Collins Classics is a highly respected classical label formed by Pinnacle Entertainment in 1989 and now owned by Phoenix Music International. Featuring recordings from renowned London orchestras including the London Philharmonic, London Symphony and Consort of London, Collins Classics' catalogue covers a wide range of musical works from Bach to Britten and Shostakovich to Sibelius. The label’s 130 albums form a small yet important part of recorded music history.
Picture yourself on a cold November evening in 1930s Leningrad. November 21st 1937; to be precise. The bitter wind bites at your skin whilst snow falls in a cascade of ethereal beauty. It’s the night of Dmitri Shostakovich’s return to musical extolment and all is resting upon his newest work, Symphony No.5 in D Minor.
As Yevgeny Mravinsky lifts the baton, he lifts with it the weight of Russia. With the Soviet regime reaching an unprecedented level of power, it’s more than just Shostakovich’s reputation resting upon this work. He has two options; to conform to the powers above or to liberate the people below…
Now undeniably one of the most respected works in the classical canon, it’s no surprise that, with Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Shostakovich did both. Receiving tremendous acclaim from the likes of Tolstoy himself and a standing ovation lasting over some thirty minutes, the piece became viewed as ‘a Soviet artist's creative response to just criticism’ whilst moving the millions it was...
Although Sibelius’ Karelia Suite may not be his most technical composition, it is certainly one of the late Finnish composer’s most authentic and, therefore, publically beloved. With an underlying air of patriotism and conquest, the suite’s triumphant orchestration came to define the young composer as a prodigy of his time.
So it’s not surprising that, in a similar yet more affirmative comparison to Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, ‘you couldn’t hear a single note of the music’ as ‘everyone was up on their feet cheering and clapping’ when the piece débuted at Helsinki’s Imperial Alexander University.
Much the same can be said for last night’s recital at the Albert Hall as part of the BBC’s 2017 Prom series. With the auditorium suspended in perfect silence, it was only the last stroke of John Storgård’s baton that managed to slice through the tension and send the crowd into a rapture of praise and applause.
Following this was an astounding performance of Edvard Grieg’s renowned incidental...
There hopefully won’t be any riots breaking out at the Albert Hall tomorrow night. However, with Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring causing such scenes during its inaugural recital at Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Élysées back in 1913, security will be sure to have their wits about them!
Performing the piece as part of this year’s BBC Proms series will be the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. With extreme experimentations in tonality, metre, rhythm and dissonance, the work is an undeniably challenging piece for even the most practiced musicians. Thus, through “scattering the elements of musical language that they could never again be put together as before”, it’s no surprise The Rite of Spring is considered as one of the 20th Century’s most influential classical works.
Tickets for tomorrow’s Prom are available to buy here. In the meantime, why not stream or download Collins Classic’s 1989 recording of the London Symphony Orchestra performing Stravinsky’s epic ballet come symphonic...
As Ludwig Van Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio is arguably one of the German composer’s most unique overtures.
Composed as an effort to mark movements of great social and political change throughout nineteenth century Europe, the piece has grown to become a quintessential aspect of both traditional and contemporary culture.
From its initial recital at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien through to being the first opera performed in Berlin following World War II, Fidelio has a rich and vibrant concert history.
As the promenaders start to line the streets that twist and turn around London’s Albert Hall, it can only mean one thing. Prom season has officially begun. Whether you’ll be comfortably seated in a luxurious Loggia box or listening along at home on BBC Radio 3, Collins Classics will be here to guide you throughout the whole extravaganza.
Although the first baton was officially lifted last Friday, our bows have been eagerly drawn in anticipation for today’s recital of Berlioz’s ‘Symphonie Fantastique’. Performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under upcoming conductor Joshua Weilerstein, the vigour, vibrancy and vivacity of the renowned Romantic’s composition will undoubtedly flood every last crevasse of the auditorium.
Now, if you cast your mind back, you might remember the distinguished rendition of this very symphony recorded by Louis Frémaux and the London Symphony Orchestra exclusively for Collins. Nonetheless, whilst that was close to some thirty years ago, the same electricity and co...