Most recent CD reviews

Classical music magazines:

March 2021 ∙ French Diapason ∙ Jean-Michel Molkhou
Ce sont des inédits, puisés dans les archives de la Radio de Hambourg, que réunit ce généreux double album consacré à Christian Ferras, donnant à entendre le grand violoniste français en son âge d’or. En compagnie de Pierre Barbizet, son inséparable partenaire. Agrémentés d’une notice fort documentée et de quelques rares photos d’époque, ces enregistrements reproduits à partir des masters originaux, raviront tous les admirateurs de l’une des personnalités violonistiques les plus fascinantes du XXe siècle et du plus fusionnel des duos français.

March 2021 ∙ British Gramophone ∙ Rob Cowan
Legendary Soviet Pianists: Four rather less celebrated figures brought together by Melo Classic also warrant the attention of discerning listeners. Tatyana Goldfarb (who died aged 49 in 1964) makes an especially lyrical statement of the principal second subject of Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto (Berlin RSO / Franz Konwitschny, 1955) whereas Nina Yemelyanova (1912-98) enjoys a soaring accompaniment for Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto, a memorable 1953 Berlin recording under Hermann Abendroth, the performance outgoing and energetic. All these performances repay repeated listening and the transfers are immaculate.

Hans Richter-Haaser: I enjoyed this set enormously. It sent me back to the pianist’s equally distinctive commercial recordings. Could there be further broadcasts available, I wonder? If so, I’d love to hear them. As usual with this label, the transfers are exemplary and so are the annotations.

John Ogdon: This is Ogdon at his formidable best; and if there’s any more available from the same source, let’s be having it. Good sound.

January 2021 ∙ British Gramophone ∙ Rob Cowan
Legendary French Pianists · Monique Haas · Madeleine de Valmalète. These memorably stylish performances find Monique Haas a model of elegance. But perhaps the main attraction is a fine musician who made even fewer recordings than Haas: Madeleine de Valmalete, a prize-winning pianist who impressed the likes of Faure and Ravel.

May 2020 ∙ French Diapason ∙ Jean-Michel Molkhou
Deux violonistes françaises tombées dans l’oubli, Jeanne Gautier (1898-1974) et Janine Andrade (1918-1997) se partagent un volume réunissant des oeuvres dont elles n’ont laissé aucune trace au disque. Un double album rend un généreux hommage à deux légendaires violons solos de l’Orchestre philharmonique de Berlin, Hugo Kolberg et Michel Schwalbé.

April 2020 ∙ French Diapason ∙ Jean-Michel Molkhou
Meloclassic ravive la mémoire de maîtres de l’archet oubliés par une série d’enregistrements inédits, de concert ou de radio, accompagnés de livrets très étoffés.

March 2020 ∙ International Piano Magazine ∙ Bryce Morrison
Samson François’s Salle Pleyel Recital in 1965: His Schumann Études Symphoniques are oddly heavy and Teutonic while his Liszt Sonata, with its rhetoric gasps, becomes virtually surreal. You may argue over the greatest Liszt Sonata on record, but you can’t argue over the strangest. In the Don Juan fantasy, François takes you to the very edge – over the edge in the coda – but with responses as vivid and tempestuous as you could wish. No point in comparisons: François was always François in whatever guise he appeared. This issue is a reminder of the contradictions of musical genius.

February 2020 ∙ French Diapason ∙ Bertrand Boissard
Meloclassic poursuit son exploration de bandes radio inédites de pianistes illustres et pour certains oubliés.

February 2020 ∙ French Classica ∙ Jean-Charles Hoffelé
Meloclassic propose, dans de bonnes conditions techniques, des enregistrements historiques rares de pianistes connus ou à redécouvrir. Une mine pour les curieux.

December 2019 ∙ British Gramophone ∙ Rob Cowan
The latest trawl of radio recordings from Melo Classic is typically eclectic and revelatory. This is a fabulous bundle of discs.

