Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, H 48, Op. 14 (Remastered) Georges Prêtre
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- Hector Berlioz (1803 - 1869): Symphonie Fantastique, H 48, Op. 14:
- 1I. Rêveries - Passions13:39
- 2II. Un bal06:24
- 3III. Scène aux champs16:41
- 4IV. Marche au supplice04:48
- 5V. Songe d'une nuit du sabbat09:33
Info for Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, H 48, Op. 14 (Remastered)
“There is no doubt that when it came to Prêtre concerts, the term ‘conventional’ never applied. Prêtre never saw himself as a conductor, but an ecstatic high priest of music, an intermediary for the inspiration that flows from the great works.” Wiener Symphoniker
Sony Classical is delighted to present various HighRes-ReMaster recordings for RCA of the esteemed French conductor Georges Prêtre. Georges died in January 2017 aged 92, and Sony honours his legacy in both the opera and concert repertoires across 12 CDs.
Though perhaps best known for his many opera recordings, Prêtre forged close relationships with many of the world’s leading concert orchestras over his 70-year career and was active in an impressive range of concert music. His RCA recordings date from the 1960s through the 1980s, and show him working with a great range of world-leading orchestras and soloists.
Prêtre and Uto Ughi’s 1984 recording of the Mendelssohn and Bruch violin concertos with the LSO was compared favourably by Gramophone to Karajan and Mutter’s. Of a Philharmonia recording of Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, the same magazine said in 1986 that Prêtre “has the feel of the music at the point of his baton,” perhaps the highest praise a conductor can receive.
The collection also contains a diverse selection of concert recordings from the late 1960s, including three works by Sibelius with the Philharmonia (then known as the New Philharmonia), Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique with the Boston Symphony, and Rachmaninoff’s notorious Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Chicago Symphony and soloist Alexis Weissenberg. Last but not least of the concert recordings, Prêtre accompanies the legendary mezzo-soprano Shirley Verrett whose voices “soars magnificently” according to Gramophone in operatic extracts from Gluck and Saint-Saëns.
Prêtre, the opera conductor, is also present in two complete recordings from 1966 and 1967: Lucia di Lammermoor and La traviata, with Carlo Bergonzi starring as the tenor lead in both operas. The title role in Donizetti’s masterpiece is taken by Anna Moffo, while in Verdi’s it is Montserrat Caballé. Both are major recordings of historical significance, preserving in remastered form some of the era’s finest singers, and one of its finest conductors. Prêtre holds the distinguished honour of being the only Frenchman to conduct the New Year’s Day Concert from Vienna twice, doing so in 2008 and 2010.
Bosten Symphony Orchestra
Georges Prêtre, conductor
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