Swipe

exiledrecords

The legendary original soundtrack to Cowboy Bebop is finally available on vinyl! The Bebop crew is just trying to make a buck. This motley lot of intergalactic loners teams up to track down fugitives and turn them in for cold hard cash. Spike is a hero whose cool façade hides a dark and deadly past. The pilot Jet is a bruiser of a brute who can't wait to collect the next bounty. Faye Valentine is a femme fatale prone to breaking hearts and separating fools from their money. Along for the ride are the brilliant, but weird, hacker Ed and a super-genius Welsh Corgi named Ein. On their own, any one of them is likely to get lost in the sprawl of space, but together, they're they most entertaining gang of bounty hunters in the year 2071. Composed and performed by Yoko Kanno and the band Seatbelts, the music of Cowboy Bebop is one of the signature elements of the series. The energetic jazz-infused pieces rip and roar across the stars and are as indispensable as the crew of the Bebop themselves.

Sony Classical is proud to announce one of its most significant historic releases of recent years: a 69-CD box set containing the recorded legacy of Dimitri Mitropoulos (1896-1960), who ranks by general consensus among the 20th century's most brilliant conductors. Many of these legendary performances have never before been transferred from their analogue masters and released on digital medium.

A lifelong ascetic and mystic, Mitropoulos was attracted in his youth to the monastic life but decided against following his older brothers into the Greek Orthodox Church when he learned that music was censured as a forbidden indulgence. After studying piano, composition, theory and conducting, first in his native Athens, then in Rome, Brussels and with Busoni in Berlin - where he served as Erich Kleiber's assistant at the Staatsoper from 1921-24 - his career took flight in Athens. It was there that he developed his trademark style of conducting without baton or score and brought to his music-making all his religious fervour and passion along with his prodigious memory. As the critic Peter Quantrill astutely noted in an overview of his recordings in Gramophone: "Mitropoulos's facility of memory could draw out [recurring melodic and motivic strands] at faster-than-usual tempi while maintaining an intuitive proportion between their sections. You seem to hear more of the music in a shorter space of time."

His international fame began with a 1930 Berlin Philharmonic performance of the Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto, in which Mitropoulos appeared as both soloist and conductor. (He would repeat that tour de force a decade and a half later in Philadelphia, a performance included in this new set.) His American career was launched by sensational concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1936, which promptly resulted in his appointment to succeed Eugene Ormandy as principal conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony (now Minnesota) Orchestra. He proceeded to bring that ensemble international fame through recordings which captured the force of his magnetic personality and electrifying musicianship. In Minneapolis, he enjoyed enormous success with critics and audiences, performing half of Mahler's then still largely unfamiliar output (earning him American Mahler Society Medal of Honor in 1940) and commissioning numerous works by leading American and European composers to make the orchestra a bastion of modern music in the US.

Mitropoulos's association with the New York Philharmonic, which he first conducted in 1940, was hardly less successful artistically, though it was ultimately tarnished by critical hostility having more to do with his sexual orientation than his musical interpretations. From 1949, he served as the orchestra's co-conductor with Leopold Stokowski, then from 1951 as music director until, after a period of joint leadership with Leonard Bernstein in 1958, he "abdicated with joy" in favour of his protégé, supposedly to devote more time to opera. During his New York years, he was also a commanding presence at the Metropolitan.

As Sony Classical's massive new box set definitively demonstrates, Mitropoulos faithfully documented his eclectically wide-ranging repertoire on disc in Minneapolis and New York, even recording some favourite works in both cities. To cite a few highlights from the MINNEAPOLIS SYMPHONY years: there is the first-ever recording of Mahler's First Symphony (1940), which "can still be counted among the finest the work has received" (Gramophone); Tchaikovsky's Symphonies Nos. 4 (1940) and 2 (1946) as well as his First Piano Concerto with Arthur Rubinstein (1946) - "The soloist is in rare form, and this is an example of the grand manner in operation" (High Fidelity). Other symphonies for which Mitropoulos showed his special affinity in Minneapolis include the Borodin Second (1941; MusicWeb International: "The best performance of the Borodin symphony I've ever heard"), Schumann's Second (1940) and "Rhenish" (1947), the Prokofiev "Classical" (1940) and Franck D minor (1940) - "Mitropoulos infuses his reading with unbearable intensity" (Classical Notes).

