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:

Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, Midsummer Night's Dream / Chen, Glover
Leland Chen possesses in abundance the silken tone and technical refinement so expressly demanded by this most pristine and mercurial of Romantic violin concertos, and the RPO players acquit themselves splendidly throughout the hugely enjoyable music from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Stravinsky: Rite of Spring, Firebird / Simonov, RPO
Simonov doesn't impose an agenda onto the music, and the results are extremely satisfying. The RPO manages the sumptuous orchestration with distinction.

Bizet: Carmen Suites; Grieg / Ermler, RPO
A rousing, thoroughly professional reading of these timeless pieces, recorded with audiophile clarity.

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.

Mozart: Piano Concertos 21 & 23 / O'Hora, Carney
As close to ideal as collectors would have a right to expect at any price – it ranks, indeed, as one of the finest Mozart piano-concerto recordings I have ever heard.

Copland: Ballet Suites, Fanfare / Ellis, RPO
These performances sound as idiomatic and fresh as the American competition. Ellis's youthful interpretations here stress the balletic nature of most of the pieces. With its first-class sound, this is a prime recommendation at budget price.

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

Franck: Symphony, Les Eolides, Le Chasseur Maudit / Leppard, RPO
The tone poems elicit performances of beguiling exquisiteness, with transparently immediate sound within a spacious aural frame.

Bernstein: Candide Overture, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, On the Waterfront / Davis, RPO
With film, TV, and classical credits, Carl Davis brings a perspective to Bernstein’s music that the composer would have appreciated.

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6 / Menuhin, RPO
Exciting and musical. Menuhin doesn’t so much build tension as let it erupt. When the music is relaxed, it could hardly be lovelier. Menuhin was arguably in his later years a better conductor than he was a violinist. This Tchaikovsky disc adds to his reputation.

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.

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

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!