CD-1188(2) ERICH KLEIBER CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN:
CD 1 (70:16) Missa Solemnis in D major, op.123. Stockholm, Konzerthuset, 10 March, 1948; (Live Recording) Â Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus; Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Lisa Tunnel (contralto) GÃ¶sta BÃ¤ckelin (tenor) Sigurd BjÃ¶rling (bass). CD 2 (47:58) Symphony No.5 in C minor, op.67. Cologne Radio, 4 April, 1955; (Live Recording). KÃ¶lner Rundfunk Sinfonie-Orchester. Restoration Engineer: Kit Higginson [AAD] UPC # 0-17685-118821
Buzz: When Kleiber returned to Europe in February 1948 after an exile, mainly in South America, that lasted for 13 years, it was not to Berlin but to London. There he gave concerts with the London Philharmonic and made his first gramophone recordings in a decade. The same trip brought him to Stockholm in March for the sort of engagement that Kleiber tended to favor in his last years Â a less than top-notch orchestra that gave him its full response and ample rehearsal time in a major work. It was only under such conditions that one could imagine Kleiber taking on BeethovenÂs Missa Solemnis as a guest conductor. The orchestra in this case was the Stockholm Philharmonic, today the Kungliga Filharmonikerna (Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra). and the performance (in which the young Birgit Nilsson took part) was taken down by the Swedish Radio and released here for the first time. The familiar Kleiber Beethoven style of whiplash accents, propulsive tempi, and subtle rubato heard in, for example, his classic Concertgebouw recordings of the Fifth Symphony and the Eroica are hinted at here, but moderated to suit the larger scale of the Missa. The opening Kyrie is very broadly phrased indeed, probably at the brink of what the orchestra could sustain. The ‘Gloria’ is not pushed to its limits though, for KleiberÂs art was always about much more than mere speed. The slight broadening of the final unaccompanied choral chords is another typical Kleiber touch. In the ÂCredoÂ the pungent presence of the woodwinds adds another dimension to the orchestral texture, much like Otto KlempererÂs performances of this work. The filler offered herein is Kleiber’s April 4, 1955 Cologne performance of BeethovenÂs Fifth, a work as closely associated with his name as any.