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Hermann Scherchen Great Condu


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 21 2003)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B0000AKPIC
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #137,302 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Coriolan Overture, Op.62
2. I Allegro Vivace E Con Brio
3. II Allegretto Scherzando
4. III Tempo Di Menuetto
5. IV Allegro Vivace
6. The Firebird And It's Dance
7. Variation Of The Firebird
8. The Princesses' Round
9. Danse Infernale Du Roi Kostchei
10. Lullaby
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Donna Diana: Overture
2. I Adagio - Allegro
3. II Allegretto
4. III Menuet. Moderato - Trio
5. IV Finale. Presto
6. I Un Poco Sostenuto - Allegro
7. II Andante Sostenuto
8. III Un Poco Allegretto E Grazioso
9. IV Adagio - Piu Andante - Allegro Non Troppo, Ma Con Brio

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
Hermann Scherchen was probably the most celebrated advocate of modern music of the 20th century - from his early days playing Mahler in Berlin to building his modern music lab in Gravesano in the last years of his life. He premiered many important "modern" pieces, including those by Berg and Schoenberg. It is therefore extremely shocking that this tribute
contains mostly "main stream" repertoire, with the Schoenberg piece "Suite in the old style"!
That said, don't take away the merits of this wonderful set. As a "classical music" conductor Scherchen is always full of insight and always controversial: extreme tempi, incredible rubati, and so on. So much to the extent that Schoenberg once said with him there's never a dull moment - he's always interesting even when he puts things horribly wrong! His Mahler 9th on Orfeo d'Or no doubt falls neatly into that category, but this set certainly represents Scherchen at his best. The celebrated Beethoven 8th is now in its third reincarnation (the first one being an MCA double-decker and the second a single budget MCA-disc paired with a crazily speedy yet effective 6th), and the remastering has much to commend. The Firebird Suite is simply stunning: Scherchen's touch on its rhythm shines like no other. I suspect why the set includes the Haydn symphony is that Scherchen used to make tonnes of Haydn recordings for Westminster, and was fairly representative of his recording work during that era (1950s). The Brahms one was the real surprise package, though: absolutely thrilling with pulsating tempi. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Surprising repertoire for a great "modern music" conductor Jan. 12 2004
By Louis Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Hermann Scherchen was probably the most celebrated advocate of modern music of the 20th century - from his early days playing Mahler in Berlin to building his modern music lab in Gravesano in the last years of his life. He premiered many important "modern" pieces, including those by Berg and Schoenberg. It is therefore extremely shocking that this tribute
contains mostly "main stream" repertoire, with the Schoenberg piece "Suite in the old style"!
That said, don't take away the merits of this wonderful set. As a "classical music" conductor Scherchen is always full of insight and always controversial: extreme tempi, incredible rubati, and so on. So much to the extent that Schoenberg once said with him there's never a dull moment - he's always interesting even when he puts things horribly wrong! His Mahler 9th on Orfeo d'Or no doubt falls neatly into that category, but this set certainly represents Scherchen at his best. The celebrated Beethoven 8th is now in its third reincarnation (the first one being an MCA double-decker and the second a single budget MCA-disc paired with a crazily speedy yet effective 6th), and the remastering has much to commend. The Firebird Suite is simply stunning: Scherchen's touch on its rhythm shines like no other. I suspect why the set includes the Haydn symphony is that Scherchen used to make tonnes of Haydn recordings for Westminster, and was fairly representative of his recording work during that era (1950s). The Brahms one was the real surprise package, though: absolutely thrilling with pulsating tempi. Highly recommended.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Great Conductors of 20th Century = Best Reissues of the 21st Nov. 13 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 attention, 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! And as if that wasn't enough, the most recent volumes (beginning with no. 25) are now available at mid-line instead of full-price!
This particular CD, Volume 32, features the great Hermann Scherchen, and as the track information is non-existent above, allow me to tell what is contained in this fine collection. This 2CD set begins with works by Beethoven -- the Coriolan Overture (Vienna State Opera Orchestra, 1954) and the 8th Symphony (Royal Philharmonic, 1954). This account of the 8th, made available on CD more than a decade ago in the original MCA "Double Decker" series but long out of print, created quite a stir when it was first released nearly fifty years ago. Scherchen was one of the first conductors to strictly follow Beethoven's metronome markings, and as a result the Symphony is at a much brisker tempo than the typical account. It provides a wonderful, striking contrast to other famous versions of the 8th! Disc one concludes with a delightful "Firebird Suite" (RPO, 1954), Schoenberg's "Suite in the Old Style" (Berlin RSO, 1959) and Orff's "Entrata" (VSOO, 1960). As good as disc one is, the second's even better with Reznicek's "Donna Diana" Overture (VSOO, 1957), Haydn's "Military" Symphony (VSOO, 1958) and a surprisingly good Brahms 1st (VSOO, 1952) from a conductor not known as a Brahms specialist. A final note, all of the selections on this collection are either in golden-age stereo, or very good, late mono sound.
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 don'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 might not be in your collection. And that would truly be a shame.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Scherchen, the wild man in the room, doesn't disappoint Dec 28 2005
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The problem with Hermann Scherchen is also the great thing about him: his unpredictability and crazily reckless decisions. We hear this in practically every note of these two CDs in the Great Conductors series. Balances can be wildly off, tempos helter-skelter, ensemble thrown out the window (and the compilers by no means picked the worst of Scherchen's many recordings for Westminster, which can be so ragged as to be unlistenable). But Scherchen was much more than a lovable maniac; he is never less than gripping.

