant Classics or Hänssler, artist-led sets such as the Vladimir Horowitz - Complete Original Jacket Collection - 70 CDs on Sony or, less often, label led - see Dan Morgan's recent struggle through the despondent gloom that was Decca's 41 CD Phase 4 Stereo Concert Series.
For the collector the major positive consideration is the economy of scale. Pace Phase 4, with classic recordings and interpretations working out at often less than a pound or two a disc. Likewise, newcomers to the Classical Music market can pick up vast swathes of repertoire for the cost, in real terms, of a single disc or modest set from the early days of CD. Any collector with even a reasonable collection 'risks' duplication, certainly of repertoire and possibly of performances. So the decision rests; is the duplication involved and the overall cost outweighed by the 'new' discs acquired and the satisfaction(?) of completeness.
Death has always been a good marketing tool. That may sound harsh or cynical but the statistics bear it out - the passing of any performer, writer, artist or composer is marked by an upsurge in interest in their work. So no real surprise that the passing of Lorin Maazel in July has prompted his two main recording label associates - Sony/CBS and Decca to issue retrospectives. Sony's 30-disc survey has received mixed praise. It had been previously released and this new version was identical. The criticism was that no effort had been made to re-master the often-compromised sound that characterised CBS recordings in the 1970s. Neither was it 'complete' - omitting many of the recordings he had made and ignoring an important facet of his legacy completely - opera. That being said there are lurking in that box some very fine discs in very fine sound.
Which brings us to another consideration for the collector. Have any of the recordings in the new set been re-mastered to any resulting significant effect? Unfortunately, nothing on the box, in the liner, or on Universal's webpage for this release makes it any clearer. Curiously the Universal webpage for this set says it contains twenty discs and that some are recorded in DDD - which they are not - some are digitally edited ADD. Some of the discs have been differently compiled since their original release in the cause of maximising the use of available disc space. This involves re-mastering in one sense but I do not think any individual discs have had the 24-bit process applied to it. Given that these Decca recordings from the 1970s were always a premium product with state-of-the-art engineering for the time this is less of an issue. The mystery deepens a little though because the set's companion box; Maazel in Vienna apparently has been re-mastered. Equally curiously, that 9-disc set is by no means a complete survey of Maazel's Decca recordings in Vienna whilst this new set is.
Because of the longevity of his career, it is easy to forget quite how extraordinary many of his achievements were. Here are some salient biographical details culled from the Daily Telegraph's obituary in July; As a small child he saw Kreisler conducted by Klemperer. Thanks to Vladimir Bakaleinikov, his teacher, he met all the Russian giants. He played for Heifetz, watched Rachmaninov rehearse and listened to Koussevitzky conduct. At twelve he was guest conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra at the invitation of Toscanini. His debut at Bayreuth in 1960 conducting Lohengrin was not only the first by an American, but the first since the war by a Jewish conductor. He conducted the full Ring cycle there in 1968 and 1969. He was the youngest ever conductor to take charge at Bayreuth. He also directed the New Year’s Day concert in Vienna on no fewer than eleven occasions.
By the time Maazel was appointed principal conductor in Cleveland, following on from George Szell — although he was only in his early forties he was already a recording veteran — his first disc dating from 1958. The orchestra had voted nearly unanimously for the post to be given to István Kertész but their opinion was overruled by the Orchestra's management who saw in Maazel a conductor with a bigger reputation in the USA. Maazel's first recording in Cleveland was the complete Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet ballet music - and this remains one of the classic versions and one that has never been out of the catalogue. Indeed most of the recordings offered here have enjoyed long periods of being available and it is a mark of their perceived status that many remained at the premium price point well into the early years of CD.
Before considering the discs in order a few general comments. As is typical with such boxes, each disc is presented in a simple cardboard sleeve - in this instance they are all identical except for the number of the disc being indicated in the top left-hand corner and very basic track-listing being giving in the accompanying booklet. This booklet has an interesting essay by Andrew Stewart specifically about Maazel in Cleveland rather than any musical analysis. There are also individual disc detailed listing and recording information as well as several sessions photographs. A list of the composers/works performed is also given - 17 composers and 43 complete works. The liner is given in English, French and German but there are no libretti supplied for the Berlioz Requiem or Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. All of the recordings are analogue and all were made in the Masonic Auditorium Cleveland by a roster of Decca producers and engineers that reads like a Who's-Who of the finest and best in their fields.