Also reissued here are Mitropoulos's celebrated, incandescent Minneapolis readings of Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony (1947) - "An excellent interpretation . beautifully recorded, with a resonant, spacious quality . played with smooth, virtuosic effect" (Gramophone) - and The Isle of the Dead (1945); as well as Brahms's "St. Antoni" Variations (1942), Vaughan Williams's Tallis Fantasia (1945), Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin (1941) and Milhaud's Le Boeuf sur le toit (1945). We have Mitropoulos's fellow Busoni pupil Egon Petri as piano soloist in their teacher's arrangement of Liszt's Spanish Rhapsody (1940) and pianist Oscar Levant in concertos by Khachaturian (1950) and Anton Rubinstein (1952).

With the NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC, Mitropoulos conducts the epoch-making first recording of Berg's Wozzeck (1951) with Mack Harrell and Eileen Farrell - "It is difficult to conceive any other conductor having an equivalent grasp of the score; and Mitropoulos infused his knowledge and vitality into his soloists" (Gramophone); Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht, Erwartung with soprano Dorothy Dow (1951) and the first recording of his Violin Concerto, with Louis Krasner, Mitropoulos's erstwhile Minneapolis concertmaster (1952); Krenek's Symphonic Elegy (1951); and memorable Berlioz including an "almost hallucinatory" (Classical Net) Symphonie fantastique (1957) and excerpts from Roméo et Juliette (1952).

Included from New York are also Mendelssohn's "Scottish" and "Reformation" Symphonies (1953); Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony (1954), Pathétique (1957) - "Mitropoulos achieves some remarkable flexibility of phrase for his expressive purposes . The first chord in the Adagio lamentoso movement of this recording sounds as if the conductor had reached the hearts of every individual string player" (New York Times) - and First Suite (1954); Scriabin's Poème de l'extase and Promethée (1953); Shostakovich's Symphonies Nos. 5 (1952) and 10 (1954) - "Mitropoulos had a particular affinity for this symphony. He gave its Western Hemisphere premiere in 1954 . This recording conveys an exciting spontaneity" (High Fidelity), "Mitropoulos's pioneering account probes more deeply into the heart of this score than any of the recent newcomers" (Gramophone); Debussy's La Mer (1950) and Stravinsky's Petrushka (1951); excerpts from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet (1957) as well as that composer's Lieutenant Kijé and Kodály's Háry János suites (1956); Vaughan Williams's Fourth Symphony (1956) - "splendidly alert and unfailingly eloquent (nowhere more so than in the slow movement) . Mitropoulos's deeply felt interpretation won the enthusiastic approbation of the composer" (Gramophone) - and his Tallis Fantasia in the conductor's 1958 glorious stereo remake (BBC Music Magazine: "A marvel of fine string playing").

<

The legendary original soundtrack to Cowboy Bebop is finally available on vinyl! The Bebop crew is just trying to make a buck. This motley lot of intergalactic loners teams up to track down fugitives and turn them in for cold hard cash. Spike is a hero whose cool façade hides a dark and deadly past. The pilot Jet is a bruiser of a brute who can't wait to collect the next bounty. Faye Valentine is a femme fatale prone to breaking hearts and separating fools from their money. Along for the ride are the brilliant, but weird, hacker Ed and a super-genius Welsh Corgi named Ein. On their own, any one of them is likely to get lost in the sprawl of space, but together, they're they most entertaining gang of bounty hunters in the year 2071. Composed and performed by Yoko Kanno and the band Seatbelts, the music of Cowboy Bebop is one of the signature elements of the series. The energetic jazz-infused pieces rip and roar across the stars and are as indispensable as the crew of the Bebop themselves.

