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Sir Georg Solti (conductor)
London: The Orchestral Recordings
Rec. 1949-1991
DECCA 4851717 [36 CDs: ca 36 hrs]

The press release for this new box set neatly sums up its content and purpose:

“Decca celebrates Solti's significant contribution to London's musical life with a brand-new limited edition set of symphonic, orchestral works & concerto recordings, a legacy rich in repertoire and artistic vitality. Sir Georg Solti's complete London orchestral recordings brought together in one edition for the first time. Decca dedicates this release to Lady Valerie Solti who sadly passed away earlier this year. 36CDs presented in spined wallets & with original sleeves.”

2022 sees the 110th anniversary of Solti’s birth and the 25th of his death, so this issue makes a fitting tribute to him and Lady Valerie Solti, who was very active in promoting a wide variety of musical charities and foundations. We are given here 36 hours of mono, stereo analogue and digital recordings made between 1949 and 1991, but the bulk of them were recorded from the mid 60’s to the late 80’s in the Kingsway Hall, produced by John Culshaw and engineered by Kenneth Wilkinson – a dream team. There is no specific mention of any remastering beyond a note in the back of the booklet mentioning “Digital mastering” by Lakeside Studios Ltd; I do not know what that means but the sound quality here is in any case generally first-rate.

My own attachment to Solti’s recordings has largely focused upon his operatic output; I have frequently found his recordings to emerge as favourites in my surveys of core opera repertoire but this collection focuses much more upon his symphonic and orchestral work, the exceptions here being the only true opera here, Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard's Castle, Stravinsky’s opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex, and the choral works Kodály’s Psalmus hungaricus and Walton’s masterpiece, Belshazzar’s Feast. There are a lot of Mozart piano concertos and Haydn symphonies here, not works we necessarily first associate with Solti, nor, perhaps, the lighter “bon-bons” – the Offenbach and the Rossini and Suppé overtures, for example. We are on more familiar ground with his Elgar, Mahler and Bartók, of course, and a further reason why I wanted to audition this set was that, apart from Bluebeard, I have never warmly responded to Bartók’s music and wanted to hear if what Solti did with the music of his compatriot would convert me, especially as he studied under him.

I do not otherwise propose to provide a detailed and comprehensive review of every individual recording here, but rather just make some generalised remarks, as over the years most of them have been reviewed on this website and elsewhere, and most punters will know them, know of them, or at least be aware of Solti’s reputation and gifts. I advise newcomers to do a little internet trawling to glean comments from the established critical platforms.

Solti’s uncompromising conductorial style made him enemies but despite conflicts his collaborations with the main London orchestras produced undeniably impressive results; nearly all the recordings here are with the LPO and LSO, plus a couple from Covent Garden, two with chamber orchestras and an Enigma Variations with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra “which endows this set with Sir Georg Solti’s complete analogue recordings of Elgar” (note).

I played safe by starting with the five Elgar discs and was struck by the nobility and grandeur of Solti’s treatment of the slow movements in both symphonies - nor do I find his propulsion in the opening and closing movements rushed or harried; the swing and drive in the opening of No 2 are irresistible. He was a master of rubato and building tension and these recordings have become classics for good reason. Some find Chung’s Violin Concerto too mannered and indulgent but I find its intensity and emotionalism entirely convincing and cannot imagine anyone being disappointed by it. Falstaff is one of the few works by Elgar which does not resonate with me but I know many consider it to be a masterpiece and it is given a rollicking rendition here. Conversely, Alassio, on the same disc is one of my very favourite pieces and Solti is ideally suited to capturing its Straussian abandon, complete with wildly whooping horns and a grandiloquent apotheosis. Likewise, the Wagnerian pageantry and swagger of the Cockaigne Overture and the Pomp and Circumstance Marches are given full rein; Solti’s dynamism irradiates every bar. In keeping Solti’s customary heart-on-sleeve approach to Elgar, the Enigma Variations bears no taint of English reserve and at times flirts with sentimentality but Nimrod is by no means over-indulged and the CSO make such a lovely sound throughout. The national anthem arranged for concert performance provides a suitably patriotic coda to this complete Solti Elgar edition. It is fitting that a Jewish Hungarian who became a national institution, a CBE and a knighted British subject in 1972 should be so completely in sympathy with Elgar’s idiom.

