• Prokofiev: Third Piano Concerto

    Prokofiev: Third Piano Concerto

    Prokofiev’s great Third Piano Concerto has been Martha Argerich’s signature piece since she won competitions with it at the age of 16 in 1957. If you’re used to Bryon Janis’ reading on Mercury or have ...
  • Shore: The Lord of the Rings Symphony

    Shore: The Lord of the Rings Symphony

    Howard Shore’s many high-profile film scores include most of David Cronenberg’s movies, The Silence of the Lambs, and The Aviator. His grandest achievement, however, is his music for The Lord of the Rings—this earned him ...
  • Mackey: Lonely Motel

    Mackey: Lonely Motel

    For his hour-long song cycle, Steven Mackey’s protagonist is a “lovelorn psychologist”; 200 years ago, this sensitive soul would have been a poet. He’s holed up in a seedy motel, remembering, grieving, and mentally unraveling. ...
  • Rameau: Suties d'Orchestra

    Rameau: Suties d'Orchestra

    The almost suspiciously prolific Jordi Savall has delivered another brilliant program of some of the most interesting Baroque music ever written, four suites from Rameau’s ballets and operas. It’s raucous, it swings, it woos, it ...
  • Other Love Songs: Prince Consort

    Other Love Songs: Prince Consort

    Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzer (“Love-Song Waltzes”) evoke the peasant’s slower ländler rather than the Viennese waltz, suiting Brahms’s temperament better. The superb notes point out that listening to 18 brief waltzes in a row can be ...
  • Albeniz: Suite Espanola

    Albeniz: Suite Espanola

    This is an orchestration of Isaac Albeniz’s 1887 piano suite, here conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos who did the—gorgeous!—scoring himself. So idiomatically and effectively did Burgos accomplish this task that you’d never guess the ...
  • The Christmas Story

    The Christmas Story

    Choral conductor and singer Paul Hillier has modeled this unusual and unusually attractive program around the Nine Lessons and Carols of Christmas services from his youth in Great Britain. For this recording, based on seasonal ...
  • Bach: Ich hatte viel Bekummernis

    Bach: Ich hatte viel Bekummernis

    When I was about 12, a friend of my dad’s gave me Christopher Hogwood’s recordingof Bach’sBrandenburgConcertos; though I hear spotty intonation when I listen now, the bright sound and fresh playing won me completely, and ...
  • Live from the Marlboro Music Festival

    Live from the Marlboro Music Festival

    The Marlboro folks issued these three live-in-concert recordings for their 60th anniversary (their Web site points you to www.arkivmusic.com for purchasing— search for “Marlboro”). The festival was founded in 1951 by pianist Rudolf Serkin (its ...
  • New Dallas Wind Symphony Release from RR

    New Dallas Wind Symphony Release from RR

    SAN FRANCISCO - An all-American collaboration, The Dallas Wind Symphony and the Jim Cullum Jazz Band team up on this new sonic spectacular from Reference Recordings, PLAYING WITH FIRE! The five pieces presented here offer ...
  • Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies

    Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies

    Though I don’t usually care for chamber-sized Beethoven, Paavo Järvi’s exciting new cycle with the forty-some strong Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen gave me much pleasure. The playing is sensational: alert, responsive, virtuosic—a good thing too, since ...
  • Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty

    Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty

    This Sleeping Beauty, arguably the finest of Tchaikovsky’s ballets, was recorded in 1959 with Ernest Ansermet on the podium leading L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. These meticulously manufactured Speakers Corner LPs demonstrate well what Kenneth ...
  • Holst: The Planets

    Holst: The Planets

    Holst’s orchestral spectacular seems designed as an audiophile showpiece, and as you probably know there are several recordings of it that hit the sonic jackpot. Here’s another such, but with a twist: this one’s played ...

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