Erich Kleiber

Erich Kleiber: Complete Decca Recordings Box Set


European operations guru, Maurice Rosengarten signed Erich Kleiber to the label, Kleiber already had a reputation with musicians, audiences, and critics alike that can without exaggeration be called immense. He held the status of Toscanini, Furtwängler, Walter, Beecham, Stokowski, and Koussevitzky, although in approach and interpretation he had little in common with any of them, other than Toscanini. The comparison is fourfold: their art is marked by a total fidelity to the score; they bore similarities in dramatic temperament; in the fastidious attention to contrasting detail and nuance; and in the razor-sharp rhythmic attack and tight precision of the playing they obtained. Kleiber’s repertoire for Decca mirrored that of his London concerts: symphonies by Mozart and Beethoven, overtures by Dvořák and Handel as well as Strauss-family favourites; all done with superb attention to rhythmic lift and dynamic balance so that combined with Decca’s pioneering ‘ffrr’ technology – full frequency range recording – listeners could (and still can) hear inside the scores to a degree remarkable for the late 1940s. Kleiber was ‘a conductor’s conductor’, observed a reviewer for The Spectator, seeing him in concert at the time of these recordings; a conductor who obtained precisely what he wanted with ‘instinctive ease and economy of means’. Collected together in this set are his complete recordings for Decca – from those early 78s through to the last piece he was to record: Die Schlittenfahrt (The Sleighride) from Mozart’s Three German Dances K605 – and a bonus audio documentary presented by Jon Tolansky which provides compelling first-hand evidence of just how highly musicians regarded him.

CD 1

1    JOSEF STRAUSS: Sphärenklänge, Op. 235     
2    J. STRAUSS II: Der Zigeunerbaron / Act 1: Overture     
3    DVOŘÁK: Carnival Overture, Op. 92     
4    London Philharmonic Orchestra     
5    TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4     
6    Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire     

CD 2
1    HANDEL: Berenice - Act 2: Andante Larghetto     
2    MOZART: Symphony No. 40 in G minor     
3    BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6 in F major ‘Pastoral’     
4    London Philharmonic Orchestra     

CD 3
1    BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major ‘Eroica’ ∙ Symphony No. 7 in A major     
2    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra     

CD 4
1    BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 ‘Choral’     
2    Hilde Gueden, Sieglinde Wagner, Anton Dermota, Ludwig Weber     
3    Singverein Der Gesellschaft Der Musikfreunde, Wiener Philharmoniker     

CD 5
1    BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5 in C minor ∙ Symphony No. 6 in F major ‘Pastoral’     
2    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra     

CD 6
1    TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6 in B minor ‘Pathétique’     
2    Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire     

CD 7
1    MOZART: Six German Dances, K.600: Nos. 1 & 5     
2    Four German Dances, K.602: No. 3. ‘Die Leierer’     
3    Three German Dances, K.605: No. 3 ‘Die Schlittenfahrt’     
4    Symphony No. 39 in E flat major     
5    SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 9 in C major ‘Great’     
6    Kölner Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester     

CD 8
1    BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major ‘Eroica’     
2    Wiener Philharmoniker     
3    WEBER: Symphony No. 1     
4    Kölner Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester     

CD 9-11
1    R. STRAUSS: Der Rosenkavalier     
2    Maria Reining, Sena Jurinac, Hilde Gueden, Ludwig Weber     
3    Wiener Philharmoniker     

CD 12-14
1    MOZART: Le Nozze di Figaro     
2    Lisa della Casa, Hilde Gueden, Alfred Poell, Cesare Siepi     
3    Wiener Philharmoniker     
5    Produced by Jon Tolansky     

CD 15
1    Erich Kleiber – Testimonies     
2    : Introduction and Overview     
3    : Early Fame – Berlin State Opera, Wozzeck Premiere Recollections, 1930's and Exile     
4    : London Philharmonic Orchestra Recollections     
5    : Covent Garden Opera Company (now Royal Opera) Recollections     
6    : Conclusion"

Release date: 3 December, 2021