C Major Archive

Tango Under the Stars, Blu-ray (2016)

Tango Under the Stars, Blu-ray (2016)

A wonderful evening of tango-related works in the Hollywood Bowl. Tango Under the Stars, Blu-ray (2016) Performers: Gustavo Dudamel and the Hollywood Bowl Orch./ Angel Romero, guitar/Lalo Schifrin/ Tango Buenos Aires Dancers/ Seth Asarnow, bandoneon Director: Michael Beyer Studio: C Major (Distr. by Naxos) [3/24/17] Program: LALO SCHIFRIN: Concerto for Guitar and Orch. No. 2; Concierto de la Amistad; GINASTERA: Four Dances from Estancia; PIAZZOLLA: Tangaso, La Muerte del Angel; Adios Nonino; Oblivion; Libertango Video:  1080i for 16:9 screens, HD colorAudio: DTS 5.1 Language: English, German, French, Spanish Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish All regions Extras: Featurettes on Dudamel, Schifrin & Romero (19 min.) Length: 83 min. (total 102 min.) Rating: ***** This was a most invigorating evening at the Hollywood Bowl. Gustavo Dudamel is perfect as the conductor of the orchestra and the assemblage of this evening, which accents the colors, rhythms and passion of music by Piazzolla – the master of The New Tango – composer Lalo Schifrin, composer Ginastera, noted guitarist Angel Romero and the dancers of the authentic tango from Buenos Aires.  Alberto Ginastera was Dudamel’s first teacher, and he has become an important 20th century classical composer of the Americas. Four of his exciting dances […]

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Blu-ray (2016)

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Blu-ray (2016)

A classic that has been seen by millions—now in your living room. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Blu-ray (2016) TCHAIKOVSKY: The Nutcracker (Live from Lincoln Center) Performers: The New York City Ballet Director: Katherine E. Brown Producer: John Goberman Studio: C Major 738704 2016 [Distr. by Naxos] Video: 16:9 HD Blu-ray Audio: PCM Stereo 2.0, DTS-HD MA 5.0 Subtitles: Italian, German, English, French No region code Length: 100 min. Extras: Behind the Stage (10 min.) Rating: ***** Balanchine’s Nutcracker has been a staple for 64 years at the New York City Ballet. It’s seen by over 100,000 people annually, and countless versions of it have been given throughout the United States, popularizing the work in a way that Tchaikovsky could never imagine. It’s no secret as to why this particular vision of the piece has proved so enormously widespread—the fanciful delights of this rabidly gorgeous production, the inevitable deliberateness of the dance numbers that are perfectly executable yet still breathlessly entertaining, and the magical atmospherics add up to a production that is fully worthy of the accolades received over the years. It’s about time we had this on Blu-ray, in stunning sound and superb color, with a bonus segment that takes […]

RACHMANINOV: Variations on a Theme of Chopin; Variations on Theme of Corelli – Marianna Prjevalskaya, p. – Fanfare Cincinnati

RACHMANINOV: Variations on a Theme of Chopin; Variations on Theme of Corelli – Marianna Prjevalskaya, p. – Fanfare Cincinnati

Strong virtuosity and intelligent virtuosity mark pianist Prjevalskaya’s sojourn into Rachmaninov variations. RACHMANINOV: Variations on a Theme of Chopin, Op. 22; Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42 – Marianna Prjevalskaya, p. – Fanfare Cincinnati FC-008, 51:30 (6/10/16) [Distr. by Naxos] *****:  Marianna Prjevalskaya (b. 1982), gold medal winner of the 2013 Cincinnati World Piano Competition, performs (rec. 20-24 July 2015) two sets of Rachmaninov variations, each respectively a testament to the composer’s love for Chopin and Liszt.  Prjevalskaya recorded these Rachmaninov works in the Robert J. Werner Recital Hall at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. The more neglected of the sets, those composed in 1902-30 on Chopin’s c minor Prelude from Op. 28, presents a major challenge to composer, interpreter, and audience alike. What may appear as a relatively static piece – rather a study in gradations of tone – become via Rachmaninov’s sense of tone-color and harmonic exploration, increasingly complex, increasing their depth and vertical density. A large song-form in structure, the variations fall into three broad sections: 1-10, which share the c minor tonality; 11-18, which exploit lyrical and contrapuntal aspects of the music’s potential; and 19-22, which close the large arc of the […]

SIBELIUS: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 5 & 7 cond. by Leonard Bernstein – Blu-ray (2015)

SIBELIUS: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 5 & 7 cond. by Leonard Bernstein – Blu-ray (2015)

SIBELIUS: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 5 & 7 cond. by Leonard Bernstein – Blu-ray (2015) Performers: Vienna Philharmonic/ Leonard Bernstein Studio: Unitel/C Major [Distr. by Naxos] (11/13/15) Director: Humphrey Burton Video: 1080i color for 16 x 9 (Symphonies 1, 5 & 7) 4 x 3: Sym. 2 Audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM Stereo All Regions Extras: Previews of other Unitel releases Video: *** Audio: **** Superb Sibelius from the ‘80s with Bernstein. In the mid 1980s, Unitel began recording a complete cycle of Sibelius symphonies with Leonard Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic. Bernstein’s death in 1990 unfortunately cut short this project after the release of Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 7. Now, these 4 symphonies have been released on a single Blu-ray disc with an option to listen in multi-channel sound. While the Blu-ray release is new, these performances had earlier incarnations on DVD, and I remember some of the Unitel discs being released on Laserdisc back in the day. Bernsein, like von Karajan and Barbirolli, was a champion of Sibelius’ music, and he recorded a well-regarded set of the symphonies in the sixties. It’s a shame Bernstein did not complete this more recent survey of the symphonies, but […]