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Posted by Martin Walker on February 22, 2012, 9:52 am
What a nasty mess. Michael Gielen is a great conductor, and the 2-CD reissue by Vox of the recordings of 20th C music he made for that company while principal conductor of the Cincinnati SO is part of his legacy, containing superb performances of Berg, Strauss and Lutoslawski. That set seems to be becoming rare in Europe, judging by the Amazon.de/uk/fr price of around 30€, but on Amazon.com it can still be had for a song. One can only hope (against hope) that Vox is not discontinuing their reissues, because it may mean some great performances will get scattered all over the place. My advice is to acquire that Vox set at the cheapest price you can - and add great performances of Tod und Verklärung, Metamorphosen (simply the best I know), the Lulu (almost as good as Scherchen and better sounding) and Lyrische suites, as well as the pieces on the Regis pastiche.
I am very suspicious of a remastering that sounds more like MP3 - the Vox reissue is not at all bad for early digital and preferable to any rather homogenised MP3 sound.
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