Sony Classical is proud to announce one of its most significant historic releases of recent years: a 69-CD box set containing the recorded legacy of Dimitri Mitropoulos (1896-1960), who ranks by general consensus among the 20th century's most brilliant conductors. Many of these legendary performances have never before been transferred from their analogue masters and released on digital medium.

A lifelong ascetic and mystic, Mitropoulos was attracted in his youth to the monastic life but decided against following his older brothers into the Greek Orthodox Church when he learned that music was censured as a forbidden indulgence. After studying piano, composition, theory and conducting, first in his native Athens, then in Rome, Brussels and with Busoni in Berlin - where he served as Erich Kleiber's assistant at the Staatsoper from 1921-24 - his career took flight in Athens. It was there that he developed his trademark style of conducting without baton or score and brought to his music-making all his religious fervour and passion along with his prodigious memory. As the critic Peter Quantrill astutely noted in an overview of his recordings in Gramophone: "Mitropoulos's facility of memory could draw out [recurring melodic and motivic strands] at faster-than-usual tempi while maintaining an intuitive proportion between their sections. You seem to hear more of the music in a shorter space of time."

His international fame began with a 1930 Berlin Philharmonic performance of the Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto, in which Mitropoulos appeared as both soloist and conductor. (He would repeat that tour de force a decade and a half later in Philadelphia, a performance included in this new set.) His American career was launched by sensational concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1936, which promptly resulted in his appointment to succeed Eugene Ormandy as principal conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony (now Minnesota) Orchestra. He proceeded to bring that ensemble international fame through recordings which captured the force of his magnetic personality and electrifying musicianship. In Minneapolis, he enjoyed enormous success with critics and audiences, performing half of Mahler's then still largely unfamiliar output (earning him American Mahler Society Medal of Honor in 1940) and commissioning numerous works by leading American and European composers to make the orchestra a bastion of modern music in the US.

Mitropoulos's association with the New York Philharmonic, which he first conducted in 1940, was hardly less successful artistically, though it was ultimately tarnished by critical hostility having more to do with his sexual orientation than his musical interpretations. From 1949, he served as the orchestra's co-conductor with Leopold Stokowski, then from 1951 as music director until, after a period of joint leadership with Leonard Bernstein in 1958, he "abdicated with joy" in favour of his protégé, supposedly to devote more time to opera. During his New York years, he was also a commanding presence at the Metropolitan.

As Sony Classical's massive new box set definitively demonstrates, Mitropoulos faithfully documented his eclectically wide-ranging repertoire on disc in Minneapolis and New York, even recording some favourite works in both cities. To cite a few highlights from the MINNEAPOLIS SYMPHONY years: there is the first-ever recording of Mahler's First Symphony (1940), which "can still be counted among the finest the work has received" (Gramophone); Tchaikovsky's Symphonies Nos. 4 (1940) and 2 (1946) as well as his First Piano Concerto with Arthur Rubinstein (1946) - "The soloist is in rare form, and this is an example of the grand manner in operation" (High Fidelity). Other symphonies for which Mitropoulos showed his special affinity in Minneapolis include the Borodin Second (1941; MusicWeb International: "The best performance of the Borodin symphony I've ever heard"), Schumann's Second (1940) and "Rhenish" (1947), the Prokofiev "Classical" (1940) and Franck D minor (1940) - "Mitropoulos infuses his reading with unbearable intensity" (Classical Notes).

Also reissued here are Mitropoulos's celebrated, incandescent Minneapolis readings of Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony (1947) - "An excellent interpretation . beautifully recorded, with a resonant, spacious quality . played with smooth, virtuosic effect" (Gramophone) - and The Isle of the Dead (1945); as well as Brahms's "St. Antoni" Variations (1942), Vaughan Williams's Tallis Fantasia (1945), Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin (1941) and Milhaud's Le Boeuf sur le toit (1945). We have Mitropoulos's fellow Busoni pupil Egon Petri as piano soloist in their teacher's arrangement of Liszt's Spanish Rhapsody (1940) and pianist Oscar Levant in concertos by Khachaturian (1950) and Anton Rubinstein (1952).

