22 February, 2012

CD Recommendations: Classical

CD Recommendations: Classical

Currently Available CDs

CD/LPs I am playing now

(right, EMI) The legendary Celibidache Edition has been re-issued in 4 compact boxes and at super bargain prices. Grab them this time around! Slow tempi concerns aside, I consider this essential listening. The dynamic control, such as the perfect crescendo, are captured in sterling sonics.

(middle, Orfeo) Lifschitz is a magnificent Bach pianist. This new release on Orfeo imho is better than any of those by bigger names. Unlike most others, Lifschitz varies his tone according to the origin of the work. Splendid sound and accompaniment.

(left, Talent) Brilliant Shostakovich from little known forces. Click link for review. I agree that these rank with the bests. Stunningly recorded.

Currently Available SACDs

SACD I am playing

(left, ECM) A magisterial reading by an upcoming Beethoven specialist and a maturing conductor. Marvelous, and I look forward to the next installment in the cycle.

(right, BIS) Finally, a version of Bach's Cello Suites on the viola that I like! I have heard several versions, including those by old masters like Primrose and Fuchs, but I feel this one is the best.

Somewhat older CDs from the Library

(left, Onyx) What a surprise. The Turkish orchestra under its Austrian conductor is splendid and fully up to international standards.
A great CD of colorful music by Respighi and Florent Schmidt! Fabulous recording quality. Click pic for more info.

(right, Signum) Elgar's masterpieces here receive a see-through recording of the highest quality, and a solid interpretation from a noted Elgarian.

CD I am playing (often from the library, usually older issues; may not be available)

(Left, DG) 2 Transcriptions here. The Goldberg Variations is indestructible and there is much beauty in this version for harp played by Catrin Finch (DG). For the open-minded, this is a real treat. Click pic for info.

(right, Sony)The Harp version of Rodrigo's Concierto Aranjuez is stunningly played by Maistre, harpist of the VPO. Click for artist's official site.

(left, Berlin Classics) What a beautifully recorded Paganini performance (as always with this company) by a promising young violinist! Well-chiseled and not at all bombastic. This one goes to the top. Click for info.

(middle, Berlin Classics) Peter Rosel is much under-rated. His recordings on Berlin Classics are all fabulous in execution and recording quality! The Beethoven is amongst the best cycles.

(right, Hanssler) A stimulating version of Beethoven's 9th. Norrington's recordings with Stuttgart are frequently quite good and sonics from SWR is always exceptional.

CD I am playing (often from the library, usually older issues; may not be available)CDs I am playing (often from the library, often older issues; may not be available)

(left, Virgin) Excellent early music continue to pour forth from Virgin. L'Arpeggiata is a new sensation. Dynamic and virtuosic Monteverdi that catapults to the very top!

(second from left, Virgin) Old favorite Le Concert Astree, led by Haim, continue their quality output. This Handel Dixit Dominus pulsates with life!

(second from right, EMI) The songs of Faure and Poulenc are under-rated masterpieces, here well rendered by Ian Bostridge.

(right, DG) A superb Ravel Chansons Madecasses, as well as Shostakovich and other 20th century rarities. Beautifully sung and stunningly recorded.

Old Favorites

CD/LPs I am playing. Often older issues; may not be available.

(left, Westminster) This old abc/Westminster LP showcases the great flamenco playing of Carlos Montoya. In splendid sound as good as any. Great hifi demo.

(middle, RCA) When it comes to Schubert, not many think of Rubinstein, but his D960 astounds me in its freshness, beauty and humanity. My top choice now. May be hard to find. Click pic for youtube

(right, Decca) In terms of expressiveness, this old Britten recording by the Allegri String Quartet is still competitive with the best modern versions (like the Belcea).

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