Naxos CD recensies

Mengelberg, Brahms

Brahms - Academic Festival Overture, Symphony no.1 (third movement), Symphony no.3 and Tragic Overture

"Made between 1930 and 1942, these historic recordings show Mengelberg's galvanic conducting style. The Dutch maestro shapes compelling but detailed accounts of these scores. The familiar music sounds fresh and invigorating."

- Robert Baxter Courier Post 5 April 2002

"Once past the heavy-gaited introduction, Mengelberg's Academic Festival Overture (at least what you can hear through the atmospheric but faded engineering) reveals the Concertgebouw musicians on top form. They play better still in a brooding, convincingly sectionalized reading of the Tragic Overture, and the 1942 Telefunken engineering surpasses the other 1930 Columbia sessions. The latter, by the way, sound brighter on top and clearer in the midrange than in previous transfers, thanks to Ward Marston's excellent restoration work."

- Jed Distler 1 April 2002

Brahms - Symphony no.2 and 4

"Made in 1938 and 1940, these recordings show an artist who employed any means possible to get the most out of the music. The Symphony No. 2 has little of its usual repose, thanks to its exhilarating, unforgettable fleetness... Mengelberg's reading of the tragic final movement...transcends everything: Each musical episode becomes its own world - and one that's coming to an end."

- David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 23, 2002

"Ward Marston's transfers are the finest now available of these recordings...If you want Mengelberg's Brahms 2 and 4, Naxos' bargain price and superior transfers speak for themselves."

- Jed Distler Classics Today December 4, 2001

Mengelberg, Strauss

Strauss - Ein Heldenleben and Tod und Verklärung

"Omdat in de cd speler van Roderick Krüsemann de meest recente Naxos cd met werken van Richard Strauss lag, werd de Naxos verdoeking van 'Tod und Verklärung' met die van de Q-disc en die van de Wendel cd vergeleken. In vergelijking met de Wendel persing en de Q-disc was de Naxos uitgave duidelijk rijker aan mooie bassen, hetgeen niet alleen de inleiding maar voornamelijk de enkele tutti wat verderop in het werk ten goede komt.

- Uit 'Mengelberg en zijn tijd', Discotabel, een panel bestaande uit Roderick Krüsemann, Johan Maarsingh, Albert Meurer en Eric Derom.

"The budget-price Naxos label continues to issue superb transfers of historical recordings. Some discs devoted to the Dutch conductor Willem Mengelberg (1871-1951) are especially welcome, for they capture a fluid, exploratory and all-too-often neglected artist at the peak of his powers."

- Tim Page Washington Post 14 April 2002 (circ. 1.1 million)

"Obert-Thorn's transfer is superior to decent ones on Archive Documents and on the recent Q-Disc 11-CD set, and is the equal of a fine one available from French Mengelberg-maven Hubert Wendel. This Naxos issue should please more listeners, as it gets rid of more noise while losing almost nothing of the performance."

- James. H. North, Fanfare, March/April 2002

"To start with, this 1941 Telefunken recording was one of the finest of the 78-rpm era, not only in performance but also in sound... We have, mirabile dictu, arrived at an age when these audio wizards can give us more than the original 78s did... This Naxos issue should please more listeners, as it gets rid of more noise while losing almost nothing of the performance... Listening to Mengelberg's 1942 recording [of Tod und Verklarung] reminds us what all of the excitement was about."

- James H. North, Fanfare, March/April 2002

"Here is another treasure in Naxos' Historical Series offering superb new transfers of two specialties of Willem Mengelberg and his Concertgebouw orchestra... The Concertgebouw Heldenleben was recorded April 21,1941 by Telefunken on ten 78 rpm sides. It is a more expansive reading than the earlier New York recording...the more reflective moments in 'The Hero's Retreat from the World and Fulfillment' seem particularly poignant. Ferdinand Helman's solo violin is rich with portamento ... Death and Transfiguration is one of Mengelberg's supreme interpretations, reaching a shattering climax with blazing brass. It was recorded in April 1942, a year after Heldenleben ...The Amsterdam recording is outstanding, the use of portamento in the final pages unlike what is heard in any other recorded performance. There are other CDs available of both of these Strauss works. As these new transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn are equal to or superior to any previous issues, and available at budget price, they are highly recommended."

- Robert E. Benson,

"The allegro passages [in Death and Transfiguration ] work up to a fine fury ...and the actual moment when the dying man gives up the ghost allows the important quiet strokes on the tam-tam more prominence than in many modern renditions. What a pity then that the limitations of 1942 recording technology can't begin to capture the orchestral incandescence of the final transfiguring apotheosis--despite a warmly immediate and quite listenable transfer by Mark Obert-Thorn. Mengelberg fans will want this if they don't already have it."

- David Hurwitz,, November 30, 2001

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