What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

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maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:40 pm

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Violinist Tasmin Little and conductor Andrew Davis are both established artists of high calibre. How they must have relished digging into the lovely pastoral music on this disc! Haydn Wood is a composer unknown to me until now; Delius and Coleridge-Taylor are more familiar, yet I had not heard their violin concerti until now. Little makes a compelling case for all three, ably accompanies by Sir Andrew. For lovers of British music, this disc is a must-have! Five enthusiastic stars.

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:14 pm

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Steven Isserlis is a great artist, with many recordings to his credit, yet he surpasses himself with the able accompaniment of Paavo Jarvi leading the exquisite Philharmonia Orchestra, the now well-established son of Neeme Jarvi. Both artists are in top form here with these English staples of the repertoire. Both professionals are so good at their craft that they make these difficult works sound easy. The Walton is a particularly difficult work to bring off: here it's given its due by these fine forces. Five enthusiastic stars!

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:59 am

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This disc represents some of the finest piano playing I've ever heard. The duo Tal & Groethuysen have unearthed four-hand arrangements of some of Wagner's most famous music, including the Flying Dutchman overture arranged by Debussy, the Tannhauser Bacchanal arranged by Dukas, and even the Tristan & Isolde Prelude and Liebestod arranged by Reger, among others. It's a fascinating disc that's been in both my stereo system and my computer repeatedly, vividly conjuring up fine memories of the great moments in Wagner's oeuvre. Magnificent playing! Five enthusiastic stars!

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:23 pm

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Imogen Cooper is one of the finest exponents of Schumann's music, here featuring the "Abegg Variations," Davidsbundtlertanze, and other less-performed works. Her touch offers a wide variety of colors, and her interpretive ideas fit the music perfectly. This is a noteworthy recital that makes great music out of some of Schumann's lesser-known works and satisfies the ear with depth and panache. Highly recommended. Five stars.

absinthe
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by absinthe » Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:07 am

Nielsen: Symphony 5 + Maskarade.

Thomas Jensen conducting the Danish State Radio Orchestra.


...

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:54 pm

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This skimpy disc containing only one symphony when there's room for two offers Manfred Honeck's interpretation of Tchaikovsky V, and I do mean interpretation. Softer passages are all but inaudible, and eccentric tempi permeate this recording, all in the effort to cause an emotional effect. IMHO Tchaikovsky's music as written provides that experience already. Honeck's choices of tempo are not as eccentric as Lorin Maazel might be, and some are interesting departures from the score, but for this symphony this recording simply does not match Gergiev/Vienna, Mravinsky, or Ormandy. Three stars, if only because the orchestra plays outstandingly.

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:32 pm

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Xiayin Wang is a new artist in my library, and in this recording is as impressive as they come. I have some quibbles with Peter Oundjian's inventive conducting, but more on that later. In Tchaikovsky II, their teamwork produces fine results, at last making the case for opening the traditional cut taken by Ormandy in the slow movement. I've other readings of Tchaikovsky II, but none as fine as this. The Khachaturian is another matter. Oundjian takes liberties with tempo that, while interesting, undermine the drama and steady tempo indicated in the score: Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso. Oundjian, like many conductors, falls for the siren song of the maestoso marking, forgetting that Allegro moderato is a tempo, and maestoso refers to the character of the music and does not mean slow it down! After the opening bars, Oundjian speeds up the tempo, correctly realizing that to continue as before would make the piece sound ridiculous, and from there we have very effective music-making. The other movements are similarly complicated, but effective. I must say that in spite of my disagreement, I found Oundjian/Wang's approach interesting; it's just not how I would approach the piece. So, a valiant effort: Four 1/2 stars.

