Orchestermusik /wolfgang Sawallisch 8-cd Set

Album cover art for upc 4011790957821
Label: ORFEO
Catalog: ORF-C957188L
Format: CD

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Wolfgang Sawallisch is known throughout the world and especially in his birthplace as a paragon among his generation of conductors and musicians, exemplifying a former world of music. After a thorough music education and a firm grounding in the art of conducting operas he soon began to assume more elevated positions on the music scene. The extent of his success in the 1950s was so great and indeed so rapid that by 1957 he was given the privilege of conducting at Bayreuth. That said, the most decisive period of his career was probably from 1971 to 1992, when he enjoyed huge success with the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, both in the city and worldwide. He was initially appointed General Music Director, and in 1982 was promoted to State Opera Director. It was in the Bavarian capital that he expanded his role as a highly diversified, top-notch musical director. His wide-ranging, active repertoire was founded on three mighty “pillars”, namely Mozart, Wagner and Strauss, each of them very safe in his hands. One of his legendary achievements is his complete cycle of Wagner’s operas, a feat he achieved in 1983, and the Orfeo catalogue includes excerpts from the first of Wagner’s operas – Die Feen, Das Liebesverbot and Rienzi – which are now acknowledged as benchmark recordings. It is well known that Sawallisch was an excellent pianist who would play chamber music or accompany singers from time to time, and the Orfeo catalogue features Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hermann Prey, Bernd Weikl and the very first Orfeo album of all: Schubert Lieder with Margaret Price. Recently released excerpts from Don Giovanni and Così are proof that he was capable in the 1970s of conducting fiery Mozart performances, while his Puccini and Rossini recordings are testimony to his mastery of the Italian repertoire. What is more, the Orfeo catalogue contains several digital studio recordings of symphonic repertoire by Bruckner, Pfitzner and Weber as well as the Brahms Requiem, interestingly featuring the “colleagues” from the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Orfeo now releases a compilation of these recordings as a tribute to Sawallisch to mark his 95th birthday.

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