SOLTI · CHICAGO - The Complete Recordings
Decca celebrates one of the world's most prolific conductor-orchestra partnerships with a deluxe 108-CD box set marking both the 20th Anniversary of the passing of Sir Georg Solti and the 125th Anniversary of the founding of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 108 CDs presenting Solti's and the CSO's complete recorded legacy together: from their very first recording at Medinah Temple in March 1970 of Mahler's Fifth Symphony to their last at Orchestra Hall, Chicago in March 1997 of Shostakovich' Symphony No.15.
"[Chicago was] the happiest time of my professional life."
Sir Georg Solti
The Edition includes:
- 108 CDs chronologically presenting Solti's and the CSO's complete recorded legacy together
- Luxury 180-page hardback book in English and German, with dipped edges
- An original-jacket collection
- Foreword by Lady Valerie Solti
- Retrospectives by Yvonne Minton (mezzo-soprano), Humphrey Burton (broadcaster and author), Frank Villella (CSO Archivist) and Martha Gilmer (VP of Artistic Planning for CSO during Solti's tenure)
- Excerpt from "Chicago" from Solti's Memoirs "Solti on Solti"
- Many previously unpublished photographs from the recording sessions, orchestra archives plus facsimiles of Solti's original scores
- Includes all Grammy Award-winning recordings
SIR GEORG SOLTI & THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Sir Georg Solti was one of the twentieth century's most brilliant conductors and a leading figure of musical culture in Europe and the US. He studied piano, composition and conducting with Bartók, Dohnányi, Kodály and Weiner, made his concert debut as a pianist, and in 1937, Toscanini selected him as his assistant at the Salzburg Festival. He made his first recordings for Decca in 1947 and continued as an exclusive Decca artist for over half a century leaving a vast legacy of over 250 great recordings – including 45 complete operas.
Solti's remarkable partnership with the CSO began in 1954, when Solti first led the Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival. He returned to Chicago for guest engagements with the Lyric Opera in 1956, made his Chicago Orchestra Hall debut on December 9, 1965, and his first concerts as Music Director were in November 1969. Solti served as Music Director for 22 years (1969-1991) and Music Director Laureate for a further 7 years until his passing (1991-1997) and is credited with greatly extending and building the Orchestra's reputation worldwide – starting in 1971 with its first European tour.
Solti's recordings garnered many international honours including thirty-one Grammy® awards - more than any other recording artist - and twenty-four of those awards were for recordings with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. In addition, Solti received the first NARAS Trustee's Award in 1967 for the first complete recording of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen as well as the Academy's 1995 Lifetime Achievement Award. Highlights include: Wagner's Die Meistersinger, two complete Beethoven symphony cycles and Mahler's complete symphonies, including Das Lied von der Erde, the Bach Mass in B minor, and Berlioz' La Damnation de Faust.
Solti covered a repertoire of a breadth that few rivals can begin to match and none outshine, whether Handel's Messiah and Haydn's Creation, Berlioz's Damnation of Faust and Liszt's Faust Symphony, or masterpieces of the twentieth century like Schoenberg's Moses und Aron.
Solti often tackled works new to him, and with the CSO championed contemporary composers and premiered, among others, Martinů's Concerto for Violin No. 1, Del Tredici's Final Alice, Tippett's Symphony No.4 and Byzantium, and Lutosławski's Symphony No. 3. When he re-recorded repertoire, he was conscious that each interpretation represented his view at that particular period of his life, and always chose to radically rethink his interpretations.
Solti and the CSO built up a vast corpus of recorded repertory which stands as an extraordinary testament to their perfect musical marriage together. Solti's readings and the CSO's performances will be consulted by conductors and music-lovers for generations to come.