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  »  New  CDs: good tendencies...  CDs: good tendencies....  Musical Discussions  Forum     0  8989  05-10-2006
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Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,545
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 2181
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Music and Arts' Spring...


CD-1124(2) J.S. BACH: THE FRENCH SUITES. BWV 812-817, selected Preludes, BWV 923, 999, 815a, and three Preludes from the Well-Tempered Clavier, performed by David Cates, harpsichord. CD1 49:38; CD2 45:22. DDD UPC #0-17685-11242-3 Reg. 29.90; now 14.95 until 15 April 2006

BUZZ: Bach’s French Suites are, in general, more intimate and smaller in scale than Bach’s other suite collections for keyboard. The movements are generally shorter and the keyboard range smaller than is required in his later pieces. This apparent economy, however, does not lessen the quality of the French Suites. They are less overtly showy, perhaps, but nevertheless imbued with spirit and feeling, grace and lyricism, and on occasion, brilliance as well. Their more intimate nature conceals very considerable challenges for the performer.

David Cates, who plays a harpsichord made by Owen Daly in 1999, after an instrument by Antoine Vaudry built in 1981, is rapidly becoming recognized as one today’s most unique and important artists performing on the harpsichord. His previous recordings of solo works by Froberger and J.S. Bach have met with widespread critical acclaim. The 2002 Classical Music Listener’s Companion calls him one of the 20 most important harpsichordists recording today, “an unusual interpreter” and an “outstanding talent”.

“There can be little but praise for the performances, the great strength of which is Cates’s linear approach to the music, an important factor in works that for Bach rely to an unusual degree on melodic line. One need listen only to the conception of No. 6’s noble Sarabande, or the equivalent movement of No. 3, where Cates’s poised, quiet introspection draws the listener unerringly into the music.” Brian Robins, Fanfare

“Here...is a release that breaks all the rules...If, like me, you long for unusual and revelatory performances of old warhorses, you’ll find all that you want and more in David Cates’s reading of the French Suites.” Rob Haskins, American Record Guide

“This newly issued recording of the French Suites is a must for every Bach keyboard enthusiast and would also be an excellent choice as one’s only version. David Cates offers a constant level of excellence I haven’t found in any other version I know. What Bach’s inspiration offers us is exactly what Cates provides. ...He delivers the total package with harpsichord sound that can’t be beaten...I urge readers to add it to their Bach library.” Don Satz, MusicWeb.uk.net (UK)


CD-1124(2) J.S. BACH: THE FRENCH SUITES. BWV 812-817, selected Preludes, BWV 923, 999, 815a, and three Preludes from the Well-Tempered Clavier, performed by David Cates, harpsichord. CD1 49:38; CD2 45:22. DDD UPC #0-17685-11242-3 Reg. 29.90; now 14.95 until 15 April 2006

BUZZ: Bach’s French Suites are, in general, more intimate and smaller in scale than Bach’s other suite collections for keyboard. The movements are generally shorter and the keyboard range smaller than is required in his later pieces. This apparent economy, however, does not lessen the quality of the French Suites. They are less overtly showy, perhaps, but nevertheless imbued with spirit and feeling, grace and lyricism, and on occasion, brilliance as well. Their more intimate nature conceals very considerable challenges for the performer.

David Cates, who plays a harpsichord made by Owen Daly in 1999, after an instrument by Antoine Vaudry built in 1981, is rapidly becoming recognized as one today’s most unique and important artists performing on the harpsichord. His previous recordings of solo works by Froberger and J.S. Bach have met with widespread critical acclaim. The 2002 Classical Music Listener’s Companion calls him one of the 20 most important harpsichordists recording today, “an unusual interpreter” and an “outstanding talent”.

“There can be little but praise for the performances, the great strength of which is Cates’s linear approach to the music, an important factor in works that for Bach rely to an unusual degree on melodic line. One need listen only to the conception of No. 6’s noble Sarabande, or the equivalent movement of No. 3, where Cates’s poised, quiet introspection draws the listener unerringly into the music.” Brian Robins, Fanfare

“Here...is a release that breaks all the rules...If, like me, you long for unusual and revelatory performances of old warhorses, you’ll find all that you want and more in David Cates’s reading of the French Suites.” Rob Haskins, American Record Guide

“This newly issued recording of the French Suites is a must for every Bach keyboard enthusiast and would also be an excellent choice as one’s only version. David Cates offers a constant level of excellence I haven’t found in any other version I know. What Bach’s inspiration offers us is exactly what Cates provides. ...He delivers the total package with harpsichord sound that can’t be beaten...I urge readers to add it to their Bach library.” Don Satz, MusicWeb.uk.net (UK)