Ted Quanrud
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by Ted Quanrud » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:58 pm

maestrob wrote:Image

This disc represents some of the finest piano playing I've ever heard. The duo Tal & Groethuysen have unearthed four-hand arrangements of some of Wagner's most famous music, including the Flying Dutchman overture arranged by Debussy, the Tannhauser Bacchanal arranged by Dukas, and even the Tristan & Isolde Prelude and Liebestod arranged by Reger, among others. It's a fascinating disc that's been in both my stereo system and my computer repeatedly, vividly conjuring up fine memories of the great moments in Wagner's oeuvre. Magnificent playing! Five enthusiastic stars!
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I completely agree with your assessment.

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:23 am

My pleasure, Ted! :D

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by LSAmadeus » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:11 am

Got these the other day, £2 each.
I already have the Schumann pf cnc but thats on a no name part works disk and well, this is Perahia!

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maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:12 pm

Welcome LSAmadeus! Glad to have you aboard! If you admire Perahia, you're OK in my book.

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by LSAmadeus » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:18 pm

maestrob wrote:Welcome LSAmadeus! Glad to have you aboard! If you admire Perahia, you're OK in my book.
Thanks. Ive been here since 2008 (that long!) but I lost my login 6 years ago.
'An artist must have the freedom to express himself' - Edward Weston
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maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:44 am

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There are so many great recordings of Dvorak's Violin Concerto, including one by the composer's grandson (Joseph Suk) (27 pages of titles on amazon), that this one would hardly seem necessary, yet here we are, with every detail and subtle phrasing in place, and very pleasing to the ear and heart. Christian Tetzlaff and John Storgards (a conductor new to me) make music here of the highest caliber, along with the Helsinki Philharmonic. The interesting piece on this disc is the Suk Op. 24, a Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, a not so very minor piece that fills out the disc nicely, along with a sweet rendition of Dvorak's Romance Op. 11. Fine work by all involved, and if you don't yet have the Joseph Suk version of these pieces,Tetzlaff stands the comparison test. Five stars.

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by LSAmadeus » Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:29 pm

maestrob wrote: There are so many great recordings of Dvorak's Violin Concerto, including one by the composer's grandson (Joseph Suk) (27 pages of titles on amazon), that this one would hardly seem necessary, yet here we are, with every detail and subtle phrasing in place, and very pleasing to the ear and heart. Christian Tetzlaff and John Storgards (a conductor new to me) make music here of the highest caliber, along with the Helsinki Philharmonic. The interesting piece on this disc is the Suk Op. 24, a Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, a not so very minor piece that fills out the disc nicely, along with a sweet rendition of Dvorak's Romance Op. 11. Fine work by all involved, and if you don't yet have the Joseph Suk version of these pieces,Tetzlaff stands the comparison test. Five stars.
I dont have much Dvorak and I dont think I've heard his vn cnc. I'll have to youtube it.
'An artist must have the freedom to express himself' - Edward Weston
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maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:52 pm

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At last! A Francesca da Rimini without Scotto's wobble! I've loved this opera since I first heard it revived at the MET for Scotto, and have waited impatiently for a recording of this gorgeous work for more than 20 years. Here we have an outstanding cast of singers I've not heard before, from the opera house at Freiberg, led by Fabrice Bollon. Christina Vasileva is the outstanding Francesca, Martin Muhle is the winning Paolo. Simply outstanding! Five stars, and I'll be listening to this often!

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:22 am

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This is an old favorite from LP days, but I never seemed to get around to purchasing the CD. Telarc's sound is even more transparent on the CD, and Robert Shaw leads "his" Atlanta Symphony and chorus with stunning results. The brass in Firebird and the bass drum/chorus in the Polovetsian Dances are particularly fine. Excellent music-making doubling as a fine demonstration disc for your system. Five stars, it goes without saying.

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:55 pm

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This, the second in Neeme Jarvi's traversal of Saint-Saens's rarer pieces, holds several surprisingly good examples of Camille Saint-Saens's repertoire, including the chamber version of Carnival des Animaux, with a genuinely LOL funny version of the piano exercises: this version includes the glass harmonica. Fascinating! There are two shorter pieces for piano & orchestra (the Caprice-Valse, and Africa, OP. 89), which I've never before seen on disc, played unerringly by Louis Lortie with real dash & flair. Leave it to Jarvi to unearth this set of excellent curiosities. Truls Mork also gives an outstanding account of both concertos for cello & orchestra. Five stars, at least!