As a conductor/interpreter Maazel could be as inconsistent as he was individual. The recording session data here reveals works from the same sessions as either blistering or positively cool. Disc 1 is a case in point. In many ways this is one of the most disappointing discs in the entire set. The Cleveland virtuosity is a given but the overly detailed recording and Maazel's very plain approach strips the music of any fantasy or magic. For once, the Decca engineers are not able to integrate their multi-miked approach to create a satisfying whole; the harp leaps out with volcanic impact whilst the ladies of the Cleveland Chorus sound matronly rather than the Sirens of the title in the closing movement of the Nocturnes. This is certainly no Whistler-esque study in Grey, the lack of atmosphere is as startling as it is disappointing. Maazel gives a very central interpretation in terms of tempi and then suddenly whips up a frenzy which has players of this calibre scampering to keep up. The gaudier moments of Ibéria - the closing section Le Matin d'un jour de fête for instance - are impressive but conversely the central Les Parfums de la Nuit is again very disappointing. In a market awash with versions of these great works I am not sure I would ever choose to return to these.
Disc 2 featuring Daphnis et Chloé fares significantly better. Again some of the languorous pages lack atmosphere but the spectacle of the famous sunrise and Danse guerrière respond well to Maazel's dynamic approach. Interesting too to compare this to Decca's change of recording style barely six years after this one when they were in Montreal with Charles Dutoit. The choice of a church acoustic and a less obviously multi-miked sound-stage became standard for many companies not just Decca. The coupling of Jeux is from the same sessions as the Nocturnes and Iberia on disc 1. Since Jeux is one of Debussy's most objective, least sensual scores - or at least it can legitimately be performed that way this is the most successful Debussy in the set. Similarly the forensic Decca recording highlights lines and textures to the advantage of the score where before they stripped away atmosphere.
Disc 3 is the first complete success of the set. Maazel made something of a thing out of recording the Respighi Rome trilogy - in part or complete. An early DG disc in Berlin featured The Pines of Rome and one of his most successful Sony/Pittsburgh discs is of the entire trilogy. Here in Cleveland we are given only The Pines and The Festivals. Interesting to note that the engineering is in the hands of Kenneth Wilkinson and frankly it shows. This is music played to its considerably spectacular hilt - Decca have released exactly this coupling as one of their 24-bit re-mastered 'Legendary Performances' series. I'm guessing the version used here is that same re-mastering - but there's no information to that effect. Suffice to say that this is repertoire that plays fully to the strengths of all concerned - it might not be subtle but it is very exciting right down to the stomach-wobbling organ pedals. Next to that the Rimsky-Korsakov suite from The Golden Cockerel is good but not of the same standard. In this repertoire I do miss the intensity that Russian conductors and/or orchestras bring.
The same might be said about the Prokofiev Symphony No.5 on disc 4 but here Maazel substitutes other qualities that make for a valid alternative view. For string players particularly, Prokofiev is hard because of his penchant for angular yet lyrical melodies. This results in players having to leap around their instruments from low to high joining the notes into one fluent line while also negotiating the intonational hazards such leaps produce. Such is the calibre of the Cleveland string section that they achieve this with extraordinarily seamless fluency - exactly what the composer had in mind but all too rarely achieved. Add to Maazel in wholly engaged mode - a weighty opening Andante that gains an epic quality wholly served by the Cleveland players and Decca's rich and full sound. The couplings of two Rimsky-Korsakov show-pieces feels slightly odd but is an example in this set of how some repertoire is forced together in the name of economy of discs. The Russian Easter Festival Overture was not as impressive as I had hoped - a piece that would play to the strengths of both the Cleveland brass and the Decca technical team. For sure this is good as is the perennially popular Capriccio Espagnol that completes the disc - but technical address aside nothing that is stand-out remarkable.