With the NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC, Mitropoulos conducts the epoch-making first recording of Berg's Wozzeck (1951) with Mack Harrell and Eileen Farrell - "It is difficult to conceive any other conductor having an equivalent grasp of the score; and Mitropoulos infused his knowledge and vitality into his soloists" (Gramophone); Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht, Erwartung with soprano Dorothy Dow (1951) and the first recording of his Violin Concerto, with Louis Krasner, Mitropoulos's erstwhile Minneapolis concertmaster (1952); Krenek's Symphonic Elegy (1951); and memorable Berlioz including an "almost hallucinatory" (Classical Net) Symphonie fantastique (1957) and excerpts from Roméo et Juliette (1952).

Included from New York are also Mendelssohn's "Scottish" and "Reformation" Symphonies (1953); Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony (1954), Pathétique (1957) - "Mitropoulos achieves some remarkable flexibility of phrase for his expressive purposes . The first chord in the Adagio lamentoso movement of this recording sounds as if the conductor had reached the hearts of every individual string player" (New York Times) - and First Suite (1954); Scriabin's Poème de l'extase and Promethée (1953); Shostakovich's Symphonies Nos. 5 (1952) and 10 (1954) - "Mitropoulos had a particular affinity for this symphony. He gave its Western Hemisphere premiere in 1954 . This recording conveys an exciting spontaneity" (High Fidelity), "Mitropoulos's pioneering account probes more deeply into the heart of this score than any of the recent newcomers" (Gramophone); Debussy's La Mer (1950) and Stravinsky's Petrushka (1951); excerpts from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet (1957) as well as that composer's Lieutenant Kijé and Kodály's Háry János suites (1956); Vaughan Williams's Fourth Symphony (1956) - "splendidly alert and unfailingly eloquent (nowhere more so than in the slow movement) . Mitropoulos's deeply felt interpretation won the enthusiastic approbation of the composer" (Gramophone) - and his Tallis Fantasia in the conductor's 1958 glorious stereo remake (BBC Music Magazine: "A marvel of fine string playing").

<
194398882529
Complete Rca And Columbia Album Collection (Box)
Artist: Dimitri Mitropoulos
Format: CD
New: Not in stock
Wish

