GARY BERTINI EDITION - The Cologne Broadcasts GARY BERTINI EDITION - The Cologne Broadcasts - Berlioz / Ravel / Debussy - Gary Bertini (Conductor) - Martha Argerich (Piano) - Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra - 3-SACD Box-Set - Capriccio C7065

This is a treasure wrapped up in a bargain that should not be overlooked by anyone even vaguely interested in some of the masterworks of the French repertoire.

Gary Bertini (1927-2005), one of the best and it seems one of the most under-appreciated conductors of the 20th century, has just had some of his live concert recordings of the French greats, captured during his tenure as principal conductor of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, neatly re-packaged and re-issued together in a 3-Disc box-set by the people at Capriccio. Some of the highlights of the set are the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, the Ravel Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2 and Piano Concerto in G major with none other than Martha Argerich at the keyboard, and Debussy's La Mer. All of these readings are marked by this conductor's fastidious attention to the music's direction, broad overview of the music's orchestral palette, and sharp grasp of the music's drama. After all, it is not an overstatement to say that his cycle of the Mahler Symphonies, recorded with the same orchestra, is one of the best and most consistent sets on the market today. These recordings gathered together in this collection, date from 1985 to 1994, and in this SACD remastered issue sound as good as ever.

Like mentioned above, this is Christmas come early for those who know the value of these neglected recordings, and for anyone for that matter who appreciates the thrill of a great conductor and his orchestra captured live doing what they do best.

Jean-Yves Duperron - September 2010