Can Martha Argerich do no wrong? I have so many of her recordings, and what seems to distinguish them is intensity of feeling. When she teams up with Mischa Maisky the results are wonderful, and here with Gidon Kremer no less so. Schumann found no greater solace than music-making with his pianist wife, Clara, and close friends in the reclusion of his home. So it was scarcely surprising that his thoughts should have reverted to chamber-music. The A minor Violin Sonata was written in 1851.
Composer: Robert Schumann Performer:Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer Vinyl 1986 Number of Discs: 1 Format: FLAC Label: DGG DR-Analysis: DR 15 Size: 1.85 GB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
It was Mozart who demonstrated once and for all that the concerto could be just as weighty a medium as the symphony. It is a pity that his achievement was not heeded more comprehensively. I have often thought that the likes of Beethoven, Brahms et al would have been more-rounded figures if they had composed a concerto for woodwind. Imagine a bassoon concerto by the Master of Leviathans – Anton Bruckner. Richard Strauss, composer of the Alpine Symphony & Ein Heldenleben, showed that it could be done with his chaste contribution to the repertoire. Provided he dropped all the claptrap – no hammer-blows of fate or cowbells or portentous sub-texts – a clarinet concerto by Mahler would be a fascinating prospect.
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Orchestra: Vienna Philarmonic Orchestra Conductor: Karl Böhm Vinyl 1974/84 Number of Discs: 1 Format: FLAC Label: DGG DR-Analysis: DR 13 Size: 977 MB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
Wow, what an exciting experience, to “sit” on the shoulder of Maestro Fricsay during a rehearse of “Moldovia” by Smetana. I never espected, that his German was this marvellous. You probably never heard such a recording. A pity only for the non Germanophones among you!Enjoy it anyway! The entire A and first half of B side is basically just the conductor instructing (and correcting) the orchestra with partially very creative language. Second half of B is the piece “Moldovia” itself.
Composer: Bedric Smetana Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra of the South-German Broadcast
Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
Vinyl 1964 Number of Discs: 1 Format: FLAC Label: DGG DR-Analysis: DR 13 Size: 524 MB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
Many thanks to our friend Trottar for this hidden gem Roberto Szidon (21 September 1941 – 21 December 2011) was a Brazilian classical pianist who had an international performing and recording career, and settled in Germany. Szidon was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1941. He gave his first concert at age 9 in his home town. He then studied composition with Karl Faust, and continued his pianistic studies in the United States with Ilona Kabos and Claudio Arrau. Szidon played with many renowned orchestras. In 1977 he completed a Southern Africa tour. He was the soloist at the premiere of Camargo Guarnieri’s Piano Concerto No. 4, in Porto Alegre, on 6 September 1972.
Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov, Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Prokofiev
Performer: Roberto Szidon
Vinyl 1969 Number of Discs: 1 Format: FLAC Label: DGG DR-Analysis: DR 13 Size: 2.05 GB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
Many thanks to our friend Trottar for this hidden gem Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter (Russian: Святосла́в Теофи́лович Ри́хтер, tr. Sviatosláv Teofílovich Ríkhter; IPA: [svʲjətɐsˈlaf tʲɪɐˈfʲiləvʲɪtɕ ˈrʲixtər]; March 20 [O.S. March 7] 1915 – August 1, 1997) was a Soviet pianist known for the “depth of his interpretations, his virtuoso technique, and his vast repertoire.” He is generally regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. I think, there is nothing more to say about Richter, that’s not been said. Enjoy one of the greatest artists ever!
Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Sviatoslav Richter
Vinyl 1983? Number of Discs: 3 Format: FLAC Label: Melodya DR-Analysis: DR 13 Size: 2.36 GB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
The young Maurizio Pollini exploded on to the classical music scene in 1960 with this outstanding and moving account of Chopin’s Piano Concerto #1, which has since attained legendary status. That golden period of classical music was crowded with stellar piano virtuosi who were already internationally renowned for their technique, musical individuality, and decades of Chopin recitals: Rubinstein, Horowitz, Arrau, Weissenberg, and Richter are towering examples. All these artists commanded not just respect, but reverence.