Reviews on the web:

February 2021 ∙ ResMusica ∙ Roman Totenberg ∙ Violin Recitals in Germany 1958-1970
Qui se souvient aujourd’hui de Roman Totenberg ? Dans ses prestations, Roman Totenberg subjugue par une profonde musicalité qui lui permet de déployer une large palette des teintes, d’associer une sonorité « lisse » à des accents résolument âpres. Les prises de son comme les reports sont de bonne qualité. Grâce au travail de restauration de Lynn Ludwig à partir des bandes originales conservées dans les archives des stations de radio allemandes, voici un double disque indispensable pour les amoureux du violon.

February 2021 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Roman Totenberg ∙ Violin Recitals in Germany 1958-1970
It’s regrettable that Totenberg’s star hasn’t shone as brightly as some of Flesch’s top rank students. His repertoire embraced a wide spectrum ranging from Bach to William Schuman, yet his representation in the catalogue is minimal. Thanks to Meloclassic, the balance is somewhat redressed with this fascinating cache of live radio recordings in agreeable sound. I sincerely hope that more of the violinist’s art will surface from this label in the future. Totenberg was an admirable violinist, and his refined artistry is certainly deserving of wider currency.

February 2021 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Yara Bernette ∙ Piano Recitals in Germany 1961-1971
This new release from Meloclassic marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of pianist Yara Bernette (1920-2002) and captures the refined artistry of a pianist largely forgotten.

February 2021 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Miriam Solovieff ∙ Violin Recitals in France 1959 & 1966
This release will especially appeal to violin mavens who wish to seek out rare performances by forgotten artists. I must praise Meloclassic’s new slim-line gatefold; it’s both eco-friendly and space-saving. All told, this release is a valuable and most welcome discographical addition.

January 2021 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Legendary Violinists in Live Concert Performances
This single disc features performances by three female violinists: Guila Bustabo, Michèle Auclair, Lola Bobesco, all near contemporaries. Each was a renowned performer who, for some reason, has migrated off the radar – unjustly in my view. Like many of these past legends, it’s been left to the Japanese and Koreans to keep the candle burning. This is yet another beautifully produced release from Meloclassic.

January 2021 ∙ Favourite Releases of 2020 by Mark Ainley
2020 saw another set of superb releases by the marvellous collectors’ specialist label Meloclassic, with 9 piano issues and other sets featuring fine violinists and other musicians. Each issue features either well-known artists in rare performances (and/or repertoire) or artists who have been overlooked by posterity. Each of the new sets last year feature inspiring performances by legends such as John Ogden (a jawdropping Hammerklavier and complete Chopin Op.25!), Wilhelm Kempff, Andor Foldes, and Monique Haas (in chamber music – a delight!) as well as less-appreciated artists such as Poldi Mildner (truly top-tier), Hans Richter-Haaser, and Madeleine de Valmalete. A 2-disc set of Soviet pianists included two new to me, Nina Yemelyanova and Tatyana Goldfarb – both fabulous – alongside better known Tatyana Nikolaeva and Lev Oborin. This was my first time to hear Yara Bernette – a 100th anniversary celebratory release – and the Stefan Askenase set was another welcome addition. Collectors know to pay attention when Meloclassic issues their productions and this latest batch is a treasure trove indeed.

January 2021 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ John Ogdon ∙ The Ludwigsburg Recital in 1967
Recommended Recording. This live Ludwigsburg recital from 1967 predates these vicissitudes and gives the listener the opportunity to experience this genius of the piano at the height of his powers. The sound quality here is excellent, allowing us to fully savour Ogdon’s wonderful playing. This is a highly desirable release and gets my wholehearted recommendation.

January 2021 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Pina Carmirelli ∙ Concerto Recordings 1963-1967
It’s with great enthusiasm that I welcome another batch of live and radio studio recordings from the Meloclassic label. Now, attention is turned to two radio studio recordings with orchestra set down in the 1960s of concertos by Brahms and Prokofiev. The restorations are beyond reproach, and both performances emerge fresh and fine. Documentation is first class. These recordings make a significant contribution to an otherwise scant discography and should be enthusiastically embraced by violin fanciers.

