What are you listening to?

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Wallingford
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Post by Wallingford » Sun May 15, 2005 1:58 pm

I recently bought a used CD of the late, lamented Hans Vonk doing Mahler's First (St. Louis Sym., on ArchMedia 1003). It had to have been one of the few discs he got to do with that group.

Also: an old Capitol LP of 70's British rocker Jon Lord's token try at grandiose pop/classical, his "Gemini Suite," with Sir Malcolm Arnold (wasn't HE a good sport!!) & LSO. Actually, the folks in Lord's band have a really good shot at their solo spots (each of the 7 movements are meant to spotlight THEM, naturally) & is, musically, a bit more satisfying than usual in this genre.
Last edited by Wallingford on Sun May 15, 2005 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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

Don Satz
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Post by Don Satz » Sun May 15, 2005 2:04 pm

Listening to the Adolf Henselt Etudes on Hyperion. Very enjoyable with plenty of variety in each piece. Piers Lane, not among my favorites because he tends to be tame, does a fine job although I can imagine greater intensity.
Don Satz

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Post by Ralph » Mon May 16, 2005 7:30 am

As it comes back to life, Arte Nova continues with some interesting discs. Attractively packaged is a solo violin recital by "Japanese-German" Mirijam Contzen who displays virtuosic ability, to this date apparently limited to appearances in Europe. Her debut here is to hoped for.

Ms. Contzen performs Bach Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006, Tibor Varga's "Le Serpent," Bartok's Sonata for Violin Sz 117, Stravinsky's "Elegie" and Ysaye's Sonate, Op. 27 No. 4. It's a rich and varied offering, all played with verve and presented with excellent sonics.

Tibor Varga was Ms. Contzen's only teacher.

And the disc was a mere $6.99. Let's hope this is a new and resurgent Arte Nova.

Arte Nova ANO 577410.
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Post by Ralph » Mon May 16, 2005 1:34 pm

Once again thanks to NAXOS I enjoyed the music of a recently discovered (by me) composer, Jesus Guridi (1886-1991). While part of the label's Spanish Classics series, Guridi was a Basque who composed opera as well as numerous orchestral works. He's considered a great Spanish composer of the last century.

On this disc the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra under Juan Jose Mena perform "Sinfonia pirenaica" which means Pyrenean Symphony. In three movements and running to 49 minutes the composer evokes the nature and spirit of the great mountain chain. Truthfully, the work - well performed and spirited - reminded me of New York's sky-reaching Catskills more than the it did the object of Guridi's musical veneration.

Also on the disc is a very short "Espatadantza" (Sword Dance) from Guridi's "Amaya."

Guridi, you'll recall, composed the towering Twentieth Century paean, "Homenaje a Walt Disney," compared by many critics to a major Dittersdorf symphony.

NAXOS 8.557631.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Thomas J
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Post by Thomas J » Mon May 16, 2005 4:57 pm

Alexandre Tansman(1897 - 1986) - Sinfonietta No.1, Dirvertimento for Chamber Orch., Sinfonia Piccola, Sinfonietta No. 2
Virtuosi di Praga - Israel Yinon

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Post by Ralph » Mon May 16, 2005 5:00 pm

An old favorite - Carlos Kleiber on DG conducting Beethoven's rarely performed but very powerful Fifth Symphony. It should be better known.
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Post by Ralph » Mon May 16, 2005 6:24 pm

Dvorak, Symphony No. 6, just released by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, their own label, with Sir Colin Davis conducting. A nice performance-the LSO discs are mid-priced and vary from pretty good to excellent.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon May 16, 2005 9:15 pm

Heard Charles Stanford's Piano Concerto #1 today. What a beautiful, old fashioned Romantic concerto!
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Post by Ralph » Mon May 16, 2005 9:21 pm

As midnight approaches, Brahms's Symphony No. 1 conducted by Marin Alsop on NAXOS.
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Post by Ralph » Tue May 17, 2005 7:05 am

