In this first volume of Alexander Scriabin's symphonies on the LSO Live label, Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra begin in media res with the Symphony No. 3, "Le Divin Poème," and the Le Poème de l'extase, which is unofficially counted as the Symphony No. 4. These works date from Scriabin's middle period (ca. 1902-1908), which marks a transition from his youthful Romantic phase to his final visionary works. The Symphony No. 3 reflects a lingering attachment to the symphonic conventions which influenced Scriabin's first two symphonies, particularly in its three-movement structure and relatively clear tonal scheme, though it already hints at the organic development and greater harmonic complexity of the single-movement Le Poème de l'extase, which strains the boundaries of form and key. These effusive works demand a calculated control that may seem at odds with their volatile and languorous expressions, though Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra deliver the music with rhythmic precision and focused tone colors to bring across Scriabin's kaleidoscopic soundworld with brilliance.
This 1966 recording, billed as the first complete Semiramide on disc, with Joan Sutherland singing Semiramide and Marilyn Horne singing the trouser role Arsace, has long been considered the standard by which all other Semiramide's are measured. Although subsequently there have been more complete recordings, this remains among the best recorded performance and is a recommendation for every opera collection.
Bella Davidovich (born in 1928) won the prestigious Warsaw International Chopin Competition in 1949, sharing first prize with pianist Halina Czerny-Stefanska. This is a rare recording of Chopin's two Piano concertos, with a warm sense of music. The piano has a weak presence, as if Chopin himself were playing. The London Symphony Orchestra, under Sir Neville Marriner, is not only an accompanist, but it has a full powerful presence. Enjoy this jewel!
The Elgar Cello Concerto and cellist Jacqueline du Pré are inextricably linked and this 1965 EMI recording of du Pré with John Barbirolli and the London Symphony Orchestra is the first great recoding of the work the ill-fated artist was to make. Barbirolli's invitation for the 21-year-old du Pré to perform the concerto thrust her into the international spotlight and remains one of her most cherished recordings.
This 6CD set contains 100 tracks from the catalogues of EMI Records, EMI Classics and Virgin Classics of recordings by the London Symphony Orchestra under some of the world’s greatest conductors and with a number of famous soloists.
Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra pay homage to Leonard Bernstein with a recording of Wonderful Town that captures the energy and excitement of sold-out performances from December 2017. Featuring an all-star cast led by Danielle de Niese and Alysha Umphress, this release coincides with worldwide #BernsteinAt100 celebrations marking the centenary of the Orchestra’s former President.