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Eloquence, c'est la collection des trésors oubliés des labels Deutsche Grammophon, Decca et Philips. Initiée par l'Australie, cette série de rééditions sait créer l'événement. Les albums offrent des couplages souvent inédits, avec une véritable connaissance de l'histoire discographique pour former une présentation cohérente et soignée. Le son, provenant des bandes originales anglaises, est traité de manière naturelle pour pouvoir rendre au mieux l'exceptionnelle qualité sonore qui a subjugué des générations de mélomanes dès l'orée de la stéréophonie dont Decca a été un des pionniers, développant ses propres micros et magnétophones. Une collection pour mélomanes et audiophiles exigeants pour un prix modique.



Symphonic Music - Released March 6, 2020 | Decca

The music on this pair of CDs falls into one of two categories: ballet music from an opera, or ballet music that was not originally intended for dancing at all, but that was subsequently adapted for that purpose. (The exception is Don Quixote, a full-length ballet with an original score.) Many famous conductors had unusual lives, but the life of Anatole Fistoulari (1907-1995) was more unusual than most. When he was just seven, he conducted a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony in his native city of Kiev. At thirteen, he conducted Saint-Saëns’s Samson and Delilah in Bucharest. While a young man, he travelled throughout Europe and North America, accompanying bass Feodor Chaliapin and conducting the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Escaping the European mainland in World War II, he came to England, where he soon married Gustav Mahler’s sole surviving daughter, Anna, and was named principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He became a British citizen in 1948. Under a reciprocal arrangement between Decca and RCA, the Verdi, Mussorgsky, Saint-Saëns and Rossini items – all ‘opera-ballets’ – first appeared on RCA in 1960. Their first Decca release (under the title ‘The World of Ballet’) was not until 1972. Likewise, the Lecocq and Walton items were published in 1959 by RCA but in 1971 by Decca.

Symphonic Music - Released February 7, 2020 | Decca

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
An original Philips album of two light-orchestral masterpieces by Dvořák, with the Serenade for Strings receiving a first international reissue on CD. While best known as a conductor of the central symphonic repertoire, and the operas of Berlioz and Tippett, Colin Davis always showed special affection for the music of Dvořák. He made this album in March 1968, conducting the orchestra with whom he enjoyed the longest and most fruitful relationship of his career, the London Symphony Orchestra. After some troubled times in the early 1960s, when Davis suffered a breakdown and the orchestra passed him over in favour of Istvan Kertesz as music director, they hit a sweet spot together in this album and several others such as the early volumes of their Berlioz and Tippett series together. The Symphonic Variations remains a comparatively neglected work – astonishingly so, given its tremendous charm. When Hans Richter first conducted the work in Vienna, he declared that he could never remember a new piece achieving such a popular success. Brahms thought equally highly of it, and perhaps valued the quality of wit which is rarely found in Dvořák’s music. Davis certainly did so, and conducted the Variations throughout his career, including late in life with the LSO, but this first recording enjoys a particularly unfettered freedom of expression. Affection also beams from every bar of the Serenade for Strings which Dvořák composed in 1876, the year before the Variations. This was a happy time for the composer, who was so often beset by suffering and personal tragedy, and it breathes the same joyous air as his Fifth Symphony and Second String Quintet, full of Czech and Viennese dance rhythms, which are handled by the LSO’s string section with rather more lightness of touch than on Davis’s later Philips recording with the BRSO. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)

