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Revisiting the Oldies: Gershwin and Copland


Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue*; An American in Paris; Cuban Overture. Ivan Davis, piano*; Cleveland Orchestra/Lorin Maazel.  Copland, Appalachian Spring; Fanfare for the Common Man. Los Angeles Philharmonic/Zubin Mehta. London Jubilee  417 716-2.  TT: 71.17 For me, as a professional musician and a professional listener, life doesn't always allow much time for repeat listening. But I find it instructive... Read More »


Schubert Quartets


Schubert, Quartets 15, 8. Takács Quartet. Hyperion CDA 68423 (CD). TT: 77.48 Schubert's harmonic innovations are broadly recognized. But, as these quartets show, he had a keen rhythmic and structural imagination as well. The Fifteenth Quartet is large-framed, with a twenty-minute first movement; after an imposing "dotted" introduction, a syncopated motif enters, becoming a sort of quirky... Read More »


Silvestrov Postludium No. 3


Silvestrov, Postludium No. 3. Matt Haimovitz, cello; Nadia Shpachenko, piano. Pentatone Music PTC5187305 (digital single). TT: 4.53. It's been two years since Russia invaded Ukraine, and Pentatone has chosen to mark the date with this single track of music by Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov. (To have labelled the release as "A Celebration of Ukrainian Culture," however, is... Read More »


DVOŘÁK, Symphony 6; Husitská Overture


DVOŘÁK, Symphony 6; Husitská Overture. Milwaukee Symphony/Zdeněk Mácal. Koss Classics KC-1001.  TT: 57.59 I was looking forward to hearing this, finally. I'd always been pleased by the sound of Koss headphones in various price ranges—though you'd not have mistaken them for Grado or Sennheiser—and I was anticipating engineering of comparably high, possibly audiophile quality. So Husitská, the... Read More »


Bartók Concertos


Bartók Concertos. Bartók Piano Concertos 1-3, Pascal Rogé, piano; London Symphony/Walter Weller. Violin Concerto 1, Kyung-Wha Chung, violin; Chicago Symphony/Sir Georg Solti. Violin Concerto 2, Iona Brown, violin; Philharmonia Orchestra/Simon Rattle. Two Portraits, Chantal Juillet, violin; Montreal Symphony/Charles Dutoit. Decca Eloquence 480 2320 (2 CDs).  TT: 79.30, 78.13. Downloads: Amazon.com (all except Violin Concerto 2) This compact collection, fitting Bartók's major concerti onto... Read More »


Alexis Ffrench


No, he's not a misprint "PEACE" Alexis Ffrench, piano. Sony Music Masterworks Ffrench: Peace; When the Bells Ring; St. Andrews. J.S. BACH (arr. Ffrench): Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring; Sheep May Safely Graze. Before I address the album contents, I'm going to allow myself a brief rant. Sony's biographical note tells us that "Alexis Ffrench is... Read More »


Bach O Jesu Christ


Bach, O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht, BWV 118; WERT: Egressus Jesus a 7 (arr. Praetorius). Choristers of New College, Oxford; Fretwork; Taverner Consort/Andrew Parrott. Avie AV 2619. TT: 11.13. This EP marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Taverner Consort, reflecting not only its intrepid exploration of repertoire and historical practice, but its collaborations with other "period"... Read More »


Paul Paray Post-Mercury - Liszt, Les Préludes; Mephisto Waltz


Liszt, Les Préludes; Mephisto Waltz; Orpheus; Mazeppa. Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra/Paul Paray. Festival Classique FC 416 (LP). TT: 51.54 My "retrospective" reviews have usually covered compact discs of—ahem—a certain vintage. But I know some audiophiles still favor vinyl over digital formats—I've never given up my own vinyl, though, with age, I'm looking to pare down the sprawling... Read More »


Noseda Conducts Prokofiev


PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 1 in D, Op. 25 ("Classical"). London Sympbhony Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda. LSO Live LSO0363 (download only). TT: 14.01. Downloads: eclassical.com (FLAC 24-bit or 16-bit, mp3) lsolive.lso.co.uk (FLAC, mp3); prestomusic.com (mp3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC); qobuz.com (24-bit, 192.0 kHz) Prokofiev's first symphony is an affectionate homage to, or sendup of, the Classical style (whence the subtitle), and should... Read More »


Berlioz from Cincinnati


Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique. Roméo et Juliette: Scène d'amour. Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi. Telarc CD-80578.  TT: 71.22. Downloads: classicalarchives.com (mp3) Like Cala Records and Avie Records, which I've recently discussed, Telarc Records, based in Cleveland, was created as an audiophile label. At first, they briefly pursued the "direct-to-disc" blind alley with Advent Records' Direct from Cleveland, presenting Lorin Maazel... Read More »


