Stunning Beethoven symphonies (Nos. 1-8) from Rudolf Barshai, Russian Melodiya recordings from the 1970s. Measured tempos, ‘dovetailed’ phrasing, strong though never brutal emphases, all first movement exposition repeats observed, fairly good stereo sound. And such STRONG interpretations! I’d recommend them to anyone
A whole range of fascinating Melo Classic CDs, none of the material previously released on CD, probably not in any form. The pianist Marian Filar, whose life story is virtually as tragic as Szpilman’s (of ‘The Pianist’ fame). Eloquent Chopin with no excessive rubato (a sequence of Op. 28 Preludes is especially good). Exhaustive booklet notes. Friedrich Wuhrer and Elly Ney (both Nazis), Wuhrer worth hearing for a magnificent Hammerklavier, Ney for a fairly sensitive Schumann Quintet (with the Hoffman Quartet, the second movement being incredibly slow). Plenty more in the catalogue – do check out their website.
I’d never heard of the violinist Patrice Fontanarosa but a 12-cd set on French Decca has, in some respects, proved a revelation. A superb Schumann Fantasy plus the Violin Concerto, the Schubert trios with his brother and sister, Ravel and Fauré too.
What have you heard?