Search - Gioachino Rossini, Ludwig van Beethoven, Maurice Ravel :: Carlo Maria Giulini

Carlo Maria Giulini
Gioachino Rossini, Ludwig van Beethoven, Maurice Ravel
Carlo Maria Giulini
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #2

Includes Rare Material Previously Unreleased on CD.

      
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Synopsis

Album Details
Includes Rare Material Previously Unreleased on CD.
 

CD Reviews

Great performances by a great conductor.
D. R. Schryer | Poquoson, VA United States | 04/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Carlo Maria Giulini was one of the half dozen or so greatest conductors of the 20th century and he conducted most of the world's greatest orchestra. But -- although recognized as outstanding by orchestral members fortunate enough to have played for him, as well as by many famous soloists and other conductors -- he never achieved the public acclaim accorded to "star" conductors, such as Karajan and Toscanini. If you are not yet familiar with the artistry of this great conductor, I hope that you will remedy this omission soon. This 2-CD set is a good place to start."
Gulini at his most inspirational
Issei Takechi | Saitama, Japan | 11/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a magnificant compilation that serves as a wonderful memento of this celebrated Italian conductor. Giulini, like Kurt Sanderling, is one of the few living conductors that truly understand the musical idiom of the old romantic era, though, alas, neither of them are active any more. This two-disc set represents Giulini at his most inspirational. Beginning with the vibrant account of Rossini's Tancredi overture, Giulini's Chicago recording of Beethoven's seventh outshines his digital remake in every respect. Ravel's Ma Mere l'oye,one of Giulini's favorites, is quite lovingly played with beautiful singing lines maintaiend with exquisite care.
The highlight of this disc is clearly the 1958 recording of Schumann's "Rhenish" symphony, which is just as strong a rendition as his Los Angeles remake. Stravinsky's The Firebird Suite is no slouch, either. The recording belies its age in every item, making this set one of the most desirable in this wonderful series."
A beloved conductor caught in above-average form
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 11/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Great Coductors series will disappoint anyone who assumes, as I did at first, that every installment would contain at least one great performance. In this set, we cover familiar ground with Giulini, who is represented by composers he specialized in, like Ravel and Beethoven, plus some not so central to his repertoire, such as Stravinsky and Johann Strauss. I'm not sure I hear any great performances, even though the selections range from good to very good.

CD 1 begins with a Rossini Tancredi Over. (1964) from a well-known album that EMI has reissued in other guises. It is straightforward and unexceptional. The next item, a Beethoven Seventh Sym. from Chicago (1971), has also been recently repackaged elsewhere; that wouldn't matter if this were a sterling performance, but as the rather routine, laid-back first movement unfolds, one realizes that this is going to be a standard good effort from Giulini, who despsite his beloved status could blow quite hot and cold.

Suddenly, in the Ravel Mother Goose Suite, a live performance with the Bavarian State Radio Orch. (1979) Giulini becomes inspired. This is radiant Ravel, catching the music's evanescent charm with compelling delicacy and pointedness. It's one of the best things in the set. CD 1 ends with a negligible run through of Bizet's Jeux d'Enfants (1956) with the Philharmonia. I suppose the compilers chose it becasue almost all of Giulini's many EMI recordings are ubiquitously in print.

CD 2 is just as oddly assorted. The opening Egmont Over. (1968) is a live peformance with the substandard Turin Radio Orch.--it's midle-of-the-road in every respect. The Schumann Rhenish Sym. (1958) with the Philhamonia must have been chosen, again, because it's out of print. The reading is vigorous, lyrical in the slow movement, not terribly well recorded, and quite enjoyable for its lack of bombast. Nothing super special happens even though nothing is less than very good.

Then, just as on CD 1, something startling occurs. The Stravinsky Firebird Suite from 1956 in good early stereo with the Philharmonia, jumps to life. It is seductive and atmospheric, and for once in this set Giulini adds a personal stamp. I would rate it as one of the most involving readings of an over-familiar score that I've heard. CD 2 ends with a Strauss waltz, rare for this conductor, an Emperor Waltz from 1974 with the often woebegone Vienna Sym. Here they sound quite decent. Giulini's reading is recessive and respectful, enjoyable for its warmth even though he seems well out of his element.

Overall, the Ravel and Stravinsky reminded me of overlooked aspects to this great conductor's career, and even though the rest added little to my appreciation of Giulini, this was a fair portrait that could have shone even brighter."