Disc 5 opens with a blazing account of Glinka's Ruslan and Ludmila. The unity of the Cleveland string playing is a thing of wonder especially at the cracking pace Maazel sets. These sessions took place just a few days after the classic Porgy and Bess recording and also included Brahms 1 and the various Verdi and Berlioz overtures included on disc 18 - the buoyancy and energy indicate that the orchestra were on a roll. The Scheherazade sessions are from a group that includes La Mer and Harold in Italy. Proof yet again if it were ever needed that all orchestras are able to produce convincing performances of widely differing repertoire at the drop of a hat. Scheherazade is such a piece of core repertoire and so familiar at times it can be hard to imagine hearing anything 'new' in the work. This is another example of Maazel producing a strongly central performance that apart from the sheer quality of its execution does not set itself apart or above many similar versions. I do find that his rather literal interpretation of the beautiful lilting melody in the second movement minimises its impact. Perhaps for those who find say Stokowski swooning phrasing too interventionist this is a perfect antidote. Likewise I find soloist/leader Daniel Majeske technically fine but lacking fantasy. The disc is completed by a Scriabin Poem of Ecstasy from those same May 1978 sessions that produced the variable Debussy. Here the marriage of Decca sound, Cleveland power and Maazel muscularity produces a performance which encapsulates exactly the kind of heady perfumed wildness Scriabin imagined - ecstasy as music indeed.
If many of these discs could be characterised as well-played but centrist discs 6 and 7 include one of Maazel's most wilful and controversial performances - the Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts. You know you are in trouble when the writer of the liner-note - presumably supportive of the project - writes; "Eccentric speeds, overcooked rallentandos and quirky phrasing .... [Maazel's] interventionist approach ... runs to mannerism in the work's great set pieces." Of all the works in this set this is the one I know least so I will bow to the above comments with the simple caveat that I actually rather enjoyed it in its own right. The comparable versions I have from Previn, Spano and Munch might be preferable at this point or that - there's an ardour and attack about other choruses which finds the excellent Cleveland group just a tad measured. Conversely the Decca engineering - spacious but detailed again, and the quality of the playing is a joy in itself. Worth remembering too that much of the work is on a near chamber scale, quiet and contemplative far removed from the brass choirs and phalanxes of timpanists for which it is renowned. For sure Maazel is individual here but not disfiguringly so. The coupling is Berlioz's Harold in Italy. Along with the Prokofiev Fifth Symphony this is the pick of the October 1977 sessions. The outer movements in particular exhibit superhuman gleeful precision and I like Maazel's un-mannered approach to the third movement Serenade. The viola soloist is Robert Vernon who was just a year or so into his post as the orchestra's principal. He plays the part very well with a real sense of it being a concertante role rather than as an over-projected soloist — I've always wondered quite how Paganini responded to this as a vehicle for him. As recorded Vernon does not have the sweetest tone but it is well-focused and even with a tightly controlled vibrato. The Decca engineers sensibly present him in a similar manner; clearly placed but not overly spotlit. Overall, an impressive achievement.
Disc 8 is one of those in the set that has the sense of a compilation for the sake of saving discs rather than creating a logical programme. Yes, the material is all French but there is a wide stylistic and emotional gulf between the light-hearted fun of the Bizet suites and the rather stern Franck Symphony. Maazel's interpretations emphasise those differences with both the two L'Arlésienne suites and the Jeux d'enfants suite full of bubbling good humour and considerable vigour while the Franck is an epic interpretation backed by sternly powerful low brass and the expected rich Decca recording. This Symphony has never been a favourite work and those versions I do enjoy most tend to a greater fluency and lightness than here. That being said Maazel plays the sober scale of the work to the hilt and as such it's an undoubtedly compelling version. Only the central Allegretto suffers from an overly plodding heaviness. In contrast the closing pages are as exhilarating as any version I know. As previously mentioned, all these recordings are analogue. That being the case there is a degree of tape hiss evident - for some reason the Franck seems more prone to this than other performances in the set. The Franck sessions were part of the same tranche that included the Respighi. Interestingly the Bizet L'Arlésienne suites were conducted at the same time as the unatmospheric Debussy and the very good Scriabin.
