1. Barber, Samuel. Serenade, Op. 1 (c1929, arranged for strings c1944). Carter, Elliott. Elegy (c1943). Diamond, David. Rounds for String Orchestra (c1944). Fine, Irving. Serious Song-A Lament for String Orchestra (c1955). Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Gerard Schwarz, conductor. Marc J. Aubort and Joanna Nickrenz, record producers. Nonesuch DIGITAL D-79002 (c1980). 1st Label. New Disq Playing Grade 93/93. New Disq Visual Grade 96/96. Promotional Cover 94. $35.00. Recorded in the Ambassador Auditorium, Pasadena on April 2, 1980. This lithe, airy offering of modern string music is served well by digital technology; its sound is not self-consciously digital. **** Ex Harold Lawrence.
2. Barber, Samuel. Adagio for Strings, Op 11. Media's Meditation and Dance of Vengence, Op. 23 a. School for Scandal Overture, Op 5. Second Essau for Orchestra, Op. 17. New Yorker Philharmonic. Thomas Shippers, conductor. Odessey 33230 (c1975). Reissue Label of CBS 32 11 0006. Disq Playing Grade 93/93. Disq Visual Grade 95/95. Promotional Cover 96/94. $20.00. This is one of the original CBS audiophile collectibles. **** Ex Harold Lawrence.
3. Beethoven, Ludwig van. Fidelio, Op. 72 (c1805). James McCracken, Florestan. Brigit Nilsson, Leonore. Tom Krause, Pizarro. Kurt Boehme, Rocco. Graziella Sciutti, Marzelline. Others. Vienna State Opera Chorus. Vienna Philharmonic. Lorin Maazel, conductor. London OSA 1259 (c1964). 1st American Labels. Disqs Playing Grade 94/94 and 94/94. Disqs Visual Grade 96/96 and 96/96. Mr. Lawrence's October 1964 Hi Fidelity review clipping 94. Insert 98. 2 records. $20.00. Hi Fidelity reviewer, Conrad L. Osborne writes "This is . . . a breakneck Fidelio. . . . It opts for excitement. . . . from the point of Pizarro's "Er sterbe!" through . . . the duet "O namenlose Freude," Maazel drives his forces through roughly ten minutes which must stand as among the most exciting in recorded opera." ** Ex Harold Lawrence.
4. Brahms, Johannes. Liebeslieder Walzer, Op. 52. Neue Liebeslieder Walzer, Op. 65. Los Angeles Vocal Arts Ensemble. Armen Guzelimian and Raul Herrera, pianos. Nonesuch DIGITAL D-79008 (c1980). 1st Label. New Unplayed Disq Visual Grade 98/98. Insert 98. Promotional Cover 94. $35.00. This delightful, chattering music has always been a favorite of mine -- the production is propulsive and clear. **** Ex Harold Lawrence.
5. Bridge, Frank. "Sir Roger de Coverley" for String Orchestra. Britten, Benjamin. Simple Symphony for String Orchestra, Op.4. Delius, Frederick. Two Aquarelles (Eric Fenby, orchestrater.) Elgar, Edward. Introduction and Allegro for Strings with Quartet, Op. 47. Emanuel Hurwitz, 1st violin. Jose Luis Garcia, 2nd violin. Cecil Aronowitz, viola. Bernard Richards, 'cello. Purcell, Henry. Chacony for Strings in g (Benjamin Britten, arranger.) English Chamber Orchestra. Benjamin Britten, conductor. Decca SLX 6405 (c1969). Codes: ZAL-8816 1W 1 I JT / ZAL-8817-1W 2D U JT. 1st Label. Disq Playing Grade 93/93. Disq Visual Grade 94/94. Inner Sleeve 94. Cover 95. $250.00. A totally musical production, it is filled with thrilling string writing and virtuoso string playing. The recording was made at The Maltings in the late 1960s. (Harold Lawrence interviewed The Maltings redesigner Derek Sugden. "Let me ask you a question then about the Maltings. What do you think - can you identify the finest, in your opinion, the finest recordings made in the Maltings?" "Yes. There was a recording of English string music by Britten - it was absolutely stunning, and I remember that ...." "That was with Delius's Deux Aquarelles and ..." "Yes, and it had the Elgar Introduction and Allegro for Strings." (The complete interview is at Journal of Recorded Music 8. )*****(*)
6. Chausson, Ernest. Viviane, Op. 5 (c1882). Duparc, Henri. Lénore (c1869). Schmitt, Florent. La Tragédie de Salomé, Op. 50 (c1907 rev. c1911). Gloria Jennings, contralto. Women of the Ambrosian Singers. Philharmonia. Antonio de Almeida, conductor. British RCA Victor Red Seal SB 6834 (c1970). 1st English Label. Disq Playing Grade 93/93. Disq Visual Grade 94/94. Cover 95. $85.00. This is sensuous and exotic music with which Antonio de Almeida achieves really sensational results. This fine recording is an excellent introduction to these French Romantics. ***** Ex Harold Lawrence.