I moved on next to the four Mahler symphonies – another safe choice.

The first thing to observe is how well the sound stands up; it is simply terrific, Decca producers John Culshaw and David Harvey oversaw these recordings, expertly exploiting the warm and spacious acoustic of the sadly now-demolished Kingsway Hall to maximum effect, especially when the distant brass summons the dead in the "Resurrection Symphony" or in recreating the magical, fairy-tale opening of the First. It is quite untrue to assert that Solti's Mahler is brash and unfeeling; the sustained dominant A chord over the tonic D major in the opening here is magically atmospheric and the symphony unfolds in as relaxed, genial and bucolic a manner as it should, with no hard driving but plenty of energy. Solti holds back until the finale, which is highly charged without being rushed. I hear nothing crude or over-stated, just a sustained sensitivity and dedication to creating the requisite Mahlerian sound world.

It might be true that when he recorded the symphonies a second time in Chicago, Solti was sometimes harsher and gave the brass too much reign, so many prefer to return to these earlier more nuanced and splendidly recorded LSO versions. The orchestra has a few unsteady moments in the brass and is occasionally a little rough-edged in ensemble but that plays well in Mahler, especially in his more hectic passages.

In the opening movement of the Second, Solti is especially careful in his swift gradation of dynamics and gives the tenderer moments real space to breathe. The Andante of the Resurrection is as gentle and bucolic as you could wish, just as he gets the gentle irony of the Klezmer music in the First, yet he also lets fly when necessary. The Scherzo is giddy and dizzy, then Solti builds the finale with unerring pace to create a perfect balance between visions of the Apocalypse and glimpses of seraphic calm. Helen Watts sings the "Urlicht" in grave, stately style with beautiful German diction; she and Heather Harper make a lovely duo - one of the best anywhere - and the choral climax is magnificent.

The Third Symphony has come in for some criticism; the notes here remark that it “has the variable qualities of a curate’s egg.” Objections seem to centre on the lack of any “spiritual” element and Solti’s wilfulness with tempi, but the sound is spectacularly rich, wide and deep and we hear a veritable battery of virtuoso principal soloists playing in the ranks of the LSO: Roger Lord (oboe), Gervais de Peyer (clarinet), William Lang (trumpet and flugel horn), Barry Tuckwell (horn), Denis Wick (trombone) and Kurt-Hans Goedike (timpani). Helen Watts again sings like a Sybil. Solti’s approach is typically passionate and dramatic; whatever its idiosyncrasies this is a joyously vigorous assault on our ears and I thoroughly enjoy it.

For detailed evaluations of the Ninth Symphony, I refer reader to enthusiastic reviews by my colleagues, Rob W McKenzie and Paul Corfield Godfrey, with whom I agree.

Sandwiched between all that Elgar and Mahler is a disc devoted to Holst’s Planets – a typically thrilling, bumptious Solti performance, slightly short on mystique and mystery but couched in yet more stunning Decca sound. As you might expect, the highlight is “Jupiter” – the most Elgarian of the seven movements.

The first four discs in the box are Mozart works. CD 1, with its almost comically retro cover, is a 1954 mono recording of two favourite Mozart symphonies, given taut, fizzing performances, even if the flat, boomy sound inevitably reduces their impact. The four last piano concertos with Alicia de Larrocha look beguiling but there are drawbacks: big-boned, graceless accompaniment from Solti, prissy playing from de Larrocha and the hollow, bass-heavy acoustic of the 1977 recording which is even worse in the digital follow-up from 1985; their over-reverberant acoustic only intensifies the sense of a soloist sounding lost at sea in this music. There is little charm or, at the other end of the spectrum, steel, in these accounts and they form the least attractive component of this big set.

CD No 4 is far more successful. It features my favourite Mozart Piano Concerto, No 20, played by Sir Georg himself with fire, speed, precision and -yes – elegance, especially bearing in mind that he was 76 and although trained as a pianist was not essentially a regular soloist. The slow movement is lovingly – perhaps too lovingly - caressed and some might find the little expressive hesitations mannered but I do not. In addition, the programme includes the double and triple piano concertos; there is a joyously competitive yet collaborative feeling about Solti’s and Barenboim’s partnership and the Rondeau is taken absurdly fast – but is highly enjoyable. The “Lodron” Triple Concerto is a less musically-engaging piece but benefits from the stellar line-up who combine and interact delightfully to enchanting effect.

