• Charpentier: 72 Etudes Karnatiques

    Charpentier: 72 Etudes Karnatiques

    Jacques Charpentier is a French composer (born in Paris in 1933) who adopted a musical-philosophical aesthetic derived from his mentor Olivier Messiaen: mystical, visionary, ecstatic, “Eastern,” cosmic. His 72 Etudes Karnatiques is an expression of ...
  • Martin: Golgotha

    Martin: Golgotha

    For Frank Martin—the son of a Calvinist minister whose musical epiphany came at the age of 12, when he heard a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion—a work like Golgotha was almost inevitable. Drawing on ...
  • Elgar: Violin Concerto

    Elgar: Violin Concerto

    Like a dog who keeps burying his favorite bone so he can have the pleasure of “discovering” it again, I return to the Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider. It’s been gratifying to see him taking on ...
  • Stravinnsky: Pulcinella

    Stravinnsky: Pulcinella

    Nearly 84 years old when these live performances were recorded in Chicago, Pierre Boulez remains a musical force to be reckoned with. The composer and conductor, once known to members of the New York Philharmonic ...
  • Paganini: 24 Caprices

    Paganini: 24 Caprices

    Niccolò Paganini was arguably the greatest virtuoso on any instrument of all time—and the 24 Caprices his finest creation. The intrepid violinist who takes on this staggeringly difficult compendium of technical challenges, playing alone, without ...
  • Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

    Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

    How many versions of Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle do you own? Whether the answer is one, two, five...or zero, this 14- CD box set, recorded at the 2008 Bayreuth Festival and reasonably priced at $139, ...
  • Mendelssohn Discoveries

    Mendelssohn Discoveries

    The 200th anniversary of Mendelssohn’s birth has come and gone, without having produced much excitement on the recording front. Leaving us to wonder: Where are today’s Mendelssohnians? Well, one seems to be right where you ...
  • Gassman: Overtures

    Gassman: Overtures

    Students of music’s Classical period are familiar with the name of Florian Leopold Gassmann, though few, it’s safe to say, have ever actually heard his music. It was the Bohemian-born, Italian-trained Gassmann (1729-74) who brought ...
  • Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 3

    Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 3

    Brahms was famously casual about performance instructions for his own compositions. And, following Bach and Beethoven before him—both of whom recast their violin concertos using keyboard protagonists—he wasn’t at all averse to arrangements of his ...
  • Wagner: Parsifal

    Wagner: Parsifal

    Hans Knappertsbusch (1888-1965) had a special affinity for Wagner—a connection to the source. In the early years of the last century, he was an assistant to the composer’s son Siegfried and a pupil of Hans ...

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