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Seiji Ozawa - Anniversary [11-CD Set]


Release Date: 09/14/2010 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001464002   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Béla BartókHector BerliozMaurice RavelToru Takemitsu,   ... 
Performer:  Seiji OzawaDwayne CroftAurèle NicoletMarilyn Horne,   ... 
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Festival OrchestraSaito Kinen OrchestraBoston Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 11 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

It’s good to see Decca issuing this box of Philips and DG recordings in honor of Seiji Ozawa’s 75th Anniversary. He has fallen under the discographic radar in the period since his departures from Boston and Vienna (the former under a cloud of discontent), his subsequent bout of ill health, the tanking of the major labels, and his return to Japan as the focus of his operations. Yet he remains a conductor of great talent who produced a large and often impressive discography, the strengths of which can be sampled in this mostly well-chosen 11-disc collection. The first three discs feature the Saito Kinen Orchestra, which Ozawa co-founded. His Bartók has always been impressive, and these versions of the Concerto for Orchestra and Music Read more for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta are excellent, and arguably Ozawa’s best. In the latter work, the string playing is often very impressive, and Ozawa’s attention to accent and articulation really bring the music to life (sound sample). This remake of the Symphonie fantastique is also more powerful than Ozawa’s Boston version: gutsier in the final two movements, with a swiftly flowing central “Scene in the Country” that avoids the dullness of so many other versions. As for the Takemitsu vocal works, this is classic Ozawa territory–no one does it better.

The three discs of Boston recordings are also mostly excellent. Ozawa remade Mahler 2 with Saito Kinen and surpassed this neat and clean but emotionally underwhelming version–it would have been better to have his Boston Ninth, which is one of the great ones, or the similarly excellent Third, but this performance fits on a single disc and features Marilyn Horne and Kiri Te Kanawa as the standout soloists, so its inclusion is understandable. The Poulenc disc (Gloria, Concerto champêtre, and Organ Concerto) is uniformly superb, as is the amazing disc of Bach transcriptions–possibly the best version of Stokowski’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor on disc, including Stokowski’s own.

The two Vienna Philharmonic discs feature a very good Strauss Alpine Symphony (plus occasional pieces), and a rather clunky Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade and Russian Easter Overture (the latter with pointless extra bell sounds at the end). With the Berlin Philharmonic, Ozawa turns in a fine Tchaikovsky 5th–a work he always did well–coupled to a suitably loud 1812 Overture that we frankly don’t need, plus a really enjoyable disc of Wagner overtures and preludes that deserves more attention than it ever received when it was new. The playing is excellent, and Ozawa’s pacing is spot-on.

Finally, Ozawa’s early, San Francisco recordings are represented by his “Romeo and Juliet” collection containing music on that theme by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Berlioz, and Bernstein. Naturally some performances are better than others, but listening to the whole set it’s impossible not to admire the range of repertoire and general excellence of the results that Ozawa gets from these five orchestras. He was, and still is, a force to be reckoned with.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz 106 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Budapest, Hungary 
2.
Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
3.
Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; France 
4.
Pavane pour une infante défunte by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; France 
5.
Ceremonial "An Autumn Ode" by Toru Takemitsu
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1992 
6.
Family Tree by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Seiji Ozawa (Speaker)
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1992 
7.
My Way of Life "In Memory of Michael Vyner" by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Dwayne Croft (Baritone)
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1990 
8.
Requiem for Strings by Toru Takemitsu
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; Japan 
9.
Air for Flute solo by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Aurèle Nicolet (Flute)
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1996; Japan 
10.
Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection" by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano), Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (Soprano)
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1896; Germany 
11.
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1708; Germany 
Notes: Arrangement: Leopold Stowkowski 
12.
Musikalisches Opfer, BWV 1079: no 5, Ricercar a 6 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1747; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes: Arrangement: Anton Webern 
13.
Partita for Violin solo no 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: 5th movement, Chaconne by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes: Arrangement: Hideo Saito 
14.
Chorale Variations on "Von Himmel hoch da komm' ich her" by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955-1956; USA 
15.
Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, BWV 552 "St Anne" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes: Arrangement: Arnold Schoenberg 
16.
Gloria in G major by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Kathleen Battle (Soprano)
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; France 
17.
Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G minor by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Everett Firth (Percussion), Simon Preston (Organ)
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; France 
18.
Concert champêtre for Harpsichord by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-28; France 
19.
Scheherazade, Op. 35 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
20.
Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
21.
Wiener Philharmoniker Fanfare, AV 109 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1924; Germany 
22.
Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911-1915; Germany 
23.
Feierlicher Einzug der Ritter des Johanniter-Ordens, AV 103 by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; Germany 
24.
Symphony no 5 in E minor, Op. 64 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
25.
1812 Overture, Op. 49 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Russia 
26.
Der fliegende Holländer: Overture by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841/1852; Germany 
27.
Lohengrin: Act 1 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
28.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Act 1 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Germany 
29.
Tannhäuser: Overture by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845/1861; Germany 
30.
Tristan und Isolde: Act 1 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1858; Germany 
31.
Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod [Instrumental] by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Germany 
32.
Romeo and Juliet Overture by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869/1880; Russia 
33.
Romeo and Juliet Suite no 2, Op. 64b: Montagues and Capulets by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
34.
Romeo and Juliet Suite no 2, Op. 64b: Dance by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
35.
Romeo and Juliet Suite no 2, Op. 64b: Romeo at Juliet's Grave by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
36.
Romeo and Juliet Suite no 2, Op. 64b: Dance of the maids with lilies by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
37.
Romeo and Juliet Suite no 1, Op. 64a: no 7, Death of Tybalt by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
38.
Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Adagio "Scène d'amour" by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; France 
39.
West Side Story: Symphonic Dances by Leonard Bernstein
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; USA 

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