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Albert Coates Great Conductor

a-Various Coates Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 34.64
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Disc: 1
1. Oberon: Overture - Albert Coates
2. Mephisto Waltz No.1, S110 No.2 - Albert Coates
3. I. Allegro - Animato Assai - Albert Coates
4. II. Scherzo. Prestissimo - Allegretto - Albert Coates
5. III. Andante - Albert Coates
6. IV. Finale. Allegro - Albert Coates
7. Mlada: Procession Of The Nobles - Albert Coates
8. Francesca Da Rimini, Op.32 - Albert Coates
9. Sorochintsy Fair: Gopak - London Symphony Orchestra
10. La Valse - London Symphony Orchestra
Disc: 2
1. Tannhauser: Overture - London Symphony Orchestra
2. Das Rheingold: Einzug Der Gotter - London Symphony Orchestra
3. Die Walkure: Feuerzauber - London Symphony Orchestra
4. Gotterdammerung: Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt - London Symphony Orchestra
5. Tristan Und Isolde: Love Duet From Act II - Lauritz Melchior
6. Hansel Und Gretel: Prelude - Albert Coates
7. Tod Und Verklarung, Op.24 - London Symphony Orchestra

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excitement regenerated. Jan. 19 2004
Format:Audio CD
The original producer of these recordings, Fred Gaisberg, wrote in his 1947 autobiography, "Albert Coates .....with whom I carried out hundreds of adventurous session when the amazing electrical process first came in".
This splendid double CD allows C21st listeners to hear some of these "adventurous sessions". There is certainly a sense of excitement here, possibly deriving from the realization that the amazing electrical process allowed orchestral sonorities to be heard as something like the real thing. Recent remastering and processing for this "Great Conductors" series makes them seem even more amazing than they sounded originally. Happily, the recordings were made in two of the world's best recording venues: London's Queen's Hall and Kingsway Hall.
Of course, the focus in this series is on the conductor. On the evidence of these recordings, he tended to favor fast speeds. Music from his native Russia is well represented on the first CD, including a robust performance of Borodin's Second Symphony. The "Francesca da Rimini" is slightly cut. From the dozens of Wagner recordings he directed, the famous "Tristan" duet with Leider and Melchior has been selected, partly recorded in Berlin.
Both CDs are filled to capacity.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Audio CD
It's sad that the "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" reissue series has not gotten more notice on Amazon and in other places, because it has my vote for the best reissue program thus far of the 21st Century. Drawing from the archives of all the major classical labels (EMI, Sony, BMG, DG, Decca, Philips, Supraphon, etc.), EMI and IMG Artists have assembled a wonderful series of affordable two-disc sets by the leading conductors of the last century. And unlike its counterpart, "The Great Pianists of the 20th Century," which are basically compilations of material already available on other CDs, the "Great Conductors" features rare and, for the most part, previously unreleased performances!
This particular CD, Volume 17, features Albert Coates, one of the great pre-World War II conductors, and a figure who has been virtually forgotten, not to mention woefully underrepresented on CD. As the track information is not abundantly clear above, allow me to mention that these two discs feature all mono performances from 1926-30 with the London Symphony Orchestra made for HMV. They are among the earliest of electrical recordings, but the sound is remarkable considering their age. The performances of Borodin's Symphony No. 2, Tchaikovsky's "Francesca da Rimini," Ravel's "La Valse," Wagner's "Tannhauser" Overture, and Strauss' "Tod und Verklarung" are nothing short of magical. It is awful that Coates' association with HMV seemingly ended in 1932, and that others didn't ask him to record for them. According to the CD's liner notes, Coates stayed in the USA for most of WWII, then went to South Africa where he taught and made occasional appearances until his death in 1953.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful find: taking one's hat off to Coates Dec 29 2009
By Duane M. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
If you are not already familiar with the amazing conducting art of the Russian-born Albert Coates (1882-1953), then you should not pass up this two-CD set devoted to him in the "Great Conductors of the Twentieth Century" series. All of the recordings are from 1926-1930 period and are of a stunning quality not just sonically but artistically as well. I liked what I heard all the way through the largely Russian fare that made up the first disc, but the final track was a Ravel "La Valse" that really set me off. This is a piece whose opening is often almost inaudible or else done so softly on more contemporary recordings, but with Coates leading the London Symphony Orchestra in this take from 1926 it opens with growling pulsations that set the stage for a performance that is as sensitive as it is electrical. This is music-making done with as little manneristic effect as possible, and the result is like hearing the work again for the first time.

