by Peter Cates
Mahler Symphony No. 9
Carlo Maria Giulini conducting the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Weitblick- SSS0140-2, 2 CDs, from live concert of February 9, 1973.
I have already commented at length on the late great conductor Carlo Maria Giulini in this column. He displayed a very high level of power, beauty and clarity in most of the recordings that I have heard on my shelves and elsewhere, even with his sometimes overdone slow tempos.
This live broadcast of Mahler’s very accomplished and achingly beautiful 9th Symphony is very good without the annoying hyper intensity that often spoils other recordings.
The Weitblick label has also released a number of other live concerts by other great conductors of the past- names like Eugen Jochum, Georges Pretre, Sergiu Celibidache, Yevgeni Svetlanov, etc., every one of them synonymous with quality; these often reveal more excitement in the heat of the moment than the studio note – perfect records glutting online inventories and all too often selling at higher prices. Berkshire Record Outlet stocks a number of these and charges lower prices more frequently than Amazon and the other retailers in cyberspace. It has frequently been my main source because of its large stock of quality product and price.
RCA Victor LPM-3395, mono edition, recorded 1965, 12-inch LP.
Now 81, country singer Bobby Bare has recorded almost 38 albums and giving superb performances of both his own and other people’s songs. Every record I own of him is a pleasure; this one is no exception and features his own Times Are Gettin’ Hard and I’m A Long Way from Home; Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind, Willie Nelson’s One Day at a Time, and several others. Chet Atkins provided the usual A-plus production while Anita Kerr worked up several exquisite arrangements.
Bing Crosby & Mary Martin
Lily of Laguna; Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie; Decca 18278, 10-inch shellac 78, recorded March 13, 1942.
The truly great Bing Crosby (1903-1977) is paired here with Broadway star Mary Martin (1913-1990).
Although Bing recorded with a large number of musical celebrities during his 50 years of more than 4,000 sides, I never knew of this coupling, as his assured, relaxed singing style with nearly perfect phrasing and timing and Martin’s elegantly poised, polished, refined and aloof vocal craft would seem to me totally incompatible and one major reason why her stage successes with South Pacific and Sound of Music could never translate to the movie screen.
They sang the above songs with their commendably professional best but left me cold ! However, other folks might respond differently