What are YOU listening to today?

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Guitarist
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Guitarist » Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:27 pm

In honor of what would have been Schnittke's 80th birthday today. The 5th Symphony has absolutely shattering climaxes--I'd love to hear it live sometime--no recording can do them justice, but this one makes a brave effort.

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josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:11 pm

maestrob wrote:
josé echenique wrote:
maestrob wrote:Image

I have other Stenhammer recordings of other repertoire: this one beats them by a mile. Fine repertoire, fine conducting by Christian Lindberg, this is an outstanding release of rare material. Enjoy!
The Stenhammar Serenade is gorgeous, Neeme Jarvi has recorded it twice, the first time also for BIS. He is the only one so far (I believe) to include a movement that Stenhammar later discarded, does Lindberg include it too?
Not sure. Lindberg's version of the Serenade includes five movements, though, and I can't find any mention in the notes about a discarded movement.

Sean: Thanks for the suggestion. I'll investigate further....... :D

There was a "Reverenza" movement, second in the original design, later discarded. Nice enough, but Stenhammar himself eliminated it.

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:42 am

I really am delighted that I had the wisdom to acquire the Zinman Symphony box set.

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Franz Schubert
Symphony No. 3 & 4

Tonhalle Zurich Orchestra
David Zinman conducting.


I had this cd on repeat play this afternoon. The performance of the Third is rather special.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

RebLem
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:29 am

In recent days, I have been listening to the following:

Complete RCA Toscanini recordings, Volume 40. NBC Symphony recordings.
Waldteufel: Skaters Waltz, Op. 183 (6:44), rec CH (Carnegie Hall) 1945 | Leopold Mozart: Kindersymphonie, aka Toy Symphony (9;31), rec. 1941, Studio 8H | Johann Strauss II: Trisch-Trasch Polka, rec. CH 1941; Blue Danube, Op. 314, rec. Studio 8H, 1941-2 | Franz von Suppe: Poet and Peasant Overture (9:13), rec. 8H, 1943 | Ponchielli: La Gioconda: Dance of the Hours (9:35), rec. CH, 1952 | Paganini: Moto perpetuo, Op. 11 (4:38), arr. by AT, rec. 8H, 1939 | J.S. Bach: Orch. Suite 3, S. 1068: Air on the G String (4:53), rec. CH, 1946 | Weber: Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65 (7:50), rec. CH, 1951 | Glinka: Spanish Over. 1: Jota aragonesa (7:49), rec. 8H, 1959)

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The Toscanini CD is a mostly delightful collection of encores, bon bons, and pops concert pieces. Nothing very profound here. Some folk of a certain age will recognize the Dance of the Hours as the tune in the comedy song, "Hello, Muddah, Hello Faddah!" The crude little Leopold Mozart piece will demonstrate why the author was so in awe of his son, who was an infinitely better composer than his father.

I'm not quite sure what to say about the Shostakovich. The first movement of the 5th sounds pretty MOR. One hears, through both pieces, flashes of insight here and there, but I do not detect any consistent view expressed for either piece, despite that fact that Casetani studied with Kondrashin at the Moscow Conservatory, who did, in my opinion, the best recordings of these two works. Also excellent are the Maxim Shostakovich recordings. One recording of the Fifth Symphony I admire greatly which no but me knows about is one by Klaus Tennstedt conducting the Munich Phil., coupled with Janacek's Four Lachnian Dances on a label called Weitblick.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
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"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:59 pm

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Jennifer Pike is an artist new to me: Amazon reviewers give this recording 4 stars out of five. While Andrew Davis is not my favorite conductor, his lyrical approach to the Sibelius Violin Concerto is intriguing, if not always successful. The other repertoire on the disc is similarly served. Not a great disc, but a good one. For a better version of the Violin Concerto, look for Oistrakh's Russian stereo version: white hot!

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:08 pm

[font=trebuchet ms]In recent days, I have been listening to the following:

CD 3 of the 11 CD Sony set of Pierre Boulez's recordings some of the music of Arnold Schoenberg.
1. The Lucky Hand, Op. 18, a drama with music (20:34) | 2. Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31 (19:21) | 3. Transfigured Night, Op. 4 (1943 version for string orchestra) (28:35)--1, 2. BBC Sym. Orch. 3. NYPO. 1. BBC Singers, Siegmund Nimsgern, bass.

All of these performances present beautiful and persuasive cases for these works.