The next five discs contain the two undisputed classic recordings Maazel made in Cleveland. Discs 9 and 10 are of the complete score to Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet ballet. This was Maazel's debut recording in Cleveland in 1973 and it is hard not to hear the first flush of excitement in the performance with everyone from players to recording team on their mettle. Officially I suppose a recording over forty years old has to be classed as historical but to my ears it still blazes with all the dynamic freshness, wit, energy and power as if it were made yesterday. For many years it boasted a Gramophone Guide Rosette and worthily so. Some might find the virtuosity just too honed and all brittle brilliance - preferring for example the nearly contemporary version from Previn and the LSO on EMI, as was. Such a rich score can encompass both approaches but I have yet to hear another version of this truly classic twentieth century score that is as satisfying. Whereas in other works I find Maazel bordering on the coolly proficient here I find wit, affection and total engagement. So movements such as Act I Scene 2 - Juliet as a young girl scampers with innocent delight while the stunning set-piece Act I Scene 1 - the fight - has all the muscular virtuosity and devil-may-care energy imaginable. The genius of Prokofiev in this work - and track that back to Shakespeare too if you wish - is the way it encompasses the entire range of human experience and emotion. From love to hate, joy to fear, arrogance to humility. Maazel's particular skill here is to blend the exceptional precision of the Cleveland players - a clear legacy of Szell's stewardship - with just that same humanity. It is a brilliant achievement. The Decca team are at their best too - all the layers of orchestrational detail including the important piano part registering. Forty years down the line there is no audible strain in the recording - the largest most imposing climaxes accommodated with ease. Decca have variously repackaged this set over the years - most recently earlier in 2014 as part of their Best 50 Classical Discs series. For once, this is a recording that deserves that kind of hyperbole. The sure test is that I had not revisited this set for some years prior to this review. All my remembered hopes and expectations were borne out if not bettered.
Indeed almost exactly the same could be said of discs 11-13 which contain - at the time of their release - the first complete recording of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. This performance was recorded in time for release as part of the USA's bicentennial celebrations in 1976. The debate about whether it is a 'proper' opera or not will continue to rumble on. The significance of Maazel's performance and Decca's presentation was that it chose to lavish the work with the kind of attention to detail, care and investment of time and money that was usually reserved only for the 'greatest' works. As with the Prokofiev there have been those who preferred an alternative approach - in this case the RCA recording from John DeMain conducting a Houston Grand Opera performance linked to a stage presentation. Some feel this underlines the human, theatrical elements to greater effect than Maazel's epic verismo operatic approach. Again, I would argue there is more than enough room for both versions but that the work itself demands to be in any reasonable collection. The Decca set sported another rosette for many years although I think I am right in saying this passed to the - also fine - Rattle/LPO set on EMI - itself now quarter of a century old. Listening to this work in tandem effectively with Romeo and Juliet, it struck me that the opera too speaks for the breadth of human experience.
The opera drips with any number of famous set-pieces from Summertime to Bess you is my Woman to I got plenty of nuttin' and many others but what always strikes me listening to the complete work is the power of the company scenes. None more so than Robbins' saucer burial scene in Act I and the similarly functioning 'Dr Jesus' sequence in Act II. Florence Quivar brings enormous Gospel-inspired fervour to her singing - it's a stunning performance of an equally audacious piece of musical theatre — for 1935. Possibly Rattle's stage-honed chorus are even more engaged but I find this a consistently moving interpretation. Again, Decca's engineering is exemplary - I like the way they have pulled the microphones in a little tighter on the brass - in comparison to the Prokofiev - giving the trumpets a real feeling of being a pitband frontline. In the spirit of Decca's opera recordings of the time they add sound-effects from trains to storms to the voices moving around the soundstage. Some find such things off-putting and distracting - I do not, and in the greater scheme it is a fairly minimal yet effective element. Willard White - who reprised the role for Rattle - is excellent. The naiveties that are built into the libretto he handles with appropriate directness and in doing so gives them rather touching weight. Again this is not the first or last opera to have creaky moments in its text and not too much should be made of it. Mentioning the text - it is worth repeating that there is no libretto provided in this set. However, for English speakers this is not much of an issue as the clarity of the sung text is exceptionally good and if you understand the language you will have no problem hearing what is being sung.
