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Icon - Guido Cantelli: Fiery Angel Of The Podium


Release Date: 03/13/2012 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #:  6790432  
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartLudwig van BeethovenFranz SchubertCésar Franck,   ... 
Performer:  Dennis Brain
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraNBC Symphony OrchestraSanta Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 9 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Guido Cantelli’s relatively small yet significant legacy of commercial recordings for EMI have been kept alive on CD, chiefly through the label’s Great Recordings of the Twentieth Century series and Testament reissues. EMI Icon’s Cantelli box brings most of these recordings together for the first time in one collection. The only item missing is a rejected 1951 Mendelssohn Italian Symphony that Testament eventually published.

However, the unfinished 1956 Beethoven Fifth is included (Cantelli completed the last three movements before his untimely death in a November 1956 plane crash), as well as the 1954 NBC Symphony Franck D minor, an RCA recording for which EMI owns the rights to the stereo master tape. Disc 9 is given over
Read more to an audio documentary portrait by Jon Tolansky featuring brief interview excerpts with musicians who worked under Cantelli’s direction, long stretches of musical examples, and previously unpublished rehearsal snippets that hint at the conductor’s exacting standards and high- strung temperament.

The main question for collectors will concern sound quality. While many of the recordings are represented by their most recent and best-sounding EMI or Testament transfers, certain items, regrettably, are not. Why, for example, opt for the Tchaikovsky “Pathetique” Symphony/Romeo and Juliet coupling in its 1989 EMI Great Recordings transfer rather than the more open and robust-sounding 2004 Testament edition? Why use EMI’s 1989 Brahms Third transfer, so less vivid in comparison with Testament’s 1999 edition?

Similarly, the 1994 EMI Artist Profile Franck Symphony remastering yields to the version Testament brought out in a collection of Cantelli’s complete NBC Symphony commercial releases. Not that these earlier transfers sound bad—in fact, they’re perfectly acceptable, yet their upgrades ought to have been used.

That said, all of these recordings testify to Cantelli’s superb orchestral control, ear for color and textural clarity, and impeccable taste. This applies as much to the 1950 La Scala Tchaikovsky Fifth as to the 1951-56 Philharmonia Orchestra collaborations. As I wrote in an earlier review, Cantelli may have rode the Philharmonia musicians hard, yet they played like angels for him, notably first-desk soloists such as horn legend Dennis Brain, who shines in the Brahms Third symphony’s third movement, in Mozart’s Musical Joke, and in Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess.

Cantelli admirers already know about the meticulous textural contours and pinpointed nuance of his Debussy and Ravel, or the lilting string work and ideal tempos throughout Beethoven’s Seventh symphony and the approved 1955 Mendelssohn Italian. Some may find the Schumann Fourth a bit severe and driven, but the well-considered details still command attention, such as the busy string figurations that are perfectly balanced in relation to the sustained brass chords.

The booklet notes include discographical information and an informative, insightful essay by Mark Kluge that discusses the Cantelli recordings within the context of his career. Despite my reservations concerning choice of transfers, Cantelli’s artistry and EMI’s budget price surely will attract collectors.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Eine musikalischer Spass, K 522 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1955 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London 
Length: 19 Minutes 23 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 29 in A major, K 201 (186a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Written: 1774 
Date of Recording: 06/1956 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London 
Length: 21 Minutes 19 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1811-1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/1956 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London 
Length: 34 Minutes 55 Secs. 
4.
Symphony no 8 in B minor, D 759 "Unfinished" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1955 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London 
Length: 22 Minutes 46 Secs. 
5.
Symphony in D minor, M 48 by César Franck
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886-1888; France 
Date of Recording: 04/1954 
Venue:  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 36 Minutes 30 Secs. 
6.
La gazza ladra: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Italy 
7.
Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67: 2nd movement, Andante con moto by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807-1808; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67: 3rd movement, Allegro by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807-1808; Vienna, Austria 
9.
Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67: 4th movement, Allegro by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807-1808; Vienna, Austria 
10.
Symphony no 4 in D minor, Op. 120 by Robert Schumann
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1953 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 25 Minutes 13 Secs. 
11.
Symphony no 4 in A major, Op. 90 "Italian" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1955 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 27 Minutes 18 Secs. 
12.
L'apprenti sorcier by Paul Dukas
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; France 
13.
Pavane pour une infante défunte by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; France 
14.
Daphnis et Chloé Suite no 2 by Maurice Ravel
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
15.
El sombrero de tres picos: Excerpt(s) by Manuel de Falla
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; Spain 
16.
L'assedio di Corinto: Overture by Gioachino Rossini
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1949 
17.
Paganiniana, Op. 65 by Alfredo Casella
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/1949 
18.
Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855-1876; Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/1953 
19.
Siegfried Idyll by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Dennis Brain (French Horn)
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/16/1951 
20.
Symphony no 3 in F major, Op. 90 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Austria 
Date of Recording: 8/1955 
21.
Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
22.
Romeo and Juliet Overture by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869/1880; Russia 
23.
Symphony no 5 in E minor, Op. 64 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
24.
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1894; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1954 
25.
La mer by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
Date of Recording: 09/1954 
26.
Nocturnes (3) for Orchestra: no 1, Nuages by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1897-1899; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1955 
27.
Nocturnes (3) for Orchestra: no 2, Fêtes by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: French Impressionist 
Date of Recording: 08/1955 
28.
Le martyre de St Sébastien: Suite by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Date of Recording: 06/1954 

Sound Samples

Ein Musikalischer Spass - 'A Musical Joke' K522: I Allegro
Ein Musikalischer Spass - 'A Musical Joke' K522: II Menuetto (Maestoso)
Ein Musikalischer Spass - 'A Musical Joke' K522: III Adagio cantabile
Ein Musikalischer Spass - 'A Musical Joke' K522: IV Presto
Symphony No. 29 in A K201/K186a: Allegro moderato
Symphony No. 29 in A K201/K186a: Andante
Symphony No. 29 in A K201/K186a: Menuetto
Symphony No. 29 in A K201/K186a: Allegro con spirito
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op.67: II. Andante con moto
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op.67: III. Allegro
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op.67: IV. Allegro - Presto
Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92: Poco sostenuto - Vivace
Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92: Allegretto
Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92: Scherzo (Presto)
Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92: Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 8 in B minor (Unfinished) D759: I. Allegro moderato
Symphony No. 8 in B minor (Unfinished) D759: II. Andante con moto
Overture : La gazza ladra (1994 - Remaster)
Overture: L'assedio di Corinto

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