Here’s a list of ten recommended Giulini recordings that some of you asked for. In no particular order. All are available on Amazon.com. Click on the thumbnails for larger views of the covers. Giulini lovers: Please weigh in with some of your own suggestions in the comments section.
1. Bruckner: Symphony No. 2. Makes a (deservedly?) neglected work sound like a masterpiece. Vienna Symphony. Testament.
2. Carlo Maria Giulini: Artist Profile. Includes sizzling accounts of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 and Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” with the Philharmonia Orchestra. EMI Classics.
3. Carlo Maria Giulini: The Chicago Recordings. Includes roof-raising accounts of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 and the orchestral music to Berlioz’s “Romeo and Juliet” with the Chicago Symphony. EMI Classics.
4. Giulini in America. All of his purely symphonic recordings with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, including Beethoven’s Symphonies 3, 5 and 6 (the “Eroica” is among the best ever recorded), a stellar Schumann Third and Ravel’s “Mother Goose,” a specialty. Deutsche Grammophon.
5. Mahler: Symphony No. 9. Intense. Chicago Symphony. Deutsche Grammophon.
6. Verdi: “Rigoletto”. Act III will raise the hair on the back of your neck. With Cappuccilli, Cotrubas, Domingo, Vienna Philharmonic. Deutsche Grammophon.
7. Verdi: Requiem. Generally considered as the best ever recorded. With Christa Ludwig, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Philharmonia Orchestra. EMI Classics
8. Verdi: “Falstaff”. I was in the audience during the making of this live recording. Superb. A noble take on Verdi’s comedy, not without humor, though. The timing is impeccable. With Renato Bruson, Los Angeles Philharmonic. Deutsche Grammophon.
9. Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 40-41. Lyrical, Italianate, deeply felt. New Philharmonia Orchestra. London.
10. Rossini: Overtures. Meticulous, electric. Philharmonia Orchestra.
I’ll at least think about getting some of those – but whenever I say Verdi Requiem, people say “Toscanini.”
Did you ever see this, Lisa?
What about his recordings of Mozart’s Don Giovanni… probably the best ever. It certainly has an amazing cast. His Figaro is almost as good.
Agree with all of these, and would add from his Chicago years, his wonderful Brahms 4th and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. That particular Brahms recording has been compared to the Kleiber recording from Vienna. His Bruckner 9’s in both Chicago and later in Vienna are also monumental. Thank you for your inspiration on his Bruckner 2. I’ll agree that it’s unjustly neglected. Another fine Bruckner 2 is the Jochum/BPO from his DG set – perhaps the greatest Bruckner cycle ever.
Thanks, Bill. The Brahms 4 is included on The Chicago Recordings set, btw.
All great choices. I still remember the Rossini Overture album was my first Giulini album. I bought it when, I think, I was in 8th or 9th grade.
I would also cast a vote for the amazing Bruckner 8 with Vienna on DG.
The Schumann 3rd is my sleeper pick for unexpected favorite on the LA Phil collection. I smile whenever I listen to it.
Yeah, it’s a peach, CK.
The only recording I would add to your list is Dvorak Symphony No. 8 with the Chicago Symphony.
Alan Rich used to swear by Giulini’s recording of Dvorak’s 7th. I trust him, but I haven’t heard it.
Is there an early recording of the Dvorak 7th with Giulini? I have the later one with the Concergebouw and that’s OK, not his best. I agree with Bob on the 8th with Chicago. Also, Giulini’s late recording of the 8th with Concertgebouw is really gorgeous.
Yes, he recorded 7 with the London Philharmonic (for some reason) and 8 and 9 with the Philharmonia. Available in a cheapie double CD set from EMI.
I’ll add, of all things, a fab live recording on the BBC’s label of Britten’s glorious War Requiem, with Britten himself conducting the chamber orchestra.
If you had to recommend any of Giulini’s late recordings, particularly on Sony which ones would they be?
I’ll go with his recordings of the Mozart 40th and 41st. At first I didn’t like them at all, but now I think they’re really beautiful. I also like the Dvorak 8th coupled with Ravel’s Mother Goose. I haven’t heard any of the Beethoven or Schubert recordings.
Keith, I have to say that 1) I don’t know many of the late Sony recordings and 2) the ones I’ve heard I haven’t been overly impressed with. I feel that the La Scala Philharmonic wasn’t up to what Giulini was asking of them.
I remember liking a late Sinfonia Concertante (the one for winds) on Sony. Also, I’ve heard good things about the late Beethoven Violin Concerto recording, with Salvatore Accardo I think, but I haven’t heard it myself.
Two later recordings come to mind though, but both of DG. Faure’s Requiem with the Philharmonia (it can’t be beat) and a very interesting Franck D-minor with the Berlin Phil.
Of course the Brahms symphonies with Vienna are quite good (though very slow), as are his late Bruckner recordings on DG.
Of the Sony recordings, I would nominate Mussorgsky’s Pictures with the BPO, the Schubert Unfinished with the BRSO (a broader view of the first movement than in his recording with the CSO, but very dark and brooding, and followed by an exceptionally beautiful and quite flowing second movement ) and the Dvorak 7th with the RCO (where I think that Giulini’s serious and weighty approach suits the nature of the work more than in his recording of the 8th)
In relation to the Beethoven recordings with the La Scala Philharmonic, I like the 7th the most, one of the earliest recorded – even at very broad speeds Giulini still generates momentum and considerable excitement in the first and last movements, and the second movement, as you can imagine, is very deeply felt.
Great recommandations. One of my favourite recordings with Giulini is his LA Phil account of Brahms 1st Symphony. The outer movement are played with an unbelivable momentum and nerve. And the violin solist gives an soli which stands out from all other recordings done and which suits Giulini and the Orchestra perfectly. Pictures at an Exchibition played by Chicago is also a cornerstone from Giulini’s stay in America.