Blomstedt’s singular view of Also sprach Zarathustra reflects his deep knowledge of and experience with the piece… The San Francisco Symphony plays masterfully, its characteristic warm sound allied with a virtuoso polish that nonetheless conveys a sense of discovery… Blomstedt’s Ein Heldenleben is one of the most beautifully rendered performances on disc.- Victor Carr Jr.
Reissue of this near legendary recording of Beethoven’s Leonore (the first version of what later became Fidelio). This recording from 1977 was the first recording of this opera, and since then remains a benchmark. Featuring the best singers of the time: Eberhard Büchner, Edda Moser, Edith Mathis, Theo Adam, Karl Ridderbusch, and the Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Herbert Blomstedt.
A new recording of Weber's piano concertos was obviously long overdue, and this one fits the bill more than adequately, coming as it does generously coupled with the much better known Konzertstück and in first-rate sound quality from HMV. Not the least of its virtues is the light it casts on the origins of the piano idiom of Chopin and Liszt and, in the case of the Konzertstück, on the very foundations of the romantic concerto. I wouldn't envy any historian out to determine who was responsible for which innovation in the first two decades of the nineteenth century, but certainly to hear so many fully-formed romantic textures in music dating from 1810-21 is an instructive, not to say startling, experience.
Herbert Blomstedt's Beethoven cycle with the Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the great ones, as much for the magnificent playing of this finest of all German orchestras as for Blomstedt's effortlessly musical interpretations.' - David Hurwitz, Editorial Reviews - Amazon.com
Why does Hilding Rosenberg's third symphony languish in obscurity whilst lesser works receive countless performances? This is a masterpiece, unmarred by a single superfluous bar, which contains some of the most moving music I have ever heard. Rosenberg's music betrays a first-rate intellect in full command of his material, achieving a fine balance between the tough contrapuntalism of the first subject and the tender poetry of the second. The sixth symphony does not scale the emotional heights of the third, but is well-argued and thoroughly enjoyable.
…Nowhere is this overindulgence as exciting but in his rendering here of Strauss' Death and Transfiguration. Charged with energy, depth, and intellect, this is one of the finest modern-day accounts of this work ever recorded. Telarc's sound is naturally clear and deep, which makes for a riveting compact disc all the way around. If you aren't familiar with Runnicles or his work, you deserve to know both him and it. This recording is not to be missed.
This is a useful compendium of most of Hindemith's orchestral and concertante music previously available on three full price discs. The sound is of consistently superb quality and one cannot find much fault with Blomstedt's committed interpretations with these two top class orchestras.
The first disc brings an apocalyptic performance of 'Mathis der Maler' with an awesome 'Angelic Concert' and a truly massive 'Temptations of St. Anthony'. This has to be my preferred version of this work although Karajan's 1960 Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra recording is also pretty competitive after all these years. The disc also includes a fine 'Trauermusik' with Geraldine Walther's sublime viola and an equally beautiful 'Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber'.