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Symphonic Music - Released November 17, 2017 | MUNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER GBR

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
The Munich Philharmonic and Sergiu Celibidache share an exceptional legacy. He started his work as principal conductor in 1979 and remained in this position for as long as 17 years. Sergiu Celibidache played an integral part in making the Munich Philharmonic what it is today: an orchestra of worldwide renown. Today the Munich Philharmonic is critically acclaimed internationally with hopelessly sold out concerts in Munich and the world. On their recently launched label MPHIL, the Munich Philharmonic is opening up its vast archives, giving listeners the opportunity to enjoy one of the richest collections of recordings by legendary artists. Because of the Celibidache era and its part in forming the core essence of the orchestra, this first MPHIL physical archive release consists of two recordings under the baton of Maestro Celibidache. The chosen repertoire on the album is Gustav Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder, recorded 30 June 1983 at the Herkulessaal der Residenz, Munich and Richard Strauss’ Tod und Verklärung, recorded on 17 February 1979 also at the Herkulessaal der Residenz, Munich. For a long time, Tod und Verklärung was the most popular of Richard Strauss’s early tone poems. It contains a wide range of memorable motifs subtly differentiated with the result that its music recurs whenever there is mention of death or transfiguration in Strauss’ later output. Together with the innocent tone and positively artificial naïveté of the poems that attracted Gustav Mahler as a composer and prompted him to compose the Kindertotenlieder, this thoughtfully curated pairing creates an altogether intimate character while revealing an astonishing wealth of colours. Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder feature German mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, who holds the prestigious title “Kammersängerin” from the Bavarian State Opera and the Vienna State Opera.
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Classical - Released June 16, 2017 | MUNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER GBR

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released September 20, 2013 | audite Musikproduktion

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released July 3, 2006 | Warner Classics

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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released November 1, 2004 | Warner Classics

It could be argued that Sergiu Celibidache's 1990 recording of Bach's B minor Mass is not as slow and heavy as it sounds, rather that it just seems that way in comparison with the other B minor masses of the early digital era. Because let us not forget that the early digital era was also the golden age of the historically informed performance practice movement, and for fans of Gardiner, Harnoncourt, and their ilk, performing Bach on modern instruments was immediately suspect and taking him at such measured tempos was automatically rejected. Even setting anachronistic comparisons aside, however, Celibidache's B minor Mass is undeniably slow and heavy. Even with superb solo singing, soprano Barbara Bonney is simply divine; excellent choral singing, the Bach-Chor of Gutenberg University of Mainz is as fine an amateur choir as is you're ever likely to hear; and skillful playing, the Münchner Philharmoniker plays with as much sustained spiritual and musical strength as is imaginable, Celibidache's B minor still sounds like it's crawling on its hands and knees over a jagged and desolate spiritual landscape. The clarity and luminosity of the Romanian maestro's performance cannot be gainsaid, but even for fans of the classic 1967 Otto Klemperer recording, Celibidache may sound ponderous. EMI's remastering of this live performance is, if not very much clearer, at least much closer than earlier pirated releases.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released November 1, 2004 | Warner Classics

Sergiu Celibidache's live performances with the Munich Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, Op. 48, and Igor Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms are idiosyncratic readings that may appeal to fans of the conductor, yet otherwise are not recommended as reliable recordings of these works. Considering how Celibidache alters dynamics with too many swells, distorts phrases with excessive rubato, and makes the choir sing in an overly enunciated, clipped style, his rendition of the Requiem is far from the evenly paced, serene music most listeners have come to expect. In his nearly theatrical interpretation, the grimmer aspects of death tend to be emphasized more than the beatific, and Fauré's understated, benign missa pro defunctis sounds at times like scenes from a tragic opera, most egregiously in the gushing Pie Jesu and the tediously drawn-out Libera Me. Stravinsky's dry, enigmatic Symphony of Psalms is quite outside Celibidache's comfort zone -- namely, the German Romantics -- and the composer's neo-Classical objectivity seems lost on this conductor, who infuses this performance with subjective moods that are inappropriate. This is really one of the most darkly brooding takes on the Symphony of Psalms on record, and one of the slowest, too, clocking in at over 23 minutes. However, an argument may be made that Celibidache has outlined the counterpoint quite well in this performance, and by reducing the pace, he made certain vocal parts more clearly audible. Yet with the exception of the Laudate Dominum, which is almost at the correct tempo, Celibidache's performance as a whole is too languid to accept as true to Stravinsky's intentions. EMI's recorded sound is very good for the live concert settings, though not without occasional coughs and other background noises.
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Classical - Released November 1, 2004 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released September 1, 1998 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released November 28, 2005 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released June 1, 1999 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released November 28, 2005 | Warner Classics

Listeners already familiar with Prokofiev's First Symphony will immediately notice one thing in particular in listening to this recording of the Munich Philharmonic under Sergiu Celibidache. That is, it is by far the slowest performance in memory. If this was the first time ever listening to the First Symphony, the argument might be made that the slower tempi bring a sense of stateliness or nobility. But that's really a stretch and most likely not what Prokofiev was going for. This symphony thrives at faster speeds and this recording just comes across as labored and ponderous. It's quite a shame, actually, because apart from the choice of tempi, the orchestra sounds quite respectable. The Fifth Symphony suffers from the same problem but to a much lesser extent. Prokofiev's music certainly doesn't require speed to be good, but it does need some forward momentum and direction and Celibidache just doesn't deliver in that department. Here again, the orchestra's sound is fantastic. The brass climax in the first movement is voluminous and the edgy sound is quite enjoyable. The second movement is appropriately successfully militaristic sounding. Marked Allegro giocoso, the fourth movement doesn't deliver on the allegro or the giocoso until the very end.
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Classical - Released September 1, 1998 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released November 25, 2005 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released November 28, 2005 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released November 1, 2004 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released September 1, 1998 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released November 28, 2005 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released April 6, 2009 | Warner Classics

Sacred Vocal Music - Released January 4, 2011 | IDIS

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