August 2020 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Edith Picht-Axenfeld ∙ German Radio Broadcast Recordings
These well-preserved broadcasts are rewarding in every way, and have been lovingly restored. The detailed biography is more comprehensive than anything you’ll find elsewhere. This is a must-have collection for pianophiles, enabling you to fully savour the refined pianism of a long-forgotten artist.

August 2020 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Hugo Kolberg / Michel Schwalbé  ∙ Legendary Concertmasters of the Berlin Philharmonic
This fascinating 2-disc set spotlights two former concertmasters of the Berlin Philharmonic, who can be heard in their solo ventures into concerto, sonata and short piece performances. Another thing they share in common is that they both originate from Warsaw, Hugo Kolberg being born there in 1898 and and Michel Schwalbé in 1919. This fulsomely annotated release, in superb transfers will appeal enormously to violin mavens the world over.

June 2020 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Walter Gieseking ∙ At the Hollywood Bowl 1955-56
The legendary pedal technique is utilised to achieve colour and texture, and the effect is almost hypnotic. The outdoor concerts have been well-captured by the NBC engineers, and the piano is bright and clear. Although his recording career was prolific, these historic documents make a valuable addition to an already well-packed discography. It’s always a pleasure to savour the playing of this wonderful pianist.

June 2020 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Wilhelm Kempff ∙ Piano Recitals in France
Elegantly presented in well-constructed gatefold format, these three live recitals, of historical importance, are a valuable addition to the Kempff discography, which devotees of the pianist will welcome. For inspirational pianism of the highest order, you need look no further.

April 2020 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Erick Friedman ∙ Live Performances in France 1965-1968
The recordings are in very good shape, and the accompanying liner supplies all that is needed.

March 2020 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Tibor de Machula ∙ German Radio Recordings 1944-1952
Although de Machula’s discography is fairly substantial, these broadcasts add significantly to his recorded legacy.

February 2020 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Reine Gianoli ∙ Recitals in France 1962-1966
Meloclassic’s attractive presentation includes a sturdy gatefold with the booklet notes fitting snugly between the two discs. The liner provides a detailed biography of the pianist together with selections of the pianist in her own words. Of special interest are her recollections of Alfred Cortot as a teacher. The black and white photographs are the icing on the cake.

January 2020 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Walter Gieseking ∙ At the Hollywood Bowl 1955-56
This twofer catches the pianist in unfamiliar open-air concerts performing romantic concertos and more intimate solo works. Mediating between projection and introspection is never easy in such circumstances and it’s fascinating to listen to the decision-making and compromises inherent in trying to do just that. Add two nuggets never before recorded and you have a release to ponder.

January 2020 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Johanna Martzy ∙ Swiss Radio Broadcast Recordings 1947-1969
Martzy’s cult status lives on in these glowing transfers, which are full of warmth and depth. The accompanying biography is the most detailed portrait of the artist I have read so far, supplying information I wasn’t aware of. For violin mavens, this is an essential purchase.

January 2020 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Edith Picht-Axenfeld ∙ German Radio Broadcast Recordings
In fact, this is a most valuable release, bringing to attention, in well-engineered transfers from the master tapes, a musician who has been largely forgotten but who deserves to be remembered.

December 2019 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ György Cziffra ∙ The Besançon Recital 1961
Cziffra was nearly 40 when he gave this recital in Besançon in 1961. The recording quality is splendid as are the customarily excellent booklet notes. This notably fine recital shows the fire and the poetry at the heart of Cziffra’s art.

December 2019 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Samson François ∙ Salle Pleyel Recital 1965
The highlight of this recital for me is the Liszt Sonata. The reading in bold, courageous, passionate and intense, yet bejewelled with poetic lustre. The recital, a live recording from the Salle Pleyel, is dated 19 January 1965. The audio quality is first-rate, with air and resonance around the piano. It makes for a pleasing listen.

November 2019 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ György Cziffra ∙ The Besançon Recital 1961
Here we have a live recital that György Cziffra gave on 16 September 1961 at the Théâtre municipal de Besançon. Most of the programme is the sort of repertoire the pianist favoured. Radio announcements bookend the recital, and audience applause is retained. Schumann’s Piano Sonata No 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 11 is the most substantial work here. Cziffra’s performance is utterly compelling, one of the finest I have heard. In a recording dusted down from the archives of Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (RTF), the sound quality is exceptionally fine.

