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Erich Kleiber

Erich Kleiber Complete Decca Recordings (15CD)

By the time Decca’s European operations guru, Maurice Rosengarten signed Erich Kleiber to the label, Kleiber already had a reputation with musicians, audiences, and critics alike that can without exaggeration be called immense.


Kleiber’s repertoire for Decca mirrored that of his London concerts: symphonies by Mozart and Beethoven, overtures by Dvořák and Handel as well as Strauss-family favourites; all done with superb attention to rhythmic lift and dynamic balance so that combined with Decca’s pioneering ‘ffrr’ technology – full frequency range recording – listeners could (and still can) hear inside the scores to a degree remarkable for the late 1940s.

‘Throughout his career, the authority and the vitality of his interpretative talent have compelled the respect of fellow-musicians and the devotion of audiences throughout the world. From Beethoven symphonies to Strauss waltzes, his commanding style and his restless striving for perfection added colour and warmth to every opera and concert he conducted and his recordings will serve as a yardstick against which new performances may be judged.’ With these words, Decca paid tribute to Erich Kleiber in the March 1956 edition of Gramophone. He had died suddenly on 27th January 1956. Marking 65 years since his death, Decca celebrates the impact his recordings still have to this day.

Collected together in this set are his complete recordings for Decca – from those early 78s through to the last piece he was to record: Die Schlittenfahrt (The Sleighride) from Mozart’s Three German Dances K605 – and a bonus audio documentary presented by Jon Tolansky which provides compelling first-hand evidence of just how highly musicians regarded him.

CD 1
JOSEF STRAUSS: Sphärenklänge, Op. 235
J. STRAUSS II: Der Zigeunerbaron / Act 1: Overture
DVOŘÁK: Carnival Overture, Op. 92
London Philharmonic Orchestra
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire

CD 2
HANDEL: Berenice - Act 2: Andante Larghetto
MOZART: Symphony No. 40 in G minor
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6 in F major ‘Pastoral’
London Philharmonic Orchestra

CD 3
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major ‘Eroica’ ∙ Symphony No. 7 in A major
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
CD 4 BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 ‘Choral’
Hilde Gueden, Sieglinde Wagner, Anton Dermota, Ludwig Weber
Singverein Der Gesellschaft Der Musikfreunde, Wiener Philharmoniker

CD 5
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5 in C minor ∙ Symphony No. 6 in F major ‘Pastoral’
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

CD 6
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6 in B minor ‘Pathétique’
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire

CD 7
MOZART: Six German Dances, K.600: Nos. 1 & 5
Four German Dances, K.602: No. 3. ‘Die Leierer’
Three German Dances, K.605: No. 3 ‘Die Schlittenfahrt’
Symphony No. 39 in E flat major
SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 9 in C major ‘Great’
Kölner Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester

CD 8
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major ‘Eroica’
Wiener Philharmoniker
WEBER: Symphony No. 1
Kölner Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester

CD 9-11
R. STRAUSS: Der Rosenkavalier
Maria Reining, Sena Jurinac, Hilde Gueden, Ludwig Weber
Wiener Philharmoniker

CD 12-14
MOZART: Le Nozze di Figaro
Lisa della Casa, Hilde Gueden, Alfred Poell, Cesare Siepi
Wiener Philharmoniker
Produced by Jon Tolansky

CD 15
Erich Kleiber – Testimonies
: Introduction and Overview
: Early Fame – Berlin State Opera, Wozzeck Premiere Recollections, 1930's and Exile
: London Philharmonic Orchestra Recollections
: Covent Garden Opera Company (now Royal Opera) Recollections
: Conclusion