Monthly Archive: April 2009
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73 – NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini – Pristine Audio
This Toscanini reissue delivers a D Major Symphony that appeals to us instinctively, a most gratifying performance.
MAHLER: Symphony No. 8 – Viktoria Yastrebova, Ailish Tynan & Liudmila Dudinova, sopranos/Lilli Paasikivi & Zlata Bulycheva, mezzos/Sergey Semishkur, tenor/ Alexey Markov, bar./ Evgeny Nikitin, bass/Choirs/London Sym. Orch./Valery Gergiev – LSO Live
A performance of great emotional extremes, one that squeezes every drop of expression in between the notated score, and takes the time in doing so.
MOZART: Piano Concertos No. 20 K. 466 & No. 27 K. 595; Clifford Curzon (piano) / Benjamin Britten /English Chamber Orchestra – Esoteric
The sound on the SACD is terrific, unsurprising with Kenneth Wilkinson at the helm at the sessions, and is a substantial improvement over the standard CDs issued by Decca.
DVORÁK: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 “From the New World”; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra / István Kertész – Esoteric
A vintage Decca recording, engineered by James Brown, and remastered by Motoaki Ohmachi, the chief producer and President of Esoteric, from original tapes via DSD to a hybrid stereo SACD.
Les Grands Interpretes Hermann Scherchen, Vol. 6 = MAHLER: Kindertotenlieder; Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen; LISZT: Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos. 1-6: ST.-SAENS: Carnival of the Animals – Scherchen conducts – Tahra (2 CDs)
The collaborative pathos achieved between West and Scherchen’s forces makes this inscription eminently valuable to any Mahler connoisseur.
JOLIVET: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1950); RAVEL-CONSTANT: Gaspard de la nuit (orchestrated 1990); DEBUSSY-MOLINARI: L’isle joyeuse (orch. 1917) – Pacal Gallet, piano (Jolivet)/ Duisburger Philharmonic/ Jonathan Darlington – Acousence
An imaginative program from a German orchestra with a rich history of over 125 years.
Blu-ray Sales Up 105%; 4K Digital Cinema Might Be Next; GE 500GB Holographic DVD
Intense, energetic, and intelligent arrangements of pop songs and 20th Century classical music from one of the most interesting progressive jazz trios performing today.
The cyclopean colossus of Bruckner 5th Symphony is given new perspectives in this stripped-down version by the Champs-Élysées Orchestra.
Scelsi sought a unique, spherical and cosmic sound – expanding the potentialities of the black and white keys.
Leonard Rose: Live in Recital, 1953-1960 = Music of BACH, BEETHOVEN, SCHUMANN, DEBUSSY, BARBER, MARTINU, HAYDN, IBERT, CHOPIN, FRANCK, FRANCOEUR – with var. performers – VAI (2 CDs)
If there is an ideal sound for the cello, Rose had it.
The best-selling jazz/pop/fusion/smooth jazz quintet of 30 years keeps on keeping on.
****** MULTICHANNEL DISCS OF THE MONTH **********
An absolutely essential set of the glorious nine.
Strong young post-bop lions
Landsberger initially began on guitar as a Django Reinhardt fan, and then took up the piano and it wasn’t until 2001 that he switched to Hammond organ.
Charnett Moffett is an undisputed bass champion, a musician’s musician who has worked with everyone from Wynton Marsalis to Ornette Coleman, and from Art Blakey to Pharoah Sanders.
D’INDY: Symphony for Orchestra and Piano on a French Mountain Air, Op. 25 – Daniel Wayenberg, piano/Orchestre du Theatre des Champs Elysees/Ernest Bour – Pristine Audio
A fine remastering from a 1954 10-inch LP.
BEETHOVEN: Symphonies No. 3 (Eroica) and No. 7 – The Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam /Erich Kleiber – Pristine Classical
Decca’s CD produced from the master tape has a scrawny sound. Pristine’s restoration (from an LP) gets the orchestra sounding far more like it does in the Concertgebouw, and complete with its unmistakeable acoustic.
HAYDN: String Quartets, Vol. 2 – Op. 20, No. 4 in D major; Op. 64, No. 6 in E-flat; Op. 77, No. 1 in G major – The Amsterdam String Quartet – Channel Classics
A welcome second volume in what I hope will become an ongoing series. Superb!
Jerusalem, City of the Two Peaces: Heavenly peace and Earthly peace – Montserrat Figueras and many other performers/Hesperion XXI/Jordi Savall – Alia Vox (2 discs)
Wow! What a production!
BRIGHT SHENG: Red Silk Dance; Tibetan Swing; The Phoenix; H’un (Lacerations) – Bright Sheng, piano/ Shana Blake Hill, soprano/ Seattle Symphony/ Gerard Schwarz, conductor – Naxos
Good introduction to an important composer.