I have to admit that I wasn't really expecting very much from this CD when I bought it. There are no notes, texts or translations as is usual with Archipel and I thought that the, presumably, radio sound from 1960 would be mediocre at best. All my slim expectations were utterly confounded.
I'm not sure you can compare this with Klemperer's EMI account. Walter live in 1960 gives us a single performance warts and all. He has all the advantages and disadvantages that that implies. Personally, I find OK's second movement stodgy and earthbound while Ferrier's 1952 disc is one I've never really taken to. Chris Newman exactly describes Forrester's and Lewis's voices in #5 as they sound on this CD. For me this is a real performance not one stitched together over a period of months or even years when the singers never meet. The New York Philharmonic play like angels for Walter. Some may find the harp a little closely balanced until you realise time and again what an important contribution it makes and then it feels right. The principal horn (especially) and the principal oboe are superb while the strings sing like Walter will surely have asked them to.
Having laid into Gergiev's Mahler 5 last week, here is a disc recorded 51 years ago that sounds full, detailed and immediate. Archipel label this as among their 'desert island' collection. I think I can safely say it's one of mine, too.
Last edited by Petrushka; 07-03-11 at 22:42.
“Every piece of music is a rehearsal of one’s life,” - Sir Colin Davis