Symphonic Music - Released February 7, 2020 | Decca

Three Philips albums of Mozart from the early years of Sir Colin Davis’s half-century association with the London Symphony Orchestra, including several recordings new to CD. Known as a peerless interpreter of Berlioz, Sibelius and Tippett, Sir Colin Davis was devoted above all to the music of Mozart. Symphonies, concertos and serenades by Mozart formed much the largest part of Davis’s early discography with several labels and ensembles. ‘He simply knew how Mozart should go,’ recalled the film director Humphrey Burton after the conductor’s death in 2013. A landmark event in his career occurred in 1959, when he took over performances of Don Giovanni in London from Carlo Maria Giulini, and record labels soon took notice of his Mozartian gifts and inclinations. He began to work regularly with the LSO in the early 1960s, and it was a relationship that quickly bore fruit in the recording studio with Symphonies Nos. 39 and 40, which also marked the beginning of the 40-year-long relationship between the conductor and the Dutch Philips label. Symphonies Nos. 25, 29 and 32 followed in 1964, likewise newly minted, rhythmically buoyant and quite foreign to the ‘grand old man’ style of Mozart playing then prevalent, and which Davis himself cultivated to a degree in the latter stages of his career. These recordings were welcomed as ‘young man’s Mozart’, respecting tradition but not in hock to it, reflecting Harold Rosenthal’s early praise of Davis in the pit: ‘‘Not since the departure from London of [Erich] Kleiber have we heard a Mozart opera directed with such musicality, style and rhythm, or so beautifully shaped.’ The third LP reissued in this generous compilation contained the two concertos written by Mozart for the flute: an instrument for which he apparently held no great affection, but produced all the same two works of boundless invention. The soloist was the Dutch-born, German flautist Hubert Barwahser (1906-1985) who had been recording for Philips since the label’s earliest days, both as a soloist and as principal flautist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)

Symphonic Music - Released November 1, 2019 | Decca

Leinsdorf scored an enormous personal triumph early in his first season (1962-63) as the Boston Symphony’s Music Director with Mahler’s First Symphony. The RCA recording they made together duly captures much of the brilliance and dash of their live chemistry in the work, and for months after its release it remained one of the best-selling classical albums in the US. Leinsdorf’s remake of the symphony in London almost a decade later, for the Phase 4 sublabel of Decca, has enjoyed a less storied reputation, but on its first release it was preferred to the BSO version by the doyen of Mahler critics in the UK, Deryck Cooke. The Mahler was Leinsdorf’s second album for Phase 4 after a typically lucid pairing of Wagner and Richard Strauss made in 1969. ‘Bleeding chunks’ they may be, but in fact Leinsdorf rejected all the available suites from Der Rosenkavalier and made his own, observing both the chronology and the expressive narrative of the opera, and critics again found they preferred his version to any other. Leinsdorf lacked for nothing in terms of both confidence and experience on the podium, as his supremely lucid writings on the subject of conducting make abundantly clear, and he could win the absolute trust of orchestras – even ones as hard-bitten as the LSO – within a single rehearsal. Live recordings of his Rosenkavalier complete have become sought-after collectors’ items, but (like the Mahler) this Phase 4 album in sumptuous sound has been available only within a much larger box-set: this handy reissue should delight all lovers of propulsive, full-blooded performances of Romantic classics. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)

Sacred Vocal Music - Released November 1, 2019 | Decca

The first recordings of choral masterpieces by Britten, performed by the dedicatees and newly reissued in a unique compilation.At Christmas in 1958, Benjamin Britten went to hear the boys of the Westminster Cathedral Choir sing his Ceremony of Carols conducted by George Malcolm. He was so impressed by their voices that he wanted to write something for them. Malcolm suggested a short Mass for boys’ voices. The result is the Missa Brevis, composed, performed and recorded by Decca on the occasion of Malcolm’s retirement as organist and choirmaster in July 1959. During the previous decade, Malcolm had reformed the choir following a heritage of excellence established by his predecessor, Sir Richard Terry, while expanding the repertory, commissioning modern works from composers such as Britten and moulding the choral sound in the Continental style, learnt from his own Catholic training, which places much more emphasis than the Anglican tradition on chest voice. . He created a natural and throaty Continental sound – the sound boys make in the playground, as he put it – that suited the great Catholic polyphony choir, much emulated by other English choirs in succeeding generations. Eighteen months earlier, Malcolm had also played the organ for the composer’s own recording of Rejoice in the Lamb, which sets portions of a poem by Christopher Smart extolling the praise of God in terms as touching and quirky as the text. In 1961 he took charge of the first performance at the Royal Festival Hall of the Cantata Academica, another celebratory work written to honour the quincentenary of Basle University, and made this recording for L’Oiseau-Lyre soon afterwards. Here too is a geniality and variety of colour and a wealth of melodic invention, in no way compromised by the use of a twelve-note serial theme. Side B of the L’Oiseau-Lyre album reinforced Britten’s remarkable skill as a writer for unaccompanied chorus, with the Hymns to the Virgin and to St Cecilia, smaller-scale works but even more perfect in their way, and then the more recent Choral Dances in Elizabethan style from his Coronation opera Gloriana; Britten shared with Stravinsky an ability to recreate the past in terms of the present without any sense of pastiche or loss of individuality. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)

