Search - Hector Berlioz, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Franz [Vienna] Schubert :: Paul Kletzki

Paul Kletzki
Hector Berlioz, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Franz [Vienna] Schubert
Paul Kletzki
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #2


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Worthwhile collection from a very respectable conductor
Daniel W. Fowler | Austin TX | 02/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I am a big fan of the Great Conductor series. All volumes offer interesting perspectives from conductors whose abilities range from above average to brilliant. This volume, devoted to the conducting of Paul Kletzki, shares two traits with other items from the series: a great assortment of music that fits very well together, and performances by several great orchestras that allow the listener to appreciate the variety of orchestral tones that were particularly evident in the 1950s and 1960s. In particular, this volume presents two of my favorite orchestras, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Tchaikovsky Symphony 5) and the Czech Philharmonic (Brahms Symphony 4).

Recorded sound is perfectly acceptable, all in stereo except for the mono recordings of the Berlioz and Mendelssohn Overtures. Sound on Cappriccio Italien is particularly good, and this is perhaps my favorite performance on the disk. I thought that the Brahms symphony offered very good pacing throughout, with a particularly vibrant third movement. The last movement maintained attention and never dragged. I give the set four stars because all of the pieces offer convincing performances, but I'm withholding the fifth star because none of them are in that really, really outstanding first rank. Still, I am very glad to have these works in my collection."
Kletzki has a devoted cult following, but little here is ins
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 11/22/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Sometimes one feels that the Great Conductors series is just a convenient way for EMI to push recordings that otherwise wouldn't sell. I don't think there's much market for these performances from the Polish-born, Swiss-naturalized Paul Kletzki. When he died in 1973 Kletzki had had a strong career as a perennial guest condcutor around Europe--he appears on these two CDs with five different orchestras from London to Prague. Kletzki made lots of records for EMI, but none that I've heard really rose to any level of inspiration.

In fact, I would rate this set as one of the poorer compilations in the whole series. The big works here are a live Tchaikovsky Fifth with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra (stereo, 1967) and a less well recorded Brahms Fourth with the Czech Phil. (stereo, 1965). Neither strikes me as anything but ordinary, or worth salvaging, really, despite their honest, sober ways. Neither orchestra sounds at its best. Nor are the minor works, such as a cautious Benevenuto Cellini Over. and a decent enough Mendelssohn Calm Sea and Happy Voyage Over., anything notable.

The happiest item is the Capriccio Italien that wraps up CD 2, a 1958 studio recording with the Philharmonia. It is fresh and lively, without a trace of bombast or fakery. I liked it better than anything else here, but one bright performance can't save the dullness of the rest. Overall, this is a perfect set to keep around in case somebody claims that Kletzki was great just becasue his records are out of print."