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:32 pm

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Amazon's reviewers can be snarky sometimes, but in spite of the positive reviews displayed on the official page about this release, I tend to agree sadly with those who don't care for this version of the Schumann Piano Concerto, played here by Alexander Melnikov with the Freiburger Barockorchester, led by Pablo Heras-Casado. My main peeve is that the orchestra sounds weak, in general, but the topper for me was the abnormally slow tempo chosen for the final movement, marked Allegro vivace, and played at less than moderato. Schumann wanted excitement here, and the piece simply lacks energy to the point of dullness. Melnikov is a better pianist than this disappointing showing. 2 1/2 stars.

The piano trio (No. 2) that fills out the disc, with Isabella Faust and Jean-Guihen Queyras is a horse of a different color, played with energy and panache. Four stars.

I should mention the pianos used in this recording that date from 1837 (Erard) for the concerto, and a Streicher from 1847 for the trio. Both are persuasive, but the Streicher is the better instrument to my ears.

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by John F » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:16 pm

Saint-Saëns's "Africa" has always seemed to me a pretty empty piece, and not especially exotic. For his take on his neighbors to the south, there's the middle movement of the piano concerto #5, sometimes called "Egyptian" though some of it sounds Spanish too, which is one of my favorites among his many works. Apparently it was Sviatoslav Richter's as well - he didn't record and apparently didn't play the other four. There are three recordings by him on YouTube, from 1950, 1955 and 1993, so apparently he didn't tire of it.



This is the only piano concerto I know with a part for the tam tam.
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:01 pm

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For those who enjoy great choral music, this fine disc will bring great pleasure. My thanks to Pepe for suggesting this release! Henry Madin was the leading court composer for France's Louis XV. Madin died prematurely at the age of 50, but he left us with many high quality works, including his 45 minute Te Deum, featured n this ravishing disc in a live performance from the chapel built by Louis XIV for such occasions. Bravo to all the forces involved: this recording was lovingly prepared and researched as the liner notes reveal in great detail. Five stars.

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:12 pm

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Piotr Anderszewski's Bach needs no introduction here, as I've reviewed previous recordings by this master pianist. Anderszewski's variety of touch and warmth of spirit carry us on a journey exploring the vast potential of the modern piano in Bach's music, a journey that pleases both the ear and spirit of the listener. Five most enthusiastic stars!

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:56 am

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Donizetti's Les Martyrs is a reworking of Poliuto for French audiences, complete with extra music and full ballet score. It's a magnificent spectacle, long kept out of the repertoire (like Meyerbeer) for its extravagant demands on the theatre audience and production staff. The cast in this recording, led by the eminent Sir Mark Elder, manages the difficult score with aplomb (the recording was made in the studio in the weeks before the live concert). Magnificent, detailed reading: this is a document worth owning, and worth every penny of its roughly $50.00 price tag! In fact, Donizetti premiered this mature opera just months before he died of syphilis: the Italian version debuted just months after. (See the amazon reviews for the fascinating history revolving around this masterpiece.) Five enthusiastic stars!

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:38 pm

I stopped in at the amazing Academy Records on 18th St in New York, and picked this up:

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what an amazing store, I was shocked to find that places like that (thankfully) still exist. A small remaining piece of the "Old" New York, which there's less and less of each year.
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maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:03 pm

Did you notice the prices on the vinyl records? The new ones are selling for $35 or so. Unbelievable!

And yes, it's a great store. 8)

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:11 pm

maestrob wrote:Did you notice the prices on the vinyl records? The new ones are selling for $35 or so. Unbelievable!

