This set brings together acclaimed recordings of four sacred choral masterpieces, under the baton of the legendary Otto Klemperer. The works here all played an important role in Klemperer’s long and distinguished career, and some of them were among the music that meant most to him; indeed, he once called Bach’s B minor Mass ‘the greatest and most unique music ever written’. Klemperer’s love of this music manifests itself in performances of overwhelming power, grandeur and majesty, supported by some of the most accomplished soloists of the time.
Otto Klemperer was born on 14th May 1885 in Breslau, Silesia (now Wroclaw, Poland). On Gustav Mahler's recommendation Klemperer became chorus master then conductor at Prague's German Theatre (1907-10); between 1910 and 1917 he worked at the opera houses of Hamburg, Bremen and Strasbourg; he was musical director at Cologne (1917-24), Wiesbaden (1924-27) and Berlin's Kroll Opera (1927–31), but left Nazi Germany in 1933, eventually settling in the USA, where he became conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1933-39).
After an operation in 1939 his career faltered until he became director of the Hungarian State Opera (1947-50). In the 1950s and 60s he achieved great success, largely through his association with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London and his recordings for EMI. In 1959 he was appointed the Philharmonia's 'conductor for life'. His last concert was in September 1971.
EMI Classics pays tribute to the incomparable conductor with the release of an extensive edition of 11 luxurious yet affordable boxsets - click here to get to the releases.
07 May 2013
The Klemperer Legacy - three new titles
This batch includes Klemperer’s interpretations of Mahler’s work, famous for their ‘big outlines’ and ‘rock-like rhythms’ (Musical Times). The second collection provides a collection of the conductor’s Baroque and Classical repertoire, showcasing – at the forefront of the selection – Klemperer’s characteristically ‘unadorned’ Bach as well as his fiery interpretations of Haydn’s late symphonies. The 20th century box treats us to Klemperer’s sprightly, quirkily personal performances of neo-classical masterpieces by Hindemith and Stravinsky, as well as giving a glimpse into the mind of Klemperer the creative musician, decisively influenced by his early encounters with Mahler.