H. K. Gruber : Concerto for Trumpet "Ariel" (1998-99) (25:49), tr. 1, 2--Trumpet in C, Piccolo Trumpet in B FlatCow Horn in C, and Vocal, rec. 4/2004 | Peter Eötvös: Jet Stream (2002) (21:39), tr 3, Trumpet in B Flat, rec 2/2005 | Mark-Anthony Turnage: Concerto for Trumpet "From the Wreckage" (2004-6) (14;59), tr 4, Trumpet in C, Piccolo Trumpet in B Flat, Flugelhorn, rec. 11/2005--Gothenbburg Sym. Orch., Peter Eötvös, cond., Håkan Hardenberger, trumpets and other solo instruments --DGG

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The Gruber and Turnage concerti are world premiere recordings. I suggest you read the review by Victor Carr, Jr. from ClassicsToday.com @ http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... _id=141738

One thing I can say for sure--this CD is a good demonstration record for a first rate sound system.
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Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

Guitarist
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Guitarist » Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:47 pm

I received this set today and began with the "Hammerklavier" Sonata--magnificent!

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and this classic recording:

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Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:00 pm

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Joseph Haydn
Symphony No. 82, 83 & 84

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Bruno Weil conducting.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:01 pm

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Anton Dvořák
Symphony No. 5

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Mariss Jansons conducting.

This is a marvellous performance of the Fifth.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:02 pm

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Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 5

New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein conducting.

This performance was recorded in 1959, it is astonishingly good.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:40 pm

Image
Franz Joseph Haydn
Symphony No 82, 83 & 84

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Sigiswald Kuijken conducting.


This is my choice as this year's stocking filler; spread the gospel I say: give the gift of music. This is a lovely, readily available and affordable introduction to the beauty of Haydn's music. I love it.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:51 pm

Seán wrote:Image
Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 5

New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein conducting.

This performance was recorded in 1959, it is astonishingly good.
Sean: So glad you're discovering one of my favorite discs that I've known since it was first released. Bernstein's tempo in the last movement of V was actually the idea of a obscure film conductor ten years earlier that was approved by Shostakovich as an alternate choice, and it works very well. (For what's in the score, try Rozhestvensky). Brilliant recording. There is also a DVD of Bernstein in Tokyo in 1979, the first commercial digital recording by Sony: it too is magnificent.

These recordings demonstrate why Bernstein remains one of the greats.

Now try VII..........

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:00 am

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This is currently my favorite Messiah of the HIP crop: Beautifully sung, energetically conducted, with an overall conception and conviction that convinced me of the validity of HIP thinking (this from a veteral of nearly 100 performance in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher/Philharmonic Hall. Bravi tutti!

scififan
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by scififan » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:10 pm

Seán wrote:Image
Franz Joseph Haydn
Symphony No 82, 83 & 84

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Sigiswald Kuijken conducting.


This is my choice as this year's stocking filler; spread the gospel I say: give the gift of music. This is a lovely, readily available and affordable introduction to the beauty of Haydn's music. I love it.
Great Recommendation!
Thank You! :D

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:53 am

scififan wrote:
Seán wrote:Image
Franz Joseph Haydn
Symphony No 82, 83 & 84

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Sigiswald Kuijken conducting.


This is my choice as this year's stocking filler; spread the gospel I say: give the gift of music. This is a lovely, readily available and affordable introduction to the beauty of Haydn's music. I love it.
Great Recommendation!
Thank You! :D
You are most welcome. I am glad to be of help to a fellow Irishman. :wink:
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:14 pm

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Honeck is a fine conductor, with excellent musical instincts. I hope he goes far, because this and other albums I've heard with his Pittsburg forces have proven to be very satisfying. The Dvorak is well-paced and idiomatic, and the suite from Janacek's Jenufa is a standout. Highly recommended, even if the recording is a bit close-miked. Pittsburg is not the world's finest orchestra, but here they compare well to some more prominent ensembles.

RebLem
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:31 pm

In recent days, I have been listening to the following:

1) Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) (63:12)--Fritz Reiner, cond. Chicago Sym. Orch. with Maureen Forrester, contralto and Richard Lewis, tenor. Recorded 9 NOV 1959 in Orchestra Hall, Chicago, presented here as a newly remastered Hybrid Superaudio CD.

My favorite performance of this work is the Bruno Walter, Julius Patzak, Kathleen Ferrier recording from the 1950's. Bruno Walter didn't like it at all, and re-recorded it later. That probably had more to do with the emotional trial of the recording than with a detached assessment of the performance, because Ferrier was dying of cancer at the time and broke down in tears several times during the recording sessions, particularly during the Abschied (Farewell), which is by far the longest movement of the work.

