Sharing Music Memories

Eugene Goossens conducts Vaughan Williams; Ars Rediviva Ensemble performs Bach Brandenburg Concerti; I Musici 1963 recording of Vivaldi’s “L’Estro Armonico” reissued; Vivaldi “Gloria” RV 589 & Pergolesi “Magnificat” with King’s

Friday, January 14th, 2011

These CDs had been released on Klassic Haus Restorations several week ago, but I am just now getting around to post comments. The Vaughan Williams CD, with Eugene Goossens conducting the Cincinnati Symphony in “A London Symphony” from a 1941 RCA 78 set I originally transcribed in 1978, has garnered praise from one customer:

“The two discs arrived Tuesday. Many thanks. I have only had a chance to listen to the two Vaughan Williams symphonies but you have a real winner here.  Your issue of the Goossens performance of no. 2 is vastly superior to the Beulah disc; I listened to both.  You present greater detail, and a clarity of sound that the other release can only guess at! The power of this interpretation really comes across here. For the composer’s own rendition of no. 4, I have this on three other CDs, including an expensive Pearl set, but your issue holds it own with any and in the case of that Pearl issue, is greatly superior.  I have said this before but in your reissues the mid-range comes out so very well. Many thanks.” Walter W., PA 


Here are the comments I posted on the Klassic Haus site regarding the CDs above:

KHCD-2011-006 (MONO) – Vaughan Williams: A London Symphony (Symphony No. 2, 1920 revision) – Cincinnati Symphony/Eugene Goossens; Symphony No. 4 in f minor – BBC Symphony/Ralph Vaughan Williams –  Two classic 78 sets, that I transcribed directly from the discs to reel tape in1978. With updated restoration programs, I have cleaned up my earlier side-join and declicking work done in 2002, and feel confident in releasing these recordings on the Klassic Haus label. The “London Symphony” recording preserves the only recording of the 1920 revision, with Eugene Goossens leading the Cincinnati Symphony in a 1941 RCA recording that is fleet as well as appropriately atmospheric. Vaughan Williams’ visceral Fourth Symphony, recorded by EMI in 1937,  is given a galvanizing reading, with the BBC Symphony playing on the edge of their seats, the composer at the helm. I have added some “air” around the proceedings, to open up the somewhat dry, studio-bound soundstage; otherwise, no reverb or other artificial additions have been made.

KHCD-2011-007 – Vivaldi: Gloria RV 589; Pergolesi: Magnificat -Elizabeth Vaughan/Janet Baker/Ian Partridge/Christopher Keyte/King’s College Choir/Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields/David Willcocks – This transcription is from the 1964 Argo recording, the performances using music editions published by Walton Music. Unmistakable in timbre, precise in execution, sensitive in performance practice, these recordings preserve the unique sound of the King’s College choir and the superb cathedral acoustics. The LP used for this transcription was never opened before I set stylus-to-vinyl, so little in the way of restoring was needed. A superb addition to a Baroque choral collection!

KHCD-2011-008-2CD – Vivaldi: “L’Estro Armonico” – 12 Concerti Op. 3 – I Musici – Vivaldi’s collection “Harmonic Invention” was unique in its diversity of instrumental form and sonority, revealing him asa great craftsman and a tireless experimenter. This 2 CD set is derived from a clean 2 LP Philips set recorded in 1963, and displays I Musici’s extraordinary virtuosic talents.

KHCD-2011-009-2CD – J. S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerti BWV 1046-1051 – The Ars Rediviva Ensemble/Milan Munclinger – Another “Brandenburg” set, second a series of  planned releases in 2011 of different recordings of these timeless concerti. This recording, from a Crossroads/Supraphon 2 LP set of 1965, features the Ars Rediviva Ensemble of Prague. The Ensemble was originally formed in 1951 by Milan Munclinger (a flutist and conducting student of  the great Vaclav Talich) during a revival of Baroque music in Czechoslovakia. The performances display well-chosen tempi, and discreetly miked balances with occasional subtle highlighting of solos. The LPs were in good condition and required little in cleanup; a slight damping of treble was required to eliminate some harshness in several of the concerti. The result is a very satisfying collection, with admirable performances and a fine recording from the well-respected Supraphon label in a licensing collaboration with Epic/Columbia.

Please check out these unique performances. I am always looking out for great recordings from the Golden Age of the LP, and I hope to continue making them available. I have five more CDs that I am releasing this weekend; check back here for updates! Cheers – Curt Timmons

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