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La Cenerentola
La Cenerentola
Offered by IMS Distribution
Price: $22.86
33 used & new from $7.38

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must buy Rossini - a fizzing delight as they say, September 13, 2013
This review is from: La Cenerentola (Audio CD)
This is a Rossini Glyndebourne performance from the operatic Golden Age of the 50s. Fortunately it was recorded in excellent mono so the voices are very clear and even the orchestra is reasonably present as well. There is nothing sluggish about this performance but neither is there anything forced or driven. Recitatives are lively and characterful and arias soar. Gui is stellar in shaping the performance albeit with traditional cuts. Gabarain, Oncina, Bruscantini, Wallace etc sing and act their parts with verve and charm. Originally issued on very good sounding LPs in both the UK (EMI) and US (RCA), this is a delight for Rossini fans.


La Cenerentola
La Cenerentola
Offered by young369
Price: $19.99
12 used & new from $7.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must buy Rossini - a fizzing delight as they say, September 13, 2013
This review is from: La Cenerentola (Audio CD)
This is a Rossini Glyndebourne performance from the operatic Golden Age of the 50s. Fortunately it was recorded in excellent mono so the voices are very clear and even the orchestra is reasonably present as well. There is nothing sluggish about this performance but neither is there anything forced or driven. Recitatives are lively and characterful and arias soar. Gui is stellar in shaping the performance albeit with traditional cuts. Gabarain, Oncina, Bruscantini, Wallace etc sing and act their parts with verve and charm. Originally issued on very good sounding LPs in both the UK (EMI) and US (RCA), this is a delight for Rossini fans.


Dufay: Music From the Court of Burgundy By Musica Reservata
Dufay: Music From the Court of Burgundy By Musica Reservata
6 used & new from $11.93

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent sampling of Dufay's songs with some lively instrumental works for variety, September 11, 2013
The Musica Reservata led by John Beckett was one of the first groups playing medieval and Renaissance music to strive for reasonably close historical period practice or HIP. So these wonderful songs of Dufay are supported by vielles and recorders. Jantina Noorman has a suitably plaintive voice to convey the subtle melancholy of most of these songs. She is occasionally joined by Grayston Burgess the well known countertenor. For variety four instrumentals are added to the mix. Two are loud outdoor pieces with shawms and drums, one is a lute arrangement and the fourth is an arrangement for portatif organ. This was one of the best compilations of this material in the LP era. I don't know if it was ever released on CD but if not get the vinyl.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 20, 2015 8:10 PM PDT


Mozart: La Clemenza Di Tito
Mozart: La Clemenza Di Tito
Offered by CDWarehouseOnline
Price: $149.22
12 used & new from $12.38

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars opera seria is about the singing and this recording of Clemenza has it, September 10, 2013
Mozart's last opera Clemenza di Tito was also the last opera seria (at least as far as I'm aware). Opera seria was the form used by Handel most notably and had as its invariable topic stories about the lives of the classical gods or of the nobility. It is also characterized by a more static dramatic structure and da capo arias designed to show off the virtuosity of the singers.

More recently with the renewed interest in Baroque opera, opera directors have figured out ways to inject quite a bit of drama into the opera seria form through staging and bits of stage business. The DVD of Clemenza conducted by Levine with Troyanos and Neblett is one example. The recording by Davis with Baker also provides a bit more drama into the opera seria form. Kertesz' recording of Clemenza was done in the 60s about a decade earlier and prior to the HIP movement. Here the emphasis is more on the music. However since this is a recording not a staging this is not as big a deal because of the absolutely divine music Mozart composed. What is marvelous about this performance is the beautiful emotional singing by the principals: Berganza, Popp, Fassbaender along with Krenn and Casula. The voices not not only sound wonderful in the solos but also blend deliciously in duets. The performance is aided by the rich recording the Decca engineers provided. A Clemenza to sink into blissfully,


Shostakovich: Symphony No 14: Vishnevskaya . Reshetin: Rostropovich, Cond.
Shostakovich: Symphony No 14: Vishnevskaya . Reshetin: Rostropovich, Cond.

5.0 out of 5 stars Symphony 14 may or may not be a symphony but Rostropovich intense and exciting,, September 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Shostakovich and to a much lesser extent Prokofiev tended to have an overly broad definition of Symphony. This was probably for promotional reasons as symphonies were accorded more status than cantatas, suites, song cycles and the like. The Shostakovich Symphony 14 is a series of poems on Death sung by two soloists with a backing string orchestra with prominent percussion. In concept not much different than Das Lied von der Erde. Of course Mahler also wavered about calling that a symphony so we shouldn't get too hung up about it.

