BBC Legends Vol.3
ICA Classics, via its long-term contract with BBC Worldwide, are proud to release a third volume of the best-selling BBC Legends box, featuring 20 CDs of some of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Volume one was released in 2013 comprising 20 CDs taken from the critically acclaimed BBC Legends catalogue which has been unavailable since 2010. The second volume was released in 2017 and is now out of print.
Gennady Rozhdestvensky: Shostakovich
Gennady Rozhdestvensky (1931-2018) was one of Russia's greatest conductors along with Evgeny Mravinsky and Kirill Kondrashin. His close personal and musical relationship with Shostakovich began in the 1950s and continued until the composer's death in 1975. Rozhdestvensky said at the time, 'It would be difficult to overestimate the significance of my relations with Dmitri Shostakovich since he opened before me a musical universe like a gigantic magnifying glass reflecting our fragile world'. Rozhdestvensky conducted the first western premiere of Shostakovich's Symphony No.4 in Edinburgh in 1962 and after many subsequent performances internationally, it was also the inaugural piece in his tenure as chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (1979-81). Composed in 1936 but condemned by the Soviet authorities, it did not receive it's first performance until 1961 in Moscow. The epic Symphony No.11, given a dramatic performance by the BBC Philharmonic in 1997, is based on revolutionary folksongs relating to the 1905 Russian Revolution, and received the Lenin Prize in 1958. Despite this, questions arose as to whether Shostakovich was denouncing the Soviet regime's brutal treatment of it's opponents in it, specifically the 1956 invasion of Hungary or the Tsarist tyranny and oppression of 1905, to which there are no conclusive answers.
Shura Cherkassky: Saint-Saëns & Liszt
Shura Cherkassky was born in Odessa, Ukraine in 1909 and died in London in 1995. He was initially taught by his mother who had played for Tchaikovsky, but when the family moved to the US in 1923, he studied with his long-time teacher and mentor, the legendary Josef Hofmann, before auditioning for Rachmaninov. Prior to World War II, he had made his name in the US but from 1945 he extensively toured Europe and settled in London in 1961. The last of the great Romantic tradition of pianists, Cherkassky was described by Bryce Morrison as a 'mercurial genius', a unique personality, blessed with an incredible technique, who delighted in defying convention as no performance was identical. For a musician reluctant to visit the studio, live performances were the showcase for his stunning virtuosity and creativity caught on the wing.
Herbert von Karajan & Clara Haskil: Mozart
The combination of Herbert von Karajan and the revered Romanian pianist Clara Haskil (1895-1960) was an ideal partnership. Karajan had an extraordinary rapport with her, describing her career as 'a long and often sorrowful march to glory' due to Haskil's well documented ill-health.
Chamber Orchestra of Europe: Sibelius The Complete Symphonies
The Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) had for many years a special rapport with the conductor and it was the orchestra who suggested that they perform and record all the Sibelius Symphonies with him. This took place at the Edinburgh International Festival followed by studio recordings for Finlandia and finally, at the Helsinki Festival in August 1998 where they were filmed, here documented by the COE and ICA Classics with DVD and BluRay.
Chamber Orchestra of Europe: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms
This set is a testament to a remarkable collaboration between the conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and its release this year marks the Orchestra’s 40th anniversary. These recordings also trace the relationship between Harnoncourt and the Styriarte Festival which started in 1987 and lasted for over 30 years. The repertoire in this set features live concerts performed between 1989 and 2007.
Chamber Orchestra of Europe: Schubert The Symphonies
Chamber Orchestra of Europe & Nikolaus Harnoncourt
BBC Legends Vol. 2
ICA Classics are proud to release a second volume of the best selling BBC Legends box, featuring 20 CDs of some of the greatest artists of the 20th Century. Volume 1 was released in 2013 and comprised 20 CDs taken from the award winning BBC Legends catalogue (unavailable since 2010). Here is the follow-up with a further 20 CDs. The artists include Arturo Toscanini, David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Kirsten Flagstad, Victoria de los Angeles, Sir Thomas Beecham, Carlo Maria Giulini, Igor Stravinsky, Pierre Monteux, Yehudi Menuhin, Andres Segovia, Dame Myra Hess, Nathan Milstein, Walter Gieseking, Arthur Rubinstein, Geza Anda, Claudio Arrau, Eduard van Beinum, Sir William Walton, Pierre Fournier, Benjamin Britten and the Borodin Quartet. Contains interviews/memories of Kirsten Flagstad and Carlo Maria Giulini.
A Tribute to Rudolf Barshai
A 20 CD set in tribute to Russian-born Rudolf Barshai (1924-2010), possibly the most famous viola player of all time. He performed as a soloist and in chamber groups with Shostakovich, Richter, Oistrakh and Rostropovich and later with Kogan and Gilels. He won numerous Soviet and international competitions.
BBC Legends Vol.1
This 20 CD box set brings together some of the greatest performances taken from the BBC archives which were featured in the best-selling series BBC Legends, launched in 1998. The collection features classic recordings by stellar artists including Mstislav Rostropovich, Arturo Toscanini, Emil Gilels, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Sir Thomas Beecham, Dennis Brain, Evgeny Mravinsky, David Oistrakh and Sviatoslav Richter.