Magazine article Gramophone

An Oddity-And a Rarity

Magazine article Gramophone

An Oddity-And a Rarity

Article excerpt

Another Praga Mravinsky anomaly appears on a disc that couples a sizzling Beethoven No 4 with Shostakovich's Tenth, both said to come from the same 1955 Prague Spring festival concert (PRD/DSD350 115). Being in stereo, the Beethoven must surely be later (as far as I know, stereo recordings didn't emanate from the Eastern bloc until the late 1950s), whereas the mono Shostakovich probably is what it says it is. Both performances generate maximum intensity, the second movement of the Shostakovich virtually to the point of self-combustion.

Of rather more discographical interest, given its comparative rarity, is a pairing of Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht with the Krenek edition of the first movement of Mahler's Tenth sympathetically performed by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under George Sebastian. These mid-1960s stereo recordings appear to have been released on LP by French/German HMV and Eterna, the sound close-set and spatially well defined, with vivid strings in the Schoenberg (the Mahler is less good).

The transfers are fitfully problematic in that excessive filtering eats around the music at low level, though there's less of a problem when everyone is playing flat out. …

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