8 years ago

Volume 16 Issue 4 - December 2010

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where the ex-First

where the ex-First Lady’s saying the underprivilegeddon’t mind uprooting is mockedstraight-faced by mezzo-soprano Abbyand honky-tonk piano. There’s poignancyAnthony Turner is a parlando lament fora victim’s missing wife. There’s also tenorIsaiah Robinson’s fully orchestrated gospellikerecasting of the statement that GeorgeBush didn’t care about black people by rap-Impressively as well, Turner and sopranoAllison Semple’s musical recreation of anwhich highlights swift-tongued talents, whilecrackling with the reporter’s indignation towardsthe platitude-spouting Louisiana senator.—Ken WaxmanOLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLESFine Old Recordings Re-releasedDeutsche Grammophon has issued Volume 2of their Collector’s Edition celebrating their111 years of leadership in the recording industry(DG 4779142, 56 CDs). The discs arepresented in a cube shaped box that matchesthis year. Available space makes it impossibleto list the contents or even the artists.of superb recordings of desirable repertoire,both familiar and slightly obscure, fromcomplete operas, Carmen and La Traviata,symphonies, concertos, instrumental recitals,top instrumentalists, singers, orchestras andconductors are all here, from Abbado toin the original cover-art and the 140 pageenclosed booklet includes complete contentsand recording data. Retailing at about .50per disc, this limited edition compact boxthat is much, much bigger on the inside, no unreleased Solomon recordings,AUDITEcordingsmade in Berlin by the RIAS onFebruary 23 and 24, 1956 (Audite 23.422).Solomon, for those who are unfamiliar withthe name or his superlative musicianship,was a child prodigy (so who wasn’t, I hearyou say) who continued to grow to become asupreme interpreter of Beethoven, Brahms,America in 1955 with recitals of works bySchumann. In this recording we hear twoBeethoven sonatas, no.3 and The Moonlight,Schumann’s Carnaval, Bach’s ItalianConcerto, Chopin’s Fantasie op.49, Nocturneop.9 no.1, and the Scherzo no.2 op.31. Threepieces by Brahms conclude this two hourrecital, two Intermezzos and the Rhapsody inB minorinsightful interpretations played with ardour,elegance and panache (in the nicest sense)ourrole. After suffering a stroke duringrecording sessions in October 1956, he leftthe stage and lived until 1988 cared for byhis wife. The liner notes have a mini bio andan appreciation of the pianist who, quite literally,became a legend in his own lifetime.Considering the artist and the repertoire, thisis a set to treasure.edarrival of Sviatoslav RichterAmerican concert scene was greeted withexcitement and enthusiasm. He was already-A new release from DOREMI (DHR-7972/3,2 CDs) icdebut with the Boston Symphony Orchestraplaying the First Beethoven Concerto andthe mighty Brahms Second. This extraordinaryconcert was broadcast across the contin-time in lucent, dynamic sound. It is thrillingto hear the resplendent Boston Symphony,dayunder the energetic Charles Munch accompanyingRichter who was in top shape,technically and artistically. Also included islegendary Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestraunder Kiril Kondrashin from 1955 in aperformance second to none in my memory.From the year before the Beethoven PianoConcerto No.3stylistically pure performance.Claudio Arrau established himself as one ofthe very top classical pianists of all time. Almost20 years after his death he remains onthe short list of critically acclaimed, elitepianists of the 20 th century. His repertoirehighlights were from the late classical andromantic eras, notably Brahms and Beethov-formancesof the two Brahms Concertos,of which he made many esteemed recordings.Into the 1960s Arrau was still a titanof the keyboard and at full technical and interpretativepowers. He played both concer-Gennady Rozhdestvenskyand the USSR TV and RadioLarge Symphony Orchestraeerswere on hand to document this specialevent, subsequently issuing a limited editionof two stereo LPs. DOREMI has resurrectedand restored these obscure record-(DHR-7890/1). Theseare towering performances distilling the latepianist’s lifetime of devotion to this repertoireand his total understanding, absorptionan insights supported by an empathetic conductorand his orchestra. They are heard inBeethoven sonatas, nos.13 and 26, from the—Bruce Surtees76 thewholenote.comDecember 1, 2010 - February 7, 2011

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