Monthly Archive: December 2008
BARBER: Cello Sonata in C Minor, Op. 6; GRIEG: Cello Sonata in A Minor, Op. 36; MARTINU: Variations on a Slovakian Theme – Kristine Blaumane, cello/Jacob Katnelson, piano – Quartz
An expressive sound document: three individualistic approaches to the cello literature, played by two youthful, enthusiastic artists.
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21; Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 – Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Pierre Monteux (Op. 21)/Pittsburgh Symphony/William Steinberg – HDTT CD-R
Here’s a Seventh that bears comparison with the best of them.
JAMES COHN: Symphonies Nos. 2 (1949) & 7 (1967); Variations on “The Wayfaring Stranger” (1960); Waltz in D (1957/1962) – Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/ Vakhtang Jordania & Kirk Trevor (Sym. 2 & Waltz) – Naxos
Worthwhile works of an American composer who has Naxos to thank for the exposure the major labels have failed to give him.
GRAMMY Week Events Announced for February; Last Major Supplier of VHS Tapes Wraps It Up January 1; Changes at LG Electronics
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43; Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 82; Alla marcia from Karelia Suite, Op. 11 – London Philharmonic Orchestra/Basil Cameron (Op. 43)/Erich Leinsdorf - Dutton
Off-the-beaten-path perspectives on repertory that had been traversed by more familiar interpreters like Kajanus, Koussevitzky, and Beecham.
‘Italia 1600 / Argentina 1900:’ Music by PORPORA, VIVALDI, MONTEVERDI, PIAZZOLLA, HANDEL and others – Veronica Cangemi, soprano/ Una Stella Ensemble – Naive
Cangemi’s voice makes this CD one to cherish in the way in which she seems to make time and space stand still while she savors an emotion or is overcome by it.
There is no key to understanding. Rather it’s a combination lock you mostly have to figure out yourself.
MENDELSSOHN: String Quintets Nos. 1 in A; 2 in B-flat – Fine Art Quartet/ Danilo Rossi, viola – Naxos
A fine new reading of these warhorses by a favorite ensemble
ORLANDO DE LASSUS: Cantiones Sacrae – Collegium Vocale Gent/ Philippe Herreweghe, conductor – Harmonia mundi
Another winner from Herreweghe and company
SCHUBERT: An mein Herz = Lieder, Volume 2 – Matthias Goerne, baritone/ Helmut Deutsch, Eric Schneider, piano – Harmonia mundi
The Goerne Schubert Edition continues with another fine issue
RACHMANINOV: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18; Moments Musicaux, Op. 16 – Dejan Lazic, piano/ London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Kiril Petrenko, conductor – Channel Classics
A fine outing by an excellent pianist but facing rugged competition
R. STRAUSS: Four Last Songs; Ariadne auf Naxos: 3 arias; Die agyptische Helena: Zweite Brautnacht!; Verfuhrung, op. 33 No. 1; Freundliche Vision; Winterweihe; Zueignung – Renee Fleming, soprano/ Munich Philharmonic/Christian Thielemann – Decca
Another go at the Four Last Songs—but was it necessary?
BENJAMIN LEES: Toccata; 6 Ornamental Etudes; 3 Preludes; Sonata Breve; Odyssey – Mirian Conti, piano – Toccata Classics
The athletic Mr. Lees presents some challenging piano music
In this special live concert at the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona he brought together his Touchstone band of mostly flamenco/jazz musicians from around the world.
The third installment of the popular Brendan Fraser franchise takes the mummy-battling hero to China
BEETHOVEN: Quartet in C Minor, Op. 18 No. 4; Quartet in B-Flat Major, Op. 130 with the Grosse Fugue Op. 133 – Fry Street Quartet – IsoMike
The Fry Street Quartet plays fearlessly and with splendid technique on this superb SACD.
A serious and moving story of hope and redemption on subject not so far covered in such a feature film presentation
GEORGE WALKER: Address for Orchestra; Overture: In Praise of Folly; Sinfonia No. 1; Sinfonia No. 3; Hoopla (A Touch of Glee) – Sinfonia Varsovia / Ian Hobson – Albany
George Walker had the same composition teacher, Rosario Scalero, as Barber and Menotti, the result of which is some very finely crafted pieces.
BARTÓK: String Quartet No.3 Sz. 85; String Quartet No.4 Sz. 91; WEINER: String Quartet No.3 Op.26 – Párkányi Quartet – Praga Digitals
This cycle by the Párkányi Quartet is extremely fine, highly recommended and very well worth considering for the extra bonus of superb high-resolution surround and stereo.
A moving filmic bio with excerpts from some of the composer’s finest music, with performers such as Simon Rattle.
This four-part series covered the entertainers who got TV rolling in its struggling early days, as well as some of those who continue to keep us entertained today.
ERNO DOHNANYI: Variations on a Nursery Song; Konzertstück; Piano Concerto No. 2 in B minor – Erno Dohnanyi, piano/Royal Philharmonic/Sir Adrian Boult; Janos Starker, cello/Philharmonia Orchestra/Walter Süsskind – Praga Digitals
Historic 1956 recordings remastered for SACD.