Maazel is well in tune with the idiom too with just the right amount of swagger and bounce when called on and a very impressive pacing of the whole score. This is a very big work when performed complete as here and Maazel shows his natural instinct for the theatre knowing when to push on to a climax and when to allow the music to expand and luxuriate in a glorious moment. It's a work that demands to be in the collection of anyone who has an interest either in American music or opera in the twentieth century.
Some might assume the next disc of mainly Gershwin - the only American music Maazel seems to have recorded in Cleveland - was made as a follow-up to the success of Porgy and Bess. Not so, these works were part of the summer sessions the year before the opera which also included Daphnis and some of the Verdi. Genial is the word Andrew Stewart in his liner essay uses to describe An American in Paris and it is very apt. The playing is as fine as one would expect and the tight Decca recording picks out details in the dense scoring often missed elsewhere. Conversely, again there is a sense that Maazel just won't indulge in anything that could possibly be termed sentimental - so the section that became known as "Home Blues" is positively perky - great lead trumpet though. The Cuban Overture receives a pulsating performance - one of the best but this is countered by a very run-of-the-mill Rhapsody in Blue. Soloist Ivan Davis is even less sentimental than Maazel and also plays the dots on the page exactly as-is - so no swung eighth notes. Great clean technique again clarifies textures but this is a performance of almost no charm and little humanity. The disc is completed with a fine account of the Franck Symphonic Variations with Pascal Rogé a far more refined and subtle soloist than Davis. Unfortunately, Rogé's piano suffers from a rather clangourous bass. Overall though this is very enjoyable - the liner picks out a contemporary Gramophone review pointing to Rogé's delicacy and cool clarity - which seems spot-on to me. Unsurprisingly this was part of the Franck Symphony sessions which found Maazel in engaged mood.
Discs 15-17 include the Brahms symphonies and orchestral works. Symphony 1 was recorded just a few days after the triumphant Porgy sessions. From the opening bars it is clear the Decca engineers have created a quite different sound-stage which matches Maazel's conception. This is weighty, sonorous Brahms which from the perspective of forty years on sounds slightly old-fashioned in its concern for saturated textures and steady tempi. The actual interpretation returns to the sense of Maazel being relatively centrist albeit aided by the quality of the engineering and playing. There are glorious moments - the famous horn-calls in the finale are wonderful but overall this is just too heavy and lacking in joy for me. The Cleveland brass sounds wonderful in the two overtures and the nimble playing of the strings is a continuing delight but again Maazel does not achieve the sense of joyful arrival in the Academic Festival Overture's closing pages that can make it sound, well, 'Festive'. The bulk of this set within a set was recorded a year later. As a group of the complete Brahms orchestral works this is good without being exceptional. The by-now high standards of playing and engineering allow detail to register and orchestral textures to glow. The massed Cleveland strings are a thing of continuing wonder and the heavy brass thrill when unleashed. Maazel is good in the tender lyrical movements - overall Symphony No.3 is very enjoyable but there is a definite sense of music-making of the head rather than the heart. I dipped into three other cycles for direct comparison - two are Decca sourced of a similar vintage; Kertész in Vienna from (mainly) 1973, Solti in Chicago from around 1978 and Szell on CBS/Sony in Cleveland recorded in the 1960s. Kertész generates excitement and cumulative tension within movements and across complete works in a way that wholly eludes Maazel. Kertész is also good at giving the music a momentum, a sense of forward motion that Maazel does not. Sonically, there is more edge and snarl in Vienna than Cleveland which I like but others might not. Solti - this is the only repertoire where Decca's two main American conductor/orchestra combinations of the 1970s overlap - so often accused of hard-driven interpretations is actually very good here; to my ear he finds a better balance than Maazel, choosing when to relax and when to press on. Of the three Decca cycles probably Maazel is the most consistently well engineered - in the preferred multi-miked style of the 1970s. The Szell cycle suffers from not having been re-mastered but there is a directness of utterance and unaffected simplicity that is very compelling. In isolation the Maazel cycle is very good and in no way poor; however in this comparison alone, even after one has allowed for the technical and orchestral excellence it limps home in fourth place some way behind any of the above. Until now, these were the only discs from this set which were hard/expensive to purchase individually. I see Amazon have Australian Eloquence as releasing these three discs as a set in January 2015 for around £21.00 Given they are selling this 19 disc set for around £55.00 there is an economy of scale investing in the larger set if the need to hear Maazel's Brahms cannot be denied.
