Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Just Opened, Friday May 1, 2009
"Alan Hovhaness: Guitar Concerto No. 2, Symphony No. 63, 'Loon Lake'" - Javier Calderon, guitar; Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Stewart Robinson, cond. World premiere recordings of three works by Hovhaness: the second Guitar Concerto (written for Narciso Yepes), the Symphony No. 63, "Loon Lake," composed for the New Hampshire Music Festival, and "Fanfare for the New Atlantis." Liner notes by the composer's widow, Hinako Fujihara Hovhaness. (Naxos 636943933626 / 8.559336)
"Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition/Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1" - Peng Peng, piano; Nashville Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin, cond. No, not just another "Pictures." This one, "Orchestrations compiled by Leonard Slatkin" is a whole different realization. Each movement, including the various "promenade" themes, were arranged by a different composer/arranger/musician - including Henry Wood, Leopold Stokowski, and Vladimir Ashkenazy. For those used to the Ravel orchestration, the effect is a little startling at first but rather interesting as a contrast as you get into it. Bonus selections include the Liszt Concerto, and an arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner, commissioned after 9/11 by Slatkin while he was conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington. (Naxos 747313071678 / 8.570716)
"Vivaldi: Concertos for 2 Violins" - Viktoria Mullova & Giuliano Carmignola, violins; Venice Baroque Orchestra; Andrea Marcon, cond. Fans of Vivaldi know of the numerous fine recordings of his concerti featuring Carmignola and the Venice Baroque Orchestra; here teamed with Viktoria Mullova (who now performs almost exclusively on a period violin) for Vivaldi's rarely-heard double concertos. (DG Archiv 028947774662 / 477 7466)
"The Merling Trio: Postcards in e minor" (Trios by Dvorak and Shostakovich.) Dvorak's "Dumky" trio in e minor, Op. 90, and the Shostakovich Trio in e minor, Op. 67 - two famous works of an elegiac nature that work very well together on this release. (MSR Classics 681585131923 / MS 1319)
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