Andre Previn: 10 indelible records

A sampling of 60 studio years.

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    • Yes, the one with London Symphony is the best ever. He recorded it 3 times, I think but the version with LSO is fantastic.

  • I’ve long thought Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Symphony #3 (Pastoral) is one of the most unappreciated and misunderstood pieces of music by anyone. It is an incredibly moving masterpiece.

    Title notwithstanding, how anyone can not hear that it is a deeply felt elegy is beyond my comprehension.

    • I have the RCA LP from the 1970s of this recording. On the cover is a picture of a teapot with scenes from the English countryside. So, even the record company didn’t understand it.

  • Let me add to this list an absolutely wonderful, and rather unknown, recording from his discography. “Duet,” recorded with Doris Day in 1962, is one of the most beautiful albums of its kind. Don’t avoid it because of Ms Day: she’s not in ‘Que sera sera’ mode, but is at her most sophisticated and elegant. Clips are on YouTube.

    • Glad you mentioned this album, which I have as both LP and CD, it’s a gem, and Mrs Day’s singing is glorious. It features samples of Previn’s songwriting, especially the delightful “Yes” (lyrics by his then-wife Dory).

  • Ah, that Rachmaninov 2nd symphony. Brings back forty year old teen LP memories. I was deeply impressed back then, and am again. Beautiful.

  • One of the best recordings ever from Previn is, in my opinion, the lecture of l’enfant et les sortileges by Maurice Ravel. By the LSO. Also recording-technically phenomenal … (EMI)

    • Was he heck! Listen to the 1970 Proms Walton 1 linked to above. It’s on the same ground plan as the (superb) 1966 studio recording but with everything tightened up to stunning effect.

  • He made a lot of great recordings, but my absolute favorite is the Britten Sinfonia da Requiem and the Peter Grimes interludes and Passacaglia. Stunning playing and stunning sound, LSO EMI.

    • Yes – and just listen to that live Proms version from 1970! It’s like the studio version turned up to 11. Must have been the most thrilling concert imaginable. I had prickles all over listening to it yesterday. Brilliant on every level.

  • Previn’s 1977 recording of Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony still holds up well, and on most accounts was certainly not eclipsed by Rattle on the same label in 1992.

  • Could you not have provided basic details about each album rather than simply an mp3? Who’s playing Rach 3?

  • I seem to recall a Belshazzar’s Feast recording that was quite convincing. I always had the impression that early in his career someone was trying to market him as the next Bernstein. The evidence suggests it would be difficult to find 2 more different personalities albeit talented and articulate musicians. At the end of the day he should have avoided the LAP.

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