Symphonic Music - Released September 13, 2019 | Decca

Strauss waltzes and polkas in classic Decca 1950s recordings, led to the manner born by the Viennese conductor Josef Krips.Newly remastered from the original tapes – and in the case of two works the shellac discs – this compilation presents recordings made in London and Vienna by a conductor born and bred to the rhythms of the Strauss family. Josef Krips cut his teeth as a repetiteur at the Volksoper in Vienna, making his debut there in 1921, before graduating to the more prestigious Staatsoper in 1933. Mozart was forever Krips’s musical god: ‘My maxim is that everything has to sound as though it were by Mozart, or it will be a bad performance. When you perform Mozart, everything has to be crystal clear, everything has to be in balance and everything has to have a relaxed sound.’ These are the qualities that mark out his conducting of these waltzes and polkas, which he continued to conduct wherever his career took him: to London in the late 1940s, becoming principal conductor of the LSO for three years in the early 50s, and thence to the US, such as a late-in-life post as musical director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, returning often however, to his spiritual home of Vienna. The recordings here were made first of all with the ‘New’ Symphony Orchestra of London musicians in April 1948, then with the LSO in April 1950. The legendary Decca producer John Culshaw was behind the glass at the Sofiensaal for Vienna Philharmonic sessions in October 1956 and September 1957 that yielded the ‘Memories of Vienna’ LP which gives this album its title. He was joined by the soprano Hilde Gueden for the obbligato soprano parts in waltzes such as Voices of Spring; Gueden had been one of the most prominent members of the Vienna State Opera immediately after the war while Krips rebuilt and nurtured it from the ground up, and she too was blessed with an instinctive understanding of Viennese style as well as the kind of light lyric soprano voice that made her ideal for Josef Strauss’s Village Swallows waltz. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)

Symphonic Music - Released August 16, 2019 | Decca

Handel orchestral favourites from the 1950s in a winning combination of old-school polish and unaffected stylistic refinement.With this and several other albums, Eloquence celebrates the art of Thurston Dart, the harpsichordist, conductor and editor who played a leading role in the early-music revival in postwar Britain. After his death in 1971 at the age of just 49, his fellow harpsichordist Igor Kipnis paid fulsome tribute to ‘a man of many parts’, whose 1954 volume on The Interpretation of Music had attained testamentary authority among his fellow musicians, matched by the skill, style and flourish of his many recordings: ‘He was the ideal musicologist-performer.’ Kipnis singled out this 1959 L’Oiseau-Lyre recording of the Water Music as a classic. Alongside the legendary winds-only account of the Fireworks Music led by Sir Charles Mackerras it was chosen by Stereo Review in 1964 as a defining album in a general introduction to Baroque culture: ‘I cannot think of two other Baroque recordings that I could recommend more unreservedly.’ Dart and his colleague Brian Priestman attempted to reassemble the whole of the Water Music as it had first been heard, on a fine summer’s evening in 1717, played on barges sailing down the Thames. The LP format had necessitated the omission of some repeats in the music, but that ‘the orchestration on this disc is Handel’s throughout – he was one of the most skilful orchestrators of the 18th century, and may be presumed to have understood what he was doing’. The couplings are drawn from a pair of Decca albums: overtures directed by Boyd Neel (in 1954) and George Szell (in 1961) with a chaste restraint and lively rhythmic precision that complements the extrovert fantasy of Dart’s performing instincts. Added are two of the Mozart Epistle Sonatas recorded in 1956. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)

