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Classical - Released December 7, 2018 | CSO Resound

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
The term "Italian Masterworks" could be confusing; after all, these include overtures, interludes and symphonic and choral excerpts from some of the major works of the transalpine opera scene given to us by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Only two arias find their way into the album, taken from Boito's Mefistofele, performed here by Riccardo Zanellato. All the recordings are from a concert in 2017, so they are not, therefore, recycling older things put together without orchestral sound unity. Muti commits himself to making his recording a kind of great lyrical mass, alternating between the orchestra on its own, the choir and the two arias, beginning with the overture of Nabucco and ending with the almost sacred Salve Regina from Mefistofele - in this case with the Chicago Children's Choir which joins the Orchestra's symphonic chorus. Beautiful choice, beautiful sequence, beautiful assembly. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 11, 2011 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Robert Schumann is about as interesting you can get when it comes to historical musical figures. From his courtship with Clara Wieck and their subsequent marriage, his relationship with the likes of Mendelssohn and Brahms, the bizarre contraptions he built that eventually destroyed his ability to play the piano, and finally his mental instability that ultimately ended his career, Schumann never fails to disappoint. The same can be said of his symphonies, which provide a relatively good cross-section of his compositional output and delineate his growth and his treatment of the medium. Having all four of the symphonies together in a collection such as this one makes such a comparison easier, although the liner notes are somewhat lacking in providing sufficient historical background. The Philharmonia Orchestra (or the New Philharmonia Orchestra for the Fourth Symphony) under the direction of Riccardo Muti does a suitable job of representing Schumann's search for something new to offer the symphony. While the overall execution in these recordings from the late 1970s intonation, articulation, and ensemble -- is good, their sound quality is not always ideal. The lower end of the orchestra is often muddy and indistinct; this is especially true of the Fourth Symphony, whose sound is overly reverberant throughout. In symphonies No. 1 and No. 3, the tympani is extremely aggressive and sticks out inappropriately. While this collection is generally an acceptable introduction to these four great symphonies, listeners may also wish to consider the Cleveland Orchestra's recordings under Szell for a more well-balanced rendition. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 17, 2020 | CSO Resound

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Riccardo Muti has shown such vigor over his tenure with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra that it's easy to forget how long his career has been. In 1970, in Rome, he conducted the Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor, Op. 113, of Shostakovich; the work, which almost landed the composer in hot water once again in the Soviet Union, had only recently been smuggled out to the West and was far from a common item. So Muti has long experience with this searing work and its gravity. He comes in at about a minute shorter per movement than Maxim Shostakovich and the Prague Symphony Orchestra, whose tempi presumably reflected the composer's wishes, but it's all to the good. In this live CSO recording, Muti has room for the truly tragic quality of the first movement, with the Yevgeny Yevtushenko text about the Babi Yar massacre and the absence of any memorial on the site 20 years later in the Soviet Union, but what's remarkable about this choral symphony is that the first movement is just the beginning of Yevtushenko and Shostakovich's deadly critique, which proceeds through satire and depictions of gray conformity. Muti vividly characterizes each movement in this most Mahlerian of Shostakovich's symphonies, and bass Alexey Tikhomirov is attuned to another influence here, that of Mussorgsky. Best of all is the engineering, which garnered this release a Grammy nomination. The Chicago Symphony's fabled brass sound as good as they ever have. The performance may have been spliced together from more than one concert; the Shostakovich was repeated over several evenings in September of 2018, and the notes give only the month for a recording date, but this is a mightily impressive "Babi Yar" on all counts. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 4, 2008 | Warner Classics

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released September 1, 2010 | CSO Resound