And yes, it's a great store. 8)
To be honest, I barely even skimmed the vinyl, I was busy examining their excellent collection of hard to find, out of print, and in many cases rare imported CDs and box sets. A treasure trove, to say the least. I'll be coming into town quite a bit over the next few months for work and rest assured I'll be returning to this place often!

Maestro, are there any other comparable stores left in Manhattan? I want to hit them all while they're still here.
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maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:42 pm

Sad to say, there's not much left that carries classical CDs. There's still Barnes & Noble on the north side of Union Square Park, but since I don't get out much due to a back disability, that and Academy Records are the only two I'm aware of. There used to be a shop on the Juilliard campus at Lincoln Center: maybe JohnF knows if it's still open. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by John F » Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:51 pm

The Juilliard Store has quite a stock of classical CDs, or did the last time I looked in. Also scores and books. They are now on 66th Street west of Broadway.
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:52 pm

Thanks maestro and John, I'll be sure to hit Juilliard when I'm back in two weeks. I usually stay just south of the park on Sixth so it's certainly more convenient for me to get to than Academy Records.
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by John F » Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:15 am

While you're in the Lincoln Center neighborhood, why not drop in at the Library for the Performing Arts? We always have some interesting exhibitions there, and musical and other events in the auditorium - for free! I work there at the Welcome desk on Mondays from 4:30 to 8 and Fridays from 3:30 to 6, and would enjoy meeting you. The plaza entrance is between the Metropolitan Opera House and the Lincoln Center Theater, behind the Calder stabile.
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:42 pm

Sure John, I may stop by on some Monday. 9/12 is out as I'll be attending an event in the meatpacking district, but if I'm free 9/26 I'll try to stop in and say hello.
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maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:59 am

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Janine Jansen is a well-established artist in her own right, while Pappano, better-known as an opera conductor, has proven his chops many times over. I was glad to receive this treasure recently: Jansen has the virtuosity to carry both the Brahms and the Bartok Concerti here while highlighting the beauty in both and not bowing down to the technical difficulties in the Bartok. Her tone is full of meaning and warmth, while Pappano leaves just enough room for freedom of expression: they make it sound easy, but it's not. Five stars.

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:20 pm

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Beatrice Rana was the second prize winner in the latest Van Cliburn Competition (2013), and she proves her status with this premiere recording of Prokofiev II and Tchaikovsky I. Where she doesn't quite catch my breath is in the solo moment before the finale of the first movement of the Tchaikovsky, where she lets all the energy drain out of her playing and dribble on the floor: not a good moment. Otherwise, the balance of the Tchaikovsky is excellent, while her rendition of the Prokofiev II is simply stupendous. Ably accompanied by Pappano, Rana has an excellent range of colors and moods: I can't wait for her to mature further. Four 1/2 stars.

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:21 pm

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Andris Nelsons is a star conductor, of this there is no doubt. This is an interesting set, part of a contemplated complete Shostakovich cycle by the Boston Symphony. So far, I've only listened to VIII, which strangely lacks the electricity of either Kondrashin or Mravinsky's live Western premiere. OTOH, The recording itself offsets that by having the best sound of contemporary versions (Haitink, Petrenko, etc.). Nelsons concentrates on the sound world of Shostakovich, but his American orchestra simply cannot capture the excitement of the two shorter movements. There is gorgeous playing here in all movements: the strings need to be singled out, and the woodwinds never screech. All in all, this is a winner with only minor complaints: 4 1/2 stars.

I've now heard IX & V. Nine is well done, again with great playing in the violins, and well-paced. Not Shostakovich's great work, but excitingly presented, with excellent transparent textures.

