Sunday, January 24, 2010
Casadesus Mozart Munch and Barbirolli
The recording presented here is from a record of two wonderful Mozart recordings by the incomparable Robert Casadesus. I'm posting only the Barbirolli recording, because the performance with Munch has tracking problems at the beginning of the first movement on my copy. Fortunately, however, the very useful blog Quartiers des Archives by Benoit has the missing half of this record. If you follow the link you will be able to download his posting of the Munch recording from an earlier LP release than this one.
I am nonetheless very pleased to be able to offer the Barbirolli and Casadesus recording of the 27th Concerto, K.595, from a period of Barbirolli's career that is unjustly maligned. I think you will find him a very sympathetic accompanist to the Mozartian magic of Robert Casadesus; his individual solutions here and there to certain problems of phrasing are idiomatic and charming. Anyone familiar with the great recordings of his later years will realize that he did not suddenly become a great conductor out of an artistic nadir to which some critics still consign his early career. If he grew as a musician -- and he did -- all the better. But to dismiss his New York Philharmonic period just because NY critics of the time were in a pout that he was not Toscanini, is to miss some very satisfying performances. An early recording he did of the Sibelius Second Symphony (which I unfortunately do not own) demonstrates eloquently what would later be proved beyond any doubt: he had a real genius for the great Finnish composer. He began as an accomplished musician and became a great one. One cannot really blame him for one of the many periods where the NY. Philharmonic goes to pieces, though it rises quite nicely to the occasion on this recording.
( A performance of the Sibelius 2nd symphony with the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1964, in need of some re-equalization, can be found here: http://tinypaste.com/2d708ae)
Link to FLAC and MP3