Formats and Editions

DISC: 1

1. DISC 1:
2. Liszt, Arr. Busoni: Rhapsodie espagnole, S. 254 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
3. Borodin: Symphony No. 2 in B Minor, Op. 5 "Bogatyr" (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
4. DISC 2:
5. Mozart: Thamos, K√∂nig in √Ągypten, K.345/336a: Entr'acte No. 1 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
6. Mozart: Thamos, K√∂nig in √Ągypten, K.345/336a: Entr'acte No. 2 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
7. Grieg: 2 Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
8. Bach, J.S., Arr. L. Weiner: Toccata, Adagio ; Fugue in C Major, BWV 564 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
9. Lully, Arr. Mottl: Ballet du temple de la paix, LWV 69 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
10. Dvor√°k: Slavonic Dances, Op. 46 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
11. Chabrier: Joyeuse marche (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
12. Meyerbeer: Le prophète, Act III: Coronation March (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
13. DISC 3:
14. Bach, J.S., Arr. Mitropoulos: Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 542 "Great" (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
15. Bach, J.S., Arr. H. Bösenroth: Choral Prelude for Organ BWV 680 "Wir glauben all' an einen Gott" (Remastered) - Minneapolis Sym
16. Glazunov: Overture on Three Greek Themes, Op. 3, No. 1 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
17. Ravel, Arr. Chardon: Piece en Forme de Habanera (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
18. Glazunov, Arr. Rogal-Lewitzsky: Chopiniana - Suite for Orchestra based on Piano Pieces by Frederic Chopin, Op. 46 (Remastered) -
19. DISC 4:
20. Mozart: Concerto No. 10 in E-Flat Major for Two Pianos and Orchestra, K. 365 (Remastered) - Robin Hood Dell Orchestra
21. Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 7 in F Major, K.242 "Lodron Concerto" (Remastered) - Little Orchestra Society (Scherman)
22. DISC 5:
23. Milhaud: Le boeuf sur le to√ģt, Op. 58 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
24. Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin, M. 68a (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
25. Couperin, Arr. Milhaud: Overture and Allegro from "La Sultane Suite" (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
26. Rabaud: La procession nocturne, Op. 6 - New York Philharmonic
27. DISC 6:
28. Chausson: Symphony in B-Flat Major, Op. 20 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
29. Walton: Portsmouth Point Overture (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
30. DISC 7:
31. Puccini: Manon Lescaut, Act III: Intermezzo (Remastered) - Robin Hood Dell Orchestra
32. Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, Act II: Intermezzo (Remastered) - Robin Hood Dell Orchestra
33. Wolf-Ferrari: I gioielli della Madonna (The jewels of the Madonna). Act II: Intermezzo (Remastered) - Robin Hood Dell Orchestra
34. Wolf-Ferrari: I gioielli della Madonna (The jewels of the Madonna). Act III: Intermezzo (Remastered) - Robin Hood Dell Orchestra
35. Menotti: Sebastian (Ballet Suite) (Remastered) - Robin Hood Dell Orchestra
36. Massenet: Scènes Alsaciennes Suite No. 7 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
37. DISC 8:
38. Rachmaninoff: The Isle of the Dead, Op. 29 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
39. Vaughan-Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
40. DISC 9:
41. Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D Major "Titan" - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
42. DISC 10:
43. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 17 "Little Russian" (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
44. DISC 11:
45. Khachaturian: Piano Concerto in D-Flat Major, Op. 38 (Remastered) - New York Philharmonic
46. Rubinstein: Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 70 (Remastered) - New York Philharmonic
47. DISC 12:
48. Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 23 (Remastered 1999) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
49. DISC 13:
50. Poulenc: Concerto in D Minor for Two Pianos and Orchestra (Remastered) - RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
51. Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56b for Two Pianos (Remastered) - (Whittemore ; Lowe)
52. DISC 14:
53. Sessions: Symphony No. 2 (Remastered) - New York Philharmonic
54. Gould: Philharmonic Waltzes - New York Philharmonic
55. Lalo: Le roi d'Ys: Overture (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
56. Siegmeister: Ozark set (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
57. DISC 15:
58. Schumann: Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 97 "Rhenish" (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
59. Weinberger: Schwanda the Bagpiper (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
60. Gould: Ministrel Show (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
61. DISC 16:
62. Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 27 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
63. DISC 17:
64. Franck: Symphony in D Minor, FWV 48 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
65. DISC 18:
66. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
67. DISC 19:
68. Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 "Pastorale" (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
69. DISC 20:
70. Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56, "Scotch" (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
71. Mendelssohn: Capriccio brillant in B Minor, Op. 22 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
72. Mendelssohn: Octet in E-Flat Major, Op. 20: III. Scherzo. Allegro leggierissimo (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
73. DISC 21:
74. Dukas: L'Apprenti sorcier in F Minor (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
75. Rimsky-Korsakov: The Golden Cockerel (Suite) (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
76. Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25 "Classical" (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
77. Glière: Red Poppy Ballet Suite: Russian Sailor's Dance (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
78. DISC 22:
79. Schumann: Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 61 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
80. Rimsky-Korsakov: The Golden Cockerel (Suite); Bridal Procession (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
81. DISC 23:
82. Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
83. DISC 24:
84. Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a "St. Anthony's Choral" (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
85. Weber: Jubel-Ouvert√ľre, Op. 59 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
86. Beethoven: Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
87. Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3 in C Major, Op. 72a (Remastered) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
88. DISC 25:
89. Bloch: Schelomo - Hebraic Rhapsody for Cello ; Orchestra (Remastered) - New York Philharmonic
90. Saint-Saens: Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33 (Remastered) - New York Philharmonic
91. DISC 26:
92. Stravinsky: Petrushka (1911 Version) (Remastered) - New York Philharmonic
93. DISC 27/28:
94. Berg: Wozzeck, Op. 7 - New York Philharmonic
95. DISC 29:
96. Debussy: La Mer - New York Philharmonic
97. Debussy: Images pour orchestre, L. 122, No. 2 (Remastered) - Philadelphia Orchestra (Ormandy)
98. DISC 30:
99. Schoenberg: Erwartung, Op. 17 - New York Philharmonic
100. Krenek: Symphonic Elegy for String Orchestra (In Memoriam of Anton Webern) - New York Philharmonic
101. Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 - Strings of the New York Philharmonic
102. DISC 31:
103. Bruch: Concerto No. 1 in G Minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 26 - New York Philharmonic
104. Beethoven: Romance for Violin and Orchestra in G Major, Op. 40 (Remastered) - Columbia Symphony Orchestra (Morel)
105. Beethoven: Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F Major, Op. 50 (Remastered) - Columbia Symphony Orchestra (Morel)
106. Paganini: Concerto No. 3 in B Minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 61 - New York Philharmonic ^1.107

