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Antal Doráti, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra

Antal Doráti: The Mercury Masters – The Mono Recordings (31CD)

A tour de force of thrilling orchestral playing and brilliant audio engineering, Antal Doráti’s mono recordings are collected for the first time. Newly remastered, this collection comprehensively documents a golden era in American classical recording and most of these vividly-characterized recordings appear on CD for the first time.

“has to be heard to be believed … is it possible to exceed this in the art of reproduced sound?” The New Records


The Hungarian conductor Antal Doráti joined the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra as its music director in 1949, and immediately began making it into one of the orchestral powerhouses of the post-war United States. Mercury began recording the ensemble in 1952 and continued to do so until his departure in 1960. Doráti’s 51 albums (24 mono, 27 stereo) are a testament to what he achieved with the orchestra during his eleven years there. They reveal a musical personality centred on dynamism, intensity, and an exceptional ability to persuasively articulate rhythms. Eloquence presents the most complete ever reissue of the Doráti/Minneapolis legacy in two ‘original jackets’ boxes, faithfully representing the contents of the albums as they were first issued. New remastering made or supervised by Thomas Fine, son of Mercury’s long-time chief engineer and producer, as well as original remastering for CD by Wilma Cozart Fine, bring this legacy to life as never before. Thomas Fine contributes a ‘sessionography’ to each box detailing the technical facets of the Mercury Living Presence recordings, and Dennis D. Rooney is the author of authoritative booklet notes surveying the history of the partnership on record as well as his personal memoirs of the period. The mono box begins with a blistering Firebird Suite of Stravinsky and ends with a contemporary Hungarian pairing of unrivalled idiomatic flair, brilliance (Kodály’s Peacock Variations) and lurid, controlled violence (Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin). Further highlights include the three Tchaikovsky ballets, in versions that quickly became gramophone classics and ‘library choices’ and stayed that way for decades.

CD 1 BORODIN: Symphony No. 2* STRAVINSKY: L’Oiseau de feu – Suite *FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 2 BERLIOZ: Le Carnaval romain RAVEL: Pavane; Alborada del gracioso DEBUSSY: Nocturnes FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 3 TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 5 FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 4 RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Scheherazade FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 5 MENDELSSOHN: Symphony No. 4 ‘Italian’ MOZART: Symphony No. 40 FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 6 RESPIGHI: Pini di Roma; Fontane di Roma FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 7 R. STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 8 GERSHWIN (arr. Russell Bennett): Porgy and Bess (A Symphonic Picture) GOULD: Spirituals in Five Movements FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 9 BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5; Overtures – Egmont; Coriolan; Leonore No. 3 FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 10 COPLAND: Symphony No. 3 CD 11 JOHANN STRAUSS II: Waltzes FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 12 STRAVINSKY: Le Sacre du printemps FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 13 TCHAIKOVSKY: The Nutcracker FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 14 BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 15 BERLIOZ: Symphonie fantastique FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 16 RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloé FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 17 RESPIGHI: Feste Romane; Vetrate di Chiesa CD 18 GINASTERA: Variaciones concertantes BRITTEN: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra CDs 19–20 TCHAIKOVSKY: Swan Lake CD 21 TCHAIKOVSKY: 1812 Overture (including spoken commentary); Capriccio italien Deems Taylor (narrator) CD 22 BRITTEN: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra TCHAIKOVSKY: Nutcracker Suite Deems Taylor (narrator) FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 23 STRAVINSKY: Petrouchka (Version 1947) FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 24–26 TCHAIKOVSKY The Sleeping Beauty FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 27 BRAHMS: Symphony No. 3; Academic Festival Overture; Tragic Overture (mono and stereo versions) FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 28 BEETHOVEN: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 8 FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 29 STORIES WITH MUSIC TCHAIKOVSKY: The Story of the Nutcracker Prince; The Story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses R. STRAUSS: The Story of Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks Jerry Terheyden (narrator) FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 30 SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 8 ‘Unfinished’ TCHAIKOVSKY: Romeo and Juliet Chicago Symphony Orchestra FIRST RELEASE ON CD CD 31 KODÁLY: Peacock Variations BARTÓK: The Miraculous Mandarin – Suite Chicago Symphony Orchestra