Ruggiero Ricci, violinist - 13 CDs [Decca]

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Lance
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Ruggiero Ricci, violinist - 13 CDs [Decca]

Post by Lance » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:45 pm

https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com ... US218_.jpg
Decca 482 7661, 13 CDs

Ruggiero Ricci (Roger Woodrow Wilson Rich) has always been one of the very special fiddlers for me. I've tried to gather everything he has recorded over the years, but it includes many labels, several of which were hard to find, even to this day. Nonetheless, given Universals takeover of the American Decca label, I was hopeful that one LP would have been remastered and hopefully would find it in this new box, just out. It was NOT included much to my chagrin and I don't know why. It contains some of the finest performances of Pablo de Sarasate's music I've ever heard with Brooks Smith at the piano [Smith frequently was pianist for Jascha Heifetz, also]. [Decca LP 710044, "Ricci Plays Sarasate"]

Nevertheless, this compilation, apparently remastered by Decca's Italian Branch, has come forth with this otherwise exquisite set that brings forth some material from Decca's five-CD set [475 105] issued a few years ago but adds substantially with material originally recorded by British- and American Decca. Lots of Paganini, Sarasate in early recordings with pianists Louis Persinger and Ernest Lush, major violin concertos, Vivaldi's Four Seasons, many Fritz Kreisler items with Brooks Smith, pianist, Achron, Bach, Elgar, Chopin, Bazzini, Brahms (Sonatas 2/3 with Julius Katchen pianist, 1956), Kroll, Lalo, Moszkowski, Prokofiev, Saint-Saens, Smetana, Richard Strauss, Suk, Vecsey, Weber, and Wieniawski.

A good thing I've kept my Decca LP mentioned above in mint condition! Ricci also made a number of outstanding recordings for American Columbia. Alas, they have never seen fit to come forth with an "edition" for Ricci.

Five stars all the way with an excellent booklet included. *****
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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Re: Ruggiero Ricci violinist - 13 CDs [Decca]

Post by Lance » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:57 pm

Regarding Sarasate's music as performed by Ruggiero Ricci on American Decca, I discovered that, while Decca Universal has not released this special album, all the music has been remastered from an apparent stereo LP disc. It includes all the Sarasate music with pianist Brooks Smith on the American Decca disc, it also contains the Carmen Fantaisie, Op. 25, and Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20 with the London Symphony, Pierino Gamba, conductor. Those were originally recorded in 1959. The balance from American Decca was recorded in 1961. All are studio recordings.

The label is Instituto Discografico Italiano (IDIS 6717), made in Italy very well remastered in Danilo Prefrumo at the Philip & Cyril Studio Vignate in Milano in January 2016. In my opinion, they have definitely fulfilled a need. One is never aware that the transfers came from an LP except for one tiny click that is irrelevant to the sound or music.

For me, this is very good news. I am still hopeful Decca will one day release this from the master tapes. [color]
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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mikealdren
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Re: Ruggiero Ricci, violinist - 13 CDs [Decca]

Post by mikealdren » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:51 am

Not sure how I missed this!

I have long loved the original LP of the Sarasate, in fact it's probably the best Sarasate disk I have (and I have a lot) and it was on my (now) very short list of great recordings that have not made it to CD. The Persinger recordings are nowhere near as good.

I bought the Italian CD transcription last year and it's ok but when I listen to the LP, I can't help feeling there's more to be gained. Strange it hasn't made it to CD before, I wonder whether Decca have mislaid the tapes?

Good to see they've included the Cincinnati Paganini 2/Saint Saens 1, one of his very best recordings but it's a shame they've put in the much reissued 1950 caprices and not the later and better stereo set.

For such a famous virtuoso, it's interesting that his best recordings seem to be from the late 50s and early 60s when he was in his 40s rather than his earlier years. He seems to have discovered a real freedom and flair at that time and his playing was also more accurate than earlier.

Lance
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Re: Ruggiero Ricci, violinist - 13 CDs [Decca]

Post by Lance » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:22 pm

I, too, felt the Italian transcription disc lacked in comparison to the original Decca stereo LP. American Decca's pressings were not always of the best quality, so insofar as their transfer to LP, some equalization for removal of any background noise took away some of the quality and tonal properties of Ricci's playing of the Sarasate. Could also be the tapes have been mislaid or deteriorated. Still my hopes are high the Decca/Universal will eventually release the disc themselves on CD. Many people I know wish they would.
mikealdren wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:51 am
Not sure how I missed this!

I have long loved the original LP of the Sarasate, in fact it's probably the best Sarasate disk I have (and I have a lot) and it was on my (now) very short list of great recordings that have not made it to CD. The Persinger recordings are nowhere near as good.

I bought the Italian CD transcription last year and it's ok but when I listen to the LP, I can't help feeling there's more to be gained. Strange it hasn't made it to CD before, I wonder whether Decca have mislaid the tapes?
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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mikealdren
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Re: Ruggiero Ricci, violinist - 13 CDs [Decca]

Post by mikealdren » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:04 am

I've seen CDs of the MCA Glory of Cremona recording on sale in the Decca label too but I must have missed them when new and they're far too expensive now. Unless they are re-released, I'll have to make do with my Lp.

Lance
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Re: Ruggiero Ricci, violinist - 13 CDs [Decca]

Post by Lance » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:02 pm

Me, too! Only have the LP. The CD, I think, came out in Holland, and as stated, carries a very high price. It probably isn't the kind of recording you will pick up often, so the LP will suffice for me. But Decca missed their chance (unless there is a sequel to the Ricci box, which I hope there is) to include these items in this otherwise remarkable Decca set. I don't know why they just don't release "The Complete" on this artist instead of piecemealing it.
mikealdren wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:04 am
I've seen CDs of the MCA Glory of Cremona recording on sale in the Decca label too but I must have missed them when new and they're far too expensive now. Unless they are re-released, I'll have to make do with my Lp.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

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