CD-1130(1) LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI--A FABLED CONCERT PERFORMANCE Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 8 in E-flat "Symphony of a Thousand". Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra with Carlos Alexander, Eugene Conley, Frances Yeend, Martha Lipton, George Gordon, Uta Graf, Camilla Williams, Louis Bernhardt, the Westminster Choir, Schola Cantorum, and the Boys_ Choir from P.S. No. 12 (April, 1950). AAD, 77:58. Originally released in 1988 as part of Music & Arts CD set number CD-280 UPC# 0-17685-11302-4. Reg. 14.95 now 7.95 until 15 April 2006

BUZZ: Stokowski gave the U.S. premiere of the work and was a renowned exponent of Mahler's music. On its initial release, Kevin Conklin wrote of this recording in Stereophile: "This is the most consistently satisfactory performance of the Mahler Eighth I know, and a powerful argument for preferring a live recording of the work. It deserves to be known as widely as the famous Bruno Walter/Kathleen Ferrier Das Lied von der Erde of about the same vintage."

“It is his direct association with the music’s origins that will make this disc irresistible to Mahlerians. Recommended.” W. S. Habington, La Scena Musicale


CD-1134(1) ARTURO TOSCANINI CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN: SYMPHONY NO. 3 in E-flat, Op.55, "Eroica" ( NBC S.O., 3 Dec. 1938); LEONORE 3 OVERTURE (NBC S.O., 6 March 1948); CORIOLAN OVERTURE (NBC S.O., 6 Dec. 1953). Restorations: Graham Newton (2004). "Eroica" previously released on CD-264 (1987); "Coriolan" previously released on CD-3007 (1988); "Leonore III" previously unissued. AAD. Total time: 66:52; UPC # 0-17685-11342-0. Reg. 14.95 now 7.95 until 15 April 2006

BUZZ: This collection includes Toscanini’s very first NBC "Eroica" broadcast praised by the late critic B.H. Haggin as one of the Maestro’s finest, in near-hi-fi sound, coupled with two fine readings of overtures.

“In short, for those interested in Toscanini, this is a disc worth having.” Mortimer H. Frank, Fanfare


CD-1134(1) ARTURO TOSCANINI CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN: SYMPHONY NO. 3 in E-flat, Op.55, "Eroica" ( NBC S.O., 3 Dec. 1938); LEONORE 3 OVERTURE (NBC S.O., 6 March 1948); CORIOLAN OVERTURE (NBC S.O., 6 Dec. 1953). Restorations: Graham Newton (2004). "Eroica" previously released on CD-264 (1987); "Coriolan" previously released on CD-3007 (1988); "Leonore III" previously unissued. AAD. Total time: 66:52; UPC # 0-17685-11342-0. Reg. 14.95 now 7.95 until 15 April 2006

BUZZ: This collection includes Toscanini’s very first NBC "Eroica" broadcast praised by the late critic B.H. Haggin as one of the Maestro’s finest, in near-hi-fi sound, coupled with two fine readings of overtures.

“In short, for those interested in Toscanini, this is a disc worth having.” Mortimer H. Frank, Fanfare


CD-1138(2) SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY CONDUCTS TCHAIKOVSKY SYMPHONIES. Symphony No 4 in F Minor, Op. 36 rec: Boston Symphony Orchestra, March 11, 1949; Symphony Hall, Boston; Symphony No 5 in E Minor, Op. 64 rec: Boston Symphony Orchestra, November 6, 1943; Symphony Hall, Boston; Symphony No 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 "Pathetique" rec: Boston Symphony Orchestra, February 9, 1946; Symphony Hall, Boston. Previously unissued live performances. CD 1 = 68:26. CD 2 = 63:47. Technical reconstruction (2004): Aaron Z. Snyder; notes by American Record Guide contributor Tom Godell. (AAD) UPC#17685-1138-2. Not for sale in the USA. Reg. 29.90; now 14.95 until 15 April 2006

 

BUZZ: Koussevitzky's early biographer Lourie reports that in his salad days Koussevitzky--like his mentor Arthur Nikisch--"based his performances of Tchaikovsky on the emotional side of the music...(but in later years) after undergoing a great and serious evolution... [Koussevitzky] adopted a correct and entirely new method of treating this composer". While that new method may have emphasized the music's symphonic structure and Beethovenian dynamism, Koussevitzky never slighted the seething emotions that permeate this composer's scores. Ever the showman, Koussevitzky deftly portrays the composer's shifting moods, from the ink-black darkness and devastation of the Pathetique to the incredible resilience of the human spirit captured in the closing moments of the Fourth Symphony, immediately following the last and most disturbing appearance of the fate motif. The playing of the Boston Symphony in this set is utterly fearless, no matter how fast the tempo or intricate the writing. Just listen to the snap of the pizzicato strings in the Fourth Symphony's scherzo or the boundless enthusiasm of the brass in finale from the Fifth.