Composer: Frederic Chopin
Performer: Maurizio Pollini
Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra London
Conductor: Paul Kletzki Vinyl 1960 Number of Discs: 1 Format: FLAC Label: EMI DR-Analysis: DR 14 Size: 1.45 GB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
A big “thank you” for this gem flights to our friend Dagote 😀 Friends, don’t let distract you by the fact, that you probably don’t know a single name of the artists on this box. To go over these recordings would be a sin. Believe me when I tell you, these efforts are 1st class, from the 1st to the last. And the sound is very good. Enjoy!
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra: Württembergisches Kammerorchester, Bachcollegium Stuttgart, Süddeutsche Kammer-Philharmonie Vinyl 19?? Number of Discs: 5 Format: FLAC Label: Intercord DR-Analysis: DR 13 Size: 3.54 GB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
15 years old “Wonder Child” Anne Sophie Mutter and the “Old Man” – just to paraphrase a famous novel by Hemingway – was the best story that life could be able to write at its time.It is a blessed relief to turn to this famous recording. Even after all these decades, it continues to astound. The young soloist plays fierily and poetically in turns. My celebrated Herbie soup-o-meter did not beep once for its duration. The Berlin Philharmonic, judiciously scaled down, is galvanised by the endeavour. Oh, listen to the deified double basses of this once-great ensemble as they ruminate expansively at 7’11” ff in the Adagio of K 219 – this is opulence. Indeed, both works momentarily appear to be greater than what they are. The warm analogue recording is simply beautiful.
Longevity has been accrued by this endeavour. I cannot say the same for a certain mangy old wolf in this domain whose ululations will soon be lost to the winds.
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Anne-Sophie Mutter
Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Vinyl 1978 Number of Discs: 1 Format: FLAC Label: DGG DR-Analysis: DR 14 Size: 1.2 GB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
# Composers: various
# Performers: Ramin Djawadi, Vitamin String Quartet
# Orchestra: Czech Film Orchestra
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: FLAC
# DR Analysis: DR 12
# Label: Water Tower Music | WTM39875
# Size: 24-bit/192kHz (1.56GB), 24-bit/96kHz (872MB) and 16-bit/44.1kHz (218MB)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Server: File Factory
And now for something a little more contemporary…
Ramin Djawadi is an Iranian-German composer, probably best known for his score for HBO’s popular television series Game of Thrones. He also covered all of the songs you hear interpreted into the old-timey clang of the player piano (aside from the two tracks here by the Vitamin String Quartet).
Hearing these compositions without their signature vocalists is really jarring and it always seems to take a moment while watching the show to place exactly what it is you are hearing. But I guess that is perfect for a show that is all about probing uncanniness and the authenticity of what appears to be laid out before you.
Side A of this record offers a scintillating version of Chopin`s second concerto. Ashkenazy demonstrates a stunning command of the virtuoso sections of the outer movements. The second movement is a joy to behold: his heartfelt lingerings over the more ravishing parts of the middle movement evoke pure emotion beyond words. David Zinman and the excellent London players are on the same par as the pianist. On side B the Piano Sonata No. 2, a Nocturne and a Mazurka, all performed live, with energy and impressive techniques with a stunning “Marche Funèbre”. Over all, the sound quality is impeccable. A Chopin record to love!
Composer: Frederic Chopin
Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: David Zinman
Vinyl 1978 Number of Discs: 1 Format: FLAC Label: Decca DR-Analysis: DR 13 Size: 2.37 GB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
Another big “thank you” for this gem flights to our Chicago friend 😀 Fortunately we have two wonderful Forza’s with Leontyne Price–a later one (and one more readily available) with Placido Domingo, Sherill Milnes, Fiorenza Cosotta and Gabriel Bacquier, conducted by James Levine, and this earlier one from 1965. While the later one is an excellent recording, the earlier one takes the cake.
