Constantin Silvestri

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Constantin Silvestri

I've been enjoying getting to know recordings by this superb Romanian conductor, in particular his versions of Elgar's In the South and the VW Wasps overture and Tallis Fantasia (both on cheap EMI doubles). In their verve, dash and clarity these recordings vaguely put me in mind of Carlos Kleiber, which I know will count as very high praise for some!

I've explored a few of the BBC Legends issues, and these are interesting, but the sound is (as often from this source) a bit variable.

So I was wondering if there are any really worthwhile Silvestri studio recordings which I could get relatively easily and cheaply? I know there are a couple of Liszt tone poems conducted by CS which are fillers for the Beecham Faust Symphony on EMI, for instance. What are these like? Is there anything else?

John

RE: Constantin Silvestri

In 2001 Disky Communications (based in The Netherlands) issued a 10 CD box containing more than 11.5 hours of licensed EMI recordings of Silvestri conducting the VPO, LPO, Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony, and Paris Conservatoire Orchestra.  It contains the VW recordings you mention, but not the Elgar.  I have no idea if this 10 CD box is still available, but you might look on eBay or Amazon.  It was very reasonably priced.

Bliss
RE: Constantin Silvestri

Since writing the above I checked Amazon US & UK and came up with one copy for $397.02!!!  Both Amazon and eBay had other CDs conducted by Silvestri at more affordable prices.  For a review of the Disky set look at classicstoday.com and check the "Conductor digest" at the bottom of the home page.  You'll find other Silvestri recordings reviewed there too.

Bliss
RE: Constantin Silvestri

Thank you for your research, Bliss. I was aware of the Disky issue (cherishable), and of it being no longer really available. EMI clearly needs to issue a cheap Silvestri box.

John

RE: Constantin Silvestri

Go to arkivmusic.com.  They have reissued, under license,  a 2 CD, EMI Classics 68229,  of works conducted by Silvestri.  It is currently on sale for $34.99.  You will find it by clicking on "conductors" and then working your way through to Silvestri.  It is #28 on their list of Silvestri conducted CDs.  There you will find all the works on the 2 CDs.

Bliss
RE: Constantin Silvestri

A renewed thank you. I hadn't thought of Arkiv Music. They're excellent, aren't they?

John

RE: Constantin Silvestri

Here is a rarity, Silvestri conducts Michael Haydn's 27th symphony (1953).
It comes from a Supraphon LP and was a filler of Helene Boschi's 22nd Mozart concerto.
As the lp pressing is from before 1959, I could upload it on Soundcloud:

http://soundcloud.com/otterhouse/michael-haydn-symphony-nr-27-constantin...

Enjoy!

Rolf

RE: Constantin Silvestri

Thank you very much, Rolf. A beautifully proportioned, supple performance, barely revealing its age. I really enjoyed it.

(I smiled too at the little detail on your website that Haydn died before 1940, making him out of copyright!)

John

RE: Constantin Silvestri

In an interview for the magazine "International Classical Record Collector" in September 1995 Brian Culverhouse the producer of the record of English music relates that the Tallis Fantasia was recorded in Winchester Cathedral along with the Wasps overture. The recording of "In the South "was made in The Winter Gardens at Bournemouth. At about that time Silvestri conducted the piece at a concert in the Winter Gardens in a programme that included Glazounov's Violin Concerto and Enesco's Roumanian Rhapsody No 2. I attended that concert and like all of Silvestri's concerts the performances kept orchestra and audience on the edge of their seats. His early death left a big hole in music-making in Bournemouth. He certainly left his mark there. 

Paul Davies
RE: Constantin Silvestri

Thanks for that thoughtful recollection, Paul. What a good memory to have! I think you must be right, given the tendency of the Bournemouth Symphony to flourish so well since his time there: maybe he put them on the map for the modern recorded age? I hear a lot of edge-of-seat playing in the Elgar and VW recordings. It communicates itself vividly across the years.

John

RE: Constantin Silvestri

Thanks for that thoughtful recollection, Paul. What a good memory to have! I think you must be right, given the tendency of the Bournemouth Symphony to flourish so well since his time there: maybe he put them on the map for the modern recorded age? I hear a lot of edge-of-seat playing in the Elgar and VW recordings. It communicates itself vividly across the years.

John

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