No collection of recordings from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's rich history can offer the listener a truly complete overview. But the present CD box set certainly comes closer than any before it. RCO 125 The Radio Legacy is a compilation of the seven part Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the four box sets devoted to the orchestra's chief conductors Willem Mengelberg, Eduard van Beinum, Bernard Haitink and Riccardo Chailly, and also featuring more recent recordings with Mariss Jansons. Drawing on the wealth of recordings in the Dutch public broadcasting network archives, the selection does justice to the unique history of the orchestra.
Repertoire, performance, conductors, soloists, and recording quality were the criteria which proved to be decisive. The compilers have worked 'with the awareness that the making of choices brings with it the duty to showcase as many aspects of this history as possible'. This set can thus be seen as an important supplement to the orchestra's musical legacy as reflected by the many releases on record labels over the years.
Included in the luxurious box set is 125 Years in Silent Pictures, a photo book featuring archival and specially made new photos capturing the orchestra's history from the very beginning until 2013. An index book focusing on composers, conductors and soloists will guide the listener through this vast collection of recordings. The Radio Legacy is a limited edition: no more than a thousand copies are available.
The 152 CD set will be released 25 November 2013 on the RCO Live label, catalogue number RCO13006. It's just one part of the orchestra's celebrations of its 125th anniversary this year, which has also included a world tour, visiting six continents, and giving seventy-one concerts at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The orchestra has also launched RCO Universe, an online application allowing listeners to enjoy the orchestra at any time, from anywhere in the world.
Posted: 30 October 2013
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