7. Couperin, François. 4 Concerts Royaux. 10 Nouveaux Concerts; Les Goûts-réünis. Thomas Brandis, violin. Aurèle Nicolet, flute. Heinz Holliger, oboe. Manfred Sax, bassoon. Laurenzius Strehl and/or Josef Ulsamer , Viola da gamba. Christine Jaccottet, harpsichord. Archiv 2723 046 (c1976). 1st Sample Labels. New Unplayed Disqs Visual Grade 98/98, 98/98, 98/98 and 98/98. Booklet 98. Sample Records Box 98. 4 records $100.00. **** Ex Harold Lawrence.
8. Gershwin, George. George Gershwin Song Book (c1932). Impromptu on Two Keys (c1924). Piano Playin' Jazzbo Brown (c1935). Merry Andrew (c1928). Promenade (c1936). Rialto Ripples (c1916). Three Preludes (c1926). Three-Quarter Blues. William Bolcom, piano. Nonesuch H-71284 (1973). 1st Label. New Unplayed Disq Visual Grade 98/98. Promotional Cover 94. $35.00. **** Ex Harold Lawrence.
9. Ives, Charles. Old Songs Deranged: Music for Theater Orchestra. Yale Theater Orchestra. James Sinclair, conductor. Lawrence Morton, record producer. Columbia Masterworks M 32969 (c1974). Codes: MAL-32969-2A A4 / MBL-32969-3C. 1st Label. Disq Playing Grade 93/93. Disq Visual Grade 95/95. Inner Sleeve 95. Promotional Cover 95. $150.00. In May 1975 a reviewer in Stereo Review offered "Here is . . . an album of thirteen first recordings for [Ives] beloved theater orchestra. . . . Purists may object, but Ives himself was no purist: the whole enterprise is quite within the bounds of his spirit and philosophy. . . . the sources of this material are various. . . [but] . . . all of this is very cleverly put together and played with genuine Ivesian spirit by students and alumni of the Yale School of Music. The recording is dry, clear, and a little tacky-sounding. It suits the music well enough that only a confirmed sonic sybarite will mind. Anyway, this is not a record for sybarites and purists: for the rest of us it is a delight." (This wonderfully strange record is hard to find.) *****(*) Ex Harold Lawrence.
10. Korngold, Erich. King's Row Suite (c1941). National Philharmonic. Charles Gerhardt, conductor. George Korngold, record producer. Chalfont DIGITAL Soundstream SDG 305 (c1979). 1st Label. Disq Playing Grade 94/94. Disq Visual Grade 95/95. Mr. Lawrence's review clipping 94. Insert 98. Album 96. $85.00. Recorded in Walthamstow Town Hall, London on July 25, 1979. This is the premier recording of the original score and is a very wide range record. ***** Ex Harold Lawrence.