Next, we have five discs devoted to all twelve of Haydn’s “London” symphonies, his last. CD 5 offers duplicates in mono of three of them, Nos 100, 102 and 103, which were later recorded digitally. I appreciate that the earlier recordings are included for completeness but question whether many purchasers will play them often when they have the digital options in the same box; hearing them in swift succession is a “night and day” experience. Curiosity drove me to make a brief comparison between Solti and the famous recordings of the same symphonies with the New York Philharmonic under Bernstein: two charismatic, extravert conductors overseeing Big Band Haydn. To take a random example, in the “Surprise Symphony”, although Solti’s rhythms are light and well-sprung and he avoids lugubriousness, I found him rushed, lacking Bernstein’s sly wit and sounding too hard-presses to suggest joie de vivre. Likewise, I find Bernstein’s slower, quirkier beat for the famous “Clock” Andante in No 101 more beguiling. Otherwise, there are fewer differences than one might expect but I don’t think Solti’s Haydn is especially characterful; it is more vigorous than charming.

The vintage mono recording with Mischa Elman is perhaps primarily of interest to historical violin buffs but it is very listenable. Elman plays with plenty of wide vibrato, constant portamenti and a Romantic freedom of rhythm and phrasing which mark him out as belonging to a certain era. Trills and Elman’s own cadenzas are almost garishly showy and he is placed very forward in the sound picture, so at times the orchestra sound lost. You would not have thought the conductor and soloist to be temperamentally a good match but to some extent Solti’s metronomic precision anchors Elman’s flights of fancy; it makes for an interesting combination. The Larghetto is sweetly poised and the Rondo shows off the depth and purity of the violinist’s tone, such that one soon forgets the limitations of the mono sound.

The brace of symphonies in the early 1950’s mono recording on CD 11 makes another interesting pairing. Again, no-one is going to make a first choice of these versions of Mendelssohn’s “Scottish Symphony” (quaintly called “Scotch” on the original cover) and Beethoven’s Fourth, as even John Culshaw could not make them sound that appetising, but within their sonic limitations these are sensitive, authoritative interpretations with plenty of sweep and drive. Solti’s trademark passion and precision are much in evidence and it’s interesting that early on he is clearly fostering those qualities with both the major London orchestras he is working with. The same is true of the disc of Rossini and Suppé overtures, played with sparkle and at unprecedented speed - the latter are rarely heard in concert these days. The ”Solti at the Opera” cover will stir memories among older LP collectors with its “The World of Great Classics” label. The Forza del destino overture from 1949 is the oldest recording here and is surprising clear and vivid but the switch to the 1958 stereo recording of the Prelude from La Traviata, complete with accelerating traffic noise in the background, neatly illustrates the sonic advances Decca made in a decade, as does the contrast between the mono and stereo recordings of the overture from L’Italiana in Algeri. The disc reminds us that Solti was a great exponent of 19C opera and sound details, such as the strumming harp in the Barcarolle, are wonderfully crisp, while the sound picture for the Gounod ballet music is even more striking and the Gaîté Parisienne ballet is a great romp.

The selection of three of Liszt’s Symphonic Poems on CD 15 leaves me stone cold. Even though I can hear the quality of the playing, the appeal of what sounds to my ears to be empty, meandering gesture-music has always eluded me. I am happier with the companion piece, Liszt’s orchestration of Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy, essentially transforming it into a piano concerto and Jorge Bolet makes the best of it – even if I would prefer to hear the original.

The recording of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2 with Julius Katchen is especially fine, employing the famous Decca tree spaced microphone array invented by Kenneth “Wilkie” Wilkinson. Aesthetically, the quality of the performance matches the excellence of the sound. Right from the start, you can hear from the subtlety of the manner in which Katchen intones those famous opening phrases that something special is going on, Solti matching him with the deep, burnished sound and subtly graded dynamics of the dark orchestral accompaniment. I love this richly Romantic recording, which somehow captures the requisite mood like no other; Solti and Katchen play as one, like soul-mates; the dreamy, moonlit ambience of the Adagio is spellbinding and the finale is despatched with power, passion and intensity. It is especially valuable as a rarity, as I don’t think Solti recorded any other Rachmaninov – what a loss. The “Romantic Russia” medley is certainly more than a collection of mere fillers and once again the engineering pins back the listener’s ears. The Polovtsian Dances with the LSO chorus are especially evocative.