This recording by Reiner is my second favorite, mostly because of the contributions of Reiner and, especially, Maureen Forrester, who was one of the great low female voices of all time, the only such singer, in my opinion, who sometimes rivals Janet Baker.

2) A CD of solo and duo piano music by Henri Dutilleux on ECM New Series 2105. Robert Levin, the principal pianist, is accompanied by Ya-Fei Chuang in the one work for piano duet here.

Tr. 1 A little nonsensical air (1981) (1:33)
Tr. 2-4. Sonate (1946-8) (24:22)
Tr 5-6 2 Excerpts from Au gre des ondes (The Airwaves) (1946) (5:97)
Tr. 7. Blackbird (1950) (1:31)
Tr. 8. All roads lead to Rome (1961) (1:32)
Tr. 9. Resonances (1965) (2:10)
Tr. 10-14. Figures des Resonances (1950/76) (8:28) * for two pianos
Tr. 14. Mii-prelude en eventail (1987) (0:42)
Tr. 15-17. 3 Preludes (14:31)
Tr. 18- Bergerie (1945) (1:06)
Tr. 19-24. Au gre des ondes (6 Petite Pieces for Piano [Along the Waves]) (12:58)

Dutilleux' piano works sound like a very pleasant little war was going on in Dutilleux' heart. On the one hand, he wants to compose uncompromisingly dissonant, modern works, but, OTOH, he has a delightful and absolutely irrepressably lyrical bent. The tension between these two tendencies make this a fascinating album, one of the most interesting albums of solo piano music I have ever encountered. Most of these works, as you can see from the timings, are very short works, many even shorter than your average Top 40 song.

Many of these works have something in common with Haydn symphonic works. They seem constructed in sentences. You don't hear, in many of them, a continuous wash of music. You get one short sentence, then a pause, then a second sentence, and so on. Most of these sentences are constructed with a simple melodic line with a little flourish near the end. So, it seems to me that these works, most of them, are etude-like--suitable for, say, beginning piano students toward the end of their first year of study. (I hope Donald reads this.)

These works are absolutely charming. Everyone will love them, and I think piano teachers should take a listen, especially, with a view to working these pieces into their pedagogies.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

RebLem
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:34 pm

Since my last report earlier today, I have been listening to the following:

Mahler: Sym 1 in D Major (52:08)--Michael Gielen, cond. SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg. Rec. 11-13 JUNE 2002 Konzerthaus, Freiburg. hanssler classics. CD 1 of a 13 CD set of all the Mahler Symphonies.

This is an excellent peformance which emphasized the relaxed lyricism in Mahler's music.

Borodin: String Quartet 1 in A Major (1979) (39:21) | Piano Quintet in C Minor (1862) (26:08)--Moscow String Quartet--Alexander Detisov, Alexander Gelfat, violins, Igor Suliga, viola, Alexander Osokin, cello and Alexander Mndoiantz, piano, in the Quintet. CD 1 of a 3 CD Brilliant set of all the Borodin chamber music.

These are lovely, lyrical works with interesting developments, especially in the quartet.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

Wallingford
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Wallingford » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:40 pm

Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet (Ozawa)
Chopin's Nocturnes (Godowsky)
Chopin's Sonata #2 (Godowsky)
Alfven's Midsommarvaka (Fjeldstad)
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Wallingford
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Wallingford » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:41 pm

Handel's Messiah (Bernstein)
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

scififan
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by scififan » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:26 pm

I continue my tour through the Haydn symphonies--mainly through the complete Dorati set. This time it was no.25 in C Major. It is a short three movement piece with some drama in the first movement. The "Lamentation" work is next and I expect it will be more intense.

I an thinking seriously of investing in the Brilliant Classics Set of the complete works of Haydn. I have noticed that the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra with Fischer is well reviewed in the Gramophone Guide and this is the version included in the complete Haydn.

John F
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by John F » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:00 pm

You really don't want the complete works of Haydn, and I'll bet the Brilliant set doesn't include them all. Haydn's trios for baryton, viola, and cello, 123 of them, composed because Prince Esterhazy for some reason played the baryton, are the dullest and most lugubrious music he ever composed; just one of them is more than enough.
John Francis

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:40 pm

scififan wrote:I continue my tour through the Haydn symphonies--mainly through the complete Dorati set. This time it was no.25 in C Major. It is a short three movement piece with some drama in the first movement. The "Lamentation" work is next and I expect it will be more intense.
The Dorati/Philharmonia Hungarica is a very fine set. It is great to have a recording of all symphonies.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

Guitarist
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Guitarist » Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:38 pm

She humanizes this work rather than treating it as an exercise in counterpoint through majestic playing. Good sound--perhaps a trifle distant/reverberant.