11. Panufnik, Andrzej. Sinfonia Votiva (c1949). Sessions, Roger. Concerto for Orchestra (c1981). Boston Symphony. Seiji Ozawa, conductor. Harold Lawrence, record producer. Tony Faulkner, recording engineer. John Goldsmith, recording coordinator. Hyperion DIGITAL A 66050 (c1982). Codes: A-66050A 1 / A-66050 A2. 1st Label. Disq Playing Grade 93/93. Disq Visual Grade 94/94. Inner Sleeve 95 Cover 95. $150.00. Recorded in Symphony Hall, Boston on January 30, 1982 and issued to commemorate the Centennial of the Boston Symphony. Of this production a reviewer in Fanfare wrote "absolutely the finest orchestral recording ever heard in any format." This certainly is great phonography and is one of the most involving record productions that I've heard. (This is a Sony Soundstream recording; a process that Harold believes is, to this day, one of the finest recording techniques.) *****(*) Ex Harold Lawrence.
12. Pergolesi, Giovanni Battista. Concerti Armonica for Strings 1-6 (c1725-1740). Academy of St. Martins-in-the-Fields. Neville Marriner, conductor. Chris Hazell, record producer. Stan Goodall, recording engineer. Argo DIGITAL ZRDL 1002 (c1983). 1st Label. New Disq Playing Grade 93/94. New Disq Visual Grade 96/96. Inner Sleeve 95. Cover 98. $25.00. **** Ex Harold Lawrence.
Sergei. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 5 in G, Op. 55
(c1932). John Browning, piano. Boston Symphony. Erich Leinsdorf,
conductor. Weill, Kurt. Three Penny Opera Suite (c1928). Boston
Symphony Members. Peter Dellheim, record producer. Bernard Keville,
recording engineer. British RCA Victor Red Seal SB 6827 (c1970).
Codes: XRRS-1901-1K I G JV / XRRS-1902-1K I C JT. 1st British
Label. Disq Playing Grade 96/96. Disq Visual Grade 96/96. Inner
Sleeve 95. Cover 96. $150.00 The production of the Prokofiev concerto
is many things, masculine playing, powerful presentation, clean
sound. But, most of all, it is absolutely stunning phonography.
***** Ex Harold Lawrence.
14. Stravinsky, Igor. Rite of Spring (1913). Columbia Symphony. Igor Stravinsky, conductor. Columbia Masterworks MS 6319 (c1960). Codes: XXSM49384-1C 111 H / XXSM49385-1J 1X1H. 1st Label. Disq Playing Grade 93/93. Disq Visual Grade 94/94. Inner Sleeve 94. Cover 96. $250.00. This is an historic record and of it Harold Lawrence writes "In all of his prolific output, no work has surpassed Rite of Spring for originality and impact. Even today, in a virtuoso performance by a great orchestra, the music still has the power to shock -- to have you sitting literally on the edge of your seat. Its influence on the history of contemporary music is enormous, and is still being felt today. Pierre Boulez said that the work ' became a point of departure for a new concept of rhythm and esthetics.' I wonder how many conductors have studied this album while preparing for their own performances of the score." ***** Ex Harold Lawrence.
15. Ars Britannica: Old Hall Manuscript, Madrigals, Lute Songs. Pro Cantione Antiqua. Telefunken 6.35494 (c1980). 1st Label. New Unplayed Disqs Visual Grade 96/96, 98/98 and 98/98. Booklet 98. Mr. Lawrence's New York Times review clipping "Songs of the Middle Ages and Beyond" 90. Box 98. 3 records. $45.00. Peter G Davis, the Times reviewer, observes "'The Old Hall Manuscript'. . . are appropriately smooth as silk . . . [and] the lute songs [are] an elegantly stylized presentation of some delightfully civilized music." *** Ex Harold Lawrence.
16. Les Cris de Paris: Chansons de Janequin et Sermisy. Ensemble Clement Janequin. harmonia mundi FRANCE HM 1072 (c1981). 1st Label. New Disq Playing Grade 94/94. New Disq Visual Grade 96/96. Insert 98. Cover 96. $35.00. Long a favorite Renaissance chansons record of mine, this is clear, clean phonography. And, it is at the same time delightful and thrilling music. Of such music in his time, Rabelais describes a concert of "joyful musicians in a secret garden, surrounding a rampart of wineflasks, hams, pies and diverse, daintily dressed quails." *****(*) Ex Harold Lawrence.