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Thread: Memory Lane 2 - Oldest purchases still in your collection and why you still have them

  1. #1
    Senior Member Vesteralen's Avatar
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    Default Memory Lane 2 - Oldest purchases still in your collection and why you still have them

    I had in mind this second "memory lane" thread from the beginning, but I wanted to let the first one get under way before I brought it up. This thread is actually even more to my liking, because there is more to talk about. I hope some of you will like it, too.

    To get started, I'll begin with the oldest records in my collection (and I'm old enough that when I say "records", I mean vinyl).

    These two were both going away presents when I moved out of town in 1972. The first was from my parents, the second from my sister. Given that none of them knew the first thing about classical music, I think they did better jobs than I did picking things out:



    I had seen Leonard Bernstein on TV conducting and analysing Haydn's 102nd symphony and fell in love with it. I still can't figure out why it's not his best known symphony. Maybe it's because it doesn't have a title.

    Anyway, Klemperer really surprised me with Haydn. I had pictured him as a stodgy, old guy who conducted everything really, really slowly. But, as I was soon to find out, he was really a great conductor. I have a lot of Klemperer's in my current vinyl collection. He conducts these Haydn symphonies brilliantly, if you don't mind hearing them with a large, modern orchestra. (I don't). Lots of bouyancy, lots of life. Terrific analog sound.

    The second was this:


    Only, the version I was given was on the budget London Stereo Treasury label. I could not find an image of it anywhere.

    Anyway, these are classic performances. This is another one of those old analog recordings that, in my opinion, has never been equalled, let alone bettered, in the digital era. I could listen to this record every day.
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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    Another great idea for a thread, Vesteralen. I'll be coming back, but here are a few I've had for yonks, going back to the '90's. Things I have kept over that time (some below with newer covers, reissues of same recording) -

    Berg's Wozzeck under Herbert Kegel - my introduction to "atonal" music, loved it on first hearing, still return to it a couple of times a year -


    Bartok's Three piano concertos with the late Bulgarian pianist Anton Dikov. I just love the intensity of this guy's playing & the recording brings out the percussion instruments much more strongly than in other recordings I've heard.


    Brahms' Piano Concerto #1 with pianist Dubravka Tomsic. I think this is a solid performance, but after all these years I'm yet to buy the 2nd concerto (also a wonderful work, have heard it on radio a couple of times, will have to get it sometime!)


    "New World Composers from the Old World" (VoxBox double cd set) - The New World Quartet playing string quartets of Bloch, Tcherepnin, Hindemith, Rozsa, Stravinsky, Korngold, Surinach. Was my introduction into string quartet repertoire & has been a joy to listen to ever since. These are quite obscure works, this is why I don't necessarily think that somebody new to a certain genre/area has to listen to certain things before other things to "get" them. You can basically start anywhere you like, string quartets are string quartets, whoever composed them...
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    Contrasts and Connections in Music

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    & re Peter Maag, what a talent! I remember having a recording of him conducting Saint-Saens' Organ Symphony. I think he died young, like Istvan Kertesz around that time. Thankfully, our own Australian Eloquence budget label are bringing out reissues of these guy's and other's great stuff...
    Contrasts and Connections in Music

    "There will be a moment or two of confusion, but if we all keep our heads, everything will be fine" - Cary Grant.

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    Some more (the memories are flooding back!) -

    Berg - Lulu Suite; Schoenberg - Chamber Symphony #2; Hindemith - Sonata for violin & piano in E major (various German performers on the PILZ budget label)


    Schubert - String Quartets 14 "Death & the Maiden" & 12 "Quartet Movement" - Caspar da Salo Quartet (PILZ label)


    Puccini - Turandot (Callas, Schwarzkopf, La Scala, Serafin). I now see it's been reissued by Naxos, but I have an earlier reissue by Sarabandas. This opera immediately connected with me, later found out maybe why - Puccini wrote to Berg saying that his Wozzeck inspired him while working on Turandot. A "classic" recording if there ever was one.
    Contrasts and Connections in Music

    "There will be a moment or two of confusion, but if we all keep our heads, everything will be fine" - Cary Grant.

