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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to buy the following recordings on CD:

I Musici - Corelli - Concerti Grossi Op. 6
These are the digital recordings made in the 1990s.

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Sawallisch - Bruckner - Symphony no. 5

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Any offers would be appreciated. Send me a PM.
 

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Although it's now out of print (I gather), the I Musici Corelli Concerti Grossi recordings that you seek were once reissued in a 'two for one' Philips discount set that can still be found, if you don't have your mind set on obtaining the original CD release: Here's an Amazon link, though you can probably do better price-wise (a guess): https://www.amazon.com/Corelli-Complete-Concerti-Grossi-Nos/dp/B0000041N9.

EDIT: I see the original 1994 I Musici Philips CD set can be currently bought in "like new" condition on Ebay for $35.95 (free shipping): https://www.ebay.com/p/71470462; although it's also available for $18.99 in "very good" condition (free shipping): https://www.ebay.com/p/71470462?iid=114337593787, so if interested, you'd might check to see what the lowest price actually is on Ebay.

As for Sawallisch's Bruckner 5th on Orfeo, yes, the individual recording is out of print, along with his other Bruckner symphonies on Orfeo--nos. 1, 6, & 9--which are worth having, too (IMO), but the lesser known Orfeo box set, which was released in 2019, is still in print. That set is currently a much less expensive way to get Sawallisch's Bruckner 1, 5, 6, & 9 with the Bavarian RSO than to buy the now OOP and pricey individual Orfeo issues. However, if you only want the 5th then the Orfeo box set may be more than you're looking to spend--it's around $40 new on Amazon presently. In addition, you get Sawallisch's Brahms Requiem, and Weber Symphonies 1 & 2, plus various overtures. It's a terrific set--if a bit off the radar: https://www.amazon.com/Wolfgang-Saw...awallisch+orfeo&qid=1611959298&s=music&sr=1-1

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the helpful reply, I appreciate it a lot.

The product in the first link is the 1960s analogue recordings of Op. 6 - for some strange reason I Musici's analogue recordings have been more easily available than their later digital ones.

The second link doesn't work for me. The third one would be a good choice, however the shipping is quite expensive to where I live in Europe.

That Sawallisch box looks tempting. It's certainly more than what I'm looking for, but it would be nice to get all of his Bruckner symphonies. I may end up going for that one if my search is fruitless.
 

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Sorry, I didn't know that I Musici had recorded an earlier 1967 set, but it doesn't surprise me. They re-recorded a lot of music in the early digital era that they'd previously recorded in the 1960s. However, the ensemble wasn't the same group of musicians by the 1990s (for the most part).

Here are links to the two U.S. ebay listings again (plus a third), as I must have messed up with the first link above: I hope it works this time, but please let me know, if not:

$35.95, w/free shipping--like new or near mint condition: https://www.ebay.com/p/71470462?iid...otion&_trksid=p2322090.c100854.m4779&thm=1500

$18.99 or BEST OFFER. w/free shipping--very good condition:https://www.ebay.com/p/71470462?iid...BBEV2bDemotion&_trksid=p2322090.c100854.m4779

$18.99, or BEST OFFER, w/free shipping--very good condition: https://www.ebay.com/p/71470462?iid...BBEV2bDemotion&_trksid=p2322090.c100854.m4779

If you're open to doing some listening comparisons, the other exceptional digital era recording of Corelli's 12 Concerti Grossi, Op. 6 on modern instruments came from the Guildhall String Ensemble on RCA Red Seal. It was also later released by the Musical Heritage Society, as a discount issue. However, this OOP set can also be tricky to find these days. For what it's worth, in a fire, I'd probably grab my Guildhall set plus Trevor Pinnock's period set with The English Concert, first, among the many Corelli Op. 6 sets that I own. Although I can certainly understand why you're in search of the 1994 I Musici set. They're wonderful musicians, too, and the Philips sound quality is excellent.

Guildhall String Ensemble:

$17.49: Musical Heritage Society listing on ebay--like new condition: https://www.ebay.com/p/1930427649?iid=282738195181
$5.00: Musical Heritage--very good condition "there are no scratches": https://www.ebay.com/p/1930427649?thm=3000

$12.99: Amazon USA--the RCA Red Seal set: https://www.amazon.com/Corelli-12-C...tring+ensemble&qid=1612027700&s=music&sr=1-10
$8.59-$11.32--alternative Amazon listing of the RCA Red Seal set: https://www.amazon.com/Corelli-Conc...tring+ensemble&qid=1612027700&s=music&sr=1-17

Here's a You Tube link to their Concerto Grosso in G Minor Op. 6, no. 8, and as you'll hear, they're a tad more period informed than I Musici (though I Musici had become more so by the early 1990s than they were in the mid-1960s):
.

