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Klemperer Legacy: Concertos - Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms (6 CDs)

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Otto Klemperer was born on 14th May 1885 in Breslau, Silesia (now Wroclaw, Poland) and died on 6th July 1973 in Zurich and hence next year we mark 40 years since his passing. Although disfigured by a stroke suffered whilst a brain tumour was being removed he became a world-renowned conductor whose recordings became and remain touchstones for the EMI catalogue.

Although Klemperer had primarily been contracted to provide orchestral music for the EMI Classics catalogue there were soloists who benefitted from his presence in recording concertos. Karajan had made a most successful recording of the Mozart Horn Concertos with the then lead player in the Philharmonia Orchestra, Dennis Brain, Klemperer recorded them with his lead player Alan Civil in 1960.

His superb series of orchestral works by Beethoven were enhanced by recording the Piano Concertos and Choral Fantasy with the star who had recently recorded the Piano Sonatas, Daniel Barenboim and the set was issued two years before the composer’s bicentenary in 1970. Both had their distinctive views on the works: Klemperer’s vivid but essentially monumental approach was questioned and provoked by the much younger man – just as the composer writes music which the piano and the orchestra “discuss” in different ways which is the very essence of a concerto. He also recorded Mozart Piano Concerto No. 25 with him in 1967.

The Violin Concertos by Beethoven and Brahms were recorded with Yehudi Menuhin in 1966 and David Oistrakh in 1960 respectively. A further disc of Piano Concertos of Liszt No. 1 and Schumann was made with Annie Fischer in 1960/2.

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
Yehudi Menuhin (violin)
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 (complete)
Daniel Barenboim (piano)
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra in C minor, Op. 80
Daniel Barenboim (piano)
John Alldis Choir & New Philharmonia Orchestra
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77
David Oistrakh (violin)
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S124
Annie Fischer (piano)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Horn Concertos Nos. 1-4 (complete)
Alan Civil (horn)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K503
Daniel Barenboim (piano)
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Annie Fischer (piano)
Philharmonia Orchestra

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