by Seiji Ozawa


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To mark Seiji Ozawa's 75th birthday celebration, Decca has assembled an impressive box set of his finest recordings for the label, which amounts to 11 CDs of almost 12 hours of exceptional music, brilliantly performed by five great orchestras. The program has its share of warhorses, namely Berlioz's "Symphonie fantastique," Tchaikovsky's "Symphony No. 5 in E minor," and his crowd-pleasing "1812 Overture," but there is much here that's far off the beaten path and worth investigating. The opening disc presents Bartók's "Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta," followed by the "Concerto for Orchestra," so this is evidently a cue to take this set seriously. Other important choices are a handful of works by Takemitsu, whom Ozawa has championed for many years, a complete recording on one disc of Mahler's "Symphony No. 2," and a CD of 20th century orchestral arrangements of music by Bach, possibly the most controversial and quirkiest of the set with its odd-lot transcriptions by Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Webern, Stokowski, and Saito. The rest of the set is perhaps less thought-provoking, but certainly just as enjoyable, with an assortment of popular works by Ravel, Poulenc, Rimsky-Korsakov, Richard Strauss, and Wagner, and a closing disc devoted to music on the theme of "Romeo and Juliet" by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Berlioz, and Bernstein. Ozawa's fans may have some of these great recordings already, but because this package exposes the listener to much of his work that is special and hard to find, it is definitely worth spending a little time to examine its contents in depth.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/14/2010
Label: Decca
UPC: 0028947823582
catalogNumber: 001464002
Rank: 290603


  1. Roméo et Juliette, for alto, tenor, bass, chorus & orchestra ("symphonie dramatique"), H.79 (Op. 17): 3. Love Scene (Excerpt)
  2. Romeo and Juliet, Suite No. 1 for orchestra, Op. 64 bis: Death of Tybalt
  3. Romeo and Juliet, Suite No. 2 for orchestra, Op. 64 ter
  4. Romeo and Juliet, fantasy-overture for orchestra in B minor (3 versions)
  5. Symphonic Dances (9) from "West Side Story", for orchestra (orchestrated with Ramin & Kostal)
  6. Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Liebestod
  7. Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Prelude
  8. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Overture
  9. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96: Prelude
  10. Lohengrin, opera, WWV 75: Prelude
  11. Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), opera, WWV 63: Overture
  12. 1812 -- Festival Overture, for orchestra in E flat major, Op. 49
  13. Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64
  14. Feierlicher Einzug der Ritter des Johanniter-Ordens (Festival Procession), for brass & timpani, o.Op. 103 (TrV 224, AV 103)
  15. Wiener Philharmonic Fanfare, for brass & timpani, o.Op. 109 (TrV 248, AV 109)
  16. Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony) for orchestra, Op. 64 (TrV 233)
  17. Russian Easter Festival Overture (Svetlïy pazdnik), for orchestra, Op. 36
  18. Scheherazade, symphonic suite for orchestra, Op. 35
  19. Gloria, for soprano, chorus & orchestra, FP 177
  20. Concert champêtre, for harpsichord & orchestra, FP 49
  21. Concerto for organ, strings & timpani in G minor, FP 93
  22. Prelude and Fugue, for organ in E flat major ("St. Anne;" Clavier-Übung III/26), BWV 552 (BC J16)
  23. Vom himmel hoch, da komm ich her (I), canonic variations on the Christmas hymn for organ, BWV 769
  24. Partita for solo violin No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: Chaconne
  25. The Musical Offering (Musikalisches Opfer), for keyboard and chamber instruments, BWV 1079: Ricercare a 6
  26. Toccata and Fugue, for organ in D minor, BWV 565 (BC J37)
  27. Symphony No. 2 in C minor ("Resurrection")
  28. Ceremonial: An Autumn Ode, for sho & orchestra
  29. Family Tree (Keizu), for speaker & orchestra
  30. Air for solo flute
  31. Requiem, for string orchestra
  32. My Way of Life: In Memory of Michael Vyner, for baritone, chorus & orchestra
  33. Symphonie fantastique for orchestra ("Episode de la vie d'un Artiste...en cinq parties"), H.48 (Op. 14)
  34. Pavane pour une infante défunte, for piano (or orchestra)
  35. Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta, Sz. 106, BB 114
  36. Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116, BB 127

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