Deutsche Grammophon & Decca Recordings (4CD)

Deutsche Grammophon
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Victor de Sabata

When Victor de Sabata died on 11 December 1967 at the age of seventy-five, the music world mourned one of the greatest conductors of the twentieth century. Not only an outstanding conductor, de Sabata was also celebrated for his multifarious musical gifts his mastery of every instrument, his prodigious memory, and as a composer who had been championed by Toscanini, Serafin and Damrosch.

He was austere and demanding as a conductor who knew his scores so well that he would detect immediately if there were any mistakes in the printed parts. Possessing a remarkable ability to play every instrument, he was known for telling players to change hand positions to achieve different colours of sound. Although severe, he commanded enormous respect from his musicians and that respect flowed both ways.

De Sabata worked hard at the minutiae of a performance and in rehearsals concerned himself with how the sound would project in every hall so that the sound would be as good as he heard from the podium. He was always double-checking the acoustic, even using young conductors to take his place on the podium while he walked around the hall listening. Every morning, from his youth through the end of his life, he would play through Ravel's Scarbo on the piano and Tzigane on the violin knowing they were among the most difficult things in the repertoire to execute perfectly, Just to see that I have maintained the old facility.

Marking the 50th Anniversary of his death, this set presents the recordings he made in London, Berlin and Rome for Deutsche Grammophon and Decca between 1939 and 1946 drawing our attention again to the perfection and artistry of the revered musician.

  • Victor de Sabata’s Deutsche Grammophon and Decca recordings, made in London, Berlin and Rome between 1939 and 1946
  • First Deutsche Grammophon CD release of Verdi’s Prelude to Aida, Respighi’s Feste romane and the complete Mozart Requiem
  • 4 CDs presented in a 40-page hardback book
  • Featuring original cover art and a new interview by James Jolly (Editor-in-chief of Gramophone) with de Sabata's son and daughter (English/German/Italian/French)

"We used to hide ourselves in the restroom and spend the whole night there in order to be able to listen to rehearsal in the morning…with no electricity, with only match light to look at the score. How deeply impressive, even now I still shudder at the thought" 
Sergiu Celibidache on a Tristan performance of de Sabata

"You gave me one of the most fulfilling joys of my career" 
– Maurice Ravel, in a letter to de Sabata who premiered his L'Enfant et les sortilèges

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CD 1
JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 4 in E minor op. 98 (39:59)
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Andante moderato
III. Allegro giocoso Poco meno presto Tempo I
IV. Allegro energico e passionato Più allegro

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949) Tod und Verklärung op. 24 (23:25)

CD 2

JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957) En Saga op. 9 - Moderato assai Allegro
GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813-1901) Aida - Preludio
RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde - Prelude to Act I
RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde - Isoldes Liebestod
ZOLTÁN KODÁLY (1882-1967) Dances of Galánta - Lento Allegretto moderatoAllegro con moto, graziosoAllegro Allegro vivace
OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Feste romane Poema sinfonico - I. Circensis
OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Feste romane Poema sinfonico - II. Il giubileo
OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Feste romane Poema sinfonico - III. L'Ottobrata
OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Feste romane Poema sinfonico - IV. La Befana

CD 3

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791) Requiem in D minor K 626 version: Franz Xaver Süssmayr 
I. Introitus: Requiem aeternam (chorus, soprano)
II. Kyrie (chorus)
III. Sequentia: Dies irae (chorus)
Sequentia: Tuba mirum (soloists)
Sequentia: Rex tremendae (chorus)
Sequentia: Recordare (soloists)
Sequentia: Confutatis (chorus)
Sequentia: Lacrimosa (chorus)
IV. Offertorium: Domine Jesu (soloists, chorus)
Offertorium: Hostias (chorus)
V. Sanctus (chorus)
VI. Benedictus (chorus, soloists)
VII. Agnus Dei (chorus)
VIII. Communio: Lux aeterna (chorus, soprano)

CD 4

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3 in E flat major "Eroica" op. 55 
I. Allegro con brio
II. Marcia funebre. Adagio assai
III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace Trio
IV. Allegro molto Poco andante Presto

HECTOR BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Le Carnaval romain op. 9
JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Valse triste op. 44 no. 1
RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883) Ritt der Walküre