CD 1 begins with a slapdash, exciting Coriolan Overture (good mono, 1954) with the Vienna State Opera Orch. Technically this orchestra is supposed to be some version of the Vienna Philharmonic, but during the early Fifties at least they sounded like a ragtag pickup band. Ensemble and sound improve markedly with the Beethoven Eighth (mono, 1954) which curiously took 13 days to record with the Royal Phil., Beehcam's orchestra. Tempos are fast and alert, and there is no time for digging deep. Scherchen makes this symphony into an exciting race that you either join or walk away from. There's not much middle ground. (The piece lends itself well to his approach, something I can't say for his equally breakneck Eroica.)

At these speeds we have room for a lot more. A Firebird Suite (mono, 1954) comes from the same sessions as the Beethoven, oddly enough. It's full of the same racing excitement. Schonberg's Suite for String Orch. is a bizarrely conventional tonal work, but being mature Schonberg it's full of modernist touches that Scherchen expertly highlights for us in a live performance with the Berlin Radio Sym.--this is one of the best things in the set (stereo, 1959). CD 1 ends with a short work totally unknown to me, Orff's Entrada (stereo, 1960), which sounds like Baroque pastische a la Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances. It loses its fake achaic charm long before eight min. are up.

CD 2 starts off with a burst of champagne, Resnicek's Donna Diana Over. (stereo, 1957). For once the Vienna State Opera Orch. actually sounds like it's from Vienna, and things couldn't be better. The same group is reasonably up to scratch in Haydn's 'Military' Sym. #100, though the 1958 stereo sonics make them sound a scrawny. Haydn was Scherchen's least eccentric composer, at least until we get to the breakneck finale, which is something else again--Beecham on amphetamines. With more robust forces the VSOO takes on the Brahms First (mono, 1952), which Scherchen dispatches in 41 min., equal to Toscanini's NBC Sym. recording from the same period. Hiss rocket-propelled finale will leave you agog. The dated sonics make the strings sound wiry and buzzy, but this is an energetic, well shaped reading, and recognizably similar to many others from mainstream conductors. Too bad we didn't get something more modernist or at least a taste of Scherchen's hair-raising Mahler and Liszt.

Anyway, what we do get is a fair portrait of this one-of-a-kind conductor, who deserves a lot more exploration by anyone who gets a tempting taste of what he could do.

CD 2
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The musical conduction still has a huge debt with this notable director! Aug. 26 2011
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Simply try to summarize the vast discography of this remarkable conductor is a fact in itself admirable. The art of this remarkable genius of the baton is always characterized by its huge discography and repertoire ambitious.

Since his highly praised interpretations of Bach, to the romantic repertoire until the variegated modern repertoire.Scherchen was for many the epitome of Apollonian approach to drive the orchestra. but the truth is that I leave for posterity, his symphonies by Haydn, Beethoven and his enigmatic idiosncratico Stravinsky and Brahms formidable.

This album, my dear reader, is a commendable and remarkable sample of his undeniable talent. In my view, would have been successful have attached a Mahler symphony, which was also prominent exponent.

Thoroughly recommended.

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