Orchestermusik / Sawallisch, Bavarian State Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony

Release Date: 2/1/2019
Label: Orfeo
Catalog Number: ORF-C957188L
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 8

Physical Format:

CD
In Stock
$54.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Wolfgang Sawallisch is known throughout the world and especially in his birthplace as a paragon among his generation of conductors and musicians, exemplifying a former world of music. After a thorough music education and a firm grounding in the art of conducting operas he soon began to assume more elevated positions on the music scene. The extent of his success in the 1950s was so great and indeed so rapid that by 1957 he was given the privilege of conducting at Bayreuth.

That said, the most decisive period of his career was probably from 1971 to 1992, when he enjoyed huge success with the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, both in the city and worldwide. He was initially appointed General Music Director, and in 1982 was promoted to State Opera Director. It was in the Bavarian capital that he expanded his role as a highly diversified, top-notch musical director.

His wide-ranging, active repertoire was founded on three mighty “pillars”, namely Mozart, Wagner and Strauss, each of them very safe in his hands. One of his legendary achievements is his complete cycle of Wagner’s operas, a feat he achieved in 1983, and the Orfeo catalogue includes excerpts from the first of Wagner’s operas – Die Feen, Das Liebesverbot and Rienzi – which are now acknowledged as benchmark recordings.

It is well known that Sawallisch was an excellent pianist who would play chamber music or accompany singers from time to time, and the Orfeo catalogue features Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hermann Prey, Bernd Weikl and the very first Orfeo album of all: Schubert Lieder with Margaret Price. Recently released excerpts from Don Giovanni and Così are proof that he was capable in the 1970s of conducting fiery Mozart performances, while his Puccini and Rossini recordings are testimony to his mastery of the Italian repertoire. What is more, the Orfeo catalogue contains several digital studio recordings of symphonic repertoire by Bruckner, Pfitzner and Weber as well as the Brahms Requiem, interestingly featuring the “colleagues” from the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Orfeo now releases a compilation of these recordings as a tribute to Sawallisch to mark his 95th birthday.

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Select excerpts of reviews accorded previously released volumes included in this set:

Bruckner: Symphony No 5


Bruckner’s Fifth has received more lousy performances than any of his symphonies, and accordingly few great ones. The best, for my money, remain Gielen (Intercord), Abbado (DG), Skrowaczewski (Oehms), and Jochum II (EMI), but this may be the greatest of them all. It’s one of those performances where everything just goes right. The orchestra plays with true feeling for the idiom. The strings remain alert, giving life to their acres of tremolo and even the least interesting accompaniment. The brass sound distinct within their sections but blend beautifully in the chorales, and make a big sound that never turns crude.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

Bruckner: Symphony No 1


Judicious balances, ideal pacing (especially in the not-too-slow Adagio), and an exciting finale all give the music a feeling of inevitability. You don’t ordinarily listen to Bruckner and admire his formal elegance, but you do here. This is one of the very best Bruckner Firsts around, and the essential place to start if you love the work.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday
Works on This Recording
1. Symphony no 2 in C major, J 51 by Carl Maria von Weber
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1807 ; Germany
2. Symphony no 1 in C major, J 50/Op. 19 by Carl Maria von Weber
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1807/1810 ; Germany
3. Symphony no 9 in D minor, WAB 109 by Anton Bruckner
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1891-1896 ; Vienna, Austria
4. Symphony no 6 in A major, WAB 106 by Anton Bruckner
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1879-1881 ; Vienna, Austria
5. Symphony no 5 in B flat major, WAB 105 by Anton Bruckner
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1875-1876 ; Vienna, Austria
6. Symphony no 1 in C minor, WAB 101 by Anton Bruckner
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1865/1891 ; Linz, Austria
7. German Requiem, Op. 45 by Johannes Brahms
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1854-1868 ; Austria
8. Palestrina: Act 3 Prelude by Hans Pfitzner
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1912-1915 ; Germany
9. Palestrina: Act 2 Prelude by Hans Pfitzner
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1912-1915 ; Germany
10. Palestrina: Act 1 Prelude by Hans Pfitzner
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1912-1915 ; Germany
11. Die Rose vom Liebesgarten: Trauermarsch by Hans Pfitzner
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1899 ; Germany
12. Die Rose vom Liebesgarten: Blütenwunder by Hans Pfitzner
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1899 ; Germany
13. Das Käthchen von Heilbronn, Op. 17: Overture by Hans Pfitzner
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1905 ; Germany
14. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Act 1 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1867 ; Germany
15. La forza del destino: Overture by Giuseppe Verdi
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1862/1869 ; Italy
16. Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1791 ; Vienna, Austria
17. Leonore Overture no 2 in C major, Op. 72 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1805 ; Vienna, Austria
18. Tragic Overture, Op. 81 by Johannes Brahms
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1880 ; Austria
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