November 2019 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Hugo Kolberg / Michel Schwalbé  ∙ Legendary Concertmasters of the Berlin Philharmonic
Two concertmaster-soloists, four concertos, one sonata and a raft of smaller pieces; that’s the premise of this twofer from Meloclassic. Both Hugo Kolberg (1898-1979) and Michel Schwalbé (1919-2012) were concertmasters of the Berlin Philharmonic and both had been born in, or very near, Warsaw. These fine sounding restorations are housed in a gatefold album with valuable notes. One of the photographs shows both men in the concertmaster positions of the Berlin Philharmonic watching on inscrutably as Karajan takes a grinning bow.

October 2019 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Conrad Hansen ∙ Four Beethoven Sonatas
The expert restorations sound very good to my ears. The detailed biographical essay supplies all the necessary background. This is Beethoven playing of the highest order, and it is to be hoped that more of the pianist’s sonata performances will surface in the not-too-distant future.

October 2019 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Johanna Martzy ∙ Swiss Radio Broadcast Recordings 1947-1969
Some of these performances derive from so early in Johanna Martzy’s career that they include her appearance in the final round of the 1947 Geneva Concours international competition when she was still only 22. But in fact, they delve even further back, charting a Swiss broadcast from March that year so those who want to hear this marvelous artist in her early years are in for a real treat. Transfers and documentation are invariably beyond reproach when it comes to Meloclassic’s discs. And Martzy is inevitably a draw for fiddle appreciators.

September 2019 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Janine Andrade / Jeanne Gautier ∙ Legendary French Violinists
The disc is devoted to two French violinists who have both appeared in previous releases from the label, Janine Andrade and Jeanne Gautier. The booklet notes admirably portray the two women’s biographies accompanied by some excellently reproduced photographs. As noted, the sound quality is first class. Because neither woman recorded these works commercially, their admirers will want to add this disc to their shelves.

Overall Reviews

I do not know how to express my gratitude. The kind of archival material which you are publishing is of tremendous interest. So that, as you see, we share the same preoccupations. With all best wishes of success in your endeavors.
Bruno Monsaingeon, French filmmaker, writer, and violinist

Dans le microcosme de l’enregistrement historique, Meloclassic occupe une position inédite puisque tous ses « historical recordings » sont des « first CD releases ». On notera le soin parfait avec lequel les bandes originales ont été retravaillées ainsi que la qualité des notes, en anglais seulement, et de la présentation. Bien évidemment, les radios allemandes sont les plus représentées (Hessischer Rundfunk, Süddeutscher Rundfunk, Rundfunk der DDR…) mais on y trouve aussi des bandes de la RTF, de Radio Lausanne, de la radio polonaise, etc. Chaque programme est centré autour d‘un ‘interprète, certains fort connus (Kyrill Kondrachine, Samson François, Devy Erlih, Walter Gieseking, Wilhelm Backhaus, Rudolf Firkusny, Maurice Gendron, Henryk Szeryng…), d‘autres parfois injustement oubliés ou trop rarement représentés au disque (les pianistes Lazare-Lévy, Lélia Gousseau, Monique de la Bruchollerie, Monique Haas, la violoniste Janine Andrade). Mais s’il vous prenait envie de découvrir ou de mieux connaître Poldi Mildner, Bronislaw Gimpel ou Erich Röhn, il y aurait des découvertes à faire dans ce fonds potentiellement inépuisable.
Jérémie Bigorie, Classica

Melo Classic is my label of the year. Their reissue of never before released historical classical radio performances on CD has proved consistently exciting, and they have presented an astonishing array of live broadcast material from the 1930s onwards. It’s a label that continues to show perceptive judgement in its releases – both as to artist and repertoire. I have no hesitation in saying that this is potentially the most exciting tranche of broadcast material to be made available in many years.
Jonathan Woolf, Musicweb International

