Archives like those for the old Columbia Records are the gift that keeps giving, not just in easy money for Sony but in new opportunities for music consumers. And now, finally, they’ve reissued one of the absolutely essential recordings in the classical repertory, the Budapest String Quartet's 1951-52 complete Beethoven Quartets. This is arguably the finest cycle … Continue reading Budapest String Quartet, Beethoven: Complete String Quartets
It's that time of the year, and a day in particular, to think about what you are going to get to give. And since you and your friends and family have good taste and are curious about the world, I first recommend: Beethoven.
Beethoven always makes a great gift, more reliable than anything else. And as the greatest artist of the human spirit, there’s no time like now to give Beethoven. Here’s some suggestions that are superb musically and real values money-wise: Symphonies This cycle from George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra is one of the very … Continue reading Stuff That Stocking
Beethoven's 3rd Symphony, the "Eroica," premiered the night of April 7, 1805. And thus began Romanticism, with what sounds, still, like cannon fire. If the Classic style of Vienna presents the composers thoughts on music in the form of a Haydn Sonata or a Mozart Serenade, the Romantic style presents the composers thoughts … Continue reading The Artist, Hero
https://youtu.be/N4VouG_EO60 We all have our madeleines. This morning I sat in a waiting room, and the Beethoven Violin Concerto came over the radio. Lost time came in search of me, a mass of moments revivified and occupying me equally and simultaneously. The sensation was familiar in one important way, it was the feeling I … Continue reading Beethoven, My Brother
Looking out for your dollars, so you don't have to ... Must Haves and New Releases * DG is releasing a new Claudio Abbado Mahler cycle. This one collects his live recordings with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, and completely supersedes his previous cycle in terms of music making and recording quality. … Continue reading Consumer Reports
Great recordings of masterpieces from the romantic era. All highly recommended, especially the upcoming Harmonia Mundi releases: Otto Klemperer, Philarhamonia Orchestra, New Phlharmonia Orchestra: Gustav Mahler: Symphonies 2, 4, 7 9, Das Lied von der Erde Friedrich Gulda, Beethoven: 32 Piano Sonatas, Variations, Bagatelles Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Alexander Melnikov, Beethoven: Piano Trios Op. 70 … Continue reading PLAYLIST Week 1, 2014
For the shortest month, February was packed with new and upcoming releases that I loved. Taken together with music that was released or previewed in January, I already have a short-list for finest recordings of the year, and my pleasure in listening to these recordings assures me firmly that I will be enjoying them just … Continue reading Music I Loved – February 2013