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Category: :BasicRep

New Series: Starter Collection

New Series: Starter Collection

I am working on a new series of posts, hopefully with some great recordings that may interest you: The Starter Collection. “The Starter Collection” are recordings that I first acquired when getting into classical music. Mostly from the bargain labels of the time [early 1980’s], there are some great recordings that I still enjoy to this day. London Jubilee, CBS Great Performances, CBS Odyssey, even a few Vox recordings made up the bulk of my purchases. They were affordable and…

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Furtwangler RIAS Set

Furtwangler RIAS Set

  RIAS: Radio in the American sector in Berlin [after the war] Starting in 1947, RIAS broadcast Furtwangler and the Berlin Philharmonic performing a variety of works until 1954. There were tapes made of these broadcasts, and Audite has made an arrangement to issue all of the available recordings, taken from the original tapes. This was released in 2009, and is by far the best sounding set of performances from Furtwangler from that era. Of course sound quality is relative,…

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London Jubilee

London Jubilee

One of those bargain lines from London Records in the early 80s, the London Jubilee label made up the bulk of my early classical music purchases, along with the CBS Great Performances line. As these records and cassettes were my first exposure to a lot of works, they have stuck in my mind as sounding right as far as performances go. That tends to happen when you get familiar with a particular recording. Luckily most of the releases were of…

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Victrola Book of the Opera

Victrola Book of the Opera

Sometimes I am amazed at the history you can find online. If you are a fan of opera, especially old recordings from the masters early in the 20th Century, you need to check out the Victrola Book of the Opera. This catalog was put out by the Victor [RCA] company in the 1970s, but it started at the turn of the century, when recordings first became common. There is a 1917 edition of the book at Google Books, and you…

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BasicRep – Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

BasicRep – Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Currently I have two favorite versions of the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, one famous and one not so much. The Munch / Boston Symphony Orchestra version on RCA is a classic, and is the reference performance. The early stereo is not great, and there is some slight aural artifacts here and there, but the playing more than makes up for it. My other favorite is an early 1980’s Decca recording with Mehta and the New York Phil, one of the early digital…

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