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Guitarist
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Guitarist » Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:32 pm

Perhaps not quite in the same league as similar works by Corelli or Handel, but they are engaging enough.

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Wallingford
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Wallingford » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:25 pm

Tchaikovsky's Pathetique
R.Strauss' Alpine Symphony

......both conducted by the great, forgotten Oskar Fried
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

ContrapunctusIX
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:35 pm

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Beethoven: Quartets Opp. 130-132
Juilliard Quartet
Sony

An amazing set that belongs in every chamber music lover's collection.

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:37 pm

So what does the lad do on Beethoven's birthday? Listens to Bach, that's what:

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Johann Sebastian Bach
BWV 91; BWV 110; BWV 121 & BWV 40


This is FANTASTIC music, words cannot do it justice, it is perfect!
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

karlhenning
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by karlhenning » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:54 am

Wallingford wrote:Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet (Ozawa)
With the SFSO? I have that one, too.

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Guitarist
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Guitarist » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:35 pm

With this combination of musicians, one could hardly go wrong! The sound is great, too.

Image

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by karlhenning » Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:25 am

Guitarist wrote:With this combination of musicians, one could hardly go wrong! The sound is great, too.

Image
Yes, a beauty!

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:39 am

karlhenning wrote:
Guitarist wrote:With this combination of musicians, one could hardly go wrong! The sound is great, too.

Image
Yes, a beauty!

Cheers,
~k.
The last time I heard Colin Davis conduct was in NY and he did the Elgar concerto with Znajder, riveting, gorgeous performance.

scififan
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by scififan » Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:07 am

I've decided to listen again to a period recording of Der Messias sung in German and using the Mozart arrangement. it is on EMI Classics CDS 7 54353 2. Here's a good review of it.

http://www.mundoclasico.com/ed/document ... 058db46bfa

I would add that my recording does indeed have a full libretto in English, German, and French.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:33 am

Since my last report, I have been listening to the following:

Shostakovich: Sym. 7 in C Major, Op. 60 "Leningrad" (1941) (73:35)--Oleg Caetani, cond., Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. Rec. live Auditorium di Milano, Italy, DEC 2000.

First of all, I must say something you already know if you have seen my reviews of other performances of this work: I like this symphony a lot more than most people do. Certainly, I am not as contemptuous of it as Bartok was. And this is one of the great performances of this work. The first movement is usually performed in one of two ways. In one, perhaps best exemplified by Leonard Bernstein's two recordings, the march tha begins about five minutes into the movement, describing the beginning days of the German invasion, is jaunty and pleasant; people are hoping to be liberated from Stalin. But they soon realize that these people are even worse than Stalin, and it hits everyone as a sudden, blinding epiphany. In the other type, exemplified by Kondrashin and Maxim Shostakovich, it becomes a gradually dawning realization; hopes fade reluctantly, but it becomes evident that the Germans are definitely not interested in liberation. Caetani's performance is of this latter type, which seems to be gaining in popularity these days. The third movement is achingly lyrical, and they symphony ends triumphantly. This is a live recording and that fact is suddenly realized at the end with boisterous applause. In all these recordings so far, the applause comes as a surprise because the quietude of the audience until then is almost superhuman. And, this is extraordinarily well recorded as well.

Vol. 39 of the 72 Volume (some with multiple CDs) set of the complete Toscanini RCA recordings, and I am working backward, so you know I have 38 volumes left to go. On this single CD are NBC Symphony performances from 1945-1953, mostly of short pieces that usually go as either the first work on a program or as encores and the very end.

Tr. 1-3......Ravel: Daphnis & Chloe: Suite 2 (3 Mvts) (16:09), rec. 21 NOV 1949 in CH.
Tr. 4.........Dukas: The Sorcerer's Apprentice (10:11), rec. 19 MAR 1950, Studio 8H.
Tr. 5.........Saint-Saens: Danse Macabre, Op. 40 (7:29), rec. 1 JUN 1950, Studio 8H.
Tr. 6.........Berlioz: Le Carnaval romain Oueverture, Op. 9 (8:31), rec. 19 JAN 1953, CH
Tr. 7.........Franck: Psyche: Psyche et Eros (8:37), rec. 7 JAN 1952, CH.
Tr. 8.........Berlioz: Romeo & Juliette, Op. 17: Sherzo: La reine Mab (8:12), rec. 10 NOV 1951, CH.
Tr. 9.........Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust: Rakoczy March (4:09), rec. 2 SEP 1948, Studio 8H.
Tr. 10.......Thomas: Mignon Overture (8:26), rec. 29 JUL 1952, CH.

