The “Decca Sound” is celebrated in 50-CD and 6-LP box sets
Decca Classics has released highlights from its historic archive in three box-set formats containing 50 CDs, five CDs,
and six vinyl LPs.
The Decca Sound celebrates more
than eight decades of recording during which the label’s engineers developed
“a core recording philosophy – a wide dynamic range, a natural and exciting sound and the desire to capture the whole picture of a performance.”
Among the many technical innovations developed by and for the label was a microphone array that earned the nickname “The Decca Tree,” which some still claim to be the best way to record an orchestra.
Paul Moseley, managing director of Decca Classics, describes the releases as “unprecedented and unique” and says they serve to illustrate the label’s “total commitment to classical music in the strongest possible terms.”
Among the highlights are the label’s celebrated partnership with Ernest Ansermet and L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Debussy’s Images and El sombrero des tres picos; Pierre Monteux conducting
the first recording of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé coupled with Elgar’s Enigma Variations; Herbert von Karajan’s 1961 account of Holst’s
The Planets with the Vienna Philharmonic; Riccardo Chailly’s compelling account of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-symphonie with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; and, not least, Georg Solti and
the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony of a
Thousand (No. 8).
Also included is Vladimir Ashkenazy’s 1963 performance of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto, and his acclaimed account of
the First Symphony by Sibelius with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Clifford Curzon’s collaboration with Benjamin Britten in Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 20 and 27; Alicia de Larrocha’s near-definitive accounts of Albéniz and Falla; and Nelson Friere’s recent award-winning performance of Brahms’s First Piano Concerto point to Decca’s illustrious piano roster.
Lovers of the voice will find Renata Tebaldi’s breakthrough La fanciulla del West from 1959; Cecilia Bartoli’s collection of Italian Songs with András Schiff accompanying at the piano; highlights of the historic Golden Ring conducted by Georg Solti; and recordings by Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne, Renée Fleming, and Birgit Nilsson.
The set also offers Britten’s own definitive performance of his War Requiem complete on one CD for the first time.
The limited edition 50-CD set also includes a 200-page hardback book detailing Decca’s history. The LP release, on 180gsm vinyl, includes four re-prints and two modern recordings appearing on vinyl for the first time. All recordings feature original artwork.
The Decca Sound is available now.