The Critic's Chair series ended in March 2015.
David Morriss reviews three new collections of historical and modern performances.
The RIAS Bach Cantatas Project - Berlin 1949-1952
Johanna Behrend, edith Berger-Krebs, Gertrud Birmele, Marie-Luise denicke, Agnes Giebel, Lilo Rolwes, Gunthild Weber (sop), Ingrid Lorenzen, Annelies Westen, Charlotte Wolf-Matthäus (alto), Helmut Krebs (Ten), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Walter Hauck (bar), Gerhard niese (bass), RIAS-Kammerorchester, RIAS-Kammerchor, RIAS-Knabenchor/Karl Ristenpart
Audite 21.415 (9 CDs)
“Possibly the Holy Grail for collectors of historical Bach recordings.... It’s hard to overstate the importance of this release – for Ristenpart’s many admirers, and also for our understanding of postwar Bach performance practice. The young Fischer-Dieskau is superb.”
The Flute King
Bach, CPE Bach, Quantz, Benda, Agricola, Anna Amalia & Frederick the Great
Emmanuel Pahud (fl), Trevor Pinnock (hpshcd), Jonathan Manson (cello), Potsdam Chamber Academy
(EMI 84230 – 2 CD Set)
“A great sense of line, and an astonishing range when it comes to nuance and articulation.... Even without the reference to Frederick the Great, this set's title "The Flute King" pretty much sums it up.”
Edition Otto Klemperer: The Berlin Recordings 1950-58
Beethoven; Hindemith; Mahler; Mozart
RIAS Symphony Orchestra Berlin/ Otto Klemperer
(Audite 21.408 – 5 CD Set)
“No fussy postmodern irony here – this is music performed as if it really matters. (Which, of course, it does.).... In Klemperer's hands, a Mozart or Beethoven symphony reaches a similar level of artistic greatness as the works of Raphael or Michelangelo. We can actually hear it, rather than just being told it’s there and having to take it on faith. That’s a rare thing.”