I wanted a political performance this morning-ergo, Beethoven's Ninth in the unique version performed only once to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall. Leonard Bernstein led musicians from a number of orchestras in this event, captured by DG. Does anyone remember the slight editing he did to the choral text?
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Post by karlhenning » Tue May 17, 2005 7:07 am

Alle Menshen werden Smurfer ...?
Karl Henning, PhD
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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue May 17, 2005 7:18 am

karlhenning wrote:Alle Menshen werden Smurfer ...?
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Post by Ralph » Tue May 17, 2005 12:52 pm

In an Alban Berg mood, I listened to the NAXOS CD of his Violin Concerto, Lyric Suite and Three Orchestral Pieces. Rebecca Hirsch is the violinist accompanying the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra under Eri Klas. The Mutter Berg concerto remains my favorite but this is a fine reading well recorded as are the other two pieces.

NAXOS 8.554755.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Post by karlhenning » Tue May 17, 2005 2:16 pm

Prokofiev, Symphony No. 5
Ozawa/Berliner Philharmoniker
Karl Henning, PhD
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Post by Ralph » Tue May 17, 2005 7:01 pm

Dug out a disc I haven't played in quite a while, Shostakovich's Piano Trios 1 and 2 and Seven Songs to Words by Aleksandr Blok. A 1999 Hungaroton release with the Bartos Trio and soprano Maria Aszodi. A good performance.

HUNGAROTON HCD 31780.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Post by Ralph » Wed May 18, 2005 7:04 am

Von Karajan's Mahler 9 on DG - once upon a time it was my reference recording for demonstrating thw onders of the new digital age to friends. Still holds up very nicely.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Thomas J
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Post by Thomas J » Wed May 18, 2005 8:43 am

Egon Wellesz - Symphony #2 & 9, Wien Radio Symphony Orch.
Gottried Rab

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Post by karlhenning » Wed May 18, 2005 8:54 am

Dvorák Eighth Symphony
Kertész/LSO
Karl Henning, PhD
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Dana
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Post by Dana » Wed May 18, 2005 9:27 am

Sibelius 7th Symphony Bernstein/VPO/DG. This is such a tense symphony.
Barry Z wrote:R-K's Scheherazade, one of my favorite pieces which I tend to listen to frequently in spurts of a week or two at a time. This particular recording, my favorite one, is by Stokowski and the London Symphony.
My youth orchestra played this a few days ago, it was a surreal experience. It is, of course, a masterpiece, but I find the pivotal 3rd mvt to be the most moving.
Be away for a while - computer problems, then camp, then college - Expect me back when the bell tolls one!!!

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Post by Ralph » Wed May 18, 2005 12:03 pm

Prokofiev, Piano Concertos 1,2 & 4. Michel Beroff, piano, with Kurt Masur conducting the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra. Nice performances. EMI CDZB 62542 2. Also contains concertos 3 & 5 and Oveture on Hebrew Themes.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Wallingford
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Post by Wallingford » Wed May 18, 2005 1:10 pm

Well, last night I put on Pletnev's 2000 Carnegie Hall recital (DGG 471158)......nice historical review, overall, of piano music's titans--the first 2 B's & Chopin. Pletnev handles the Busoni transcription of Bach's Chaconne well (it certainly whips up the audience for anything following that); I greatly admire his sharply-pointed Beethoven Op. 111 (most of the rest of us are reduced to pedalling all the way thru); and it's only in Chopin's 4 Scherzos that Pletnev sounds a tad burnt-out.

Fine recital, overall, though it doesn't rank the same place of honor in my library as Pletnev's fellow countrymen playing in the same venue, Richter ('60) & Gilels ('69).
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

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Wed May 18, 2005 1:23 pm

I was at that recital which I really enjoyed.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Thomas J
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Post by Thomas J » Thu May 19, 2005 12:02 pm

Ok, I guess I'm now a Howard Hanson fan.(1896 - 1981) From what I'm reading he was considered a romantic composer. That works with me. Presently listening to his 1'st Symphony "Nordic". Nashville SO, Kenneth Schermerhorn on the Naxos Label. Looks like I'm maybe investing some more money on his music. Great stuff!

