STRAUSS: Four Last Songs. Orchestral songs: Gesang
Op. 32 No. 2. Freundliche Vision, Op. 48 No. 1. Cäecilie, Op. 27 No. 2.
Verführung, Op. 33 No. 1. Frühlingsfeier, Op. 56 No. 5. Waldseligkeit,
Op. 49 No. 1
Serious collectors will welcome this splendid new enterprise from ArkivMusic which has now assumed a very major role in making historic recordings available. ArkivMusic has worked closely with record companies and obtained licensing and distribution rights to many recordings that have been unavailable for years or otherwise are very difficult to obtain. As of this writing, there are more than 2,000 releases in the new series with more to come. A statement from the company says they are dedicated to the preservation, promotion and efficient distribution of classical recordings, and they are to be commended for their efforts. Their releases are replications of the original releases with cover art, spine and back covers faithfully reproduced with a few slight, insignificant changes. The CDs are of the highest quality and have ArkivMusic's logo instead of original labels. The CDs are mid-price. The only debit is omission of original CD notes. For many collectors, this may not matter, but considering some of the unusual repertory (including works of Karamanov, Rathaus and Gothoni listed above) it is an unfortunate omission—perhaps Arkiv could provide this information via the internet?
In the meantime, some of the manifold treasures available now thanks to ArkivMusic are listed above, including Montserrat Caballe's exquisite Granados collection, the historic 1948 live recording of Strauss's Daphne with Erich Kleiber conducting, Sinopoli's definitive recording of the same composer's Josephs Legende, and the magnificent Bartók recordings with Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw, which disappeared all too soon from the current catalog. Another treasure is a collection of concertos by the late Sir Malcolm Arnold, one of 22 reissues (thus far) from the Conifer label. Collectors will rejoice in this mammoth effort by ArkivMusic. You will notice the range of recordings is extraordinarily varied and includes many historic releases. For a complete listing, go to: ARKIVMUSIC
Check these out—you will be amazed and delighted at what you find. And hats off to ArkivMusic!!
R.E.B. (January 2007)