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    Senior Member Vesteralen's Avatar
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    This is kind of fun. Here's a few more:



    I've never heard another version of this wonderful work that has the "atmosphere" of this recording. It's spoiled me so much that when I want to hear the "London", 9 times out of 10 I reach for my old vinyl.



    This is another recording that has spoiled me for any other version. I've heard many recordings of the Fantasy, but Anda's is the uber-romantic version I came to love and I can't help comparing other performances to it.


    Had a hard time finding this image. This was my first foray into 20th century music. Not a bad way to go. I love Szell as a conductor, though it's hard not to feel very negative about him as a person based on what I've heard. Still, his Haydn and Mozart are tops in my book, and I still have his Beethoven set. Anyway, I really got into this disc way back when, particularly the Hindemith.
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    Same as I wrote in the other thread, except the italian series which were heavily used at the moment I bought them and soon became unlistenable. Here is some other CD, though, that is probably the oldest in my stock:



    And don't tell me it's not classical, he - in one of improvisations Jimmy Page quotes a famous classical tune.
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    MC/LP Mozart: Symphonies 40 & 41/Karajan,BPO/emi label
    Superb, if rather Beethovenian performances, much more gripping than his DG issues IMO. Originally bought it as a tape, now I have it as an LP. He is very good in the last symphonies on EMI.


    MC/LP Beethoven: 3.Piano Concerto/Brendel,Haitink/philips
    Their first analogue recording. Still consider it a fine and interesting performance, he adds a certain abstract quality to the 1st movement for instance. The only Brendel Beethoven Cto in my collection, now as LP.

    LP Medtner: 3.Piano Concerto and 2 sonatas/Ponti/candide label.
    I still prefer this recording, the quick yet engaged playing, different from others, gives an impressionist freshness to it I never grow tired of ...

    LP Stravinsky,Berg: Violin Concertos/Perlman,Ozawa/DG label
    Solid performances, a slightly dull sound IMO; I like other recordings better now.

    2CD Bruckner: 8.Symphony/Haitink,CtGeb/philips
    His first digital recording, combined with "Siegfried Idyll". Incredible.
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    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    I've had these all since they were new releases on the rack at Specs or Incredible Universe and I still consider some of the best of the best...the Holst is definitely without a doubt, the best...this is probably my favorite Mozart 20...my favorite and perhaps only recording I really love that Horowitz made...he plays throughout this entire disc beautifully...then there's the ninth, which I've read many bad reviews about; many of them because of hiss which I never care about...for me, however, this is the most exquisite and perfect performance of this piece...all of the instruments are played masterfully and the voices are outstanding...it is a high recommend from me to anyone who loves the d minor symphony and hasn't heard this version...anyway, these came to mind along with all my Gould from Sony and Columbia and of course all the great Chandos and Chesky discs I got back in the day

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    Senior Member GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid James View Post
    & re Peter Maag, what a talent! I remember having a recording of him conducting Saint-Saens' Organ Symphony. I think he died young, like Istvan Kertesz around that time. Thankfully, our own Australian Eloquence budget label are bringing out reissues of these guy's and other's great stuff...
    Sid, Depends on your definition of young. the excellent conductor Peter Maag was born in 1919 and died in 2001 making him 81 at the time of his death. My first contact with him was in the music of Mozart in which he was something of a specialist although he also excelled in Mendelsson and Schumann and was active in Opera. A great talent, in my opinion somewhat underrated.
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    Rob

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    @ GoneBaroque - Oops, made a mistake, I though Maestro Maag died young (say in his forties). Clearly, I mixed him up with somebody else. Thanks for correcting. In any case, I agee about the quality of the man's work, which was of a very high standard.

    @ Aramis - My parents loved Led Zeppelin - I did too when they listened, but I haven't revisited them since. A great group of musicians if there ever was one.

    @ kv466 - I think I saw that peformance of Horowitz & Guilini do the Mozart on TV ages ago (about 20 years ago). I remember I enjoyed it. They interviewed them both. I remember Mr Horowitz saying he didn't like the Cleveland Orchestra, don't remember why. Anyway, that disc looks like one I should get.