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
This release by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is taken from a trio of live performances on successive days in January 2009. It has met with both critical and commercial success, and for good reason. Verdi's Messa da Requiem, finished in 1873 and dedicated to the memory of writer Alessandro Manzoni, is one of the most difficult works in the entire classical repertory to perform. It's not that any individual aspect is so challenging, but the work requires top-flight soloists, choir, and orchestra, as well as a conductor who can keep it all together. This recording delivers on nearly all counts, and at many points the effect is thrilling. Conductor Riccardo Muti likely cemented his position at the helm of the Chicago Symphony with his skillful handling of the orchestra's fabled brass section, deployed in vivid contrast between loud and soft that never lose their precision. The mighty Dies Irae has very rarely had the blast-furnace intensity that it does here, with the superb Chicago Symphony Chorus delivering great power without any deviation from the pitch. If there's a less compelling aspect here, it's the set of soloists, who are fine but not in the Pavarotti or Sutherland class. Still, they're all capable of carrying Muti's long lines in the slower sections, and, when you factor in the fine, clear Super Audio sound from the symphony's own CSO-Resound label, this becomes a very hard Verdi Requiem to beat. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released September 11, 2015 | CSO Resound

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's label, CSO Resound, is noted for its extraordinary sound quality and its exciting performances, many of which are among the finest it has ever offered on disc. This double CD of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and its intended sequel, Lélio, ou le retour à la vie, is a bit of a rarity because they are infrequently paired, due to the different forces required for each. Symphonie fantastique is a five-movement programmatic symphony for orchestra, while Lélio is a melodramatic cantata for narrator, vocalists, chorus, two pianos, and orchestra, which makes mounting a performance of the two works together a bit daunting (quite aside from the fact that Lélio fell into neglect after the Romantic era, while the Symphonie fantastique has always been a hit). For this performance, Riccardo Muti leads the CSO in a rousing, if solidly mainstream, interpretation of the symphony on the first disc, and he is joined on the second disc by actor Gérard Depardieu, tenor Mario Zeffiri, bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, and the Chicago Symphony Chorus, in a performance that conveys the extremes of lyricism and bombast that are so characteristic of Berlioz. It helps to know French, though the texts are provided, and Depardieu's highly dramatic reading communicates the intensity of Berlioz's passionate expressions. But listeners will be delighted by the variety and inventiveness of the music, both of which argue convincingly for Lélio's revival. Highly recommended for Berlioz devotees and collectors of CSO Resound releases. © TiVo
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Classical - Released December 20, 1989 | Warner Classics

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released July 11, 2011 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released July 11, 2011 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released January 8, 2021 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
The most festive and popular classical music event of the year took on a dark and desolate tone on the first day of 2021. Only the stiff and frozen caryatids attended the traditional New Year's Concert in the magnificent Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. In normal times, it would have been held in front of a large audience to celebrate Viennese music, as well as the double anniversary of Maestro Riccardo Muti's eightieth birthday and the famous concert that had first taken place under the direction of Clemens Krauss in 1941.Fatinitza-Marsch, Schallwellenwalzer, Niko-Polka, Polka Ohne Sorgen ("carefree"), Grubenlichterwalzer, Im Saus und Braus, Bad'ner Mad'Inwalzer: for his sixth New Year's Concert in Vienna, Muti had chosen a programme whose originality was welcomed. It culminated in a nod to his native country with the dashing Neue Melodien-Quadrille, composed in 1861 by Johann Strauss Jr. on arias from several Italian operas: Rigoletto, La Traviata, Le Trouvère by Verdi, Lucia di Lammermoor and La Fille du Régiment by Donizetti, and La Sonnambula by Bellini.With his mind fully immersed in his score, Riccardo Muti found it hard to shake off his stern and solemn attitude before giving a smile to his musicians and the music that softened the strange atmosphere of this pandemic era New Year's Concert. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released June 8, 1998 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 5, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
With nearly five hundred waltzes, marches, quadrilles, polkas and so on in Johann Strauss’ son’s repertoire, it is no wonder that the world-famous Vienna New Year’s Concert - conducted on the 1st January by Riccardo Muti, who is no newcomer to the event since he has led the orchestra in 1993, 1997 2000 and 2004 - still finds new pieces for their “New Year’s Concert creations”. This year, it’s Brautschau op. 417 and Myrthenblüten op. 395. Further novelties come from the Viennese cirlce: father Johann Strauss, with Marienwalzer and Wilhelm-Tell-Galopp, Alfons Czibulka (1842–1894) who kicks off the New Year with Stephanie-Gavotte, as well as a work from Josef Strauss, Wiener Fresken. And of course, as tradition goes, we find The Blue Danube and the inevitable Radetzky March to which the audience applauds in rhythm. By the way, this comes from J. Strauss the father, not from his more famous son. In fact, the concert version is actually an arrangement, very common nowadays, thanks to a certain Leopold Weninger. We would like to add that Harnoncourt performed two versions in 2001, Strauss’ version for the military brass band and Weninger’s version for symphony orchestra, and then again in 2005 in memory of the victims of the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean where the march was not played due to its overly festive nature.  © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 11, 2010 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released January 6, 2012 | Sony Classical