Five is a live concert recording, although you'd never know it until the end, when the well-deserved enthusiastic applause breaks out. Details matter in this symphony, and this is a great interpretation, with Shostakovich's original tempo observed in the final movement. This reading reminds me of Mravinsky/Leningrad in 1967, but with an even broader sound palette. Strings in the third movement offer a true pianissimo where it's called for, yet never sound thin as Gergiev's do. Nelsons offers subtle interpretive details in the winds in the Scherzo that I haven't heard before, such as a flip in the clarinet solo that works to heighten the ironic humor of the movement. All in all, this is as far from Bernstein as you can get, but very effective. Five stars, well-earned, for both symphonies.
Last edited by maestrob on Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

John F
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by John F » Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:56 pm

I've heard a student orchestra generate plenty of excitement in Shostakovich - the Manhattan School orchestra in a reading of the 10th symphony's first two movements under Yuri Temirkanov. So I wouldn't assume the BSO's players are to blame, though of course they may be.
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:29 am

John F wrote:While you're in the Lincoln Center neighborhood, why not drop in at the Library for the Performing Arts? We always have some interesting exhibitions there, and musical and other events in the auditorium - for free! I work there at the Welcome desk on Mondays from 4:30 to 8 and Fridays from 3:30 to 6, and would enjoy meeting you. The plaza entrance is between the Metropolitan Opera House and the Lincoln Center Theater, behind the Calder stabile.
John, it was nice meeting you yesterday afternoon. I look forward to exploring the Library's vast archive of historic recordings and thank you for bringing it to my attention. The next few weeks are quite busy for me so I may not get to investigating right away, but I'll be sure to let you know if I find something in the catalog piques my interest.
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by John F » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:12 am

My pleasure!

As you look through the finding aids for the collections in the sound archive, you'll find that most items in them have library call numbers. That might lead you to expect that you could walk up to the playback desk, hand over a call slip, and in a few minutes the recording would be piped up to one of the listening stations. Sometimes yes; often no. I mentioned that there needs to be a listening copy of the recording (the original source isn't played back for you), and if it hasn't yet been made, there'll be a delay of unpredictable length until it is. Another source of delay is that quite a lot of the sound archive isn't housed in the library's building but across 65th Street in archival storage space; in that case there's a delay of a day or two for it to be brought over. It's always wise, then, to put in your request some time in advance, just in case. E-mail me when you're ready and I'll get you started.
John Francis

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:48 pm

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Not having heard Scaramouche before this recording. I must say that Sibelius has written a most interesting ballet score that never disappoints. As performed here by Leif Segerstam and the Turku Philharmonic, each episode is full of interesting, original music, with good dramatic pacing and deeply committed playing by all involved: not a weak moment in sight. The orchestrations are definitely Sibelius, packed with original ideas. The recording quality is excellent. Five stars.

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by John F » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:48 pm

Not only have I never heard this, I've never heard of it. Who would have guessed that Sibelius wrote for the ballet? Though his incidental music for various plays does include some dance numbers.
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:39 pm

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This is a magnificent Bruckner VII, recorded live at Thielemann's debut concert as music director of the Dresden Staatskapelle. Thielemann draws organ-like tones from his orchestra, and his pacing is excellent. This is a first rank performance, ably filled out with a minor work by Wagner, "Das Liebesmahl der Apostel." Truly generous singing (mostly a without accompaniment), I'll be returning to the Bruckner more than the Wagner. Five stars.

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:12 pm

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Prokofiev wrote his first version of the cello concerto during the 1930's, and it's chock-full of virtuosic ideas for the instrument. The composer was initially inspired by Piatigorsky while living in Paris, but when Prokofiev returned to the Soviet Union before finishing the piece, Piatigorsky, as a Russian emigre, was not allowed the world premiere, although he did play the Western premiere IIRC in 1940. The Russian premiere was not well-received (Richter, who played piano for the rehearsals, blamed both an inferior conductor and cellist with differing points of view), and Prokofiev shelved the work. In the late 1940's, the young Rostropovich took an interest in the work, and he worked together with Prokofiev to produce the far more accessible Sinfonie-Concertante, which Rostropovich played throughout his career and recorded with Sir Malcolm Sargent in 1959, making the work accessible to Western audiences. The original cello concerto was thus forgotten until recently when several new recordings have appeared, of which this version is the most exciting. Isserlis chose to fill the disc to the brim with an outstanding version of Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1. Paavo Jarvi proves himself an outstanding accompanist in both pieces, while the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra ably gets into the spirit of the proceedings, especially in the thorny Prokofiev. This is one of the finest recordigs I've heard this year. Five enthusiastic stars!

