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Category Archive for 'Classical'

“[H]e just lets the music speak for itself, the Minnesota’s trombones cutting off phrases like anvils of death, the cyclical appearance of the tritone interval in the work emerging naturally in the precise work of the Minnesotans (who for all the talk of Finnish musical miracles are at least the equals of their Lahti counterparts) [...]

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John Luther Adams: Inuksuit

“Mr. Adams, born in 1953 and one of the more original American composers of his generation, has found ways to combine his passions for music and for nature. And ‘Inuksuit,’ flexibly scored for anywhere from 9 to 99 percussion players widely dispersed in an outdoor area, is the ultimate environmental piece.” –The New York Times [...]

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“Providing the music for a film about the making of one of Hollywood’s most beloved musicals is no easy task, but Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning composer Thomas Newman (The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty) offers up an evocative score for the John Lee Hancock-directed historical comedy-drama that manages to invoke both the despair and whimsy that surrounded [...]

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“German composer Paul Hindemith wrote concertos for nearly every instrument in the orchestra. Here you get a concert for one of the most common instruments, the violin, along with two distinctively textured orchestral works, the giant Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by C.M. von Weber and the somewhat obscure Konzertmusik für Streichorchester und Blechbläser (Concert Music [...]

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“The Diabelli Variations, Op. 120; the Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111; and the Six Bagatelles, Op. 126, are among the most original and intellectually stimulating works Ludwig van Beethoven composed for the piano, and the sophisticated interpretations of András Schiff are especially worthwhile for their insights into authentic performance practice and reception.” [...]

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“Unlike most albums of violin encores featuring the most popular showpieces in the repertoire, In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores introduces original works for violin and piano that have been specially commissioned by Hilary Hahn in an effort to rejuvenate this specialized musical category….Taken altogether, this is an attractive collection of chamber music, and [...]

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Giuseppe Verdi: Otello

“Released in 2013 in celebration of Giuseppe Verdi’s bicentennial, this recording of his late opera Otello is taken from three concert performances by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, recorded on April 7, 9, and 12, 2011.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“After a two-year hiatus due to health problems, James Levine returned to Carnegie Hall on May 19, 2013, to lead the Met Orchestra in a stirring presentation of music by Richard Wagner, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert. This concert showed Levine to be both resilient and confident as he conducted from his elevated wheelchair, [...]

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“Most impressive in this set are the performance of ‘Das Lied,’ with the incomparable vocal duo of Fritz Wunderlich and Christa Ludwig, and the Ninth Symphony. These are Mahler’s two most emotionally vulnerable works, both haunted by the specter of mortality. Yet Klemperer’s tough-minded, unsentimental approach makes you hear each in a new, and entirely [...]

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Sting: Songs From The Labyrinth

“In making Dowland’s songs his own, Sting has accomplished something that really has never been done before, and perhaps he’ll show some of his own fans that Renaissance music is more than an accompaniment for silly jousting competitions — it is a labyrinth that leads us toward the roots of our own culture.” –All Music [...]

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“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom… actually makes its own musical journey through the decades alongside Mandela’s. Beginning sparsely with African folk instruments, the score expands into full orchestral territory as Mandela’s story deepens (and darkens), then adding electric guitars and synths as things get nearer to the present, all of which gives this presentation a kind of [...]

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“Japanese-British pianist Mitsuko Uchida continues to impress with recordings that are not so much intellectual as simply well thought out, making a challenging yet extremely satisfying overall impression….Decca’s engineering staff outdoes itself with its capture of an ideal sound environment for the work: not the usual concert hall or studio but the well-known audiophile venue [...]

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“The combination of piano and orchestra isn’t a common one on Stravinsky programs, and none of the works here is among the most frequently heard Stravinsky works….For Stravinsky’s underrated piano concerto music, however, this is a strong pick.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski has emerged as a major recitalist, with a specialty in the high virtuoso repertory of the late Romantic period. There’s a lot to like in this London Wigmore Hall recital of music by Schubert and Liszt, which gives an idea of the nature of Trpceski’s talent.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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“Claudio Abbado’s live album of Robert Schumann’s music with the Orchestra Mozart is a curious diversion from the ensemble’s ongoing series of Mozart recordings, though it shows a willingness to explore other repertoire that is less predictable for them….[T]he symphony and the overtures are rendered with plenty of emotion and the musicians display commitment and [...]

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“Always one of the most popular of Dmitry Shostakovich’s symphonies, the Symphony No. 7 in C major was premiered in 1942….The orchestra gives a committed and sure-footed performance, and Petrenko’s rapport with his musicians goes a long way toward explaining the spontaneity and energy of their playing. Naxos’ recording is clean and spacious, with a [...]

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“With each annual installment of Martha Argerich’s chamber music festival, you are plunged into a spontaneous ferment of music-making: few recordings capture so well the vivid energy of live performance.” –The Guardian Check Our Catalog

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Benjamin Britten: Vocal Works

“[W]hen one examines Britten’s output it is hard not to credit him with at least one work of genius, if not a masterpiece, virtually every year for the rest of his composing life….” –Presto Classical Check Our Catalog

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