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Henry Mautner RSS Feed (Ludlow, KY, USA)

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Peak Music Stands SMS-20 Collapsible Music Stand with Carrying Bag
Peak Music Stands SMS-20 Collapsible Music Stand with Carrying Bag
Price: $34.95
4 used & new from $33.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Stand, October 5, 2015
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Great product – very portable yet sturdy enough and with the deep enough shelf to hold a heavy book of charts.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show Season 6
The Mary Tyler Moore Show Season 6
Price: $17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars "Chuckles" Even Better Than I Remembered..., February 21, 2014
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It was Sid Caesar's passing that brought me - through many degrees of separation - back to this legendary episode: Sid Caesar/Carl Reiner/Dick Van Dyke/Mary Tyler Moore/Chuckles The Clown. This is one of the best-written and best-acted episodes of anything ever broadcast by anybody, and it is absolutely - and quite uncomfortably - hilarious. Everybody gets a star turn (including, before the meat of the "plot," the glorious Betty White), but it's Mary Tyler Moore who gives one of the greatest comic tour-de-force performances ever filmed to close out the episode. The legendary David Lloyd won an Emmy for the script, and TV Guide has rated it as one of the top three episodes - of ANYTHING - ever to appear on television. That may be hyperbole, but even if it's "just" in the top 15... well, enjoy!!

Dvorák: Symphony No. 7 / Elgar: Enigma Variations
Dvorák: Symphony No. 7 / Elgar: Enigma Variations
Price: $9.79
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb on All Counts, November 25, 2013
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Before getting technical... this is a desert island recording. I have friends who know nothing about music who smile continuously when they listen to it, and friends who know EVERYTHING about music whose jaws are firmly fixed to the floor throughout.

For those of us who never had the opportunity to hear him live, Monteux's recordings are literally revelatory. I have listened to (and purchased) enough recordings of "Enigma" over the years to have felt that I had a very good working knowledge of the piece. Monteux confirms that I didn't know it at all. The miracle is that everything Monteux asks of his very fine London forces is specifically requested by Elgar in the score; the many (famous) conductors who ignore Elgar's instructions for the sake of effect are cheating the composer, and - more importantly - the listener. Monteux scrupulously avoids injecting his own "personality" into the work, and in so doing allows it to unfold as one of the masterworks of the orchestral literature, completely devoid of bombast and full of genuine thrust and excitement.

The Dvorak sounds more Brahmsian than usual, but the piece was in fact dedicated to Brahms, and Monteux was one of the great Brahms specialists (he performed in his youth for Brahms as a member of a string quartet, and the composer was impressed). That said, there's plenty of Bohemian brio. But for me the Elgar is the real treasure; in fact, the only recordings I know which come (very) close are those of Adrian Boult, who was a lifelong friend of Elgar and himself a superb conductor. But my personal preference is for this recording, especially when coupled with such a fine Dvorak 7th.

The sound was state of the art for the time and has held up extremely well. The orchestra plays at a technical level that would be the envy of virtually any of today's, and with substantially more flair. The liner notes are excellent, and the price is nice. Buy and enjoy!!

Corresponding with Carlos: A Biography of Carlos Kleiber
Corresponding with Carlos: A Biography of Carlos Kleiber
Price: $28.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Book, October 4, 2013
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For anyone interested in the art of orchestral conducting - or music in general - or the interaction between talent and genius - this is one of the most valuable and enjoyable works imaginable. Charles Barber has given us a gift (...well, at a price! But well worth it...) almost beyond imagining: an open window into the mind of one of the greatest recreative artists of any generation.
The fact of this correspondence is improbable beyond words, but we can be forever grateful to Dr. Barber for establishing a personal and professional friendship that prompted Carlos Kleiber to expound - in great detail, with great wit and almost painful self-deprecation - on a multitude of topics that are enjoyable to the lay person and indispensable to the serious musician. The anecdotes alone are worth the price - who could have known that he "stole" a technique from Duke Ellington to get the effect he wanted for the opening of Beethoven's Coriolanus, or of his enormous respect for the extraordinarily gifted and musically illiterate Danny Kaye as a conductor? But it's the insights Kleiber shares regarding specific works and the process of working with creative artists that are truly priceless to artists of all stripes.
To the author, thank you - and to the rest - buy and enjoy!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 7, 2013 12:12 AM PDT

Bach: The Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-3 / Orchestral Suite No. 1
Bach: The Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-3 / Orchestral Suite No. 1
12 used & new from $11.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Wonderful, July 5, 2013
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A word of warning to the "serious" Baroque enthusiast: these performances were wildly anachronistic when they were recorded in the 1960's, and have been reviled over the years by Baroque purists. The great Pablo Casals was an unabashed musical Romantic, and it is apparent that he had little interest in incorporating the results of the extensive scholarship that had been conducted regarding authentic Baroque performance.

