Great Conductors of the 20th Century was a 2CD series from IMG Artists and EMI featuring famous conductors of the 20th century. As per the norm, the website has disappeared, so here is all the information [and more] that was included for this great series.
Features Argenta’s rare recordings of Schubert 9 from 1957 and Liszt’s Faust Symphony from 1955, both in stereo
Catalogue no: 7243 5 75097 2 5 (2 CD)
Liszt: A Faust Symphony
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire; Salle de la Mutualité, Paris; June 1955
Ravel: Alborada del gracioso
Orchestre des Cento Soli; Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris; November 1956
Schubert: Symphony No.9 ‘The Great C major’
Orchestre des Cento Soli; Salle Wagram, Paris; November 1957
Falla: El amor brujo
Ana-María Iriarte (mezzo-soprano) & Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire; Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris; January 1951
THE BIOGRAPHY – ATAÚLFO ARGENTA (1913-1958)
3 was born in November 1913 in the northern Spanish fishing village of Castro Urdiales. He studied the piano at the Madrid Conservatory, and, after winning first prize there, spent ten years as a concert pianist in Spain. In 1941 he undertook further studies at Kassel in Germany and there met Carl Schuricht, who encouraged him to conduct. In 1945 Argenta joined the Spanish Orquesta Nacional as orchestral pianist; in 1946 he founded the Madrid Orquesta de Cámara, and in 1947 he became chief conductor of the Orquesta Nacional. For the next decade he was Spain’s leading conductor, founding festivals in Santander and Granada. He also performed in Geneva, Paris, Vienna and Argentina. His recordings include nearly 50 zarzuelas and other Spanish repertoire for the Spanish Columbia label, and he recorded mainstream Romantic works in Paris, London and Geneva. His developing career was tragically cut short by a car accident in January 1958.
This compilation features Argenta’s 1955 stereo recording of Liszt’s Faust Symphony (with the work’s original ending), which has never been issued before on CD. Schubert’s ‘Great C major’ Symphony (in stereo from 1957) and Ravel’s Alborada del gracioso (in mono from 1956) are extremely rare recordings and are also new to the CD catalogue. Falla’s complete ballet El amor brujo (from 1951) is included as highly representative of the fine interpretations of Spanish repertoire for which Argenta was famed.
Also check out Ataúlfo Argenta: Complete Decca Recordings 1953-1957 (5 CDs)