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Post by Ralph » Thu May 19, 2005 1:40 pm

Thomas J wrote:Ok, I guess I'm now a Howard Hanson fan.(1896 - 1981) From what I'm reading he was considered a romantic composer. That works with me. Presently listening to his 1'st Symphony "Nordic". Nashville SO, Kenneth Schermerhorn on the Naxos Label. Looks like I'm maybe investing some more money on his music. Great stuff!
*****

Try to find his "Song of Democracy," the first Hanson piece I ever heard when I was a teenager.

Hanson, by the way, was a very sincere and committed anti-Semite.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Don Satz
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Post by Don Satz » Thu May 19, 2005 2:19 pm

Ralph wrote:
Thomas J wrote:Ok, I guess I'm now a Howard Hanson fan.(1896 - 1981) From what I'm reading he was considered a romantic composer. That works with me. Presently listening to his 1'st Symphony "Nordic". Nashville SO, Kenneth Schermerhorn on the Naxos Label. Looks like I'm maybe investing some more money on his music. Great stuff!
*****

Try to find his "Song of Democracy," the first Hanson piece I ever heard when I was a teenager.

Hanson, by the way, was a very sincere and committed anti-Semite.
Those are the worst kind.
Don Satz

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Post by Ralph » Thu May 19, 2005 3:20 pm

I think, by the way, that's it's "SHIP of Democracy" from Whitman's poem.
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Post by Ralph » Thu May 19, 2005 8:25 pm

Bruckner 7 with Bruno Walter conducting on an old Columbia release.

And, earlier, Harris, Symphony No. 3, on DG with Bernstein.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Post by Auntie Lynn » Thu May 19, 2005 9:33 pm

(Sigh....) Mostly myself. All the Schubert piano sonatae is my summer project. But the turntable is holding the Pollini and Brendel renditions of same. Maurizio's reading of the c minor is incredible. Did that in my piano lesson today and started the Gasteiner...such a bizzy lady...

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Post by Ralph » Fri May 20, 2005 5:25 am

Tschaikovsky Symphonies Nos. 4 & 6 with Gergiev conducting-new releases. Where the heck is No. 5?
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Post by karlhenning » Fri May 20, 2005 5:57 am

Well, I hear rumor of a distant Hurricane :-)
Karl Henning, PhD
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Dana
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Post by Dana » Fri May 20, 2005 6:09 am

Symphonie Fantastique - Davis & the LSO on Philips. What a classic Berlioz-ian ending :)
Be away for a while - computer problems, then camp, then college - Expect me back when the bell tolls one!!!

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Post by Thomas J » Fri May 20, 2005 8:29 am

Alexander Glazunov - Raymonda(Complete Ballet) Moscow Symphony Orch., Alexander Anissimov

Wallingford
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Post by Wallingford » Fri May 20, 2005 12:48 pm

Tonight, I hope to finally tackle Paul Simon's last studio album, "You're The One." You'll notice I've finally decided, for my signature at the bottom, to make this or that quotation from his lyrics. Simon's one of the very few pop-rock musicians I deeply admire.

Trouble is, the guy's such a perfectionist, he puts out a brand-new album only every 5-7 years. He HAD to be quick in putting out this last one (which is now some 5 years old) because of his experiencing the BIGGEST FLOP of his career, the '97 musical "The Cape Man." He alienated so many fans with his decision therein to use jailbird obscenity in his lyrics; I've read the lyrics to the CD mentioned above (I ALWAYS read all the lyrics first before a first listening to his new albums). I'm not optimistic about them, but I trust, musically, that there'll be more pleasant surprises awaiting.
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

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Post by Ralph » Fri May 20, 2005 2:30 pm

Three diffierent recordings of Respighi's "The Birds," a work that ALWAYS makes me smile.
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Wallingford
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Post by Wallingford » Fri May 20, 2005 2:43 pm

AH YES--that's ALSO numero-uno on my listening agenda--picked up Desire Defauw's classic recording with the CSO (reissued on RCA Camden, along with Borodin's Second).