Revelations from Meloclassic, this is an exceptionally valuable label. Not only is Meloclassic issuing many fascinating never-before-released radio broadcasts (featuring fine artists quite unknown to a wider public), but also the transfers are unhindered by tiresome excessive filtering and the CDs include exhaustive booklet-notes.
Rob Cowan, Gramophone

MeloClassic, a very new label (established in 2013) specialising in issuing historical radio recordings and performances for the first time on disc, seems set out to be one of the most exciting happenings on the recent classical music scene. All of its 80 releases so far are recordings enjoying their first CD release, thereby resurrecting a huge treasure trove of unknown performances, both by established greats and more obscure musicians.
Jeremy Lee, Top Ear – Hong Kong

Meloclassic, a new label to hit the marketplace – a mouth-watering prospect. Sound quality for these broadcasts is exceptionally clear and well-defined. They have been re-mastered using high-quality master tapes. The CD comes in a well-constructed, space-saving Digipak case. Three pages of liner notes, in English, give a biographical portrait of the artist, together with a selection of black and white photographs.
Stephen Greenbank, Musicweb International

Meloclassic boasts a rich and growing catalogue of exceptional interest. Recent releases include great performances by Henry Merckel, Michèle Auclair, René Benedetti and many other, often-forgotten artists. I urge readers to discover them.
Nathaniel Vallois, Strad

MeloClassic – Travail d’orfèvre. Voici une nouvelle collection d’archives, à tout petit prix, qui saura séduire les collectionneurs en quête de véritables raretés. A partir d’archives de radio totalement inédites, et de fort belle qualité sonore, ce jeune label propose d’entrée de jeu 60 albums des plus attractifs. Pianistes, violoncellistes, chefs d’orchestre et quatuors sont dignement représentés. Au sein de la collection « violon » que j’ai pu découvrir en totalité on y remarque un généreux hommage à des artistes français. Et parmi eux, bon nombre de grandes dames de l’archet aujourd’hui trop oubliées telles Janine Andrade, Myriam Solovieff, Michèle Auclair, Jeanne Gautier, Renée Chemet ou Denise Soriano, dont on (re)découvrira l’élégance de style et la pureté d’inspiration. A côté de quelques monstres sacrés comme Leonid Kogan, Yehudi Menuhin, Tibor Varga, Christian Ferras, Henryk Szeryng ou Arthur Grumiaux, illustrés par des enregistrements inconnus enrichissant significativement leur discographie, on s’attardera sur des étoiles moins célèbres comme Guila Bustabo, Erick Friedman (élève d’Heifetz), Lola Bobesco, Henry Merckel ou Igor Bezrodny. Des violonistes allemands ou autrichiens, illustres concertmasters en leur temps, tel Siegfried Borries, Erich Röhn, Wolfgang Schneiderhan ou Willi Boskovsky, complètent ce panorama du plus grand intérêt.
Jean-Michel Molkhou, Diapason

Older CD Reviews

April 2016 ∙ Gramophone ∙ Rob Cowan

Celebrating Monique de la Bruchollerie. A cornucopia of gems, from spheres both public and private, live and studio-based, from a great French pianist. I’d call this a major historic release.

February 2016 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ Monique de La Bruchollerie 100th Anniversary Edition

RECORDING OF THE MONTH. This set has been a revelation to me, and I am grateful to Meloclassic for making this material available in this beautifully produced set. It should be warmly welcomed by devotees of French pianism.

December 2015 ∙ le mag du piano ∙ Frédéric Gaussin

Monique de La Bruchollerie, ou le souvenir français. Soixante ans après, il sera bon de réévaluer sereinement l’héritage artistique de Monique de La Bruchollerie à la lumière neuve de ces douze heures de musique. En la circonstance, sa fille Diane, elle-même une pianiste professionnelle, a livré ce témoignage que nous avons eu plaisir à recueillir.

October 2015 ∙ Classica ∙ Jérémie Bigorie

On notera le soin parfait avec lequel les bandes originales ont été retravaillées ainsi que la qualité des notes, en anglais seulement, et de la présentation.

