This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
It's amusing to remember that for much of the 1960s, Deutsche Grammophon was a local German label, and every so often we see evidence of its roots. Nothing else accounts for the notes to this release, which spend nearly all of their time talking about Wolfgang Schneiderhan and the Berlin Philharmonic while hardly mentioning Karel Ancerl and completely neglecting the Czech Philharmonic (and for much of the '50s and '60s the Czech orchestra was better than Berlin). Indeed, good as the Schneiderhan/Ancerl Stravinsky concerto is (and it's very good indeed, particularly in the two inner movements that Stravinsky labeled Aria I and Aria II), the real draw is this best-ever performance of Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony.
Recorded in 1956, just a couple of years after its premiere, this reading by Ancerl and the Czech Philharmonic still blows away most of the competition, including Mravinsky and Leningrad. The first movement flows spontaneously and effortlessly forward, rising to a massive central climax. Ancerl's scherzo never has been bettered, either for its playing or in its demonic drive and uninhibited emotional intensity (Mitropoulos actually was a bit faster, but far less disciplined). The third movement, with its evocative horn calls, sees Ancerl emphasizing its cool, mechanical rhythms to unsettling effect, while the finale flies by on a surge of adrenaline, those amazing Czech winds well to the fore. I can't imagine another European orchestra at this time that technically could have offered anything close to this achievement.
The Violin Concerto (which dates from 1963) is a fine sounding stereo recording, while the Shostakovich is superb mono. Indeed, it's so good-sounding that you'd hardly notice the mono provenance, and both performances have been very well remastered for this release. If you buy only a few new recordings this year, make sure that this is one of them. It's truly a "must hear" experience, even if (as seems likely) Universal declines to release it domestically.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Violin in D major by Igor Stravinsky
Wolfgang Schneiderhan (Violin)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1931; France
Date of Recording: 1963
Symphony no 10 in E minor, Op. 93 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1953; USSR
Date of Recording: 1956
Notes: This is a mono recording.
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