“…it’s nice to see them [LMP/Blech] celebrate with such a near and technically well prepared package.” (Gramophone Magazine)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
1-4. Symphony No. 41 in C major, ‘Jupiter’, K551 [26:36]
5-7. Concerto for Two Pianos & Orchestra in E flat major, K365 * [28:47]
8-11. Four Minuets, K601 [8:45]
1-4. Symphony No. 28 in C major, K200 [17:55]
5-7. Concerto for Two Pianos & Orchestra in F major, K242 * [23:13]
Juan Crisóstomo de ARRIAGA (1906-1826)
8-11. Symphony in D major [22:57]
1-7. Serenade No. 9 in D major, ‘Posthorn’, K320 [40:14]
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
8-11. Symphony No. 103 in E flat major, ‘Drum Roll’ [mono] [27:07]
London Mozart Players / Harry Blech
Vitya Vronsky & Victor Babin, pianos *
This three CD set was published in 2009 to celebrate both the 60th anniversary of the London Mozart Players and the 100th anniversary of Harry Blech
Following First Hand Records award winning set of Cherkassky HMV recordings, they now publish the complete HMV stereo recordings made by the London Mozart Players and Harry Blech. They are issued here for the first time on CD, most for the first time in stereo. This welcomed tribute is released in 2009 to celebrate both the 60th anniversary year of LMP and the centenary of Blech’s birth. Selling at a great 3 for 2 CD price, this set comes in an attractive 4-panelled digipack.
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London, in 1956 & 1957, and sympathetically remastered there using the original HMV master tapes, these recordings sound magnificent for their 54 year age.
LMP are the longest established chamber orchestra in the UK and have always been greatly respected worldwide. These HMV recordings were made in the Golden Age of LMP and illustrate why the legendary LMP/Blech 35 year partnership was so successful. Once again, we are able to hear that unique ensemble sound the LMP were famous for in these, their earliest stereo recordings.
Highlights from this issue include Mozart’s great ‘Posthorn’ Serenade and a magnificent reading of the ‘Jupiter’ Symphony both displaying LMP and Blech at their best.
Gramophone Editor’s Choice/reissue of the Month
(Gramophone, Editor’s Choice – Reissue of the Month)
“A Best of the Year addition, so make Blech and the LMP your Christmas present to yourself.” (Audiophile Audition *****)
“The production is exemplary, with full discographic details, informative notes, and attractive reproductions of the original artwork. First Hand’s remasterings, from the original stereo tapes (disturbed from their slumbers for the first time in 50-plus years!), are outstandingly vivid and full-bodied. (The only mono item, the Haydn, was included to fill up the third disc. But the sound is so good, and the performance so engrossing, that the ear scarcely registers the difference.)… Meanwhile, I recommend you snap up this marvellous set without delay.” (Fanfare Magazine)
“Another very attractive release from First Hand Records…With handsome re-mastering by Ian Jones and excellent, informative notation (including the reproduction of the LPs’ original covers), this is a noteworthy and very pleasing release. How Mozart (and the other composers here) used to be played, with wit and warmth rather than dogma – and still can be thanks to these recordings that are gratefully received.” (Classical Source)
“…an irresistible bargain and a worthy memorial to Harry Blech the 100th anniversary of whose birth was celebrated in 2009.”
(Musicweb-International, John Sheppard: ‘Bargain of the Month’)
“First Hand is a new label but it’s quickly developed an astute eye for well packaged retrievals from the LP racks…The remastering was carried out at Abbey Road using the original source material. It is first class in every respect. And I liked the book-like format which opens out neatly; its elegant simplicity is just right. An admirable release.”
(Musicweb-International, Jonathan Woolf: ‘Bargain of the Month’)
“The performances are brisk, energetic, and spontaneous… bracing, top-quality performances and splendid sound, all being elements that never go out of style.” (All Music Guide)
“To complement the excellent transfers in this enterprising release, the booklet has informative notes by Lyndon Jenkins.” (International Record Review)
“These exceptional LPs, now 50 years old, are lucid, clear and free of vibrato, strikingly collected here on three CD’s, make a truly impressive Mozart issue…” (Rondo Magazine, Germany)
(Opus Magazine, Sweden: Performance *****, Sound ****)
(BBC Music Magazine: Performance ****, Sound ***)