All the Kodály recordings on CD 29 and the Háry János Suite on CD28 are in mono sound. They are powerful performances and I particularly like the contribution of tenor William McAlpine to the English version of the Psalmus Hungaricus; his fine, very English tenor reminds me of Heddle Nash. The orchestral works are dark and richly scored, full of invigoratingly complex rhythms and soulful riffs; Solti exhorts the LPO to sound exotically Eastern European and un-British.

Belshazzar’s Feast, preceded by a full-blooded account of Walton’s Coronation Te Deum, is given a grand, sweeping performance by the excellent combined choirs. The rhythmic syncopations and tricky dissonances are expertly encompassed and the barbarity of the score emerges triumphantly under Solti’s direction. Benjamin Luxon is none too subtle and his vibrato is quite pronounced but this is not a subtle work and Solti brings his operatic sensibility to bear on it, emphasising the quotation from Strauss’ Salome as the hand writes its baleful admonition. The result is thrilling.

Oedipus Rex is powerfully delivered with an English narration “based on the translation from Cocteau’s French by e. e. cummings”. It is impressively cast…with one exception, if, like me, you have an aversion to the aging Peter Pears’ strangulated tenor. Everything else is admirable, but….

I included an assessment of Solti’s Bluebeard in my survey of recordings if the opera and reproduce here my findings:

“Listening to this again causes me to reflect on the fact that there have been very few unsatisfactory recordings of this opera. It has been fortunate on disc; I acquired this one not only to hear the artists concerned but particularly because it features the spoken Prologue in Hungarian from the poem by Béla Balász, chillingly recited in a mesmeric half-voice by Istvan Sztankay. I think this helps enormously in setting the right atmosphere for the tale to come; another version to do this is the BBC Music magazine live recording in English from 1992, in which again the Prologue is intoned in a whisper and gradually an English translation, movingly delivered by a woman actor and evidently from a later, different section of the poem, overlays the Hungarian - again, to telling, atmospheric effect. It surprises me that so many otherwise good recordings do not see the dramatic possibilities of the inclusion of at least the Prologue if not some of the original poem; it gives this one a distinct advantage - although it is not necessarily the best of all, musically speaking.

Still, this has much to offer, not least a comparatively rare chance to hear Sylvia Sass in a successful recording made before a brief ten years at the top and too committed and reckless a devotion to dramatic conviction took their toll and she retired. She does not hold the top C in the Fifth Door section with the same thrilling abandon that Ludwig for Kertész, or Marton for Fischer, manages, but otherwise she is a superb vocal actress who finds nuances in her native tongue of which others are unaware. Kolos Kováts has a big, rich bass in the Ramey mould and of course he, too, fully appreciates how to colour the words. Strangely, given his reputation, I did not find Solti as thrilling as Kertész in his control of dynamics and momentum, but his interpretation is still more energised than that of the more restrained Adam Fischer in his studio recording, even though the latter has the advantage of the Hungarian State Orchestra.”

You might have noticed that I have left until last mention of Solti’s recordings of Bartók’s orchestral works, because, as I remarked above, for me personally they represent the greatest challenge. Reacquaintance and, in some case, first exposure, to these works has certainly resulted in my acquiring a new appreciation for some of them, if not all, and I readily acknowledge Solti’s expertise and dedication in his interpretative and realisational skills. There is so much about the music which seems to chime with what we know of Solti’s personality but I do not want to begin amateur psychologising. My ever-increasing devotion as I age to the more progressive and outré music of Richard Strauss has perhaps facilitated my receptivity to the spikier and more thrilling aspects of Bartók’s output, as I hear plenty inspired by the wilder passages of Elektra in the Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta – and of course Solti was also a great Strauss conductor.

