Solti, the Maestro!

This weekend (end of March, 2010), I listened again to one of my favorite conductors, Sir Georg Solti. I listened to an interview and heard again the passion I so admire, and the Hungarian – accented English of a man who was so thoroughly a musician’s musician! He led performances of Beethoven and Schubert, masterpieces all. Yet it was really the musicality, the phrasing, and the precision of performance that led me to characterize his work further as:
The four DVD’s in this collection offer a direct document of the performance accomplishments of one of the most influential conductors of recent times. For some of you who did not have an opportunity to attend a live concert with Solti as conductor, these discs offer as close as a first-hand experience of seeing and hearing Solti in a live concert.

The first three DVDs are a spotlight on Solti’s long and celebrated relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. They offer the following works:

DVD 1:
Overtures: Il Barbiere di Siviglia, L’Italiana in Algeri, La scala di seta, Semiramide, La gazza ladra
Symphony No. 3 in A Minor Op.56, `Scottish’
Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op.35 (with violinist Kyung Wha Chung)
Symphony No.4 in A Major, Op.90, `Italian’

DVD 2:
Symphony No. 7 in E major
Symphony No. 6 in A major

DVD 3:
Overtures: Der fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Tristan und Isolde – Prelude, Tristan und Isolde – Liebestöd

Till Eulenspiegel, Told und Verklärung, Vier Letzte Lieder

DVD 4:
The fourth DVD which spotlights Solti’s rehearsal and performance with the Wiener Philharmoniker. The rehearsal in the Musikverein is perhaps the most fascinating footage of the entire DVD in that Solti speaks to the members of the Philharmoniker of his personal experiences with the Hungarian and Rumanian composers and teachers of his youth such as Kodaly and Bartok.

KODÁLY: Háry János – Suite
BARTÓK: Romanian Dances
WEINER: Introduction Und Scherzo (‘Prinz Csongor Und Die Kobolde’)
BERLIOZ: Hungarian March (‘La Damnation De Faust’)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.7 in A Major

Here is a fascinating interview, as well as some musical samples:

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