The Guardian obituary I wrote on Sir Colin Davis is up and running online, so there's not much to add other than to note a few personal favourites among his performances, with a couple of photos from his last Proms season sent to me by the ever-marvellous Chris Christodoulou. Don't you just love the happy-respectful look above on the face of the young cellist from the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra? It's the perfect emblem of Sir Colin's unstinting work with budding players. And here's one from the very grown-up Beethoven Missa Solemnis he conducted that same summer of 2011.
We're assembling a line-up of tributes citing chapter and verse on The Arts Desk (16/4: it's now appeared with a roster of great names to draw attention away from the obsequies of a less universally loved and admired public figure), so I'll leave it at two first choices. Probably the tops for me among his live performances was a Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Proms performance of Beethoven's 'Eroica': standing in the arena, I could feel a bizarre sense of physical elevation, as if my feet were about to leave the ground . Next best thing on CD is the relatively early Beethoven 7 he recorded; I think it was my first experience of that dance-apotheosis.
The recording I finally took off the shelves to play today was the Dresden studio recording of Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel. What a dream cast: Edita Gruberova, Ann Murray, Gwyneth Jones (as the mother), Christa Ludwig (as the witch), Franz Grundheber, Barbara Bonney, Christiane Oelze. The whole thing just glows with that mellow Staatskapelle sound; to begin with those horns is quite a treat.
Sadly there don't seem to be any clips from the 1992 recording on YouTube. So I'll take the risk of sticking up the much more recent Royal Opera performance. It wasn't a production I especially cared for, and my idol Anja Silja is finally beyond the pale as the Witch, but you can just focus on Sir Colin conducting the Overture, which was my choice this morning. As for further listening, as Kenny Morrison in Dvora Lewis's office just said to me, 'there's a lot to celebrate'.