With the exception of the Fourth Symphony, Gunter Wand's Berlin Bruckner remakes have not surpassed their NDR predecessors. The reason isn't hard to fathom: NDR is the better of the two orchestras in this music at present, and the evidence is right there on the discs themselves. During his tenure as music director, Claudio Abbado has replaced approximately two-thirds of the Philharmonic's personnel, and however fine these newcomers may be individually, as an ensemble the Berlin Philharmonic is a young group that has not yet found its corporate voice. Contrast this to Wand's years of work at NDR almost exclusively in the Brahms/Bruckner/Beethoven core German repertoire, and it should come as no surprise that his earlier efforts supercede a one-off guest gig in Berlin, however much rehearsal time he might have had. Still, this being Wand and Bruckner, the results are bound to be at least good, so when reading the following comments please insert the adverb "comparatively" before every descriptive adjective.
After achieving independence from Spain, Argentina developed its own models for concert- and opera-going, even though these continued in many respects to reflect European traditions. Musical legends emerged during this time: Astor Piazzolla, the founder of the Tango Nuevo, Mauricio Kagel, Carlos Gardel and Alberto Ginastera, the man considered for decades to be the country's most significant composer of classical music. Three of the works recorded on this CD fall into Ginastera's final ‘Neo-Expressionist’ period: the Concerto per corde Op.33 (1965), cast in a classical, four-movement form; the Estudios sinfonicos Op.35 (1967), which represent Ginastera at his most adventurous with the avant-garde style; and the Glosses sobra temes de Pau Casals Op.48 (1976/77), in which Ginastera experiments by taking traditional themes by the great Spanish cellist Pablo Casals and holding them up to an avant-garde mirror.
As a conductor, Sergiu Celibidache influenced as no other the musical life of Berlin, a metropolis still scarred by the war. The sound documents of this edition, most of which have not been previously released, for the first time paint a comprehensive picture of the conductor during the period between 1945 and 1957. These historic documents, providing new impressions of the legendary conductor, were revealed after intensive research.