Most of these works are blockbuster crowd pleasers which often appear on the programs of crossover style pops concerts. If you are looking for profundity, you are not likely to find it here. If you want pieces that make you squirm in your set and make you want to get up and march or dance around the room, this is a CD for you!
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:02 am

Since my last report earlier today, I have been listening to the following:

CD 4 of a 11 CD Sony set of works by Schoenberg: Erwartung, Op. 17 (Expectation) Monodrama in 1 Act, Tr. 1-8 (29:14)--BBC Sym. Orch, Pierre Boulez, cond., Janice Martin, soprano--rec. Henry Wood Hall, London, 14-15 APR 1977 | Pierrot lunaire, Op. 21 for Speaker, Piano, Flute, Piccolo Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Violin, Viola, and Cello (35:02)--Pierre Boulez, cond., Yvonne Minton, Speaker, Daniel Barenboim, piano, Michel Debost, flutes, Anthony Pay, clarinets, Pinchas Zukerman, violin/viola, Lynn Harrell, cello | Gurre-Lieder: Lied der Waldtaube (Song of the Wood Dove) (12:40)--Text: Robert Franz Arnold after Jens Peter Jacobsen--Ensemble Intercontemporain, Jessye Norman, soprano.

A single CD on a Canadian label called MARQUIS 7.74718.14232.0 entitled PORTALS containing 3 works by three composers, as follows:
Rick Sowash, b. 1950:: Clarinet Concerto (30:17) | Paul Ben-Haim (1897-1984): Pastorale Variee for Clarinet, Harp, and String Orchestra, Op. 31b (16:19) | John Williams, b. 1832: "Viktor's Tale," from the film "The Terminal." (4:20)--St. Petersburg Symphony Orch., Cladimir Lande, cond., David Drosinos, clarinet. Rec. at the Melodiya Studio, St. Petersburg, Russia, , June, 2010.

These two albums are serious opposites. Although the three the Schoenberg works are early 20th century pieces, they sound to many like cutting edge modernism, while the second definitely represents a more conservate rediscovery of tonality.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Guitarist » Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:38 am

Igor Zhukov playing his transcription of Bach's Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor.


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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:48 pm

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This is a stunning realization of Shostakovich V, original and deeply thought through. Not at all like Bernstein or Kondrashin, this is an interpretation that stands on its own two feet without copying anyone else I've heard. The final movement is especially intriguing: Kertesz's very idiosyncratic tempo ideas work dramatically well. The Peacock (both in original Hungarian for choir and in the form of Kodaly's masterful variations) makes for a winning bonus on this excellent disc. Five stars, and kudos to the Swiss players who outdo themselves in the Shostakovich.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:34 pm

Since my last report, I have been listening to the following:

Volume 1 of the 14 CD + 1 DVD set of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas and Piano Concerti on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp) by pianist Gerard Willems on Australian Stuart & Sons superpianos. this CD was recorded in the Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, 4,5, and 9 FEB 2013.

1....Sonata in E Flat Major, WoO 47/1 (1783) (10:35)
2....Sonata in F Minor, WoO 47/2 (1783) (15:01)
3....Sonata in D Major, WoO 47/3 (1783) (17:06)
4....Fantasia Sonata in D Major, deest 45 (1792) (24:32)

Great sound and excellent performances.

Mahler: Sym 2 in C Minor "Resurrection" (83:26)--SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, EuropaChorAkademie--Michael Gielen, cond., Juliane Banse, soprano, Cornelia Kallisch, contralto.--haenssler classics.

This is a fine performance which proceeds at a leisurely place, with an orgasmically fulfilling climax. The only thing wrong with it is that there is a disc break before the fifth and last movement. The symphony was written so that there should be only a break between the first and second movements, wht the other movements performed with no breaks.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:23 am

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Thanks to Pepe for this recommendation! This is an exquisite listing of rare and highly enjoyable material, great for the singing and conducting alike: This is one of my favorite issues of the past year.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:16 am

Since my last report, I have been listening to the following:

Mahler: Sym 3 in D Minor (101:41)--SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Frauenchor der EuropaChorakadamie, Freiburger Domsingknaben--Michael Gielen, cond., Cornelia Kallisch, contralto.--haenssler classics.