More Info:

The legendary original soundtrack to Cowboy Bebop is finally available on vinyl! The Bebop crew is just trying to make a buck. This motley lot of intergalactic loners teams up to track down fugitives and turn them in for cold hard cash. Spike is a hero whose cool façade hides a dark and deadly past. The pilot Jet is a bruiser of a brute who can't wait to collect the next bounty. Faye Valentine is a femme fatale prone to breaking hearts and separating fools from their money. Along for the ride are the brilliant, but weird, hacker Ed and a super-genius Welsh Corgi named Ein. On their own, any one of them is likely to get lost in the sprawl of space, but together, they're they most entertaining gang of bounty hunters in the year 2071. Composed and performed by Yoko Kanno and the band Seatbelts, the music of Cowboy Bebop is one of the signature elements of the series. The energetic jazz-infused pieces rip and roar across the stars and are as indispensable as the crew of the Bebop themselves.

Sony Classical is proud to announce one of its most significant historic releases of recent years: a 69-CD box set containing the recorded legacy of Dimitri Mitropoulos (1896-1960), who ranks by general consensus among the 20th century's most brilliant conductors. Many of these legendary performances have never before been transferred from their analogue masters and released on digital medium.

A lifelong ascetic and mystic, Mitropoulos was attracted in his youth to the monastic life but decided against following his older brothers into the Greek Orthodox Church when he learned that music was censured as a forbidden indulgence. After studying piano, composition, theory and conducting, first in his native Athens, then in Rome, Brussels and with Busoni in Berlin - where he served as Erich Kleiber's assistant at the Staatsoper from 1921-24 - his career took flight in Athens. It was there that he developed his trademark style of conducting without baton or score and brought to his music-making all his religious fervour and passion along with his prodigious memory. As the critic Peter Quantrill astutely noted in an overview of his recordings in Gramophone: "Mitropoulos's facility of memory could draw out [recurring melodic and motivic strands] at faster-than-usual tempi while maintaining an intuitive proportion between their sections. You seem to hear more of the music in a shorter space of time."

His international fame began with a 1930 Berlin Philharmonic performance of the Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto, in which Mitropoulos appeared as both soloist and conductor. (He would repeat that tour de force a decade and a half later in Philadelphia, a performance included in this new set.) His American career was launched by sensational concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1936, which promptly resulted in his appointment to succeed Eugene Ormandy as principal conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony (now Minnesota) Orchestra. He proceeded to bring that ensemble international fame through recordings which captured the force of his magnetic personality and electrifying musicianship. In Minneapolis, he enjoyed enormous success with critics and audiences, performing half of Mahler's then still largely unfamiliar output (earning him American Mahler Society Medal of Honor in 1940) and commissioning numerous works by leading American and European composers to make the orchestra a bastion of modern music in the US.

Mitropoulos's association with the New York Philharmonic, which he first conducted in 1940, was hardly less successful artistically, though it was ultimately tarnished by critical hostility having more to do with his sexual orientation than his musical interpretations. From 1949, he served as the orchestra's co-conductor with Leopold Stokowski, then from 1951 as music director until, after a period of joint leadership with Leonard Bernstein in 1958, he "abdicated with joy" in favour of his protégé, supposedly to devote more time to opera. During his New York years, he was also a commanding presence at the Metropolitan.

