RAVEL: Sérenade grotesque. Menuet antique. Pavane pour une infante défunte. Jeux d'eau. Sonatine. Miroirs Gaspard de la nuit. Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn. Valses nobles et sentimentales. Prelude. À la manière de Borodine. À la manière de Emmanuel Chabrier. La Tombeau de Couperin.
Jean-Philippe Collard, pianist
EMI CLASSICS 86061 (2 CDs) (B) TT: 67:37 & 71:35

STRAVINSKY: Sonata in F sharp minor. Scherzo. 4 Etudes, Op. 7. Souvenir d'une marche boche. Valse pour les enfants. Les cinq doigts, 8 pièces très faciles sur 5 notes. Sonata. Serenade in A. 3 movements from Petrushka. Piano Rag Music. Tango. Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra. Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments. Movements for Piano and Orchestra
Michel Béroff, pianist; Orchestra of Paris/Seiji Ozawa, cond.
EMI CLASSICS 86073 (2 CDs) (B) TT: 69:25 & 66:31

SAINT-SAËNS: Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 17. Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 22. Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 29. Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 44. Piano Concerto No. 5, Op. 103. "Wedding Cake" - Caprice-Valse, Op. 76. "Africa" Fantaisie, Op. 89.
Jean-Philippe Collard, pianist/Royal Philharmonic Orch/André Previn, cond.
EMI CLASSICS 86245 (2 CDs) (B) TT: 79:20 & 77:29

VERDI: Requiem Mass. CHERUBINI: Requiem in C minor.
Renata Scotto, soprano; Agnes Baltsa, mezzo-soprano; Veriano Luchetti, tenor; Evgeny Nesterenko, bass; Ambrosian Chorus; Philharmonia Orch/Riccardo Muti, cond.
EMI CLASSICS 86239 (2 CDs) (B) TT: 65:24 & 69:56

GRIEG: Peer Gynt, Op. 23. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16. Haugtussa, Op. 67. 23 songs from Opo. 2, 4, 5, 18, 21, 26, 39, 48, 59 and Op. posth.
Taru Valjakka, soprano; Edith Thallaug, mezzo-soprano; Leipzig Radio Chorus; Dresden State Orch/Herbert Blomstedt, cond. (Peer Gynt); John Ogdon, pianist; New Philharmonia Orch/Paavo Berglund, cond. (concerto); Siv Wennberg, soprano; Geoffrey Parsons, pianist (Haugtussa); Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Hartmut Höll, pianist (songs)
EMI CLASSICS 86058 (2 CDs) (B) TT: 76:22 & 71:22

EMI is fighting budget labels with their best - and all of these well-recorded superlative performances, are now available at minimal price (two budget CDs). All are generously filled CDs, Program notes are minimal, but basic information is there. The Ravel and Stravinsky collections with Collard (recorded 1977-78) and Béroff (solo works recorded 1979, orchestral pieces 1971) are convenient collections of both composer's works for solo piano—but it's unfortunate the Ravel collection doesn't include his two-piano arrangement of La Valse, recorded for EMI by Collard and Béroff (it would have fit). Collard's recordings of Saint-Saëns' complete works for piano and orchestra were made 1985-1987, and stand up well to the recent award-winning Stephen Hough recording on the same label. Muti's fine Verdi and Cherubini Requiems, both recorded in Kingsway, the former in 1979, the latter a digital recording in 1980, are welcome additions to the catalog at budget price; his 1987 EMI recording of Verdi's masterpiece occupies two full-priced CDs. Limited CD notes and no texts are the only minus factor. The Grieg collection is outstanding and gives collectors the opportunity to hear two superb Finnish sopranos: Taru Valjakka in the two songs from Peer Gynt, and the unjustly neglected Siv Wennberg in the song cycle Haugtussa—plus 23 songs sung by baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, as well as John Ogdon's 1971 recording of the piano concerto. No texts in the CD booklet, but you can obtain them on the EMI website http://www.emiclassics.com It does seem odd that texts for the Verdi/Cherubini choral works are not available at this site. All five of these sets are worthy items for collectors.

R.E.B. (April 2005)