Conducted by Thomas Schippers, whose career was tragically cut short by cancer, it bursts forth with an energy and enthusiasm that just can’t be surpassed. The cast is an American Who’s Who of opera in the mid-’60s. Leontyne Price was not yet 40 when she recorded Leonora on this recording, and she brings to the production the skill and dramatic ability of a mature artist but with a voice still with the bloom of youth and freshness. The combination is incredible.
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Performer: Leontyne Price, Richard Tucker, Robert Merrill, Shirley Verrett, Giorgio Tozzi, Ezio Flagello
Orchestra: RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra
Conductor: Thomas Schippers
Vinyl 1965 Number of Discs: 4 Format: FLAC Label: RCA DR-Analysis: DR 13 Size: 3.54 GB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
Many thanks to Jean-Luc for another amazing gem The performances of these concertos by Francis Poulenc are amazing. The Concert champetre (1929) was written for Wanda Landowska and was a favorite piece of hers but she never recorded it despite the urgings of Poulenc. This recording of the Concert champetre was made in 1957 with Aimee van de Wiele as soloist, who gives an energetic performance along the lines of Landowska. The Concerto for two pianos (1932) has the composer and Jacques Fevrier as soloists, a combination that could not be more ideal as Poulenc had Fevirer and himself in mind when he wrote the music.
Composer: Francis Poulenc
Performer: Francis Poulenc, Jacques Février, Aimée Van De Wiele
Orchestra: Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire
Conductor: Georges Pretre
Vinyl 1962 (1972) Number of Discs: 1 Format: FLAC Label: EMI DR-Analysis: DR 13 Size: 1.63 GB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
A huge “thank you” for this gem flights to our Chicago friend 😀 The acclaimed legendary Swedish dramatic Wagnerian soprano Birgit Nilsson, (1918-2005), made her official debut in 1947 at the Stockholm opera as Lady Macbeth. After just three days notice to replace an ailing colleague she had actually debuted in the same house one year earlier as Agathe in Der Freischutz. There were only four or so Verdian roles suited for her special abilities; Turandot, Aida, Lady Macbeth and Amelia. She once refused to learn Norma saying that it had “two many little notes”. She also once said that “Turandot made me rich, Isolde made me famous”. However there are apparently no recordings of any of her staged performances of Lady Macbeth, just this studio recording of excerpts made in London in 1964 under the brilliant conducting of Thomas Schippers.
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Performer: Birgit Nilsson, Giuseppe Taddei, Bruno Prevedi
Orchestra: Orchestra Of The Accademia Santa Cecilia of Rome
Conductor: Thomas Schippers
Vinyl 1965 Number of Discs: 3 Format: FLAC Label: Decca/London DR-Analysis: DR 14 Size: 2.53 GB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
Many thanks to Trottar for This historical document Historical recordings from (I guess) the 40s/50s. This box contains much of the best of Horowitz’s playing. He is at the top of his ability, and the recordings are just superb, not to mention the incredibly eclectic choice of works that he plays on this. It’s worth it just to hear him play the Chopin Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise!
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Karl Czerny, Muzio Clementi, Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Camille Saint-Saëns, Moritz Moszkowski, Sergei Prokofiev, Samuel Barber, Alexander Scriabin, Frédéric Chopin
Performer: Vladimir Horowitz
Vinyl 1963 Number of Discs: 2 Format: FLAC Label: RCA DR-Analysis: DR 11 Size: 1.16 GB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →
Many thanks to our friend Jean-Luc for this masterpiece Anyone who thinks Ormandy was the purveyor of the hearts and flowers of “The Philadelphia Sound” and not much else should be compelled to hear this Beethoven 4 with Serkin. It is truly one of the great 4ths; lyrical, unrushed, affectionately rendered, but with no indulgences at all. Serkin loved this concerto with every fiber of his being, but played no games with it. And–make no mistake–he was accompanied by a master. Of the many versions Serkin recorded during his life, this is surely the one to get.
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven Performer: Rudolf Serkin
Orchestra: Philadelphia Orchestra Conductor: Eugene Ormandy Vinyl 1955 Number of Discs: 1 Format: FLAC Label: Columbia DR-Analysis: DR 12 Size: 1.37 GB Scan: yes Server: FF Continue reading →