The final two discs bring together some odds and ends. At first glance this might appear something of a hodge-podge but in fact these two discs contain some of the most satisfying music-making in the entire set. Disc 18 leads off with relatively unknown ballet music Verdi wrote for various operas - as often as not to conform to the French vogue for interpolated ballets in their Grand Operas. This recording was produced as part of the same group of sessions resulting in Daphnis and the Gershwin orchestral works. Maazel has the brash, brilliant almost gaudy nature of this music down to a tee. The performances brim with vigour and life topped off by the expected Cleveland brilliance. The disc is topped off with single overtures from Beethoven and Berlioz. Both benefit again from a direct unfussy approach - very much in the spirit of an old-fashioned concert opener.
The set closes with one of Maazel's few concertante recordings in Cleveland and also the best. Cellist Lynn Harrell was the orchestra's principal until 1971 and his 1979 recordings here were part of the last batch Maazel made - he never returned to conduct the orchestra again after parting company in 1982. What is curious is that there are no recordings from those last three years. Harrell's Elgar is very fine, Romantic with a capital 'R' and prone to a wide expressive range both dynamically and in choice of tempi. I rather like the stately first movement followed by a skittish scherzo. Ultimately a strikingly individual but very persuasive performance. Likewise the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations is given a well-characterised and technically brilliant performance. The set completes with a predictably energised Thieving Magpie Overture.
So time for some conclusions. The abiding strengths are the playing and the engineering both of which are hugely impressive some forty years on. As far as Maazel's interpretations are concerned the best are still amongst the best and the good are very good. Perhaps the surprise is that quite so many performances lack the big personality of an old-fashioned maestro on the stick. The Brahms discs are a case in point - there is little to dislike or take offence at but I thought they would have made a bigger impression on me for good or bad. I would say the same of his Daphnis, Debussy and Berlioz Grande Messe. The lighter music comes off well because Maazel is content to let it fizz along with the sheer brilliance of the players to the fore - he is less interventionist to the music's benefit. The omissions are interesting too; given the strength of the dramatic works - Porgy and Romeo - what a shame that Decca did not, or was contractually not able, to turn to Maazel for more theatrical/operatic works. The fact that the set contains no Mahler, Bruckner or Strauss - composers he recorded in complete cycles elsewhere - implies that in the Decca/USA recording roster he was not the first amongst equals. The absence of any recordings from the last three years of Maazel's tenure is curious - I assume there were contractual obligations in place elsewhere.
Given the likelihood of repertoire repetition, it is hard unequivocally to endorse this set to anyone except admirers of either the orchestra or conductor - cherry-picking the best discs of the set; the Respighi, Romeo and Juliet, Porgy and Bess and the Verdi for instance would seem the wisest move. Overall a valuable record of a strangely inconsistent maestro.