While I'm at it, if you or anyone else is interested, here too is a YT link to the set by Trevor Pinnock & The English Concert, which makes for some interesting listening comparisons:
. Being a Corelli nut, I certainly wouldn't want to be without Pinnock's Archiv set, as it's one of the best recordings that he's made in his long career, IMO (I can occasionally find Pinnock a tad square, but not here, and curiously, not in Vivaldi, either).

Some of the present day Italian period groups are also very good in Corelli, too (though I was surprisingly disappointed in Ensemble 415's Op. 6 set). So, if you or anyone out there is interested in hearing further Corelli recommendations, just ask, & I'd be happy to offer some suggestions among the present day Italian ensembles & musicians...

My two cents.
 

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Corelli concerti: hear the Sardelli/Modo Antiquo ensemble on the Tactus label. Extremely enjoyable, have been listening a lot and actually also just when discovering this thread/now. It's a bit special by being the first recording with an orchestra also including wind soloists, common in Corelli's own time. For me, the most essential Corelli recording. I'd avoid the Corelli complete works on Brilliant, it was disappointing for me. Marriner/AcStM for a traditional string orchestra performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A Corelli nut, I love it! Josquin13, thank you again for another informative post. The eBay listings for I Musici are prohibitively expensive when shipping is included for me.

Thank you for recommending the versions by Salter/Guildhall String Ensemble and Pinnock/The English Concert and providing samples. The Pinnock set is surprisingly fine but ultimately isn't quite what I'm looking for. The Guildhall set is a very good recommendation, I might buy this at some point.

Still, I haven't given up on the I Musici. The only sample from the set that I've managed to find online is, believe it or not, from a CD called «Baroque for Beauty Sleep». It's the Pastorale from the eighth concerto:


Also, don't forget about Bruckner! My PM's are still open. Although perhaps I should make a separate post for that one since this has become a Corelli thread.
 

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AndorFoldes--My pleasure. I hope you find both recordings.

joen-cph--That's exactly the recording I had in mind above, but didn't name--Frederico Maria Sardelli's Op. 6 with Modo Antiquo:
. (I gather Sardelli is something of a polymath.) It's very interesting, and compliments Pinnock's interpretations well, making it a valuable alternative; even though Pinnock's set remains my benchmark among period recordings. Otherwise, I was also thinking of the wonderful Corelli Violin Sonata, Op. 5 recordings (etc.) from three different current Italian violinists--Stefano Montanari & Accademia Bizantina, Enrico Gatti & Ensemble Aurora, and Enrico Onofri & Imaginarium. All three are wonderful.

Montanari:

Gatti:

Onofri:

Sorry, I didn't mean to turn this into a Corelli thread...

Another reason to buy all of Sawallisch's Bruckner symphonies on Orfeo is for the exceptional playing of Bavarian Staatsoper, and for the 'state of the art' audiophile Orfeo sound engineering:


By the way, if you download, Presto Classical offers the Sawallisch Bruckner 5 for $10: https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/7943837--bruckner-symphony-no-5-in-b-flat-major. I'd place it high on my list of favorite Bruckner 5ths, & in the same league (or nearly so) with Eugen Jochum's two Concertgebouw readings (on Philips in the 1960s, and Tahra in the mid-1980s), as well as his Staatskapelle Dresden 5th, and historically, Furtwangler's 1942 Berlin 5th.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No worries, I enjoy reading the discussion.

Thank you for the tip about downloading the Sawallisch. I haven't given up on CDs yet, maybe I will some day if I run into too many cases like this. It's interesting that you rate it so highly, what attracts me to it is that it's nice to have something different from the usual names like Jochum, Karajan or Wand. And of course it sounds really good from the samples I've heard online.
 

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AndorFoldes writes, "It's interesting that you rate it so highly, what attracts me to it is that it's nice to have something different from the usual names like Jochum, Karajan or Wand."

Yes, I agree, Sawallisch is different in the Bruckner 5th from the likes of Jochum, Karajan, Wand, etc.. For me, the only reason to collect multiple recordings of a work is to get different perspectives on the music. With that in mind, I always try to recommend a variety of recordings & viewpoints (& have done so here--for example, the 1960s Jochum studio 5th with the Concertgebouw--on Philips--is a different interpretation from his final, incandescent 'swansong' performance in 1986--on Tahra, while Jochum's Dresden 5th has more textural transparency and clarity--due to the orchestral sound of the Staatskapelle Dresden--on EMI, etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Jochum definitely has to be one of the top recommendations for Bruckner. I believe he brought in an additional brass section in the fifth for the final coda in some performances, to relieve the regular brass section at the end of the symphony. In addition to the versions you mentioned there is also the DG BRSO version which unfortunately suffers from sub-optimal early stereo sound. I am not familiar with the Concertgebouw versions as I tend to shy away from live recordings - perhaps I should give them a listen.
 