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Ballets - Released October 14, 2014 | CSO Resound

Hi-Res Booklet
Practically any CSO Resound recording is worth hearing, not only for the extraordinary clarity and depth of the audio, but most especially for the fine concert performances of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which almost never disappoint. This live 2013 recording by Riccardo Muti and the CSO of the suite from Sergey Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet is certainly a first-rate reading, and the energetic playing and vibrant sonorities come across with remarkable details and presence, thanks to the superb engineering. The delicate string effects that are laced through the orchestration are wonderfully executed, and the rounded tones of the woodwinds and the powerful brass give the recording a special timbral richness. Yet as exemplary as this recording is, it is unusually short for a standard CD, timed at 48:50. Some listeners may balk at the program's brevity and compare it with available recordings of the complete ballet or presentations of the suite that offer a filler piece or two. Taken on its own merits, though, this recording is exceptional for its glorious music and vivid reproduction, and there will be many who will be happy with the disc as it is. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 5, 2018 | Sony Classical

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Back for his fifth turn at the helm of the Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert, a yearly ritual for many, even in the classical-phobic United States, conductor Riccardo Muti plays it straight. Lots of Strausses, including Johann II above all; the traditional encores in place, with the thoroughly typical, unannounced Donner und Blitz Polka leading into the final festivities; and plenty of foot-tapping rhythms. Two factors keep it from being phoned in. First is that when Muti wants to vary the mood, he does include more unusual pieces: the overture to Suppé's Boccaccio, and the prancingly elegant Stephanie-Gavotte, Op. 312, of the composer and military bandleader Alphons Czibulka. Second, Muti, among his other strengths, executes this kind of thing extremely well. He does not go for subtlety; he knows that the audience is there to sway and clap, and he keeps things moving. Deutsche Grammophon serves him quite well with close-up sound that keeps the brasses in the foreground. An outing that shows what this venerable ritual is all about. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 13, 1998 | Sony Classical

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Full Operas - Released October 29, 2009 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released February 28, 2014 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released July 11, 2011 | Warner Classics

Riccardo Muti's box set of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's complete symphony cycle and orchestral works is a fine collection for any library, and anyone who loves the Russian master's passionate music will find the essential works gathered here. The symphonies Nos. 1-6 and the programmatic Manfred Symphony, as well as the Piano Concerto No. 1 and the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture, were recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra (previously the New Philharmonia), between 1975 and 1981. The 1812 Overture, Francesca da Rimini, the Serenade for strings, the Hamlet Fantasy-Overture, and the suites from Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty were recorded by the Philadelphia Orchestra between 1981 and 1991. The later recordings are digital, while the Philharmonia's are analog, yet there is little difference in sound quality that can be detected on a standard CD player. Yet this set is aimed at the cost-conscious classical fan, not the audiophile with high-end equipment, so the reproduction is excellent for most purposes. Muti's interpretations are fully Romantic and highly expressive, while both orchestras are responsive and intensely committed, so the playing is big-hearted, warm, and exciting. Connoisseurs may have favorite performances by other conductors, but this set fills the bill for beginners and classical listeners who need a reliable version of these classics. © TiVo