July 2015 ∙ Gramophone ∙ Rob Cowan

Not only is Melo Classic issuing many fascinating never-before-released radio broadcasts (featuring fine artists quite unknown to a wider public), but also the transfers are unhindered by tiresome excessive filtering and the CDs include exhaustive booklet-notes.

July 2015 ∙ Audaud ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ POLDI MILDNER plays Schubert, Chopin, Liszt & Debussy

MeloClassic scores another triumph of historical keyboard restoration with an artist we must reckon among the formerly unsung titans of her art.

July 2015 ∙ Audaud ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ MONIQUE HAAS plays Schumann, Mozart, Ravel & Bach

MeloClassic scores another triumph of historical keyboard restoration with an artist we must reckon among the formerly unsung titans of her art.

July 2015 ∙ Audaud ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ MARIAN FILAR plays Chopin & Brahms

A Holocaust survivor with a grand musical gift, Marian Filar gives us Chopin and Brahms with bountiful panache and style, 1949-1952.

July 2015 ∙ Audaud ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ RUDOLF FIRKUSNY plays Mozart, Schumann & Schubert

Always brilliant and elegant at once, the impassioned Rudolf Firkusny delivers and Austro-German recital culled from recitals 1957-1964.

June 2015 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ BRONISŁAW GIMPEL plays Glazunov, Mendelssohn and Goldmark

Gimpel was one of the most brilliant and communicative violinists of his generation. Whatever chain of circumstances denied him a true international reputation is of less significance now. His legacy should be celebrated and this disc does that handsomely.

May 2015 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ DEVY ERLIH plays Tartini, Bach, Beethoven, Ravel & Encores – The Paris recital 1952

Devy Erlih (1928-2012) has featured in a review or two of mine in the past and it would be good to think that his fairly recent death – he was killed when walking to teach at the École normale de musique in Paris – might stimulate some further reissues. The disc under discussion, however, is not of commercial material as it contains a recital given in Paris in December 1952. Meloclassic has upped its game with a classy English-language booklet to replace the glued in notes, and a change of colour. The result is a fine addition to Erlih’s regrettably small current discography.

May 2015 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ LAZARE-LÉVY plays Rameau, Mozart, Franck, Mompou and Fauré

I’ve had the opportunity to write about Lazare-Lévy (1882-1964) when reviewing Tahra’s excellent tribute album to the great French pianist and pedagogue. Now Meloclassic appears with a fascinating selection from his concerts and broadcasts given between 1950 and 1963. The restoration of this material is particularly valuable because he made so few commercial recordings. All lovers of French pianism will react favourably to this splendid release which is made the more so because Meloclassic has now upped its game in terms of presentation. Gone are the tipped in notes. Now we have an elegant eight-page booklet in the digipack with photographs and well-written notes. The livery has now changed colour too. All of which rounds out a compelling portrait of the French pianist as recitalist, soloist, ensemble pianist and accompanist.

May 2015 ∙ MusicWeb International ∙ ELLY NEY plays Schumann, Mozart and Schubert

Recordings devoted to Elly Ney continue to appear from time to time, though they are largely devoted to her commercial legacy. This one mines studio recordings made in Berlin and Breslau in 1944 and captures her in the role as concerto soloist, chamber player and solo recitalist, a nice distribution of talents. Nevertheless it’s always valuable to hear Ney, not least in works that escaped commercial recording. The notes set the scene well, and don’t gloss over the pianist’s aberrant conduct during the Hitler years.

May 2015 ∙ le mag du piano ∙ Frédéric Gaussin ∙ LAZARE-LÉVY plays Rameau, Mozart, Franck, Mompou and Fauré

Dans la mesure aussi où il formera certainement la dernière parution d’intérêt dédiée à Lazare-Lévy – encore qu’il soit toujours possible d’altérer le profil d’un artiste en publiant des rebuts ou des bribes – il faut donc saluer comme il convient ce disque que Meloclassic, fidèle à sa jeune tradition d’excellence, publie aujourd’hui au cœur d’une salve riche et française d’inédits (Samson François, Monique Haas, Lélia Gousseau… : de nombreux autres s’annoncent). Essentielle à notre connaissance du pianiste, cette contribution se distingue d’abord par sa dimension patrimoniale.