Contents & Performance Details CD 1 Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) La Mer, L.109 [22:18]
Nocturnes, L.91 [24:17]
Iberia (Images For Orchestra, L. 122) [19:35] CD 2 Maurice RAVEL (1875 - 1937)
Daphnis et Chloé, 3 M. 57 [56:17] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Jeux (Poème dansé), L.126 [17:14] CD 3 Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Roman Festivals, P. 157 [25:36]
Pines of Rome, P. 141 [21:11] Nicolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844 - 1908)
The Golden Cockerel - Suite (Le coq d'or) [26:50] CD 4 Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891 - 1953) Symphony No.5 in B flat, Op.100 [46:23] Nicolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844 - 1908)
Russian Easter Festival Overture [15:21]
Capriccio Espagnol, Op.34 [15:30] CD 5 Mikhail Ivanovich GLINKA (1804 - 1857)
Ruslan And Lyudmila - Overture [5:12] Nicolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844 - 1908) Scheherazade, Op.351 [42:00] Alexander SCRIABIN (1872 - 1915)
Le Poème de l'Extase Op.54 [18:34] CD s 6/7 Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869)
Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts) 2, 3 [83:18]
Harold en Italie, Op.164 [46:49] CD 8 Georges BIZET (1838-1875)
L'Arlésienne Suite No.1 [15:49]
L'Arlésienne Suite No.2 [15:48]
Jeux d'enfants, Op.22 Petite Suite for Orchestra [11:35] César FRANCK (1822 - 1890)
Symphony in D Minor [37:55] CDs 9/10 Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Romeo and Juliet, Op.64 [140:25] CDs 11-13 George GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Porgy and Bess3,5 [181:22] CD 14 George GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
An American in Paris [17:41]
Cuban Overture [10:09]
Rhapsody in Blue6 [16:58] César FRANCK (1822 - 1890)
Variations Symphoniques7 [16:09] CD 15 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No.1 in C Minor, Op.68 [48:33]
Academic Festival Overture Op.80 [10:20]
Tragic Overture Op.81 [12:30] CD 16 Symphony No.2 in D major Op.73 [41:15] Symphony No.3 in F major Op.90 [34:20] CD 17 Symphony No.4 in E Minor, Op.98 [41:40]
Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op.56a [17:04] CD 18 Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Don Carlo - Act III Ballo della Regina [16:25]
Otello - Act III Ballet Music [5:55]
I vespri siciliani - Act III - Le quattro stagioni [28:44]
La forza del destino - Overture [7:40] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
The Creatures of Prometheus, Op.43 - Overture [6:00] Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869)
Le Carnaval Romain Overture Op.9 [9:14] CD 19 Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.858 [28:12] Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 - 1893)
Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op.338 [17:12]
Pezzo capriccioso for cello and orchestra, Op.628 [7:42] Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792 - 1868)
La gazza ladra - Overture [10:03]
Daniel Majeske1 (violin), Kenneth Riegel2 (tenor), The Cleveland Chorus3, Robert Vernon4 (viola), Willard White5 (Porgy), Leona Mitchell5 (Bess), McHenry Boatwright5 (Crown), Florence Quivar5 (Serena), Barbara Hendricks5 (Clara), Barbara Conrad5 (Maria/Strawberry Woman), Arthur Thompson5 (Jake), François Clemmons5 (Sporting Life), Ivan Davis6 (piano), Pascal Rogé7 (piano), Lynn Harrell8 (cello)
rec. The Masonic Auditorium, Cleveland Ohio USA; 4-6 June 1973 (Romeo and
Juliet), 15-17 July 1974 (Daphnis, An American in Paris, Cuban Ov., Rhapsody
in Blue, Verdi Ballet music), 18-21 August 1975 (Porgy and Bess), 25-26
August 1975 (Ruslan, Brahms Symphony No.1, Academic Festival Ov., Forza Ov.,
Creatures of Prometheus Ov., Le Carnaval Romain Ov., La Gazza Ladra), 10-14
May 1976 (Respighi, Franck), 4-9 October 1976 (Brahms Symphonies 2-4, Tragic
Ov., Haydn Variations), 3-10 October 1977 (La Mer, Prokofiev Symphony No.5,
Scheherazade, Harold in Italy), 5-10 May 1978 (Nocturnes, Iberia, Jeux,
Scriabin, L'Arlésienne suites), 21-23 August 1978 (Grande messe), 19-23
October 1979 (Russian Easter Festival Ov. Capriccio Espagnol, Jeux d'enfants
suite, Elgar, Tchaikovsky)