But, as Brahms famously commented after hearing an interpretation of his music that was markedly different from his own, "So... it can go that way, too!" Indeed it can, and these are some of the most energetic, interesting, and enjoyable performances any of these compositions have received. The personnel is a "dream team" of some of the greatest performers of the era, including musicians from the Juilliard and Guarneri Quartets, the Cleveland Orchestra, the great Rudolf Serkin and Alexander Schneider, and, finally, the amazing Robert Nagel, who makes the virtually impossible trumpet part in the 2nd Brandenburg sound like child's play. Buy this, and enjoy every note!

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A George Smiley Novel (George Smiley Novels Book 5)
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A George Smiley Novel (George Smiley Novels Book 5)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Finest Espionage Novel Ever?, January 6, 2013
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Many who are/were "in the business" have stated that it is. I know as a lay reader that it's the most fascinating spy story I've ever experienced, and the most superbly written.

Note: for a supplemental treat, see the BBC 6-part television adaptation produced in the 1970's starring Alec Guinness and an extraordinary supporting cast. LeCarre considered this to be as perfect an adaptation of any of his works as he could imagine, and he dedicated the final book in his "Karla" trilogy to Guinness in tribute.

The Antiphonal Music of Gabrieli
The Antiphonal Music of Gabrieli
Offered by gabbybelledotcom
Price: $10.40
77 used & new from $1.52

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Purists look elsewhere... All else, buy now!, July 15, 2008
Imagine a pastry chef of a future age who sees a perfect color picture of an historical artifact known as a "hamburger." Using this image, he perfectly recreates it using the tool of his trade, the primary ingredients being meringue for the bun and mousse for the burger. The result is absolutely delicious - in fact, a superlative dessert.

Sometime later, a legitimate hamburger recipe is discovered. The pastry chef is roundly derided for his "recreation," an historically inaccurate artifact. He is disgraced.

But happy. As are the many millions who continue to enjoy his concoction.

For genuine hamburger, look elsewhere - this is not Gabrieli as heard in St. Marks' during the Renaissance. But for one of the most spectacular musical "desserts" you will ever enjoy, click the "buy" button immediately. Brass players have rightly sung their Hosannas to this recording since its release in the late 1960's, but you don't have to be a brass player to be almost literally "blown away" by some of the most exciting playing of any sort ever released on a commercial recording.

The documentation is even better in this CD re-release than it was for the original LP, including not only the original liner notes confessing the logistical near-impossibility of getting the three finest orchestral brass sections in the world together in one room for a full weekend of recording, but additional commentary from a performing participant and great contemporary brass players who - in a very real sense - owe their own spectacular careers to the inspiration they received from this release.

But most of all there is the music. The players - the brass sections of the Philadelphia, Chicago, and Cleveland Orchestras - had never before worked together, and rehearsed and recorded the entire LP in nine hours over the course of one weekend. The immediate cameraderie and spontaneity are clearly evident, eclipsed only by the fact that these were some of the finest virtuoso musicians in history, regardless of instrument. My personal advice is to wait until you will bother nobody, turn the knob to "11" (with a nod to "Spinal Tap"), and let your bones vibrate and your spine tingle.

And don't forget to lick your fingers!

A delectable bonus is the organ and brass music from a second release featuring E. Power Biggs and members of the Boston Symphony from the same era. This would be an excellent release in its own right, with particularly fine playing from solo trumpeter Armando Ghitalla, but - to be fair - it was unwise to pair it with one of the most storied brass recordings in history.

Great Conductors of the 20th Century: Fritz Reiner
Great Conductors of the 20th Century: Fritz Reiner
Offered by Harts Liquidating Company LLC
Price: $35.00
22 used & new from $3.00

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Collection..., December 1, 2004
Dating from the mid 1940's to the late 1950's, this is an unusual and wonderful collection of recordings by the late Fritz Reiner. The latter period constituted his "Golden Age" - his storied collaboration with the Chicago Symphony produced some of the most spectacular recordings of the 20th Century, and a number of interesting examples are included here, including the wonderful Brahms "Tragic Overture."

