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Romantic Overtures, Vol. 2 (Opera Overtures by Rossini, Beethoven, Verdi, Black, etc) - London Symphony Orchestra, Piero Gamba (2 CDs)

Romantic Overtures, Vol. 2 (Opera Overtures by Rossini, Beethoven, Verdi, Black, etc) - London Symphony Orchestra, Piero Gamba (2 CDs)


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During the 1950s, 60s and 70s, Decca recorded a number of albums of overtures with some of its key conductors. Many of these were singled out by the press for their terrific sound quality (the fabled ‘Decca Sound’) and for their often adventurous programming. Some of them also included entr’actes and intermezzi. Prized as collectors’ items, many of the original LPs exchange hands at high prices. And most of these reissues, in Decca Eloquence’s ‘Romantic Overtures’ series appear in CD, in part or whole, for the first time.

Romantic Overtures – Volume 2 showcases the artistry of Piero Gamba who conducted showpieces for Decca and partnered, among others, Ruggiero Ricci as well as Julius Katchen in his magnificent cycle of the Beethoven Concertos. This 2CD set includes his very first recording for Decca, of Rossini Overtures (1955). Five years later, he recorded another LP of Rossini Overtures, the only common item being William Tell (the stereo recording is truly thrilling, the record as a whole one of Decca’s best kept secrets!). Both recordings are included here (with both versions of William Tell).

The Egmont Overture was originally coupled with Katchen’s recording of Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto; and also included is all of the LP entitled ‘Adventures in Sound’ which included overtures and intermezzi by Verdi, Mascagni, Mancinelli, Martucci and Ponchielli.

A real rarity is Stanley Black’s Overture to a Costume Comedy, recorded at the 1957 ‘Adventures in Sound’ sessions but only included on a 45rpm EP in mono. This is its first release on CD and in stereo.

CD 1
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN: Egmont Overture, Op. 84
La traviata:  Prelude to Act I
La traviata: Prelude to Act III
I vespri siciliani: Overture
PIETRO  MASCAGNI: Cavalleria rusticana: Intermezzo sinfonico
FABRIZIO  MANCINELLI: Cleopatra: Overture
AMILCARE PONCHIELLI: La Gioconda: Dance of the Hours
STANLEY BLACK: Overture to a Costume Comedy
GIOACHINO ROSSINI: Guillaume Tell: Overture [1955 recording]

CD 2
Le Siège de Corinthe: Overture
Tancredi: Overture
Il Signor Bruschino: Overture
La Cenerentola: Overture (Sinfonia)
La gazza ladra: Overture
La scala di seta: Overture (arr. Perry)
Il barbiere di Siviglia: Overture (Sinfonia)
Semiramide: Overture
Guillaume Tell:  Overture [1960 recording]

London Symphony Orchestra
Piero Gamba

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