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Biography

Sir Colin Davis was President of the London Symphony Orchestra and Honorary Conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle. From 1995 to 2006 he was Principal Conductor LSO, prior to which he was the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor. He has recorded widely with Philips, BMG and Erato as well as LSO Live. His releases on LSO Live won numerous prizes including Grammy and Gramophone Awards and ... Read more in Amazon's Colin Davis Store

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Product Details

  • Performer: Leon Goosens, Yehudi Menuhin, John Ogdon
  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia of London
  • Conductor: Colin Davis
  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn
  • Audio CD (September 18, 2012)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B008I1572E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,310 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

This 6-CD box set pays tribute to one of the greatest English conductors of our time, whom celebrates his 85th birthday this year. Knighted in 1980, Sir Colin Davis has conducted numerous world renowned orchestras including the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, to which he was the principal conductor for over ten years.

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By oldfolks on September 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD
The recordings in this box were made between 1959 and 1963, when Sir Colin Davis was in his thirties. The great majority of the music is dedicated to Mozart, which is not surprising, since Davis came on the scene as a Mozart specialist.

Compared to Mozart specialists of the time, such as Bohm, Klemperer, and Walter, Davis' Mozart is more incisive, lighter, and somewhat cooler. In this respect, Davis' Mozart most resembles the Mozart of George Szell, but Davis has more charm. Davis was obviously influenced by the movement begun in the 1950's to play Mozart with smaller chamber orchestras. The Sinfonia of London, with whom he plays the symphonies #29, #34, and #39 is a chamber orchestra, and he went on to subsequently record the symphonies #28, #33, #36, and #38 with the English Chamber Orchestra in the early 1960's. His first Mozart symphony recording with a large orchestra was the symphonies #39 and #40 with the London Symphony. The recording was made in 1962 for Philips, but not released until 1972.

The performances of Mozart in this set range from very good to excellent. Although not chamber orchestras, the Philharmonia and the Royal Philharmonic play the serenades "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik", the "Serenata Notturna", the German Dances, K.605 and a set of nine opera overtures. These are typical Davis Mozart performances, and are excellent by any standards. The recordings are rich and full. Of the symphonies, I particularly liked the Symphony #39, but the other two symphonies are well done. I wish I could be more enthusiastic about the Sinfonia of London, however. The orchestra was a freelance studio orchestra, and they were no match for the Philharmonia or the Royal Philharmonic. The strings are a bit thin and the winds sound a bit wheezy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Eder on March 31, 2013
Format: Audio CD
In the space of 50 years, Colin Davis went from being a young firebrand in the world of classical music to one of its most distinguished elder statesmen of the podium -- someday someone may even be possessed to do a "Life and Death of Colonel Blimp"-style film about that career (without the earlier movie's inherent tone of regret). But thanks to EMI's release of this 6-disc set, we can savor the early products of Davis's career anew.

These 1958-63 recordings represented here were never intended to be definitive -- going in, the young thirty-something Davis understood intuitively, if not consciously, that these were first efforts in the studio, early opportunities at recording which, presumably, he would follow up on (and did). If these performances were not quite "iconic" in representing (most of) the pieces involved or the talent behind them, they were, at their best, unusually vibrant and bracing -- back in the LP era I used to try to find as many of these as I could, on their various labels (Seraphim, RCA Victor etc.), and a few, such as the Tippett and the Stravinsky, were pretty rare here in the United States.

It turns out that they are still exciting performances, even if some of the ensembles -- the Sinfonia of London comes to mind on some of the Mozart works -- are under-powered in certain departments. Starting from the top in terms of quality, there is Disc Five, which opens with the Berlioz Harold In Italy. The latter is almost worth the price of admission by itself, filled as it is with riveting, bracing youthful vigor in every nuance of its playing, tempos etc., and heralding Davis's subsequent recognition as one of the definitive interpreters of the composer's music of the post-war era.
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