Saturday, April 16, 2011

Great conductors of the 20TH century EMI VOL.18 - Giulini

CD1 [76.44]

Rossini: Overture 'Tancredi'
Philharmonia Orchestra; Kingsway Hall, London; April 1964

Beethoven: Symphony No.7 in A, Op.92
Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Medinah Temple, Chicago; March 1971

Ravel: Ma Mère l’oye – Suite

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks; Herkulessaal, Munich; January 1979 (Live)

Bizet: Jeux d'enfants – Suite
Philharmonia Orchestra; Kingsway Hall; October 1956

CD2 [75.20]

Beethoven: Overture 'Egmont', Op.84
Orchestra sinfonica di Torino della RAI; Auditorium di Torino della RAI, Turin;
January 1968 (Live)

Schumann: Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.97 'Rhenish' (re-orch. Mahler)

Philharmonia Orchestra; Abbey Road Studios, London; June 1958

Stravinsky: The Firebird - Suite (1919)
Philharmonia Orchestra; Kingsway Hall; October 1956

Johann Strauss: Kaiser-Walzer, Op.437
Wiener Symphoniker; ORF TV Studios, Vienna; April 1974 (Live)


Carlo Maria Giulini was born in the small southern Italian town of Barletta in 1914 but his family moved to Bolzano five years later. The Tyrolean town's mix of Austrian and Italian cultural influences had also been appreciated by Mahler – a precedent with which Giulini was familiar and which possibly helped to make him such a memorable, if selective, conductor of that composer. From 1930 he studied at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and made his conducting debut with the Augusteo Orchestra in 1944. He made some recordings with them for Cetra but his first one of note was Cherubini's C minor Requiem at Walter Legge's behest. Many recordings with the Philharmonia followed, even after Legge disbanded the orchestra. Having made his US debut with the Chicago Symphony in 1955, he became the orchestra's principal guest conductor in 1969. A contract to Deutsche Grammophon in 1977 prefaced by a year his move to Los Angeles, where he was conductor until his wife's ill health forced them to move back to Italy in 1984. His concert and recording activity declined correspondingly, though he almost completed a Beethoven symphony cycle, for Sony, in the early 1990s. He retired from conducting internationally later in the decade.


The great Italian maestro, now in his late eighties, lives in retirement in Milan, close to La Scala, the opera house where he was principal conductor in the early 1950s. This compilation features a number of other musical institutions with which Giulini is closely associated: the Philharmonia Orchestra, Italian Radio (where he was music director at the start of his career), and the Chicago and Vienna Symphony Orchestras (with which he held conducting posts between 1969 and 1976). Of the many recordings he made in London in the 1950s and 1960s with Walter Legge's Philharmonia, the Bizet, Schumann (Mahler's re-orchestration of the 'Rhenish' Symphony, much sought after by collectors) and Stravinsky are appearing here for the first time on CD. The three broadcasts are of Ravel's Ma Mère l'oye Suite, a Giulini favourite which he recorded three times in the studio, Beethoven's Egmont Overture in a fiery Italian Radio performance, and, as an addition to the conductor's discography, a 1974 Austrian Radio recording of the Emperor Waltz by Johann Strauss, whose music Giulini never recorded commercially.


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