    @ vesteralen - Maestro Barbirolli was my intro to Vaughan Williams as well. I remember hearing a radio broadcast of a recording of him with the Halle playing the 8th symphony (dedicated &/or commissioned by Barbirolli). I was so intrigued by it, I later got my hands on some of Boult's recordings. The 8th has been my fav RVW symphony ever since, such a magical piece.
    Contrasts and Connections in Music

    "There will be a moment or two of confusion, but if we all keep our heads, everything will be fine" - Cary Grant.

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    Senior Member Vesteralen's Avatar
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    Two greats from Klemperer:




    Why I still have them? Performances that breathe. Spectacular analog sound (kind of velvety, like you get with the best vinyl recordings).

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    Senior Member DrMike's Avatar
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    I had a cassette several years back with highlights from The Magic Flute - couldn't even tell you who conducted, or what. But I had wanted a copy of the whole thing. I had grown up with classical music somewhat available. My dad had bought a complete collection of Beethoven's works on DG vinyl - my mom still has most of them, my brother the other. Other than that, my dad like Bach's organ works, but my mom couldn't stand it. But a few years back I got this recording of Klemperer conducting the Magic Flute, after reading several recommendations, and it was my gateway drug. Still love it. That led to my talking with someone on a completely different forum unrelated to classical music who then recommended this:


    I really enjoyed these piano concertos, and this only further confirmed to me that I needed to further explore classical music. This was only my second classical purchase after deciding to seriously investigate all that this world of music had to offer.


    A friend of mine several years back was in a choir that performed excerpts from Mozart's Requiem. I enjoyed it, and decided to pick up a recording. I didn't know Karajan from Cleese back then, and this was what they had at the mall record store. Not a bad recording, but I rarely pull it out anymore - too slow and ponderous for my liking. I have since gone with Bohm on DG, or Bruno Weil's Tafelmusik recording as my go-tos for this work.


    I had no clue who Dvorak was, or if Kosler could do him justice when I first bought this album back in high school - must have been 1992. I was on my high school's Academic Decathlon team, and for the arts portion, we had to know Dvorak's Slavonic Dances. I knew Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Wagner by name only. I could recognize some works by Beethoven and Bach. That was about it. I didn't much care for these at the time. I went to my local music store to get a recording - I got the Naxos one because it was the cheapest. Later, when I really started to delve into classical music, the guy who recommended so many things to me suggested Dvorak. I balked, because all I knew was the Slavonic Dances, and didn't remember particularly liking them. But I bought his symphonies, and some of his chamber music, and got hooked. I have come to enjoy this recording, although I prefer Harnoncourt's recording.

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    Senior Member GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid James View Post
    @ GoneBaroque - Oops, made a mistake, I though Maestro Maag died young (say in his forties). Clearly, I mixed him up with somebody else. Thanks for correcting. In any case, I agee about the quality of the man's work, which was of a very high standard.
    Sid, you may have been confused by the fact that when Peter Magg was in his 40's he retired from conducting to undertake religious studies and eventually spent some time in a Buddhist Monastery, returning to conducting after several years.

    QUOTE=Sid James;192820]@ kv466 - I think I saw that peformance of Horowitz & Guilini do the Mozart on TV ages ago (about 20 years ago). I remember I enjoyed it. They interviewed them both. I remember Mr Horowitz saying he didn't like the Cleveland Orchestra, don't remember why. Anyway, that disc looks like one I should get.[/QUOTE]

    A little anecdote about Horowitz, the first time he played the Emperor Concerto with Toscanini he finished a couple on minutes before the the orchestra. How to win friends.

    QUOTE=Sid James;192820]@ vesteralen - Maestro Barbirolli was my intro to Vaughan Williams as well. I remember hearing a radio broadcast of a recording of him with the Halle playing the 8th symphony (dedicated &/or commissioned by Barbirolli). I was so intrigued by it, I later got my hands on some of Boult's recordings. The 8th has been my fav RVW symphony ever since, such a magical piece.[/QUOTE]

    Barbirolli was another marvelous conductor not only in English music but in Opera and Mahler. By a strange coincidence the las recording which both Tohomas Beecham and Barbirolli made was Strauss' Ein Heldenleben
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    Rob

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    Senior Member Ralfy's Avatar
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    http://inkpot.com/classical/beethsymkar.html

    My second CD purchase, together with

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