Gesualdo Renaissance: and early, revolutionary recording by Robert Craft, remastered and returned to international availability!

If you are a fan of Stravinsky, Varèse, and/or the Second Viennese school – Webern, Berg, and in particular Arnold Schoenberg – you likely recognize the name Robert Craft, a conductor best known as a champion of that esteemed group of composers. You may not be aware that he was also profoundly interested in renaissance- and baroque-era polyphony, particularly the music of Carlo Gesualdo.
Craft’s first pioneering recording of the Italian master’s madrigals, made before his long-term partnership with Columbia Masterworks, was made with a handful of Hollywood’s most gifted singers – including the young Marilyn Horne. The result of these independent studio sessions proved an important catalyst in the revival of interest in Gesualdo’s unique and revolutionary oeuvre, and a landmark recording at the dawn of “historically informed” early music performance practice.
Unavailable for over six decades, this recording has been restored and remastered by Urlicht AudioVisual and will be available on our sister label Toblach Ausgabe for streaming, sale on CD, and download in HD formats on February 18.
You can download the liner notes in .pdf here.

On Apple Music

On Qobuz

On Amazon

Kodály: Duo for Violin and Cello, Sonata for Solo Cello – Elmira Darvarova, János Starker

“Shortly after our joint performances of the Kodály Duo in Sofia and in Varna, I was able to leave Bulgaria in a daring escape, made possible by an administrative mistake. The communist passport officials erroneously had granted me exit documents for traveling to Germany, but despite quickly realizing their mistake and attempting to call me back to their office, they were just a bit late in their timing, and I managed to slip out of the country. From Germany I easily made it to America, where I had been invited to teach at Indiana University, as one of Josef Gingold’s assistants. ”
Elmira Darvarova

By arrangement with Urlicht AudioVisual, Toblach Ausgabe celebrates the countdown to the centenary of legendary cellist János Starker with the first in a series of releases, making available for the first time a live recording of Zoltán Kodály‘s formidable Duo for Violin and Cello featuring Starker with Bulgarian violinist Elmira Darvarova – a performance that took place days before her daring escape from behind the Iron Curtain in 1986.

This recording is coupled with a new remastering of Starker’s landmark 1950 recording of Kodály’s Sonata for Solo Cello, restored by Urlicht AudioVisual especially for this release.

• The Apple Lossless, WAV and FLAC versions are in 96kHz 24-bit high definition sound.
• Each download is delivered in a single .zip file.
• The CD edition can be ordered exclusively from Urlicht AudioVisual.

Toscanini Conducts Haydn

Three Haydn symphonies under the baton of the inimitable Arturo Toscanini, from the early years of the NBC Symphony Orchestra — now available in a greatly improved transfer!

Arturo Toscanini had already achieved a legendary reputation as a conductor and orchestra builder when David Sarnoff proposed the creation of a hand-picked orchestra of virtuoso players to be led by the venerable maestro. In 1937, it became the only permanent, dedicated radio orchestra in US history, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, which ruled the American radio waves until it was disbanded in 1954.
During a 1945 conversation with author Bernard H. Haggin, Toscanini stated that he considered Franz Joseph Haydn’s music to be on an even higher plane than Mozart’s! It therefore may come as a surprise that Toscanini only programmed eight of his symphonies, the Sinfonia Concertante, and movements from the string quartets as a conductor.
The present disc brings together rarities from the early years of the NBC Symphony Orchestra: Symphony No. 32 “Hornsignal” and Symphony No. 98, both dating from 1938, Symphony No. 99 from a 1941, and the Serenade from the Quartet in F Major, Op. 3 No. 5, attributed to Haydn but actually composed by Anton Hoffstatter. All of the selections have been remastered and restored by Urlicht AudioVisual.

The Music of Gustav Mahler: Issued 78s, 1903-1940

By arrangement with Urlicht AudioVisual, we are pleased to be the exclusive source for the lossless digital edition of “one of the most important Mahler issues in recent decades.”

“Many Mahler enthusiasts and specialists will doubtless possess a number of the recordings in this boxed set from earlier transfers on different labels, and so it may appear that the acquisition of this release will seem like unnecessary duplication. Nonetheless, I strongly urge them to investigate the contents as there may well be important first recordings of Mahler’s music which they do not have, and the quality of the transfers is in many ways easily the best in terms of releasing from those old 78rpm grooves more musical detail and the removal of a great deal of the inherent surface noise. In addition, the booklet accompanying this release is particularly informative, going way beyond the normal notes in imparting important information regarding the performance of Mahler’s music in the inter-war period particularly, information which is not readily available elsewhere. This collection of every known commercially issued Mahler recording from 1903-40 is one of the most important Mahler issues in recent decades and is very strongly recommended indeed.”

— Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review, Dec. 2013


Epic Mahler Box-set… Excellent transfers and exhaustive notes complete a valuable issue.

— Rob Cowan, Gramophone, January 2014


“[Ward] Marston has been at work [transferring Oskar Fried’s acoustic recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2] again, and he has produced a notably clearer and fuller sound than before. …

“I have compared the [Bruno Walter] transfers with those on EMI/Warner’s recent Walter collection (6 79026-2)… the new Symphony No. 9 has a little more warmth and presence. …

“There is also a Das Lied potpourri and an arrangement of a Wunderhorn song played by the Dol Dauber Salonorchester. Both are strangely convincing. One disc that needs to be mentioned is of the “Urlicht” from the Second Symphony, coupled with one of the Rückert Lieder, sung by the contralto Sara Charles Cahier. She was a member of the Vienna Hofoper between 1907 and 1911, and performed under Mahler’s baton shortly before he lef his post as music director. She also sang in the first performance of Das Lied von der Erde. At the time of the 1930 recording she was 60, but she still sings affectingly. …

A fascinating and most valuable set, and it is supported by a very informative 50-page English language essay.

Alan Sanders, Classical Recording Quarterly, Winter 2014


“Mahler will always be a big deal to me, which means I never tire of learning more about him and hearing more interpretations of his work. And that is why I want to make sure you know about a collection from Urlicht AudioVisual — ‘The Music of Gustav Mahler: Issued 78s, 1903-1940′.

“This set of eight compact discs is indispensable to serious Mahler fans. Of course, the most serious will already have the Bruno Walter-conducted items and may have tracked down a lot of the more obscure material already. But a lot of us will find many a fresh treasure — or curio (the Fourth Symphony recorded by a Tokyo orchestra in 1930, for example).

“And, besides, it’s great to have everything gathered together in a neat package, all sensitively transferred (by Ward Marston, Mark Obert-Thorn and Charles Martin), with highly detailed and illuminating notes by Sybille Werner and the set’s producer Gene Gaudette. …

“There are marvels of interpretive nuance that emerge throughout the set, despite dated sound and some less-than-stellar orchestral playing here and there. Today’s performers could learn an awful lot from studying this music-making.

— Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun, July 7, 2014


BEST OF 2014: “This impressive collection of early — very early — Mahler recordings includes symphonies led by the likes of Bruno Walter, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Eugene Ormandy and Willem Mengelberg, often in interpretations more willful and changeable than we are used to today. Memorable weirdness comes in the form of dance-band arrangements of tunes from “Das Lied von der Erde” and “Des Knaben Wunderhorn.”
– Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times, December 1, 2014


  • The most comprehensive collection ever assembled of Mahler’s music as issued on 78s between 1903 and 1940 — every such recordinglisted in Péter Fülöp’s Mahler Discography
  • New transfers by Ward Marston and Mark Obert-Thorn
  • Detailed notes on the music, the recording artists, and revelatory information about performances of Mahler’s music prior to World War II by Sybille Werner
  • Full texts and translations

The Music of Gustav Mahler: Issued 78s
Urlicht AudioVisual UAV-55980
Available for download in FLAC and iTunes-ready Apple Lossless formats.

Walter Conducts Mahler — Symphony No. 2

Bruno Walter’s triumphant return to Vienna — now available in a greatly improved transfer!

Bruno Walter is without doubt the most famous and acclaimed of Mahler’s disciples. He fled Austria in the face of the 1938 Anschluß — and returned to Vienna a decade later to give a glorious performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” with the Vienna Philharmonic— an intense, passionate performance that provides a far different interpretation to his famous but comparatively objective early stereo recording with the New York Philharmonic a decade later. Charles Martin’s new restoration corrects several audio issues, including incorrect pitch, that have impaired all previous releases of this landmark performance.  Available from Qobuz.

Mitropoulos Conducts Mahler — Symphony No. 9

The elusive, legendary performance of 2 October 1960 — now available in greatly improved sound!

Dimitri Mitropoulos focused on the music of Gustav Mahler during his last years. His stunning live performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 with the Vienna Philharmonic from October 1960 was made a month before his death, and is now available in an eminently listenable 24-bit restoration that abates and remedies serious audio problems that marred previous issues. This release is also available from HDTracks.