“Yet, whether or not one believes it distorts the music’s shape, there can be no disputing the wonderfully expressive, fearless playing he gets from his Boston musicians—who perform as if they are as much in love with the music as he is...” David Cairns, The Sunday Times (UK)


 

BUZZ: Koussevitzky's early biographer Lourie reports that in his salad days Koussevitzky--like his mentor Arthur Nikisch--"based his performances of Tchaikovsky on the emotional side of the music...(but in later years) after undergoing a great and serious evolution... [Koussevitzky] adopted a correct and entirely new method of treating this composer". While that new method may have emphasized the music's symphonic structure and Beethovenian dynamism, Koussevitzky never slighted the seething emotions that permeate this composer's scores. Ever the showman, Koussevitzky deftly portrays the composer's shifting moods, from the ink-black darkness and devastation of the Pathetique to the incredible resilience of the human spirit captured in the closing moments of the Fourth Symphony, immediately following the last and most disturbing appearance of the fate motif. The playing of the Boston Symphony in this set is utterly fearless, no matter how fast the tempo or intricate the writing. Just listen to the snap of the pizzicato strings in the Fourth Symphony's scherzo or the boundless enthusiasm of the brass in finale from the Fifth.

“Yet, whether or not one believes it distorts the music’s shape, there can be no disputing the wonderfully expressive, fearless playing he gets from his Boston musicians—who perform as if they are as much in love with the music as he is...” David Cairns, The Sunday Times (UK)


CD-1140(1) GUIDO CANTELLI. THE COMPLETE 15 MARCH 1953 NEW YORK CONCERT. Verdi: Forza overture; Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Claudio Arrau); Debussy: The Martyrdom of St. Sebastien (exc.); Ravel: Daphnis and Chloe -- Suite No. 2. Premiere release. Total Time 66:41. [AAD] Technical reconstruction (2004): Aaron Z. Snyder; liner notes: Harris Goldsmith. UPC # 017685-11402-1. Not for sale in the USA. Reg. 14.95 now 7.95 until 15 April 2006

BUZZ: The second of Guido Cantelli's New York Philharmonic-Symphony Sunday broadcasts of the 1952-53 season was originally to have begun with the Brahms Tragic Overture that had been played by the Philharmonic a week earlier at their concerts of March 5, 6 and 7. But stringencies of timing and a profusion of commercials necessitated the last minute substitution of a shorter composition, Verdi's Overture to La Forza del Destino. It is interesting to hear the Verdi work filtered through the Philharmonic-Symphony's darker, more rough-hewn tone and to discover that, with a different orchestra, the conductor's splendid interpretation – very Toscaninian when played by the NBC Symphony (in Music& Arts set 1120), became more rhetorical and majestic.

The Arrau/Cantelli collaboration in the Liszt A major Concerto is a complete success. Arrau was always a distinguished Lisztian, and his virtuosity was in prime condition at this particular juncture (as a matter of fact, the Chilean pianist had made his legendary Columbia recording of the Liszt First with Ormandy and his Philadelphians the year before in a single, unedited "take") it was reissued on CD in the SONY/Heritage series. Cantelli was attentive to the music's opportunities for touching lyricism, and that Arrau, subconsciously or not, was caught up in the persuasive orchestral framework (a framework graced by the sensually expressive solos of the fine principal cellist Laszlo Varga and Cantelli's ardent sincerity). What we have here is a Liszt A major worthy of comparison with the legendary Richter/Kondrashin recording of ten years later.

The Debussy and Ravel works of this concert's second half vividly evoke Maestro Cantelli's brilliance and genius in two particularly incandescent moments of glory. There are some who tend to disparage Debussy's incidental music for Gabriele d'Annunzio's 1911 play as "pretty wan, feeble stuff" but for some reason or other, Cantelli was mesmerized by its potential opportunities for evocative magic and kept returning to it. This version with the Philharmonic-Symphony may well be the most potent of his several recordings_thanks to the impactful immediacy of the splendidly miked Carnegie Hall sound and the dark color and physicality of the orchestra's style.

And this account of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe Suite No. 2 seriously rivals the magnificent Philharmonia studio recording for the expansive breadth of its Daybreak (with the triangles ringing through its final chord!), the flexibility of its pantomime (John Wummer's flute solo is ravishing), and for the marvelous rhythmic swirl and excitement of the Danse General (which is, if anything, even more thrusting and dynamic with the added voltage of a thrilled audience.)


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"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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