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United Nations 50th Anniversary Concert / Sir Georg Solti

Release Date: 03/30/2001 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 448901   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Béla BartókLudwig van BeethovenGioachino Rossini
Performer:  Andreas KohnAlberto DohmenStig Fogh AndersenEvelyn Herlitzius,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  World Orchestra for PeaceLondon Voices
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Anniversary concerts come and go, but to grace the occasion with a specially formed orchestra (and a pretty good one at that) — now that really is big news. "Today in one corner of Europe there is a desperate war", wrote Sir Georg Solti towards the end of last year; "we watch it on television and do nothing. This concert is the one thing I can do." The World Orchestra for Peace employs the talents of top-ranking orchestral players from America, Europe, Russia and Israel, most of them — including the 15 section leaders — having been chosen by Solti himself. Musically, things get off to a spectacular start with the most compelling William Tell Overture I've heard in years — at once tender (Stephen Geber's lead cello is Read more eloquent beyond words), rousing and positively Toscanini-like in the quick-fire excitement of its closing "Gallop".

Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra is hardly less remarkable, not so much for its showmanship (the finale, although typically energetic, occasionally blurs around the edges) but more for its poetry. One might sample the piano dolce oboe at 409" into the first movement, the expressively accented violins and violas soon after, the wonderfully rapt calmo strings 531" into the "Elegia" or that magical moment at 256" into the "Intermezzo interrotto" where (at bar 120) the strings return — again marked calmo — with expressive material from the first section. Here and elsewhere, Solti's unaffected lyricism touches our hearts, while the "Giuoco delle coppie" is more a chuckle than a game (crotchet=94, as per Boosey & Hawkes's 1993 revised score) and impulsiveness only occasionally turns to impatience.

Fidelio is of course the musical symbol for what Solti terms "the qualities of brotherhood, liberty and humanity" and this vigorous account of the finale finds all concerned entering the fray — with a particularly distinctive contribution from the Don Fernando of Andreas Kohn. "Never can we praise too much ..." sing the assembled, apposite words that might equally apply — both in musical and humanistic terms — to this admirable venture. Decca's sound is lively and full-bodied.

-- Gramophone [3/1996]
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116 by Béla Bartók
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  World Orchestra for Peace
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/05/1995 
Venue:  Live  Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland 
Length: 35 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Fidelio, Op. 72: Act 2 Finale by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Andreas Kohn (Tenor), Alberto Dohmen (Baritone), Stig Fogh Andersen (Baritone),
Evelyn Herlitzius (Soprano), Hans Tschammer (Bass), Ruth Ziesak (Soprano),
Herbert Lippert (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Voices,  World Orchestra for Peace
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805/1814; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/05/1995 
Venue:  Live  Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland 
Length: 14 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: German 
Guillaume Tell: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  World Orchestra for Peace
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/05/1995 
Venue:  Live  Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland 
Length: 11 Minutes 36 Secs. 

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