Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?  
Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, May 2011

These performances stand on their own. If you are of a mind for them, they are as fine as the best from France, Boston, and Montreal.

To read the complete review, please visit American Record Guide online.

Stephen Habington
La Scena Musicale, December 2010

Gary Bertini is best remembered for his early 1990s recordings of the Mahler symphonies with the Cologne RSO for EMI. This initial issue in Capriccio’s edition devoted to this conductor, who died in 2005, is an all-French programme: Berlioz (Symphonie fantastique and Roman Carnival and Benvenuto Cellini overtures); Debussy (La Mer, Nocturnes and Prélude à l’aprèsmidi d’un Faune); Ravel (Daphnis et Chloé Suite No 2, Piano Concerto in G major [Martha Argerich, soloist] and La Valse). The broadcast performances are uniformly superb. The Edition Gary Bertini should be followed with great interest.

Robert Benson, November 2010

Israeli conductor Gary Bertini (1927–2005) had a distinguished career, mostly in Europe. Although he never held a major position with any of the major orchestras, was highly respected and invited often as guest conductor, particularly with opera companies. His EMI recording of all of Mahler’s symphonies recorded 1985–1991 in Cologne and Tokyo is one of the finest sets of this music. This new release of performances recorded from 1985–1994 is rather odd. All of these performances were previously issued on Capriccio in 1996 and are still available at full price. Now we have all three on SACD in a boxed set at near-budget price. The new releases have the same numbers as the old, although they now have the SADC imprint. Although generally the sound is excellent, it is not always well-balanced—brass often is too recessed, particularly on the Ravel disk. The impression of a large hall is there, but doubtless this “surround sound” was artificially produced. Although these are identified as “live” performances, there is no sign of an audience.

Jean-Yves Duperron
Classical Music Sentinel, September 2010

This is a treasure wrapped up in a bargain that should not be overlooked by anyone even vaguely interested in some of the masterworks of the French repertoire.

Gary Bertini (1927–2005), one of the best and it seems one of the most under-appreciated conductors of the 20th century, has just had some of his live concert recordings of the French greats, captured during his tenure as principal conductor of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, neatly re-packaged and re-issued together in a 3-Disc box-set by the people at Capriccio. Some of the highlights of the set are the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, the Ravel Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2 and Piano Concerto in G major with none other than Martha Argerich at the keyboard, and Debussy’s La Mer. All of these readings are marked by this conductor’s fastidious attention to the music’s direction, broad overview of the music’s orchestral palette, and sharp grasp of the music’s drama. After all, it is not an overstatement to say that his cycle of the Mahler Symphonies, recorded with the same orchestra, is one of the best and most consistent sets on the market today. These recordings gathered together in this collection, date from 1985 to 1994, and in this SACD remastered issue sound as good as ever.

Like mentioned above, this is Christmas come early for those who know the value of these neglected recordings, and for anyone for that matter who appreciates the thrill of a great conductor and his orchestra captured live doing what they do best.

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group