But the most fascinating recordings in this collection for Reiner fans are those preceding his Chicago years. The "Til Eulenspiegel" recording, from the early '50's in New York City, is a wonder - it is certainly one of the most completely satisfying recordings ever made of this very early Strauss work, and it has become the favorite (out of nearly a dozen) in my collection. His recording of "El Amor Brujo" is equally fascinating - I have loved his Chicago Symphony recording with Leontyne Price for decades, but my recent invited guest preferred this recording hands-down, despite the somewhat inferior sound and less-than-hair-trigger playing. She found it more idiomatically Spanish, and I grudgingly agree.

Perhaps best of all, for less than the price of a single modern bit of plastic, I own - forever - a living slice of a truly glorious musical era. Considering its status as a "compilation," I suggest picking it up while the pickin's good - these collections generally don't stick around for very long, and this one is truly terrific.

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, A Night on Bald Mountain and Other Russian Showpieces
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, A Night on Bald Mountain and Other Russian Showpieces
Price: $9.64
56 used & new from $2.80

92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Desert Island Recording..., September 2, 2004
This is one recording that lives up to its hype. On the podium, Fritz Reiner brings all of his storied strengths - an extraordinary sense of architecture, an outstanding ear for color, and an unparalleled (did someone say "sadistic"?) degree of discipline - to create the most beautifully conceived "Pictures" recorded in the 20th century.

But that's not all - in fact, that's not the half of it. The Chicago Symphony is superhuman in this recording, from the phenomonal opening solo trumpet passage of Adolph Herseth (in the first of his FIVE decades with the CSO) to the spectacular "Bydlo" of Arnold Jacobs on tuba, to the stupefying wall of sound in the final "Great Gate of Kiev" - well, the fact is that almost every orchestral player I know, on ANY instrument, refers to this recording as the gold standard for their own.

And the SOUND!... This was one of the first of the legendary RCA "Living Stereo" recordings (1957), and modern engineers could and should learn a lot about how to record an orchestra from these geniuses of the Eisenhower era. Another reviewer mentioned his disappointment in the "Catacombs" movement, and it's true - there are more sonically cogent recent performances (the Montreal Symphony under Charles Dutoit in a great recording comes to mind). But I would trade however many of those it would take to keep my SINGLE copy of this true wonder.

And there are additional treasures. "Pictures" was released on its own in LP form - it is joined here by CSO/Reiner recordings from 1959, including the best-played recording ever made of the "Colas Breugnon Overture," a spectacular "Russlan and Ludmilla," a very fine "Night on Bare Mountain" and "Marche Slav," and other "minor" Russian pieces.

All in all, this is one of the great recordings of the stereo era at a bargain price - snap it up and enjoy!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2015 7:03 AM PDT

Great Scenes from Gershwin's Porgy & Bess
Great Scenes from Gershwin's Porgy & Bess
Price: $13.88
55 used & new from $0.01

86 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Desert Island Recording..., June 6, 2004
I first heard this recording as a high school student in the '60's, and it changed my life. I later became a New York freelance musician, and worked with Skitch Henderson on occasion... and every time I saw him I was reminded of this performance.
To respond to some of the other reviews... John Bubbles is phenomonal as Sporting Life - he was, after all, the composer's personal choice for the role - and those who quibble that his acting is better than his voice are missing the point: "Porgy and Bess" is, first and foremost, meant to be acted! (And, truth be known, I like his voice...)
Which brings us to the legendary Leontyne Price/William Warfield combination. After listening to this again (and the restored sound is wondrous), I felt that a definition of Hell would be to have to follow Leontyne Price in this - or ANY - role. She owned the role of Bess by the time this recording was made, and her acting and vocal skills are matchless (It's possible that the opening "..Ooooh.." in "What You Want Wit' Bess?" is one of the sexiest and most dramatic ten seconds in the history of recording). William Warfield is not far behind in his portrayal of Porgy - it is beatifully sung, if not as convincingly acted as some of the other characters.
But that said, what makes this recording absolutely matchless - and probably forever - is the playing of the nameless 1960's New York studio musicians who comprise the "RCA Victor Symphony Symphony Orchestra." What they bring to the "pit" is what is missing from virtually every other "Porgy" recording: the innate swagger, confidence, and panache that come from a career of working with one foot firmly in the "symphonic" world and the other firmly in the "commercial" (in New York's, case, Broadway/Jazz) world. It is the equivalent of listening to Johann Strauss performed by the Vienna Philharmonic: unique, absolutely right, and unduplicatable. Unfortunately, it's not just a matter of place, but also time... the environment that nurtured these musicians was soon to disappear, and it's been "Gone, Gone, Gone..." for many years now.
But it lives on in this recording. I played it for a friend of mine not long ago who was unprepared for the experience - I looked at her fifteen minutes into it and there were tears rolling down her cheeks. Mine, too.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2015 6:43 PM PDT

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