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:

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.

Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras no 2; Ginastera: Variaciones Concertantes / Diemecke
Music of four Latin American composers makes up this enchanting disc.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Satie: Piano Works / Ronan O'Hora
Discs of Satie’s piano music are not in short supply at the moment, but it is rare to find one as enjoyable as this.

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.

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

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.

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!