Symphonies - Released April 30, 2019 | Decca

First releases on Decca CD for a pair of underrated Nielsen recordingsNo less than Sibelius or Shostakovich, Nielsen became the custodian and the renovator of the classical symphonic tradition in the first half of the last century. Both the Third and Fifth symphonies make strenuous demands upon even the world’s great orchestras but at the same time they reward the listener with eventful, continually compelling journeys through strife and towards the most satisfying resolutions. The ‘Sinfonia Espansiva’ does so through a sublime slow movement which winds to an idyllic close with a wordless vocalise from a pair of mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists, sung on this 1974 Decca recording by Felicity Palmer and Thomas Allen in a piece of luxury casting by Decca. The conductor was the young Belgian-born star of the baton, François Huybrechts whose previous Decca recording of Janacek has also been reissued by Eloquence. Huybrechts was among the first winners of the Dmitri Mitropoulos Conducting Competition and during the 1970s he secured several US posts as well as prestigious engagements with European ensembles such as the LPO and LSO. His career fell away thereafter but this pair of Decca recordings is the work of a powerfully individual podium presence. At the time of going into the studio with the ‘Sinfonia Espansiva’ in 1974, the LSO was well versed in Nielsen’s idiom having recorded all six of the symphonies with Ole Schmidt the previous year. By contrast, the name of Paul Kletzki has remained established in record catalogues and collections. This Polish-born conductor had taken charge of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in 1967 from its founder and long-time director Ernest Ansermet. Their Decca partnership began with Rachmaninov symphonies (also reissued by Eloquence) and continued to focus on twentieth-century repertoire outside Ansermet’s repertoire with an album of Hindemith and Lutoslawski, followed by this thrilling and disciplined account of Nielsen’s Fifth from September 1969. It was their last recording together before his retirement from the post the following year and his death in 1973. Top-class Decca engineering brings the first movement’s life-and-death struggle into viscerally thrilling perspective. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)

Symphonic Music - Released September 14, 2018 | Decca


Symphonic Music - Released January 1, 1964 | Decca

In 1936, the English composer and writer, Constant Lambert, described Igor Markevitch as ‘the leading figure of the Franco-Russian school’. As a composer he had been commissioned by Diaghilev and performed by the likes of Alfred Cortot and Roger Désormière but his posthumous reputation largely rests on his prowess as a conductor, a profession he took up in the 1930s after study with Pierre Monteux. As an interpreter, Markevitch combined a volatile personality with meticulous attention to the composer’s instructions, very much in the mould of Monteux. He was ideally suited in this regard to the Russian repertoire from Tchaikovsky to Stravinsky. Central both to this history and to his repertoire, was the music of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov with its sinuous melodies and ever-astonishingly original orchestral colours. Made by Philips engineers in London in October 1962, this album of the composer’s best-loved orchestral works complements Markevitch’s cycle of the Tchaikovsky symphonies also recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra during the mid-1960s. They share many of the same qualities: super-charged tension, precise definition (in both performance and engineering) and refreshingly unusual articulation in repertoire that has often become stale by familiarity and lazy execution. Markevitch never made a lazy or conventional recording in his life and he attended to the sweeping narrative of ‘Scheherazade’ with the kind of detail that distinguishes his electrifying accounts of ‘The Rite of Spring’. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)

Secular Vocal Music - Released January 1, 1959 | Decca

A newly remastered collection of four original Decca albums featuring the Spanish mezzo-soprano at the height of her powers in the repertoire most associated with her, from Rossini to folk and popular songs from her native Spain.Born in 1935, Teresa Berganza was in her mid-twenties when she made the recordings on this album, yet she was already the darling of the opera press by June 1959 when Decca first issued the wide-ranging recital of Rossini arias which opens this anthology, moving with assured mastery from the flirtatious Isabella in ‘L’italiana in Algeri’ to the grave beauty of ‘Fac ut portem’ from the ‘Stabat mater’. Later the same year, she recorded a sequence of eight Basque songs with orchestra which captivatingly exploits the dark, sultry shadings within her mezzo. Although the Rossini LP has been issued piecemeal on CD, this is the first time the recital appears in its entirety. A year later, Berganza was established as an artist of singular gifts who would lend distinction to the extraordinary ‘gala sequence’ inserted in the second act of the label’s new Viennese recording of ‘Die Fledermaus’, capable of standing her own alongside the likes of Björling, Nilsson, Sutherland and Tebaldi. Her contribution to that album was a Lullaby by her husband Félix Lavilla which they recorded together not in Vienna but Kingsway Hall, London. As her long-standing accompanist, Lavilla partnered Berganza in a 1962 recital of Spanish songs that capture the mezzo-soprano in vibrant form, bringing her flaring tone, dramatic energy and captivating charisma to Baroque arias by Pergolesi and Scarlatti as well as songs by Granados and Turina, finishing with a classic account of Falla’s ‘Siete canciones populares españolas’ from 1959. As Richard Wigmore remarks in his new booklet appreciation, not even the legendary Conchita Supervia gave a more thrilling, spine-tingling performance of the cycle’s concluding ‘Polo’. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)