Mysterium - Music of Bach and Lauridsen


J.S. BACH: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (arr. Samuel Adler); Sheep May Safely Graze; Wachet auf (both arr. Len Rhodes). LAURIDSEN: O magnum mysterium (arr. Grant Gershon and Morten Lauridsen). Anne Akiko Meyers, violin; Los Angeles Master Chorale/Grant Gershon (with Jaebon Huang, organ). Avie Records AV 2585 (WAV download, approx. 19 mins.) Last issue, I was... Read More »


Cala Records, Ravel


RAVEL: Orchestral Works, volume 2. The Philharmonia/Geoffrey Simon. Cala CACD 1005.  TT: 75.42 Rapsodie espagnole. Le gibet (orch. Goossens). Five O'Clock Foxtrot (orch. Palmer). Piano Concerto in G (Gwendolyn Mok, piano). Pavane pour une infante défunte. Pièce en forme de habañera (orch. Hoérée; Han de Vries, oboe). Daphnis et Chloé: Suite 2. I picked up... Read More »


Jennifer Koh Plays Tchaikovsky


"Complete Works for Violin and Orchestra. "Jennifer Koh, violin; Odense Symphony/Alexander Vedernikov. Cedille CDR 90000 166.  TT: 74.20. Sérénade mélancolique, Op. 26.  Valse-Scherzo, Op. 34. Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35. Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42 (orch. Glazunov). Downloads/Streaming: amazon.com; cedillerecords.com; deezer.com; music.apple.com; pandora.app.link; qobuz.com; tidal.com I'm surprised we didn't see more of this sort of compendium... Read More »


The Unknown Pauline Viardot


Chamber songs and duets. Corina Feldkamp, soprano; Anna Tonna, mezzo-soprano; Isabel Dobarro, pianist. Cezanne CZ 090. TT: 52.21 Caña española. El corazón triste. Canción española. Seguidillas de los oficialitos. Fandango. Mi numen parlero. Mazourka de Blagoïska. Stanzas for music. Amor con sue promesse. Occhi miei. Come fan' le ragazze. Saluto. Dimmelo caro ben. Le moissonneur. Scène de... Read More »


Novus Quartet Plays Shostakovich


Shostakovich: String Quartets: No 3 in F, Op. 71; No 8 in C minor, Op. 110. Novus Quartet. Aparte AP 271.  TT: 54.19 It's one up, one down—and not as you might have expected, or hoped. The five-movement F Major Quartet hovers uneasily, or schizophrenically, between Shostakovich's "traditional" style and his more angular, "modern" one. The... Read More »


Chamber Sondheim?


Sondheim (arr. Stern), A Little Night Music: Suite. Opus Two (William Terwilliger, violin; Andrew Cooperstock, piano). Bridge 4010.  TT: 14.31 That's not a typo in the headnote: this issue clocks in at just under fifteen minutes. It's the classical-crossover equivalent of a pop EP—an "extended play" single—though it isn't actually being offered in that format. I heard... Read More »


Glazunov, Up and Down


Glazunov, Symphony No. 6 in C minor, Op. 58; La mer, Op. 28; Introduction and Dance from Salome, Op. 90. Royal Scottish National Orchestra/José Serebrier. Warner Classics 2564-69627-0. TT: 66.48 Downloads: amazon.com (mp3); prestomusic.com (320 kbps mp3, FLAC); qobuz.com ("16-Bit CD quality," 44.1 kHz). Streaming: app.idagio.com; spotify.com Coming to the classics, as I did, by way of... Read More »


Concertante Works of Rossini


Rossini: Orchestral Music. Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer. Channel Classics CCS SA 27708. TT: 65.00 La scala di seta: Overture. Serenata per piccolo compresso. String Sonata in G Major. Le rendez-vous de chasse. Variazioni a più instrumenti obbligati. Andante, e Tema con Variazioni per quattro strumenti a fiato. Semiramide: Overture. Downloads: amazon.com (.mp3); channelclassics.com ("stereo and multichannel");... Read More »


Paris, Hilary Hahn


Paris, Hilary Hahn (violin); Radio France Philharmonic/Mikko Franck. DG 00289 483 9847 (CD).  TT: 52.51. CHAUSSON: Poème. PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D. RAUTAVAARA: Deux sérénades. The chief interest here lies in Einojuhari Rautavaara's Deux sérénades, adapted for Hilary Hahn from his opera The House of the Sun; when the composer died in mid-project, his onetime student... Read More »


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