Issue 38:1
Sept/Oct 2014
Magazine Contents

Classical Recordings Pg. 8

There seems to be a mini-trend afoot to pair repertoire classics with contemporary music inspired by or modeled on specific masterworks. I have documented this in...

If I may judge by the eight recordings that I own, the Overture, Scherzo, and Finale has done rather well on the LP and CD formats....

This album is titled Schumann: Two Three Sonatas for Violin and Piano, the strikeout of “two” a reference to the fact that the much lesser-known Third...

These are great performances, available for the first time on CD. Why should one get monaural recordings of works Munch and the BSO re-recorded in stereo?...

Seldom have I encountered a disc of such consistently dull music as this, announced as the second volume of Gerard Schurmann’s chamber music. Volume I has...

As J. F. Weber just contributed an excellent review of this release to these pages in 37:6, I will confine myself to a few supplemental remarks...

Sviatoslav Richter was probably the most enigmatic pianist among all the greats of his era, since he had an almost pathological aversion to recording or filming...

Twenty-five-year-old pianist Sean Chen has amassed an impressive set of credentials during his burgeoning career: third prize at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, second...

It’s a nice idea to juxtapose music by Ravel and Scriabin in this disc entitled La Valse (although it is a bit of a stretch to...

Ahmed Adnan Saygun (1907–1991) was the leading Turkish composer of his time. He utilized melodic and rhythmic aspects of traditional Turkish music in large-scale orchestral and...

These cello concertos are relatively late works, and both were written for Mstislav Rostropovich. The First appeared in 1959, six years after the death of Stalin,...

Everything about this release holds great promise: Truls Mørk, one of the world’s top cellists and a veteran of Shostakovich’s cello concertos in two previous recordings,...

Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 is one of those works where a single recorded performance has essentially dominated the field since its initial release over a...

Is Gerald Finley today’s Fischer-Dieskau? I don’t mean to suggest that their voices sound alike—or that they share an interpretive perspective. But like his predecessor, Finley...

Shostakovich lived through difficult circumstances between the ages of 19 and 65––the ages when he composed his first and last symphonies. His music reflects those difficulties...

Olga Lamm recalled of the First Symphony’s premiere that “the ticket controllers had to fight off the students who were pushing their way through. They succeeded...

Mariss Jansons is not new to either of these scores. Between 1988 and 2005, he recorded all 15 of Shostakovich’s symphonies, most in live performances, with...

Shostakovich’s recurring, some would say unabated, obsession with human misery and suffering, reaches new depths of baleful gloom and doom in his penultimate 14th Symphony. Based...

In business since 1930, a group calling itself the Smetana Trio has had a long run, but as with any ensemble of such advanced age—its original...

Here it is; the recording of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto I’ve always wanted. Ironically, though, it’s not either of the two I’ve been wishing and waiting for,...

Female violinists have seemed over the years to take an especial interest in Sibelius’s Concerto, one of the most muscular in the repertoire: Among the earliest...

If this were a recording of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, I’d be totally in my comfort zone reviewing it, what with the 40 or more versions of...

Composer Pamela Skylar is fascinated by how Ancient Egypt whispers to us, even today: through Art Deco, but also as an example of how to behave...

I’ve encountered the music of Stuart Saunders Smith (b. 1948) periodically over the years, and I admit I had both a fuzzy and not very positive...

Distributed through militarymusic.com The March King had a lifelong distrust of recordings. Of the 1,166 shellacs that the Sousa Band made for the Victor Talking Machine...

A generation ago, when recordings of Spohr’s clarinet concertos were rare, these performances would have been greeted with enthusiasm, if not outright ecstasy. South African clarinetist...

Louis Spohr was the leading German violinist of his day, and wrote a large amount of music for his instrument, including no fewer than 15 concertos....

Violinist Francesco Parrino and pianist Michele Fedrigotti include three first recordings in their collection of compositions for violin and piano by Louis Spohr: the duos, opp....

This rather massive set of the Complete Vocal Chamber Music of Gaspare Spontini gives us nearly six hours’ worth of music we’ve never heard before (all...

Lewis Spratlan (b. 1940) was a surprise winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. A professor of composition at Amherst College, I suspect many in the...

Eleanore Contucci has a radiantly beautiful voice. It is a pity that she cannot sing on pitch. She seems to be walking on eggs in her...

Rand Steiger (b. 1957) has been active on the West Coast (specifically the Los Angeles area) for decades, but his presence has been felt nationally as...

From the extroverted photographs of Chinese French hornist Xiaoming Han that accompany this disc, I expected a stronger musical personality than the one that came across....

The Viennese audience on New Year’s Eve in 1960 was having a rollicking good time. They laughed so hard at the dialogue in this sparkling

Furtwängler collectors probably already have the tone poems in good transfers. Interestingly, the best transfer is on Pristine, and it features the same repertoire coupling, but...

Thomas Beecham recorded Don Quixote twice, the present 1932 account in New York with Alfred Wallenstein and a recording 15 years later with the Royal Philharmonic...

The world premiere of Strauss’s Four Last Songs was given on May 22, 1950, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and was privately recorded. Versions...

The greatest Strauss singers can color the vocal line with endless shades of longing, tenderness, and ecstasy. Otherwise, his Lieder will become sweet upon sweet. (Your...

Irish author Oscar Wilde meant to shock and titillate theatergoers when he wrote his version of the biblical Salome story in 1893. Richard Strauss also certainly...

This may be one of the finest recordings in the extensive discography of Thomas Hampson, and anyone with even a passing interest in Strauss’s songs should...

We are accustomed to rich, dark performances of Stravinsky’s opera-oratorio. This one has a Neoclassical touch: plenty of power, but with thinner orchestral and choral textures...

Oh, that ominous headnote. What can it mean? Someone dares to trifle with Stravinsky? By way of partial explanation, The Bad Plus is a prominent and...

Marco Vitale is given top billing on this album, followed by the spinet he plays. The music gets billed on the back of the cover, seemingly...

The Birringer sisters, violinist Lea and pianist Esther, have built their program for Gema from sonatas written the first half of the 20th century; Szymanowski’s, from...

This bare-bones, Spanish production introduces the solo piano music of Japanese composer Satoshi Tanaka. The brief bio relates that he was born in 1956 in Hokkaido...

It’s a sign of the times that all three of these late chamber works by Taneyev have multiple recordings in print. And this album provides some...

In reviewing Kasper Holten’s Covent Garden production of Onegin (37:5), I briefly discussed a Metropolitan Opera staging by Robert Carsen (Decca), which I recommended as a...

Conductor Alexander Titov is a busy man. He’s the focal point of the Wartime Music series on Northern Flowers and has there recorded a swathe of...