May 2015 ∙ Artamag ∙ Jean-Charles Hoffelé ∙ FRIEDRICH WÜHRER plays Beethoven and Schubert

Un des scandales du CD, l’absence quasi-totale du legs discographique engrangé par Friedrich Wührer au cours des années cinquante pour VOX et dont Tahra a fugitivement réédité la seule intégrale des Concertos pour piano de Beethoven. Impossible que son intégrale des Sonates de Schubert ne reparaisse pas, d’autant qu’elle est tombée dans le domaine.

May 2015 ∙ Artamag ∙ Jean-Charles Hoffelé ∙ WILHELM BACKHAUS ∙ Beethoven recitals Ludwigsburg (1953) & Besançon (1959)

Il y a tout un monde entre Wilhelm Backhaus jouant au studio d’enregistrement – son souvent étriqué, interprétation millimétrée – et Wilhelm Backhaus saisi en concert. Le double album essentiellement consacré à Beethoven que publie Meloclassic rassemble une part du concert donné au Théâtre Municipal de Besançon le 15 septembre 1959 (Sonates Nos. 6, 7 et 14) et l’écho d’une autre soirée Beethoven, elle absolument prodigieuse, captée au Château de Ludwisburg le 13 décembre 1953.

May 2015 ∙ Artamag ∙ Jean-Charles Hoffelé ∙ POLDI MILDNER plays Schubert, Chopin, Liszt and Debussy

Je savais peu de choses de Poldi Mildner, mais la désinvolture de son jeu et le pianisme fulgurant qu’elle mettait à la Burleske de Strauss pour Arthur Rother m’avait donné envie d’en savoir plus sur cette pianiste que Rachmaninov avait adoubée après l’avoir entendue à New York jouer son Deuxième Concerto au début des années trente. Les documents regroupés ici sont aussi passionnants que déconcertants.

May 2015 ∙ Artamag ∙ Jean-Charles Hoffelé ∙ MONIQUE HAAS plays Schumann, Mozart, Debussy and Bach

Monique Haas jouait un répertoire très ouvert que le disque documenta partiellement. Mais il suffit d’entendre le phrasé du premier thème de la Sonate KV 310. Plus surprenant encore, l’entendre jouer Bach. Et comment ne pas admirer malgré ses limites de timbre – le clavier de Monique Haas est un rien trop « bref » pour Schumann – ses Kreisleriana sans fantasque mais si chantées et dont les épisodes réflexifs sont désarmants ? A ces trois inédits de son répertoire, l’éditeur ajoute une lecture pleine d’ombres, incroyablement sombre de Pour le piano. Qu’il poursuive!

May 2015 ∙ Top Ear ∙ Jeremy Lee ∙ KIRILL KONDRASHIN conducts Wagner, Ravel and Tchaikovsky

Kondrashin and the Staatskapelle Dresden performing repertoire not normally associated with both performing entities. The mono radio sonics from 1955 (Wagner) and 1960 (the remainder) is quite good for its vintage, and has been lovingly restored for modern ears by Lynn Ludwig, the founder of the label. Wherever you happen to live, I would urge you to grab this invaluable addition to Kondrashin’s discography immediately.

May 2015 ∙ Audaud ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ ROSL SCHMID plays Beethoven, Weber and Strauss

Long-forgotten Rosl Schmid emerges with blistering intensity in three staples from the grand German repertory. The performances, old as they are, reveal their sonic beauties in the presence of absolute quietude, sonically. The only ingredient we miss remains the insane applause that would have, should have, accompanied these revelatory collaborations.

May 2015 ∙ Audaud ∙ Gary Lemco ∙ JOSEPH KEILBERTH conducts Mozart, Haydn and Dvorák

Superbly restored readings from the Keilberth legacy, 1942-1945, guarantee a satisfying tour of the mainstream Austro-German tradition. The “new” MeloClassic packaging adds only more class to an already satisfying experience in historical recordings, and the liner notes by Michael Waiblinger provide ample biographical commentary.