ArkivMusic Newsletter

Dear ArkivMusic Customer,

Captivating performances of the classical canon featuring top-notch sound and artists that range from the famous (Sir Charles Mackerras, Vernon Handley) to those deserving to be… This is what characterizes the Royal Philharmonic Masterworks series, now on sale at ArkivMusic for $5.99 each or 4 for $20!*

Here are a few top picks from the more than 100 terrific bargain CDs this label has in store:

Bruch: Violin Concerto, Scottish Fantasy / Horigome, Simonov
Those who admire Bruch’s works for the violin as much as almost all violinists and aficionados of the instrument do should warmly welcome these performances into their collections.

Haydn: Symphonies 101 & 103 / Glover, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
This is one of the best Haydn symphony recordings I have ever heard. The performances are outstanding – it might even make gramophone history.

Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1 & 5 / Roll, Shelley, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Michael Roll’s performance of the First Concerto is hugely enjoyable throughout, and the same warmth and effortless musicality inform his account of the Emperor.

Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel / Mackerras, RPO
Mackerras relishes the wittiest side of Zarathustra and the serious aspect of Juan’s lovemaking and gives a rounded portrait of Till. Five stars for all these aspects, at any price.

Borodin: Prince Igor Excerpts, In the Steppes of Central Asia, Symphony No 2 / Schmidt
As a single-CD Borodin anthology in contemporary digital sound and at bargain price, this disc stands at the head of the recommendation list.

Gorecki: Symphony No 3, Three Pieces in Old Style / Gritton, Simonov
This recording is mightily involving and all lines of the great, 28-minute first movement shine in their clarity. Yuri Simonov shapes the music intelligently. Soloist Susan Gritton lifts the performance to another plane; her eloquence truly makes it special.

Chopin: Piano Concertos 1 & 2 / Costa, Varga
The very underrated Sequeira Costa has given us wonderfully revealing Chopin.

Orff: Carmina Burana / Cooke, RPO
This belongs with the half-dozen finest performances of Orff's cantata ever recorded, and the sound is brilliant as well.

Mozart: Sonatas 8, 11, 16; Fantasia in D minor; "Ah vous dirai-je maman" Variations / O'Hora
The precision of O’Hora’s playing, its distinctness, the stylish shapings of his phrases, and the excellent recording make this collection attractive.

Shostakovich: Symphony No 5 / Mackerras, Royal Philharmonic
Little needs to be said about this version of the much-recorded Fifth except: "Magnificent!"

Schubert: Symphonies 3 & 5 / Howard Shelley, Royal Philharmonic
The versatile pianist-conductor Howard Shelley makes a fine showing here, and the sound is very good indeed, in terms of presence, bite, and ripe resonance.

Holst: The Planets, St. Paul's Suite / Handley, RPO
Handley is a wizard with "Uranus," "Jupiter" is very jolly, and "Venus" is beautiful and serene. The vivacious St. Paul’s Suite is a bonus with its delightful Intermezzo showing exotic Indian influences.

See our complete list of Royal Philharmonic Masterworks CDs, on sale now at 4 for $20!* (Sale ends at midnight ET April 27.)

As always, I thank you for your support and love of classical music.

Eric Feidner

*Purchase 4 or more CDs from Royal Philharmonic Masterworks and you will be charged only $4.99 each. The more you buy, the more you save!