I'm burning a CD of those along with Defauw's Bartered Bride Overture, same group.......not quite an hour's worth of music, but considering how hard his recordings are to come by, I'll be satisfied.
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

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Fri May 20, 2005 5:44 pm

Time for Mahler's Fifth with the New York Philharmonic under...Lenny, of course.
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Post by Ralph » Sat May 21, 2005 5:16 am

Casually listening to Bernstein conduct Haydn's "Paris" symphonies with the New York Philharmonic on that series that has each CD case graced with a painting by HRS, the Prince of Wales.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Post by MaestroDJS » Sat May 21, 2005 7:12 pm

MaestroDJS wrote:Szymanowski more or less went through the typical 3 periods in his music. His earliest period was greatly influenced by Richard Strauss and Max Reger, and his middle period added the influences of Claude Debussy, and Oriental idioms. The 3rd and final period of Polish Nationalism and Modernism produced perhaps his finest works: both of his violin concerti, his two string quartets, his ballet Harnasie and his marvelous Stabat Mater. My favorite is his Symphony No. 4 "Symphonie Concertante" for piano and orchestra, which really gets the pulse going. The finale seems to be a foot-stompin' cross between a mazurka and a bacchanale. Definitely music to turn the amplifiers up to eleven.
Today I'm listening to this wonderful work again, in the 3 recordings in my collection:

Artur Rubinstein, piano; Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra / Alfred Wallenstein
Piotr Paleczny, piano; Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra of Krakow / Jerzy Semkow
Tadeusz Zmudzinski, piano; Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra (Katowice) / Karol Stryja

Polish composer Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) completed his Symphony No. 4 in 1932. Subtitled "Symphonie Concertante for piano and orchestra", it was dedicated to his friend Polish pianist Arthur Rubinstein. This delightfully exuberant work, with an almost orgiastic finale, is one of my great favorites. Ironically it was composed during the dire final years of his life. Szymanowski designed the solo part for his own relatively modest piano technique, to perform in concert as a source of income. He had come from a wealthy and cultivated land-owning Polish family in Ukraine, but his family estate had been destroyed during the Russian Revolution 15 years earlier. In the final years of his life Szymanowski was virtually penniless, and ill with tuberculosis which was severely aggravated by his heavy smoking.

In September 1934, Szymanowski bitterly complained in a letter to his friend, Polish pianist Jan Smeterlin: "Polish officialdom (the Government) repeatedly refuses to recognize me. They do so only when I am needed for propaganda purposes, as it is impossible even for them to deny that among creative artists (not virtuosi) I alone (and not solely amongst composers but in other fields as well) have already acquired some reputation abroad. This is another story, which I will tell you another time. The fact is that they care nothing for me here, and that I could die without anyone lifting a finger.

"My funeral will be another story. I am convinced it will be splendid. People here love the funeral processions of great men. I see no reason why I should be silent about the scandalous conditions to which I am subjected. You can tell the world about it. I have tried everything I can and there seems to be no response."

Szymanowski was right. Arthur Rubinstein wrote in his autobiography My Many Years: "When he was no more, the authorities trumpeted pompously the loss of their great son. They prepared a Warsaw funeral with an unheard-of mass of publicity. A hundred thousand people were massed to watch the funeral. A special train transported his body, accompanied by ministers and the family, to Cracow for the grand burial at the church at Skalla, where only the greatest of the nation were allowed to lie. They put on the catafalque the insignia of the Grand Cross of the Polish Restituta, the nation's highest honor. What a bitter irony! For years they had made my dear Karol suffer through their meanness and now they were willing to spend a fortune on this big show."