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That's very interesting. I didn't know that Jochum used an additional brass section in the final coda. As a conductor, he was known to let the brass play out and didn't attempt to overly temper their sound, like certain conductors... You can hear this in Jochum's Beethoven, for instance (especially in his LSO 7th), and of course, it works to great effect in Bruckner, and the 5th is a 'brassy' symphony (as you point out).

You've not heard either of Jochum's Concertgebouw 5ths? (studio or live?) If the 5th is a symphony that particularly interests you, I'd urge you to hear Jochum's live Concertgebouw 5th from 1986. Some 'Brucknerites' consider it to be not only one of the great Bruckner 5ths on record, but also one of the greatest performances of a Bruckner symphony ever recorded. Granted, it may not be everyone's favorite 5th--as some listeners prefer Jochum's 'classic' studio account on Philips with the same orchestra, or Furtwangler's 1942 5th, etc.--but it's one of mine. For me, it is a spiritual experience:


There was something very special about Jochum's Bruckner towards the end of his life. I heard him conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in Bruckner's 9th around 1985 or so, and it was a concert that I'll never forget. Jochum had reached the age where he could no longer stand and conduct, but that day the Philly orchestra was playing so brilliantly that in the Adagio, the 6'6" Jochum suddenly stood up to conduct. It was very moving.

Unfortunately, that was the only time I saw Jochum conduct, but the experience was a meaningful one. I had greatly admired him, not only as a conductor, but as a man. By all accounts, he was a remarkably kind human being & highly intelligent. A composer friend of mine, who knew Jochum at Tanglewood once told me that Jochum was "the nicest man I ever met who was a conductor."

The following live Jochum Bruckner 9th from Munich in 1983 reminds me of what I heard in Philadelphia that afternoon (interestingly, the performance was hand picked for release from the Jochum archives by the conductor's daughter, the pianist, Veronica Jochum): It's a favorite 9th of mine--though Jochum's EMI 9th with the Staatskapelle Dresden is likewise magnificent, & arguably comes with a better orchestra, so it may be preferable (to collectors):


It irks me when I hear certain critics dismiss Jochum as having been no more than a "kapellmeister" (or a "kapellmeister who could only conduct Bruckner"): A term that, oddly enough, has become a form of ridicule today, or at least carries with it a certain derogatory sense. I don't see Jochum's conducting that way at all (though obviously I don't expect to hear HIP performances from him, either). Rather, over the decades, I've come to notice that his recordings get better with repeated listening. It's as if you can't take it in all at once, but with further listening, over time, his special musical insights and perceptions into Bruckner, Wagner, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, etc., become more clearly evident. That is especially true of some of Jochum's lesser known live Wagner opera recordings--such as his Lohengrin, Parsifal, & Tristan und Isolde, for example. & what a pity Jochum wasn't able to make a final Parsifal recording, as he had planned.

Interestingly, I've been told that Jochum himself once commented that he was most proud of his Schubert recordings.

Another conductor who can be deeply spiritual in Bruckner is Sergui Celibidache. Listeners often dismiss Celibidache's Bruckner as being overly slow, which can be true (even though he's often faster than Giulini), but that isn't always the case. (Besides, I believe Celibidache was right to consider the experience of hearing Bruckner in the concert hall to be a very different experience from listening to Bruckner at home, since what can sound overly slow at home may not seem at all slow in the concert hall.) For instance, Celi's late Sony Japanese Bruckner releases of the 7th & 8th symphonies are remarkable, IMO; plus, he could be great in Bruckner's 5th, as well (I should have mentioned him on my previous list of favorite Bruckner 5ths):

Bruckner 5, Celibidache, Munich Philharmonic, live:

https://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Sym...libidache+bruckner+sony&qid=1612466095&sr=8-5
https://www.amazon.com/Bruckner-Sym...libidache+bruckner+sony&qid=1612466095&sr=8-7
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That is a wonderful story about experiencing Jochum live in concert! I could only wish I had experienced something like that. I'm definitely going to listen to the 1986 Concertgebouw recording. I don't know why Jochum would be dismissed as a "Kapellmeister". As you point out this is probably used as an insult by the now dominant group that dislikes traditional performance, thus I see no reason to care.

I'm aware of Celibidache. He was quite an interesting and eccentric character, again the live recordings have kept me at bay. His comment about the difference between listening at home and listening in a concert hall is insightful. If only labels such as BIS would have considered this when they made their "original dynamics" recordings.
 

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AnderFoldes writes, "I'm aware of Celibidache. He was quite an interesting and eccentric character, again the live recordings have kept me at bay. His comment about the difference between listening at home and listening in a concert hall is insightful. If only labels such as BIS would have considered this when they made their "original dynamics" recordings."

