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Classical - Released March 31, 2009 | Living Stereo

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Artur Rubinstein's classic performances of Chopin's piano concertos for RCA were digitally remastered for this 1986 reissue, and the transfer from the analog tapes is clean, while the pianist's presence and clarity are enhanced in the mix. Rubinstein's performances of the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, with Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and the New Symphony Orchestra of London, and the Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, with Alfred Wallenstein and the Symphony of the Air are perfectly delightful, if old-fashioned renditions, with a feeling of Romantic ardor and sentimentality held in check by the pianist's refined sense of proportions and elegance. Of course, with many excellent recordings available, this disc will be desired most by connoisseurs of historic recordings, but less so by fans of contemporary artists in all-digital recordings. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 25, 2005 | Living Stereo

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Classical - Released February 7, 2006 | Living Stereo

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Classical - Released September 16, 1997 | Living Stereo

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Classical - Released May 30, 1994 | Living Stereo

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Classical - Released February 16, 1993 | Living Stereo

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Classical - Released April 12, 1993 | Living Stereo

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Classical - Released May 5, 1995 | Living Stereo

This is not exactly the Mario Lanza "best-of" album its title might imply; it consists of recordings made during the last 18 months of the great crossover tenor's life, when he was beginning to suffer serious effects from the health problems that killed him in the fall of 1959. Still, it's hard to hear much of an effect from those problems -- a diminution of sheer vocal power in the selections from Rudolf Friml's musical The Vagabond King that make up the second half of the disc, perhaps, but no loss of the singer's broad, generous lyric impulse. Lanza was an operatic star who never quite got the chance to be an opera star. He took the lead role in the biopic The Great Caruso and sang Italian songs like those heard on the first half of the disc, but substance abuse brought him down just as he was preparing a sustained effort to reach the operatic stage. It's hard to imagine a career like his flourishing in the present day: there's plenty of crossover music, certainly, but no place in the pop world for a singer with a big Italian voice. After you hear this album, you'll feel that's a shame. The Neapolitan songs that open the disc are period pieces; a few of them have cheesy wordless backing choruses and odd arrangements with extended harmonies, drawn from the language of musical comedy, that don't quite fit. Still, they're nothing less than irresistible. On the Vagabond King selections, a few unreleased tracks from soprano Judith Raskin are added to make a rough outline of the whole show. The opening "Drinking Song" may cause one to wish that Lanza hadn't been so quick to affirm that "a flagon of wine will do." But sample the "Nocturne" and see if you don't agree that it's one of the great love serenades on records. RCA's Living Stereo sound was a major engineering accomplishment in the beginning, and the SACD remastering here is stupendous -- as good as it gets. Every bit of orchestral detail is there in total clarity. Check this album out and learn why an operatic singer was once at the top of the pop charts. © Rovi Staff /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1990 | Living Stereo

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Classical - Released January 25, 2005 | Living Stereo

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There are few performances of the Offenbach/Rosenthal ballet Gaîté Parisienne to match Arthur Fiedler's delightful 1954 recording with the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the companion piece on this RCA Living Stereo reissue, the Rossini/Respighi ballet La boutique fantasque, is similarly a joy to hear again since the 1956 performance is still a classic among few competitors. Everything is vivid and sparkling in this sonic showcase: both historic recordings represent RCA's exceptional efforts in pioneering stereo reproduction, and as early examples of the art, they are astonishingly fresh and vibrant. Even by today's digital standards, these remastered ADD recordings stand up quite well in clarity, color, and frequency range. Yet even though several modern, all-digital recordings of Gaîté Parisienne and La boutique fantasque can boast superior technology, it's hard to find any who can top Fiedler for joie de vivre or his brilliant orchestra for expertise in this effervescent repertoire. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 1, 1993 | Living Stereo

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released January 23, 2007 | Living Stereo

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Classical - Released February 1, 2005 | Living Stereo

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Among the label's earliest explorations of stereo reproduction, these vivid, historic recordings by Charles Münch and the Boston Symphony Orchestra have been staples of RCA's catalog and reissued many times over the years in all formats. This 1994 reissue in the refurbished Living Stereo series presents the analog recordings of Ravel's Boléro, La valse, and Rapsodie espagnole, which were recorded between 1955-1956, and the 1957 recording of Debussy's Images, all digitally remastered to impressive effect. After hearing Münch and the BSO at their peak in these spectacular performances, one can only feel grateful that RCA took such loving care in preserving the original masters; audiophiles will appreciate the exceptionally clean sound and evergreen orchestral sonorities that are remarkably vibrant and detailed for recordings of this vintage. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 1, 1999 | Living Stereo

A renewal of popular interest in sea shanties coincided with the commercial folk craze. Country, folk, and pop artist from Jimmie Driftwood to the Norman Luboff Choir recorded entire albums of seafaring songs, and in 1961 the Men of the Robert Shaw Chorale did the same. Because Shaw's chorus was primarily a classical music ensemble, its interpretations of watery favorites like "Blow the Man Down" and "What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor" are very reserved, polished and precise. None of Driftwood's rowdiness and humor or the Norman Luboff Choir's pop flourishes is to be heard here. The album has a serious, almost academic aura in place of the rousing Pirates of the Caribbean caricatures one might expect. The chorale appealed to intellectual listeners, though, and its approach is in keeping with accepted modes of classical music performance. © Greg Adams /TiVo
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International Pop - Released December 31, 1995 | Living Stereo

The power and majesty of Lanza's voice lends new drama to seasonal classics like "The First Noel," "Come, All Ye Faithful" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem" on Mario Lanza Sings Christmas Carols, a real treat for fans of the music of the postwar era. © Marvin Jolly /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1990 | Living Stereo

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Classical - Released February 3, 2006 | Living Stereo

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Classical - Released May 11, 1993 | Living Stereo

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
While there are plenty of other dandy recordings of Copland's populist magnum opus Appalachian Spring, this 1959 recording may be the one to get if you're getting only one. For one thing, it has Copland conducting, and while he was not the world's greatest conductor, he was the world's greatest authority on his own music and it shows in his conducting, which, for all its lack of experience and technique, is unsurpassed in insight and lucidity. More to the point, he was the world's greatest admirer of his own music and it shows in his interpretation, which for all its tendency toward sentimentality, is unequaled in affection and sympathy. Plus, Copland is immeasurably helped by the unrivaled playing of the Boston Symphony, which not only plays with more beauty of tone and strength of purpose than it had in the past 50 years, it plays with nearly as much affection and sympathy for the music as Copland himself. Furthermore, RCA's "Living Stereo" sound is every bit as warm and rich and detailed as the best recordings made in the past 50 years. The other music on the disc -- Copland's dappled yellow and brown The Tender Land Suite, Morton Gould's blood-red New England Elektra Fall River Legend, plus Gould's two south of the border encores Tango and Guaracha -- is dandy, but Copland's own 1959 Appalachian Spring is the dandiest. © TiVo