The second disc is a generous helping of Wagner done with the brisk tempi that Coates seemed to prefer and which he was able to employ to such powerful effect. This is Wagner deliberately done but not at all lacking in depth or feeling: the reading of the "Tannhauser Overture" reminds you once more why this really is such magnificent music; the "Entry of the Gods into Valhalla" benefits here too from an unusual arrangement that may puzzle some purists but which allows the conductor and orchestra to explore the excerpt musically; the "Magic Fire Music" is a stunning combination of real pathos and even more real majesty; and the "Rhine Journey" is a finely nuanced performance which made me think that even Toscanini could have learned a thing or two from it about how to approach this score. The "Tristan und Isolde" Act 2 Love Duet with Lauritz Melchior and Frida Leider speaks for itself. In Coates these two giants have a real collaborator, a man who makes the orchestra (the Berlin Staatsoper band) an integral part of the ecstasy unfolding before you. I was amazed at how 'connected' the two vocalists seemed to be with the orchestral sound around them, a level of connection not always apparent or even present in the recordings done since the 1960s.

The final selection is a 1928 "Tod und Verklarung" that is all painful simplicity: it is the most organic unravelling of this work that I have ever heard on CD (the others, for the sake of comparison, being Mengelberg, Furtwangler, Rodzinski, Mitropoulos, Horenstein, Kempe, Klemperer, and Karajan): it is an awesome example of emotion and control holding each other in check.

I very much recommend these recordings to anyone who is interested in hearing a great conductor make this music say what he knew it could utter.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excitement regenerated. Jan. 19 2004
By John Austin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The original producer of these recordings, Fred Gaisberg, wrote in his 1947 autobiography, "Albert Coates .....with whom I carried out hundreds of adventurous session when the amazing electrical process first came in".
This splendid double CD allows C21st listeners to hear some of these "adventurous sessions". There is certainly a sense of excitement here, possibly deriving from the realization that the amazing electrical process allowed orchestral sonorities to be heard as something like the real thing. Recent remastering and processing for this "Great Conductors" series makes them seem even more amazing than they sounded originally. Happily, the recordings were made in two of the world's best recording venues: London's Queen's Hall and Kingsway Hall.
Of course, the focus in this series is on the conductor. On the evidence of these recordings, he tended to favor fast speeds. Music from his native Russia is well represented on the first CD, including a robust performance of Borodin's Second Symphony. The "Francesca da Rimini" is slightly cut. From the dozens of Wagner recordings he directed, the famous "Tristan" duet with Leider and Melchior has been selected, partly recorded in Berlin.
Both CDs are filled to capacity.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Conductors of 20th Century= Best Reissues of the 21st April 1 2003
By Michael B. Richman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It's sad that the "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" reissue series has not gotten more notice on Amazon and in other places, because it has my vote for the best reissue program thus far of the 21st Century. Drawing from the archives of all the major classical labels (EMI, Sony, BMG, DG, Decca, Philips, Supraphon, etc.), EMI and IMG Artists have assembled a wonderful series of affordable two-disc sets by the leading conductors of the last century. And unlike its counterpart, "The Great Pianists of the 20th Century," which are basically compilations of material already available on other CDs, the "Great Conductors" features rare and, for the most part, previously unreleased performances!
This particular CD, Volume 17, features Albert Coates, one of the great pre-World War II conductors, and a figure who has been virtually forgotten, not to mention woefully underrepresented on CD. As the track information is not abundantly clear above, allow me to mention that these two discs feature all mono performances from 1926-30 with the London Symphony Orchestra made for HMV. They are among the earliest of electrical recordings, but the sound is remarkable considering their age. The performances of Borodin's Symphony No. 2, Tchaikovsky's "Francesca da Rimini," Ravel's "La Valse," Wagner's "Tannhauser" Overture, and Strauss' "Tod und Verklarung" are nothing short of magical. It is awful that Coates' association with HMV seemingly ended in 1932, and that others didn't ask him to record for them. According to the CD's liner notes, Coates stayed in the USA for most of WWII, then went to South Africa where he taught and made occasional appearances until his death in 1953.
Whether you are a serious collector of classical music or a beginner, the "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" has something for everyone. If the prized, rare performances previously unreleased on CD (or ever!) doesn't excite you, then use this as an opportunity to check out one of the greatest conductors ever recorded. Chances are, since stores are offering increasingly homogenized classical music sections, this conductor isn't even in your collection. And that would truly be a shame.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Coates' fans Feb. 16 2010
By E. Yoshikawa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As with other cd's from the Greatest Conductors of the 20th Century series, the sound here is far from good. However, you won't probably find elsewhere so many recordings by Coates, if you're interested in his conducting.
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