This is a bit slow, perhaps, but I know of no other which is better recorded. It joins my previous favorites, Bernstein Sony, Kubelik, and Segerstam in the Pantheon of great performances of this work-Gielen's performance is top flight, and Cornelia Kallisch is no slouch, either.

Borodin: String Quartet 2 in D Major (1881) (28:21) | String Quintet in F Minor (1860) (29:34) | Serenata alla spagnola for string quartet (1886) (2:17)--Moscow String Quartet (Alexander Detisov, Alexander Gelfat, violins, Igor Suliga, viola, Alexander Osokin, cello) and Alexander Gotthelf, 2nd cello in Quintet.--Vol.2 of 3 CD set of Borodin's complete chamber music on Brilliant, recorded 1995.

These performances are lyrically passionate, and, of course, ideomatic. The Quartet 2 is much better than that done by the Quartetto Italiano, which I once bought just on the basis of the good reputation of that ensemble. Somehow, they were never together on anything in the score, and the whole performance was just a mess, one of that ensenble's few real duds. This one has no such problems.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:59 pm

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Gergiev's new Shostakovich set is still a disappointment for me, although an improvement over earlier recordings. My complaint here is that the strings lack heft and body: perhaps live they sounded better, but on disc they sound thin and unsupported. IV fares better than V & VI given this treatment: V has many disappointing moments, and is the weakest in the set, although I find Gergiev's tempi agreeable, and the ensemble more disciplined than earlier takes. Gergiev's commitment to his ensemble reminds me of Levine's commitment to the MET orchestra, and that is a good thing, but Levine got better results than Gergiev gets here.

There are better versions of these works elsewhere.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:44 am

Since my last report, I have been listening to the following:

Shostakovich: Sym. 11 "The Year 1905" (1957) (66:19)--Orchestra Sinfonica de Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Oleg Caetani, cond.--rec. MAR 2003, Auditorium di Milano--CD 4 of 11 CD seton ARTS label.

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This is a great disc. The performance is an exceptionally idiomatic one, and the sound engineering is the best I have ever heard. The only problem, for some, is that you need a very good sound system to hear it properly. While only my speakers and preamp are arguably state of the art (my power amp isn't, and my CD player probably isn't), it is good enough that I can tell it sounds better than any other performance I have every heard, both interpretively and sonically. Read David Hurwitz's review @ http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... _id=126098

Vol. 38 of the RCA Complete Toscanini set, NBC Sym Orch:

Tr. 1......Gershwin: An American in Paris (16:19)--rec. 8H, 18 MAY 1945
Tr. 2......Sousa: El Capitan (arr. Toscanini) (2:12)--rec. 8H, 18 MAY 1945
Tr. 3-7...Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite (31:41)--rec. CH, 10 SEP 1945
Tr. 8......Barber: Adagio for Strings, orchestrated from String Quartet, Op. 11, Mvt 2 (7:17)--rec. CH, 19 MAR 1942
Tr. 9......Sousa: The Stars and Stripes Forever (arr. Toscanini) (3:19)--rec. 8H, 18 MAY 1945
Tr. 10....J.S. Smith: The Star Spangled Banner (orchestrated by Toscanini) (1:21)--rec. CH, 19 MAR 1942

Despite the fact that the youngest of these performances is from September, 1945, they sound full of life and not at all muffled or harsh. The piccolo in Track 9 is unbelievably clear and straightforward. Too many of the CDs in this series sound muffled, or go to the other extreme and are harsh and blastingly unpleasant. Not so here; this is the best that could be done 1942-45. Highly recommended.
Last edited by RebLem on Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:43 am

Since my last report yesterday, I have been listening to the following:

CD 5 of an 11 CD SONY set of Pierre Boulez conducting or supervising the recordings of works by Arnold Schoenberg.
Tr. 1......Friede auf Erden [Peace on Earth] for mixed chorus, Op. 13 (9:05)--BBC Singers--Text: Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, rec. 8 SEP 1982, BBC Maide Vale Studios, London.
Tr. 2......Kol Nidre, Op. 39 for speaker, mixed chorus and orchestra (12:26)--BBC Sym. Orch. & Chorus, John Sirley-Quirk, speaker, rec. 19 FEB 1984, BBC Maide Vale Studios, London.
Tr. 3-5...Three Folk Songs for mixed chorus, Op. 49 (10:33)--BBC Singers, rec. 26 OCT 1988, EMI Studios, London.
Tr. 6-7...Two Canons for mixed Chorus (3:31)--BBC Singers--Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe--rec time and loc same as Tr. 3-5
Tr. 8-10..Three Folk Song Arrangements for mixed chorus (9:50)--BBC Singers--rec. time and loc. same as for Tr. 3-7.