One thing I had not registered about both the composer and the conductor was their wit in the composition and execution respectively of Bartók’s music; a quality which emerges – sometimes with the same kind of biting irony we encounter in Shostakovich – in passages such as the “Giuoco delle coppie” (Couples’ game), the second movement Scherzo of the Concerto for Orchestra. I also enjoyed recognising the quotation of a brooding main theme from Bluebeard in the third movement Elegia and the exuberance of its Presto finale swept me away.

Kyung-Wha Chung makes another appearance in this set in her earlier collaboration with Solti in Bartók’s Violin Concerto and another great artist, Vladimir Ashkenazy, features in the three Piano Concertos. None of these works does much for me but the haunting slow movements of both Piano Concerto No. 3 and the Violin Concerto catch my attention and seem to enter a different world of sensibility; I wish there were more of this kind. I will freely concede that Solti’s advocacy of Bartók certainly gives me a new respect and even liking for much of the music; my limited experience suggests that anyone hesitant like me could do far worse than embark on exploration of it via these classic recordings.

This a very fine and comprehensive survey of Solti’s London recordings, demonstrating his range and versatility – and indeed the consistent dynamism of his conducting. There are for me rather too many mono recordings which have obviously been included for completeness but will probably not be played that often by the collector, given that there are usually sonically preferable and artistically comparable alternatives, some of which were recorded later by Solti himself and are even included within this issue, but there are still among them some attractive vintage accounts.

The booklet in the neat, compact box contains a biographical essay by Andrew Stewart which is translated into French and German and there are nine black and white photographs of Solti with Lady Valerie and Alicia de Larrocha. The original nostalgia-inducing LP covers reproduced on the cardboard slipcases remind us how Decca’s sleeve design developed over the post-war years. Some of them look risibly crude, gauche or bare to modern eyes but they are part of recording history.

Released on 12 November 2021, the set is currently retailing for anything between Ł90 and a Ł100 in the UK and in the US between $150 to $210 delivered; prices from European retailers can be considerably lower, so shop around; no doubt by the time this review has been posted there will be other offers.