Dave

David Stybr, Engineer and Composer: It's Left Brain vs. Right Brain: best 2 falls out of 3
http://members.SibeliusMusic.com/Stybr

Coordinator, Classical Music SIG (Special Interest Group) of American Mensa

Rosie: ein Walzer für Orchester -- http://www.SibeliusMusic.com/cgi-bin/sh ... reid=59153

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat May 21, 2005 7:21 pm

George Lloyd Symphony #9. A very pleasant work. Never heard of the composer before.
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Post by Michael » Sat May 21, 2005 7:26 pm

A dvd of Karajan with the VPO playing Dvorak 9... rather good :D
Michael from The Colne Valley, Yorkshire.

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Post by Ralph » Sat May 21, 2005 11:07 pm

It's 1:30AM and after a wonderful "Tosca" at the Met tonight, which I'll review in the morning, it's a CD of French Troubador songs before turning in.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun May 22, 2005 12:00 am

Ralph wrote: a CD of French Troubador songs before turning in.
Eh? Whose? Details.
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Post by Ralph » Sun May 22, 2005 5:31 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Ralph wrote: a CD of French Troubador songs before turning in.
Eh? Whose? Details.
*****

Later. I gotta run off to graduation and it's raining. I am taking Schumann's First and Second symphonies with me in the car. These are the New York Philharmonic recordings under Bernstein.
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Post by Dana » Sun May 22, 2005 9:49 am

Vaughan-Williams' Sea Symphony by Boult on EMI. Nothing needs be said except Nelson :)
Be away for a while - computer problems, then camp, then college - Expect me back when the bell tolls one!!!

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Post by Ralph » Sun May 22, 2005 7:08 pm

Here's one I picked up for $5.99 and I can't decide after one hearing if I like it or not.

"Works for Orchestra" by Alexander Tansman (1897-1986) with Antonio de Almeida conducting the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.

The disc has his Concerto for Orchestra, Etudes for Orchestra and Capricico for Orchestra. Polish-born Tansman lived most of his productive life in Paris - he was a friend of Stravinsky and the three works here show that influence. A bit on the wild side, actually.

I'll listen again tomorrow but the first time around didn't leave me jumping with joy.

MARCO POLO 8.223757.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Don Satz
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Post by Don Satz » Mon May 23, 2005 8:37 am

I've been listening to pianist Andreas Klein's Eroica disc titled "Dancing Through Time", devoted to classical works having dance rhythms. Included are Bach's French Suite No. 5, Schumann's Papillons, Chopin's Polonaise Op. 53, Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6, De Falla's Ritual Fire Dance, Ginastera's Argentian Dances, Stravinsky's Tango, Gershwin's Three Preludes, and Gieseking's Three Dance Improvisations.

Performances are very good, although not the most intense. However, this 'concept' disc fully delivers in terms of bringing out the dance characteristics of the works.
Don Satz

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Post by Ralph » Mon May 23, 2005 8:42 am

Beethoven, Symphony No. 7, Bernstein's last concert, recorded at Tanglewood.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

MartinPh
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 2:46 pm
Location: Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Post by MartinPh » Mon May 23, 2005 1:12 pm

Sibelius, Pelleas & Melisande and other pieces; Tapiola Sinfonietta/Tuomas Ollila on Ondine. Great stuff, excellent playing.

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
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Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Mon May 23, 2005 9:17 pm

Mahler 3 with Bernstein on DG.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Dana
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 9:06 pm

Post by Dana » Mon May 23, 2005 10:17 pm

Robert Schumann - Piano Quintet, Andante & Variations, Fantasiestucke, & Marchenbilder, with Martha Argerich, and assorted string players. Natalia Gutman plays the cello on the Fantasiestucke, and Nobuko Imai the viola on the Marchenbilder. I think Imai is my favorite violist, since hearing her do Harold in Italy.
Be away for a while - computer problems, then camp, then college - Expect me back when the bell tolls one!!!

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