I really don't think its that my attitude toward Schoenberg has changed for the better. I think that Boulez has found some magical way of making Schoenberg sound mainstream to people like me who just never thought of him that way before. These are lovely works, but the Kol Nidre is, IMHO, the only one of any extraordinary merit, and it is spoken in a modern English translation here which makes it especially approachable. Highly recommended.

J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations, S. 988 (55:07)--Anthony Newman, harpsichord--C & P 1987 Newport Classics, DDD. Recording dates and locations kept secret. The harsichord used in this recording is a modern reproduction built by Keith Hill on a Flemish model.

This is a recording which I have owned for some time and have played occasionally before. Most of what I have been reporting on are new CDs I am giving a first listen to, but this one is not. I have been listening to a harpsichord recording of this work by Jacqueline Ogeil, an Australian harpsichordist and conductor for some time, at least a dozen or so times, mostly in my car as I ride around town. Its a decent system I have in my car, but it can't hold a candle to my stereo in the house, so I listen mostly to solo instrumental and limited range chamber music recordings on it so I am not trying to stretch its capacities. I like the Ogeil, but I wanted to refresh my memory of the Newman set with a comparative listen. Actually, they are very close, but I think I actually prefer the Ogeil.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:57 am

Since my last report yesterday, I have been listening to the following:

CD 1 of a Decca 4 CD set of the Haydn London Symphonies by the London Philharmonic Orch, Georg Solti, cond.
Tr. 1-4.....93 in D Major (24:08)--rec. MAY 1987, Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London.
Tr. 5-8.....94 in G Major "Surprise" (23:25)--rec. OCT 1983, Kingsway Hall, London.
Tr. 9-12....101 in D Major "The Clock" (28:53)--rec. MAR 1981, Kingsway Hall, London.

This one CD in the 4 CD set has three of my five favorite symphonies from the last 12. The other two, 100 "Military" and 102 happen to both be on CD 4 of the set. Solti's Haydn is definitely big orchestra Haydn. Certainly not OIP, and not very HIP, either, but he is vigorous and does these works with verve and enthusiasm. Just before the off-key bassoon note toward the end of the second movement of #93, he slows down a bit, just to make sure you're listening and waiting for it to happen, and then blasts away. I think its very heavy handed, and really sounds funnier when its approached at the same speed as the rest of the movement. He does something similar, but not quite as blatant, in the Surprise Symphony. IMO, Sigiswald Kuijken and Le Petite Bande do a much better job in all three of these works.

CD 2 of the 14 CD + 1 DVD ABC set of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas and Concerti--Gerard Willems playing a 97 key Australian Stuart & Sons superpiano, rec. in the Auditorium of the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, NSW, between 6 July 1997 and 5 February, 2000:
1...# 1 in F Minor, Op. 2, # 1 (1793-5) (18:44)
2...# 2 in A Major, Op. 2, # 2 ((1794-5) (23:27)
3...# 3 in C Major, Op. 2, # 3 (1794-5) (27:29)

These are excellent performances on a great piano, but I wouldn't say they stand out in any significant way from all the other excellent performances I have heard.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:46 am

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HVK gets the spirit of these early XXth Century masterpieces, showing Berlin's great discipline without a hint of rubato; even in the Prokofiev he plays it straight. The results are stunning. I had to go to Japan for a CD of these great recordings, mp3s are available on Amazon, but not recommended. Magnificent!

RebLem: I admire your postings, and agree with you about Caetani's Shostakovich. I found his Mahler II disappointing, though--if he would only do Prokofiev................

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Guitarist » Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:36 pm

Sheppard played all six Partitas in a single evening--quite a feat--and this presumably unedited recording reveals astonishingly accurate finger-work and powerful interpretations. He makes full use of a modern grand's resources, including some judicious pedaling, and a broad range of dynamics and touch. The sound is crystal clear. It's a rather close perspective, but the mics pick up enough room sound to keep the audio from being too clinical and dry. The mics also pick up a little pedal/foot noise, but very little from the audience. All in all, one of my favorite recordings of this music. Oh, and my copy was autographed for the previous owner!

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by arthound » Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:45 pm

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SQ 7 is one of my favourites...

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:26 am

Since my last report yesterday, I have been listening to the following:

Mahler: Sym 4 in G Major (56:23)--SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg--Michael Gielen, cond., Christine Whittlesey, soprano--haenssler classics.--CD 4 in a set of 13, rec. 23-26 FEB 1988, Brahms-Saal, Karlsruhe.

