Title: The Mercury Masters: The Stereo Recordings
Artist: Dorati, Antal / Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
Label: Eloquence Australia
Product Type: COMPACT DISCS
Genre: Classical Artists
LIMITED EDITION. Documenting all of Antal Doráti's stereo recordings with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra for Mercury, this edition showcases a golden era in American classical recording. The recordings were heralded with superlatives from contemporary journals - "Breathtaking, this Doráti...", "as technically flawless as it is sonically and melodically intoxicating" (High Fidelity) - and reveals a musical personality centered on dynamism, intensity, and an exceptional ability to persuasively articulate rhythms. The project has been supervised by Thomas Fine and includes CD premieres, a previously unpublished audio interview and rare session photographs from the archives. The Hungarian conductor Antal Doráti joined the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra as it's music director in 1949, and immediately began making it into one of the orchestral powerhouses of the post-war United States. Mercury began recording the ensemble in 1952 and continued to do so until his departure in 1960. Doráti's 51 albums (24 mono, 27 stereo) are a testament to what he achieved with the orchestra during his eleven years there. They reveal a musical personality centered on dynamism, intensity, and an exceptional ability to persuasively articulate rhythms. Eloquence presents the most complete ever reissue of the Doráti/Minneapolis legacy in two 'original jackets' boxes, faithfully representing the contents of the albums as they were first issued. New remastering made or supervised by Thomas Fine, son of Mercury's long-time chief engineer and producer, as well as original remastering for CD by Wilma Cozart Fine, bring this legacy to life as never before. Thomas Fine contributes a 'sessionography' to each box detailing the technical facets of the Mercury Living Presence recordings, and Dennis D. Rooney is the author of authoritative booklet notes surveying the history of the partnership on record as well as his personal memoirs of the period. The stereo box features some repertoire remakes of mono-era recordings, and while close comparison between them only serves to underline the conductor's remarkable consistency of idea and execution - he knew what he wanted, and he got it - there are many insights to be found in placing Dorati's mono and stereo Rites side by side, his Johann Strauss waltzes and Richard Strauss tone-poems, his Scheherazade, Petrouchka, Pines of Rome and more. Doráti continued to lavish his perfectionist ear and sprung rhythms on ballet scores such as Copland's Rodeo and Delibes's Coppélia. Significant rarities - some of them appearing for the first time on CD - include albums of contemporary American pieces by Fetler, Peterson and Schuller, and a disc of Doráti's own music. One more rarity, never reissued since 1958, is 'The Magic of the Bells': a collection of hymns recorded on the same Riverside Church, New York bells as the legendary 1812 Overture album. As sequels to the Eloquence boxes dedicated to Kubelík in Chicago and Paray in Detroit, these Doráti collections comprehensively document a golden era in American classical recording.