One Century of Music 1918-2018 (5CD)

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Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Premier siècle; One Century of Music celebrates the centenary of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. The boxset contains a collection of rare radio recordings that have never been released before, spanning French, German, Russian and twentieth-century repertoire. A unique asset of Premier siècle is the 1943 recording of the musical legend Les Armaillis (1906) by Swiss composer Gustave Doret. The five discs showcase the rich history and musical development of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and contain performances by all its musical directors, from founding father Ernest Ansermet until current musical director Jonathan Nott, including all their intermediate colleagues: Paul Kletzki, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Armin Jordan, Fabio Luisi, Pinchas Steinberg, Marek Janowski and Neeme Järvi. The box comes with a voluminous, full-colour booklet with texts on the orchestra’s history and the repertoire ‒ presented in English, French and German ‒ as well as unique photos and archival materials.

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Debussy 6 Épigraphes antiques (arr. E. Ansermet for orchestra)
1. No. 1. Pour invoquer Pan, dieu du vent d'été
2. No. 2. Pour un tombeau sans nom
3. No. 3. Pour que la nuit soit propice
4. No. 4. Pour la danseuse aux crotales
5. No. 5. Pour l'égyptienne
6. No. 6. Pour remercier la pluie au matin

Ravel Shéhérazade (version for voice and orchestra)
7. No. 1. Asie
8. No. 2. La flûte enchantée
9. No. 3. L'indifférent

10. Lalo Le roi d'Ys, Act I: Overture
11. Dukas Polyeucte

Ravel Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2
12. I. Lever du jour
13. II. Pantomime
14. III. Danse générale


1. Blacher Orchestral Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 26
2. Wagner Tannhäuser: Overture - Bacchanale
3. R Strauss Salome, Op. 54, TrV 215: Dance of the Seven Veils
4. Schumann Manfred, Op. 115: Overture
5. R Strauss Don Juan, Op. 20, TrV 156


1. Ligeti Melodien
2. Zimmermann Photoptosis

Bartók Violin Concerto No. 1, BB 48a
3. I. Andante sostenuto
4. II. Allegro giocoso

Holliger 5 Lieder (arr. for voice, choir and orchestra)
5. No. 1. Ein Winterabend, "Wenn der Schnee ans Fenster fällt"
6. No. 2. Nachtlied, "Des Unbewegten Odem"
7. No. 3. Rondel, "Verflossen ist das Gold der Tage"
8. No. 4. Untergang, "Aber den weißen Weiber sind die wilden"
9. No. 5. Trompeten, "Unter verschnittenen Weiden"

10. Berg Passacaglia


Stravinsky Les Noces (The Wedding)
1. Scene 1: The Tresses (At the Bride's House)
2. Scene 2: At the Bridegroom's House
3. Scene 3: The Departure of the Bride
4. Scene 4: The Wedding Feast

5. Rachmaninov Ostrov myortvïkh (The Isle of the Dead), Op. 29

Stravinsky Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)
6. Part I: Adoration of the Earth: Introduction -
7. Part I: Adoration of the Earth: The Augurs of Spring - Dances of the Young Girls -
8. Part I: Adoration of the Earth: Ritual of Abduction -
9. Part I: Adoration of the Earth: Spring Rounds -
10. Part I: Adoration of the Earth: Ritual of the River Tribes -
11. Part I: Adoration of the Earth: Procession of the Sage - The Sage -
12. Part I: Adoration of the Earth: Dance of the Earth
13. Part II: The Sacrifice: Introduction -
14. Part II: The Sacrifice: Mystic Circles of the Young Girls -
15. Part II: The Sacrifice: Glorification of the Chosen One -
16. Part II: The Sacrifice: Evocation of the Ancestors -
17. Part II: The Sacrifice: Ritual Action of the Ancestors -
18. Part II: The Sacrifice: Sacrificial Dance


Doret Les armaillis
1. Act I
2. Act II
3. Act III

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To be fair, this is not really a box set for traditionalists, but for those with interest in a wide range of music it is a veritable cornucopia, consisting of rare radio recordings from the last 40 years that have never been released before, with a series of conductors: Wolfgang Sawallisch, Armin Jordan, Horst Stein, Marek Janowski, and others, even Paul Kletzki. The composers at least as wide a range, from Bartòk to Berg to Blacher, R. Strauss to Wagner, Debussy, Holliger, Ligeti, Ravel, Schumann, Stravinsky, B. A. Zimmermann, and more. Also included is a real rarity, a complete performance of the musical legend Les Armaillis (1906) by Swiss composer Gustave Doret, recorded in 1943 and conducted by legendary maestro Ernest Ansermet. A mouth-watering line-up for the adventurous listener.

- Chris Dench, The Classical Music Collector