The Richard Itter Archive is a unique, private collection of over 80 recordings of live BBC broadcasts dating from between 1952 and 1962, which are now released for the very first time. The following three recordings will be available on ICA Classics from 4 April.

Karl Böhm & Vienna State Opera
Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro
Karl Böhm · Vienna State Opera Chorus · Vienna Philharmonic
Erich Kunz (Figaro) · Irmgard Seefried (Susanna)
Paul Schoeffler (The Count) · Lisa della Casa (The Countess)
Sena Jurinac (Cherubino) · Oskar Czerwanka (Bartolo)
Rosette Anday (Marcellina) · Murray Dickie (Basilio)
Anny Felbermayer (Barbarina) · Walter Berry (Antonio)
Royal Festival Hall, 1954
Harold Rosenthal, Editor of Opera Magazine, described the staged performance at London's Royal Festival Hall in September 1954 as a 'sheer delight’, starring not only Karl Böhm as conductor but also an exceptionally strong Viennese cast, many of whose members had long associations not just with the Vienna State Opera but with the city itself. Years later in interview Walter Berry (Antonio), recalled: ’We played in the Theater an der Wien (during the rebuilding of the Vienna State Opera) and developed a certain style, a Mozart style which was connected very much with the singers of that time.”

Jacqueline du Pré · Mstislav Rostropovich
Schumann Cello Concerto
Jacqueline Du Pré · BBCSO · Jean Martinon
Royal Festival Hall, 1962
Dvořák Cello Concerto
Mstislav Rostropovich · Philharmonia · Carlo Maria Giulini
Usher Hall, Edinburgh Festival 1962
Villa Lobos: Bachianas Brasilierras No.5 Aria (Bonus track) Galina Vishnevskaya & Mstislav Rostropovich
Usher Hall, Edinburgh Festival, 1962
1962 was the momentous year in which Jacqueline du Pré made her orchestral debut performing Elgar’s cello concerto at the Royal Festival Hall. She returned in December the same year for her first UK performance of Schumann’s cello concerto following intense study of the work with Paul Tortelier in Paris. This performance is an important document of one of her earliest performances of the work. In the same year Mstislav Rostropovich appeared at the Edinburgh Festival with the Philharmonia and Carlo Maria Giulini for a performance of Dvorak’s cello concerto and joined his wife, Galina Vishnevskaya, on stage at the festival just a few days earlier together with cellists from the LSO for a recital which included Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasilierras.

Sir Thomas Beecham & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
4 CD box set of performances from 1954-1959
Boccherini Sinfonia in D
Haydn Symphonies Nos 99 & 101
Mendelssohn Midsummer Nights Dream Overture
Mozart Symphonies Nos 36 & 39
Beethoven: Symphony No.2 · Brahms: Symphony No.2
Wagner: Flying Dutchman Overture
Liszt: Faust Symphony
Alexander Young · Beecham Choral Society
All the performances included on this 4 CD box set date from Beecham's final years: from 1954 when he had fully established both the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and himself as central figures in England's musical life, to 1959 when he conducted extraordinarily memorable accounts of Haydn's Symphony No.101 and Brahms Symphony No.2, every broadcast captured here in exemplary sound for the time. Beecham caught 'live' often showed the mercurial side of his character and no performance was the same either in the studio or in the concert hall. Apart from Liszt's Faust Symphony and Haydn's Symphony No.101, all the performances in this set have never previously appeared on CD.


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