As Sony Classical's massive new box set definitively demonstrates, Mitropoulos faithfully documented his eclectically wide-ranging repertoire on disc in Minneapolis and New York, even recording some favourite works in both cities. To cite a few highlights from the MINNEAPOLIS SYMPHONY years: there is the first-ever recording of Mahler's First Symphony (1940), which "can still be counted among the finest the work has received" (Gramophone); Tchaikovsky's Symphonies Nos. 4 (1940) and 2 (1946) as well as his First Piano Concerto with Arthur Rubinstein (1946) - "The soloist is in rare form, and this is an example of the grand manner in operation" (High Fidelity). Other symphonies for which Mitropoulos showed his special affinity in Minneapolis include the Borodin Second (1941; MusicWeb International: "The best performance of the Borodin symphony I've ever heard"), Schumann's Second (1940) and "Rhenish" (1947), the Prokofiev "Classical" (1940) and Franck D minor (1940) - "Mitropoulos infuses his reading with unbearable intensity" (Classical Notes).

Also reissued here are Mitropoulos's celebrated, incandescent Minneapolis readings of Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony (1947) - "An excellent interpretation . beautifully recorded, with a resonant, spacious quality . played with smooth, virtuosic effect" (Gramophone) - and The Isle of the Dead (1945); as well as Brahms's "St. Antoni" Variations (1942), Vaughan Williams's Tallis Fantasia (1945), Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin (1941) and Milhaud's Le Boeuf sur le toit (1945). We have Mitropoulos's fellow Busoni pupil Egon Petri as piano soloist in their teacher's arrangement of Liszt's Spanish Rhapsody (1940) and pianist Oscar Levant in concertos by Khachaturian (1950) and Anton Rubinstein (1952).

With the NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC, Mitropoulos conducts the epoch-making first recording of Berg's Wozzeck (1951) with Mack Harrell and Eileen Farrell - "It is difficult to conceive any other conductor having an equivalent grasp of the score; and Mitropoulos infused his knowledge and vitality into his soloists" (Gramophone); Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht, Erwartung with soprano Dorothy Dow (1951) and the first recording of his Violin Concerto, with Louis Krasner, Mitropoulos's erstwhile Minneapolis concertmaster (1952); Krenek's Symphonic Elegy (1951); and memorable Berlioz including an "almost hallucinatory" (Classical Net) Symphonie fantastique (1957) and excerpts from Roméo et Juliette (1952).

Included from New York are also Mendelssohn's "Scottish" and "Reformation" Symphonies (1953); Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony (1954), Pathétique (1957) - "Mitropoulos achieves some remarkable flexibility of phrase for his expressive purposes . The first chord in the Adagio lamentoso movement of this recording sounds as if the conductor had reached the hearts of every individual string player" (New York Times) - and First Suite (1954); Scriabin's Poème de l'extase and Promethée (1953); Shostakovich's Symphonies Nos. 5 (1952) and 10 (1954) - "Mitropoulos had a particular affinity for this symphony. He gave its Western Hemisphere premiere in 1954 . This recording conveys an exciting spontaneity" (High Fidelity), "Mitropoulos's pioneering account probes more deeply into the heart of this score than any of the recent newcomers" (Gramophone); Debussy's La Mer (1950) and Stravinsky's Petrushka (1951); excerpts from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet (1957) as well as that composer's Lieutenant Kijé and Kodály's Háry János suites (1956); Vaughan Williams's Fourth Symphony (1956) - "splendidly alert and unfailingly eloquent (nowhere more so than in the slow movement) . Mitropoulos's deeply felt interpretation won the enthusiastic approbation of the composer" (Gramophone) - and his Tallis Fantasia in the conductor's 1958 glorious stereo remake (BBC Music Magazine: "A marvel of fine string playing").

<
back to top