Ralph Moore

CD 1 [41:31]:
Mozart: Symphony No 25 in G minor, K183 (mono)
Mozart: Symphony No 38 in D major, K504 'Prague' (mono)
rec. 1954
CD 2 [65:30]:
Mozart: Piano Concerto No 25 in C major, K503
Mozart: Piano Concerto No 27 in B-flat major, K595
rec. 1977
CD3 [62:57]:
Mozart: Piano Concerto No 24 in C minor, K491
Mozart: Piano Concerto No 26 in D major, K537 'Coronation'
rec. 1985
CD 4 [77:45]:
Mozart: Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra No 10 in E-flat, K365
Mozart: Concerto No 7 for Three Pianos & Orchestra, K242
Mozart: Piano Concerto No 20 in D minor, K466
rec. 1989
CD 5 [70:13]:
Haydn: Symphonies Nos 100*, 102 & 103 (mono)
rec. 1951/1954*
CD 6 [76:01]:
Haydn: Symphonies Nos 93‡, 94† & 101*
rec. 1981*/1983†/1987‡
CD 7 [72:06]:
Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 95†, 96* & 99‡
CD 8 [78:03]:
Haydn: Symphonies Nos 97†, 98‡ & 103*
rec. 1981*/1989†/1991‡
CD 9 [79:35]:
Haydn: Symphonies Nos 100†, 102* & 104‡
rec. 1981*/1983†/1985‡
CD 10
Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major, Op 61 (mono)
rec. 1955
CD 11 [64:41]:
Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3 in A minor, Op 56 'Scottish'
Beethoven: Symphony No 4 in B-flat major, Op 60*
rec. 1951*/1953†
CD12 [41:45]:
Rossini: L'Italiana in Algeri Overture
Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia Overture
Suppé: Leichte Kavallerie Overture
Suppé: Dichter und Bauer
Suppé: Ein Morgen, ein Mittag, ein Abend in Wien Overture
Suppé: Pique Dame Overture
rec. 1951 (Suppé)/1955 (Rossini)
CD 13 [38:47]:
Offenbach: Gaîté Parisienne
rec. 1960
CD 14 [60:48]:
Verdi: La forza del destino Overture (mono)*
Rossini: L'Italiana in Algeri Overture
Offenbach: Les contes d’Hoffmann Entr’acte (barcarolle)†
Verdi: La traviata Prelude to Act III†
Rossini: Semiramide Overture†
Ponchielli: La Gioconda Dance of the Hours†
Gounod: Faust - Ballet Music‡
rec. 1949*/1959†/1960‡
CD 15 [71:16]:
Liszt: Les Préludes, symphonic poem No 3, S97
Liszt: Prometheus, symphonic poem No 5, S99
Liszt: Festklänge, symphonic poem No 7, S101
Schubert: Wanderer-Fantasie (orch. Liszt)*
rec. 1977/1986*
CD 16 [78:33]:
Glinka: Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture
Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina Prelude (compl. & arr. Rimsky-Korsakov)
Mussorgsky: Night on the Bare Mountain (arr. Rimsky Korsakov)
Borodin: Prince Igor Overture
Borodin: Prince Igor Polovtsian Dances
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, Op 18*
rec. 1958*/1956
CD 17 [48:35]:
Elgar: Symphony No 1 in A-flat major, Op 55
rec. 1972
CD 18 [51:22]:
Elgar: Symphony No 2 in E-flat major, Op 63
rec. 1975
CD 19 [55:16]:
Elgar: Falstaff - Symphonic Study in C minor, Op 68
Elgar: In the South (Alassio), Op 50
rec. 1979
CD 20 [73:14]:
Elgar: Cockaigne Overture, Op 40 'In London Town'
Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance Marches Nos 1-5, Op 39‡
Elgar: ‘Enigma’ Variations*
Elgar: God save the Queen
rec. 1974*/1976†/1977‡
CD 21 [49:36]:
Elgar: Violin Concerto in B minor, Op 61
rec. 1976
CD 22 [49:33]:
Holst: The Planets, Op 32
rec. 1978
CD 23 [54:03]:
Mahler: Symphony No 1 in D major
rec. 1964
CD 24 [80:38]:
Mahler: Symphony No 2 'Resurrection'
rec. 1966
CD 25-26 [32:52 + 61:39]:
Mahler: Symphony No 3 [94:31]
rec. 1968
CD 27 [79:50]:
Mahler: Symphony No. 9
rec. 1967
CD 28 [64:55]:
Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, BB 114, Sz. 106 (mono)
Bartók: Dance Suite, BB 86, Sz. 77 (mono)*
Kodály: Háry János Suite (mono)
CD 29 [55:53]:
Kodály: Psalmus hungaricus, Op 13 (mono)
Kodály: Variations on a Hungarian Folksong 'The Peacock' (mono)
Kodály: Dances of Galanta (mono)*
rec. 1952*/1954
CD 30 [52:00]:
Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116
Bartók: Dance Suite, BB 86, Sz. 77
rec. 1965
CD 31 [45:11]:
Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, BB 114, Sz. 106
Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin, Op 19, Sz. 73 (suite)
rec. 1963
CD 32 [77:38]:
Bartók: Piano Concertos Nos 1*, 2 & 3
rec. 1980/1981*
CD 33 [38:38]:
Bartók: Violin Concerto No 2, Sz 112
rec. 1976
CD 34 [57:09]:
Bartók: Duke Bluebeard's Castle, Sz. 48, Op 11
rec. 1979
CD 35 [55:10]:
Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex
rec. 1976
CD 36 [47:09]:
Walton: Coronation Te Deum
Walton: Belshazzar's Feast
rec. 1977

Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano)
Daniel Barenboim (piano)
Jorge Bolet (piano)
Kyung-Wha Chung (violin)
Ryland Davies (tenor)
Stafford Dean (bass)
Ralph Downes (organ)
Mischa Elman (violin)
Heather Harper (soprano)
Julius Katchen (piano)
Kolos Kováts (bass)
Alicia de Larrocha (piano)
Benjamin Luxon (baritone)
William McAlpine (tenor)
Alex McCowen (narrator)
Donald McIntyre (bass-baritone)
Kerstin Meyer (mezzo-soprano)
Peter Pears (tenor)
Sylvia Sass (soprano)
András Schiff (piano)
István Sztankay (narrator)
Helen Watts (contralto)
Ambrosian Singers
Chichester Cathedral Choir
John Alldis Choir
London Philharmonic Choir
London Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Salisbury Cathedral Choir
Winchester Cathedral Choir
Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
English Chamber Orchestra
London Philharmonic Orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden

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