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  • Serge Koussevitzky: Great Conductors of the 20th Century
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Serge Koussevitzky: Great Conductors of the 20th Century Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, June 4, 2002
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 5 in E minor Op. 64 (2002 - Remaster): I - Andante - Allegro con animaSerge Koussevitzky/Boston Symphony Orchestra15:19Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 5 in E minor Op. 64 (2002 - Remaster): II - Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenzaSerge Koussevitzky/Boston Symphony Orchestra13:50Album Only
listen  3. Symphony No. 5 in E minor Op. 64 (2002 - Remaster): III - Valse: Allegro moderatoSerge Koussevitzky/Boston Symphony Orchestra 6:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Symphony No. 5 in E minor Op. 64 (2002 - Remaster): IV - Andante maestoso - Allegro vivaceSerge Koussevitzky/Boston Symphony Orchestra11:57Album Only
listen  5. The Isle of the Dead Op. 29 (2002 - Remaster)Boston Symphony Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky18:44Album Only
listen  6. Mephisto Waltz No. 2 S110 (2002 - Remaster)Boston Symphony Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky11:23Album Only


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 7 in C Op. 105 (2002 - Remaster): Adagio -Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky 7:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Symphony No. 7 in C Op. 105 (2002 - Remaster): Un pochettino meno adagio - Vivacissimo - Adagio -Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky 4:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Symphony No. 7 in C Op. 105 (2002 - Remaster): Allegro molto moderato -Bbc Symphony Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky 3:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Symphony No. 7 in C Op. 105 (2002 - Remaster): Vivace - Presto - AdagioBbc Symphony Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky 5:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Symphony No.3 - In one movement (2002 - Remaster)Boston Symphony Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky16:38Album Only
listen  6. Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67 (2002 - Remaster): I. Allegro con brioLondon Philharmonic Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky 8:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67 (2002 - Remaster): II. Andante con motoLondon Philharmonic Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky10:45Album Only
listen  8. Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67 (2002 - Remaster): III. Allegro -London Philharmonic Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky 5:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67 (2002 - Remaster): IV. Allegro - PrestoLondon Philharmonic Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky 8:53$1.29  Buy MP3 


Product Details

  • Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Serge Koussevitzky
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven, Roy Harris / Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky, Franz Liszt / Jean Sibelius, Serge Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (June 4, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B00005V33K
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,900 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It's sad that the "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" reissue series has not gotten more notice on Amazon and in other places, because it has my vote for the best reissue program thus far of the 21st Century. Drawing from the archives of all the major classical labels (EMI, Sony, BMG, DG, Decca, Philips, Supraphon, etc.), EMI and IMG Artists have assembled a wonderful series of affordable two-disc sets by the leading conductors of the last century. And unlike its counterpart, "The Great Pianists of the 20th Century," which are basically compilations of material already available on other CDs, the "Great Conductors" features rare and, for the most part, previously unreleased performances!
This particular CD, Volume 10, features the great Serge Koussetvitzky, a man to whom America's musical landscape will forever be indebted. While the recordings here are all in mono and are from the 1930s and 40s, the performances are nothing short of magical. The recording of American composer Roy Harris's one movement "Symphony No. 3" from 1939, and remastered here from the original shellacs, was the world premiere recording. Similarly the 1945 recording of Rachmaninov's "Isle of the Dead" was only the second ever made, after the 1929 recording by the composer himself. The performances of Liszt's "Mephisto Waltz", Sibelius 7th and Beethoven 5th Symphonies allow us to see a unique recreative artist at work. Finally, I was delighted to see that the Koussetvitzky/Boston SO recording of Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony was included here so that my old RCA Gold Seal CD of Tchaikovsky's 6th finally had a partner.
Whether you are a serious collector of classical music or a beginner, the "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" has something for everyone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Gomez Pardo HALL OF FAME on June 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Lets start stating that Thaikovsky fifth is wild , caucassic , you feel the roughness and lyricism mixed and that's the way you must conduct Thaikovsky , specially in the last movement. I've heard this version at least one sixty times and believe me ; there are few performances that even get close to that. because they lack incandescence, balcanic rage, and dyonisiac rapture.
This is the jewel of the crown of this set. You may find out in the market Van Kempen Concertgebouw , Sawalish Cocertgebouw and Fricsay Berlin . I have them all but Koussevitsky wins. Don't forget that the strings , winds and woods of that orchesta are pure gold , the deep expressiveness and the craft of this master allows to develop the sense of the span , so necessary in this symphony. Because the three first symphonies of Pyotr Illich are imperial and the three last are introspective in their mood.
The Isle of the dead is superb.
And the Sibelius seventh is first rate. This is , after the fourth, the most complex symphony for winning . You must underline the inner mood , the forrest sounds and avoid to fall in a sentimental mood due this is an epic work.
Beethoven fifth is the less fortunate recording of the set. It's well played , only that there are giants versions that are far beyond this one.
But if you are a hard fan of Koussevitzky and if you really want to know how the Boston Symphony sounded in their golden years, you must acquire this album.
This is a historical document.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Koussevitzky is one of the few conductors in this series whose entire career consists of pre-LP recordings, many caught in antiquated sound. He was born in 1874, the same year as Pierre Monteux, but of the two, not to mention Stokowski, Koussevitzky has survived as less well suited to modern taste. He had an impulsive conducitng style that changed tempo arbitrarily from bar to bar, and to modern ears this sounds too intrusive, even egotistical. During his long tenure with the Boston Sym. Koussevitzky commissioned more masterpieces (from Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Bartok, Copland, etc.) than anyone with the exception of Diaghalev, mostly financed with money from his rich wife.

I wish I could be more enthusiastic about how well this famous musician has lasted. All these recordings are in sketchy-to-good mono from the 30s and 40s. CD 1 begins with a virtuosic Tchaikovsky Fifth (1944) riddled with the condcutor's arbitrary phrasing--if you like Mengelberg, however, who was even more extreme, Koussevitzky's impassioned account may strike you as something special. The performance of Rachmaninov's Isle of the Dead (1945) is much better--feverish and moody wihtout the usual depressing langours one often hears in this piece. I would rate this a genuinely great recording. The sonics are among the best here, also. CD 1 ends with Liszt's excitingly trashy Mephisto Waltz (1936) in a romping, unbuttoned, and often wayward account caught in reasonably good sound--but who cares?

CD 2 begins with the Sym. #7 of Sibelius, one of Koussevitzsky's best composers. It's in boxy 1933 sound with the BBC Symphony and yet fairly leaps out of the speakers. Sibelius's rhapsodic idiom takes well to the cnductor's moment-to-moment mood changes. Too bad we can't hear it better.
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