Friday, July 3, 2009
A July Fourth Just Opened (7/3/09)
"Korngold: Violin Concerto" - Philippe Quint, violin; Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria; Carlos Miguel Prieto, cond. Just released on June 30, another fine performance of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Violin Concerto, along with "Overture to a Drama", and "Much Ado About Nothing - Concert Suite." By the way, the orchestra is part of The Music Academy of the Mining Palace (Mineria), an engineering school in Mexico City. (Naxos 747313079179 / 8.570791)
"Mark O'Connor: String Quartets Nos. 2 & 3" - Ida Kavafian, first violin; Mark O'Connor, second violin; Paul Neubauer, viola; Matt Haimovitz, cello. Mark O'Connor continues his exploration of the music traditions of the American past with Western Classical forms; his String Quartet No. 2, "Bluegrass," explores the music he first loved as a boy. The Quartet No. 2, "Old Time," was written in 2008 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first European settlement in the Hudson Valley. Joining O'Connor in his journey are three members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. (OMAC Recordings 676519000239 / OMAC-14)
"Beethoven: The Complete Piano Concertos" - Richard Goode, piano; Budapest Festival Orchestra; Ivan Fischer, cond. Richard Goode has made some top-flight recordings of Bach, Mozart, and solo Beethoven for Nonesuch; here he's joined by Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra for the Beethoven Concertos. Three CDs. (Nonesuch 075597992830 / 480508-2)
"Abraham Lincoln Portraits" - Nashville Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin, cond. A fascinating two-disc collection of American music inspired by the life, words, and legend of our 16th President in the bicentennial year of his birth. Charles Ives' choral work, "Lincoln, the Great Commoner" with the Nashville Symphony Chorus...Vincent Persichetti's "A Lincoln Address" with narration by Barry Scott...Roy Harris' "Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight" from a poem by Vachel Lindsay, with mezzo-soprano Sharon Mabry, pianist Roger Wiesmeyer, violinist Mary Kathryn Von Osdale, and cellist Anthony LaMarchina...Ernst Bacon's "Ford's Theatre: A Few Glimpses of Easter Week 1865"...Morton Gould's "Lincoln Legend" for orchestra...George Frederick McKay's "To A Liberator (A Lincoln Tribute) with the Nashville Symphony Chorus...Paul Turok's "Variations on an American Song: Aspects of Lincoln and Liberty"...and of course, the most famous work of all - Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" with narration by Barry Scott. All of these works written in the early-to-middle years of the 20th Century. (Naxos 636943937327 / 8.559373-74)
"An American Mirage - Exotic Piano Images by Amy Beach, Aaron Copland, Arthur Foote, Charles Tomlinson Griffes, Edward MacDowell, and Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin" - Ruthanne Schempf, piano. Contains Griffes' Piano Sonata; 2 Etudes by Nevin, "Five Poems after Omar Khayam" by Arthur Foote; "A Hermit Thrush at Eve" and "A Hermit Thrush at Morn" by Amy Beach; "Woodland Sketches" by Edward MacDowell, and "Piano Variations" by Aaron Copland. (MSR Classics 681585131329 / MS 1313)
"Swing That Music: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong" - Canadian Brass. On their own label, a swingin' tribute to Satchmo, featuring works by Armstrong, JP Johnson, Gershwin, Luther Henderson, Lil Hardin, WC Handy, Jelly Roll Morton, and others. (Opening Day Records 776143767126 / ODR 7371)
Happy Birthday, America!
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