STRAUSS: Suite rrom Elektra. Suite from Der Rosenkavalier.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orch/Manfred Hoeneck, cond.

BEETHOVEN: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 61. BRUCH: ViolinConcertoNo. 1 in GH minor, Op.26.
Salvatore Accardo, violin. Leipzig Gewan dhaus Orch/Kurt Masur, cond.
PENTATONE SACD ∞186 237 TT: 71:22

BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonata No. 5 in F, Op. 24 "Spring." Violin Sonata No. 1 in D, Op. 12 No 1.
Arthur Grumiaux, violin. Claudio Arrau, piano.
PENTATONE SACD 5186 235 TT: 45:22

Pentatone has yet more treasures in their series of early four-channel recordings originally issued on Philips and now heard, for the first time, in multi-channel audio, thanks to the SACD format. This one offers two of the greatest artists of the 20th Century, Belgian master violinist Arthur Grumiaux, and Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau. These sonatas were recorded in Amsterdam's Concerrtgebouw in March 1975 and the warm acoustics of the venue have been captured most realistically. An important issue, indeed!

Pentatone previously has issued a number of four-channel Philips recordings with Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra: the symphonies (REVIEW).Here is yet another gem from that era, an olympian account of the composer's Violin Concerto played by Salvatore Accardo recorded at Paul-Gerhardt Church in Leipzig in June 1977. At the same time, they recorded the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, a rich, masterful account of this favorite. The original muti-channel recording is as natural as could be, and perfectly balanced. Don't miss this one. And thank you, Pentatone!

This site has a keen interest in Strauss operas. Please check our comprehensive coverage of the history of Elektra and all recordings of it, comprehensive coverage of audio and video issues (REVIEW). As a result, I was intrigued by this new Reference Recordings release of orchestral music from Elektra.Ever since he played in the Berlin Philharmonic some years ago when Claudio Abbado conducted Strauss's Elektra, Manfred Honeck has been fascinated by the score.He feltt the rich orchestra score could be presented as a symphonic suite and, with the aid of Czech composer Tomas Lile, this came to be, and the premiere took place in May 2016, heard on this recording. The Elektra suite is 33:39 and includes all of the opera's main themes, but they are not presented as they are in the opera. Thus we hear Chrysothemis's music towards the beginning, and the murders take place before Elektra meets Orest. The final triumphal dance is rather tame. Those who know and love this opera probably will find this disappointing, as I did. Am interesting exercise, but for me it doesn't work. Elektra should be an exciting, dramatic and rather exhausting experience; this version surely isn't. The familiar Der Rosenkavalier fares much better, a splendid Performances were recorded livewere live in Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall. Excellent audio, although not particularly "surround."


R.E.B. (November 2016)