This is a fine performance in very good sound. Christine Whitttlesey has a very high soprano voice. It does not, however, challenge my previous favorites--Szell, Klemperer, Bernstein DGG, and Tabakov.



CD 3 of a 3 CD Brilliant set of the complete chamber music of Borodin, recorded 1995.

1.....Sextet in D Minor (1861) (8:11)--Alexander Detisov, Alexander Polonsky, violins, Igor Suliga, Alexander Bobrovsky, violas, Alexander Osokin, Alexander Gotthelf, cellos.

2.....Trio in G Minor for 2 violins and cello on a Russian song, "What have I done to hurt you?" (1855) (7:01)--Alexander Detisov, Alexander Polonsky, violins, Alexander Osokin, cello.

3.....Trio in G Major for 2 violins and cello (1856-7) (18:53)--Alexander Detisov, Alexander Polonsky, violins, Alexander Osokin, cello

4.....Piano Trio in D Major (1860) (22:01)--Moscow Trio (Alexander Bonduriansky, piano, Vladimir Ivanov, violin, Mikhail Utkin, cello)

These are excellent performance in good sound, but they are rather inconsequential works, not among Borodin's most memorable.


Volume 5 of the 11 CD set of Shostakovich Symphonies by Oleg Caetani and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, both recorded @ the Auditorium di Milano:

1...Sym. 9 in E Flat Major, Op. 70 (26:50)--rec. FEB 2003.

2...Sym 10 in E Minor, Op. 93 (52:45)--rec. FEB 2002.

Absolutely stupendous sound, as with all of these recordings. As for interpretation, however, # 9 seems to fall below Casetani's usual high standard. Written in 1945 after VE Day, this is usually performed as a playful, carefree and lighthearted work, but this one seems unusually grim and disspirited than most other performances. Kondrashin, M. Shostakovich, Barshai and both Bernstein's seem to me better.

Sym. 10 is another matter entirely. This is one of the great performances of the 10th as well as the sonic spectacular I have come to expect from this series. One would expect this, too, to be in the image of # 9, begun, as it was, in the summer of 1953, after the death of Stalin, but it seems grim and forboding as well. At least with Stalin, he seems to be saying, we knew what we had. No telling what these new guys are going to do. And, it must be said that this is in keeping with the attitude in which all other interpretations of this work seem to be imbued. Caetani, however, does it more effectively than most. Perhaps he was disspirited by the fact thatf Sergei Prokofiev had died unexpectedly and suddenly on the same day as Stalin, 5 March 1953.



Volume 37 of the complete RCA recordings of Arturo Toscanini. This is an all Debussy disc, consisting of 4 works, performed in NYC by the NBC Sym. Orch.:

Tr. 1-3....La Mer (The Sea) (23:12)--rec. Studio 8H, 1 June 1950
Tr. 4.......Prelude to the afternoon of a faun (8:51)--rec. CH broadcast 14 February 1953 with patching from a rehearsal 13 February 1953.
Tr. 5-7...Images for Orchestra II: Iberia (18:34)--rec. Studio 8H, 1 June 1950
Tr. 8-9...Nocturnes: Nuages & Fetes (11:04)--rec. 27 March 1938.

All these performances are up to Toscanini's usual high standard, and the sound engineering is better than average, without harshness, for other NBC Sym. recordings from these time periods.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:29 am

Guitarist wrote:Sheppard played all six Partitas in a single evening--quite a feat--and this presumably unedited recording reveals astonishingly accurate finger-work and powerful interpretations. He makes full use of a modern grand's resources, including some judicious pedaling, and a broad range of dynamics and touch. The sound is crystal clear. It's a rather close perspective, but the mics pick up enough room sound to keep the audio from being too clinical and dry. The mics also pick up a little pedal/foot noise, but very little from the audience. All in all, one of my favorite recordings of this music. Oh, and my copy was autographed for the previous owner!

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I have not heard these, but I do have Craig Sheppard's cycle of the Beethoven piano sonatas on the same label, and I know he is a fine pianist.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:46 am

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This is a tremendously good disc: Weilerstein and the Czech Philharmonic under Belohlavek, which includes besides the Dvorak Concerto, a series of encore pieces with the conductor at the piano. This is surely the finest version of the Dvorak on the market today, and equals Feuerman in intensity of purpose with superior sound. An outstanding release! Welcome back, Maestro!

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