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by John F » Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:52 pm

Prokofiev's Concerto #1, as distinct from the Symphony-Concerto, was recorded in the 1950s by EMI with Janos Starker as the soloist and the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Walter Susskind. It was issued in the US on the Angel label, but though I searched for it for years off and on, I never found a copy. But I see that now it's been uploaded to YouTube.



Now that I've finally heard the original version of the piece, I'm persuaded that it has been superseded by the Symphony-Concerto, as Brahms's revision of his trio op. 8 superseded its original. Just a curiosity, then.

Starker's playing is phenomenal - he has absolute technical command of his instrument, greater than any other cellist I've heard including Rostropovich, though the latter was by far the more imaginative and inspired interpreter. (Also the dedicatee of the Symphony Concerto as well as both Shostakovich concertos; you're not suggesting that Isserlis outdoes Rostropovich, are you?) Incidentally, the conductor of the Symphony Concerto's premiere in 1952 was Sviatoslav Richter, the only time he ever conducted in public. Apparently no recording was made of the event.

About Starker - do you know his recordings of the Kodaly solo cello sonata? Astonishing playing of an astonishing work. I heard him play it in concert in the late '60s or the early '70s and he still had it.
John Francis

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:44 pm

Yes. Starker was an excellent advocate for Kodaly, but the material never appealed to me much. I haven't listened to the recordings on CD, however. I should give them another chance. As for the Prokofiev Cello Concerto, Isserlis/Jarvi make an excellent case for the original version, as I indicated above, and hearing it played this way persuades me that it is a major piece that can stand on its own two feet. Of course the Symphony-Concertante is "better" in many ways, but frankly I like both versions.

BTW: The recording of Starker playing Prokofiev's Op. 58 is available on a Praga CD if you're interested:

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:53 am

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This newish recording of Sibelius by Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony sounds excellent through my system, yet it lacks the passion & detail of Salonnen/LA. Not a bad reading at all, the pacing is excellent, and the orchestra clearly is enjoying making what for them is a landmark recording of their national music. The drama is there, but depth of feeling is somehow lacking: microphone placement could be blamed. The Pohjola's Daughter is better, with more depth and passion. 4 1/2 stars.

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:18 pm

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Yevgeny Sudbin has previously recorded a superb Scarlatti album (2008), now here is another one after busy years of both study and concertizing. Sudbin loves every note of these difficult pieces, and has something to say with every bar. His sparkle and wit are often offset by moments of tenderness and electricity: there's never a dull moment or a tossed-off note.This is first-rate Scarlatti, equaling Horowitz's best efforts. Five enthusiastic stars.

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by Kate_C. » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:13 am

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classic, if not [-al]; life is good...sometimes spectacularly so!/K

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by LSAmadeus » Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:57 pm

An all Naxos haul today. There's a shop that sells refurbished disks for £2 each or 3 for £5. While vinyl prices get ridiculous CDs get cheaper!
I'd never heard of Idil Biret until today.

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by John F » Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:15 pm

Which piano concertos?
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by LSAmadeus » Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:37 pm

John F wrote:Which piano concertos?
Mozart 23 & 24. Chopin 1&2
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:21 pm

Idil Biret has been a low profile pianist for decades: I don't understand why, because she's very, very good, especially in Chopin & Mozart. Enjoy!

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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:04 pm

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Osmo Vanska is already considered an authority on Sibelius, with his complete set of the symphonies with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Yet here he is again, recording the cycle with his Minnesotans, and yes, this is an outstanding disc. Balances are just right, energy levels are perfectly sustained, and the recording itself is a technological marvel. Can't wait to hear the rest of the cycle as it comes out. Five stars.

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