I should point out that I've grossly over simplified the 'gist' of Celibidache's view on why he refused to make recordings. Here's an interview where he explains in detail his point of view on the subject (& you don't need to watch all of it to get what he believed, as Celi explains his basic view in the first 10 minutes or so, in response to the interviewer's question (granted, he likes to talk, but I admire his almost 'priestly' conviction and faith):
. & I agree with him. For example, from my experience, I've found that it isn't remotely the same experience to hear the Staatskapelle Dresden play the music of Richard Strauss, for instance (or Bruckner or Wagner) on record as it is to hear them play Strauss live in the concert hall. It's a very different experience. In the concert hall, you don't lose "2/3" of the music, as Celibidache claims. Nevertheless, I'm not about to throw away my Kempe or Blomstedt Strauss recordings with the Staatskapelle, since I enjoy listening to them. But I admit that Celibidache is right. There is a spiritual dimension that can only be heard in the concert hall.

Yet here is where Celibidache may be wrong in certain sense: When I lived in New York City, I can remember Celibidache giving two concerts at Carnegie Hall with the Munich Philharmonic in 1989. Apart from conducting a student orchestra at the Curtis Institute in the mid-1980s, he had never conducted in the United States before. I walked past the hall several times that week and can recall seeing two large posters advertising the concerts. I remember thinking, "Who is Celibidache?" Despite that I was an avid collector of recordings, I had never heard of Celibidache--due largely to his refusal to make any "official" recordings while he was living. So, I assumed that Celibidache was a minor conductor, & consequently didn't go to the concerts: which is something that I regret today. In hindsight, had I known who he was, I would have liked very much to hear the 76 year old Celibidache conduct Bruckner at Carnegie Hall that week. Especially if the following magnificent final coda from Bruckner's 8th Symphony--here recorded from a live concert in Tokyo given around the same time--gives only a "1/3" indication! of what was heard in the concert hall when Celibidache conducted: If interested, the coda starts at around 1 hr 36 minutes into the YT clip, and it's worth hearing just for the brilliant timpani playing alone (by 1989 Celibidache had transformed the Munich Philharmonic into a great orchestra):

Finally, I should mention that the sound quality on Celibidache's Japanese Sony recordings is exceptional, despite that they were live concerts. So, I wouldn't let that stop you or anyone else...

Today, I noticed the following talk on the "most recommendable" recordings" of Bruckner's 5th by critic David Hurwitz on You Tube, and interestingly, Hurwitz's top pick is Wolfgang Sawallisch's Orfeo 5th! (did you know that?):
. Surprisingly, he found Jochum's transcendent live 5th from 1986 with the Concertgebouw "flabby".... so it seems that perhaps Celibidache did know what he was talking about in regards to what critics hear... (Nevertheless, I do think that Hurwitz is usually dependable, and I'm often interested to hear what he likes & recommends; although I don't always share his enthusiasms--such as for George Szell's conducting, which I can find too stiff, despite that Szell had a very fine orchestra. Nor do I agree with his assessment that Wolfgang Sawallisch was mostly a "kapellmeister"--as I'd consider his Strauss, Wagner, Bruckner, Schumann, Schubert, and Mendelssohn recordings to be a lot better than that...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you for recommending these interesting videos. Celibidache's philosophy can be hard to follow. Recordings really are a bit of a different discipline from live performances with limitations that have to overcome in the best possible way. In my opinion, the engineering is almost as important as the performance, and both must be good. That coda of the eighth was worth watching just for the timpanist alone, and Celibidache added quite a bit of his own voice at the end! It works really well on video, but I don't know if I would enjoy it as much without the visuals.

Oh yes, I did see that Hurwitz video where Sawallisch is the top recommendation. Makes you wonder if maybe his advocacy has increased demand for it and thus made it harder to find! I did listen to the Jochum fifth from 1986. The CD cover says that it is the "musical legacy of the giant Eugen Jochum". Those are big words, but the performance does deliver, and I enjoyed it a lot. Of course there is this one moment during the symphony where I noticed the audience. If it was a studio recording without the applause at the end it would be one of my top choices for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I finally bit the bullet and paid the costly shipping to get the Corelli Op. 6 by I Musici.

Now, this set is a bit of a disappointment. The playing is lovely, but the recording lacks bass to an unusual degree, like when you accidentally turn down the "bass" knob on your stereo. This surprises me given the parties that were involved in making the recording. The result is that the music lacks some presence. That is not to say that it is bad by any means.

I uploaded the Christmas Concerto to YouTube as a example:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpyBP-EMgiW6CAKEnxGtrH908AqNiS6iP
 
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