This recording by Rostropovich with his wife Vishneskaya and Mark Reshetin dates from the early 70s so Vishneskaya is in good voice (albeit characteristically slightly hard on high notes). Nevertheless that is to the good here. It is useful to remember that the Russian musical approach to portraying death has a more biting sardonic edge than was characteristic of Western music. Mussorgsky's songs are a case in point. Rostropovich et al are anything but languishing or maudlin in these songs. Some may find that unsettling but it is what it is. The singing and conducting are very well integrated and the performance is never dull. Listen to the xylophone in On the Alert and Look Here Madame. The recording is rather good for Melodia. It was originally issued on a CBS LP.


Shostakovich: Symphony No. 14
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 14
11 used & new from $18.41

5.0 out of 5 stars Symphony 14 may or may not be a symphony but Rostropovich intense and exciting, September 5, 2013
Shostakovich and to a much lesser extent Prokofiev tended to have an overly broad definition of Symphony. This was probably for promotional reasons as symphonies were accorded more status than cantatas, suites, song cycles and the like. The Shostakovich Symphony 14 is a series of poems on Death sung by two soloists with a backing string orchestra with prominent percussion. In concept not much different than Das Lied von der Erde. Of course Mahler also wavered about calling that a symphony so we shouldn't get too hung up about it.

This recording by Rostropovich with his wife Vishneskaya and Mark Reshetin dates from the early 70s so Vishneskaya is in good voice (albeit characteristically slightly hard on high notes). Nevertheless that is to the good here. It is useful to remember that the Russian musical approach to portraying death has a more biting sardonic edge than was characteristic of Western music. Mussorgsky's songs are a case in point. Rostropovich et al are anything but languishing or maudlin in these songs. Some may find that unsettling but it is what it is. The singing and conducting are very well integrated and the performance is never dull. Listen to the xylophone in On the Alert and Look Here Madame. The recording is rather good for Melodia. It was originally issued on a CBS LP.


Shostakovich Symphony No 2 & Symphony No 3
Shostakovich Symphony No 2 & Symphony No 3
2 used & new from $21.51

4.0 out of 5 stars Gould's first US recordings of the Sym 2 and 3 rousing and brilliant, September 4, 2013
These two early symphonies from the 1920s by Shostakovich had few performances outside of the Soviet Union because of their Communist associations. The Symphony 2 was a paean to the October 1917 revolution by Lenin while the Symphony 3 was meant as a tribute to May 1. Actually though these works were not well thought of inside the Soviet Union either because they seemed too compositionally adventurous. I'm sure the Soviet bureaucrats found them unsettling and not the kind of humdrum musical celebration they really wanted.

In fact the Sym 2 is a very intriguing and bold work and can be enjoyed as an expression of youthful ardor in a hopeful cause. The Sym 3 while less well constructed than the Sym 2 still is quite enjoyable and is short enough to not wear out its welcome. It was not Shostakovich's fault that Stalin and the other thugs brought the Soviet Union to ruin nor could he have predicted it when these works were written.

Morton Gould made the first US recordings of these works in the 1960s at the height of the Cold War. Interestingly, Gould had the good sense to concentrate on the musical excitement and play the propaganda hymns straight without any satire. He produced exciting and vivid interpretations that can be enjoyed as youthful music from Shostakovich. In many ways these two concise works cohere better than the Symphony 6 and have more substance than the Symphonies 9 and 12 and maybe even #11. The recording is reasonably good RCA dynagroove. Along with the recordings of Rozhdestvensky these performances can be highly recommended.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 9, 2014 5:09 PM PDT


CBS 76440 Handel Water Music New York Philharmonic Pierre Boulez vinyl LP
CBS 76440 Handel Water Music New York Philharmonic Pierre Boulez vinyl LP

5.0 out of 5 stars Boulez doing The Water Music ?? Yes and amazingly well, September 1, 2013
This is one of those albums where you say who would have thought it would be good? But it is if you can tolerate Handel's Water Music being played by a slimmed down NY Philharmonic. Boulez drops the atonal music for one of the oldest warhorses of all and does a great job at it. He must have a fondness for it since he recorded the Water Music back in the 1960s with a Netherlands Orchestra (Nonesuch Records). This one was done in the mid 70s. What is surprising is how apt and felicitous are the little rhythmic nuances and phrases Boulez brings out. This is not fustian or dry and angular but full of life. Note that this record was also remastered for SACD by Sony. The SACD is out of print but used copies can be found. Amazing, and well done Pierre!


76440 Handel Water Music NYP Pierre Boulez LP
76440 Handel Water Music NYP Pierre Boulez LP

5.0 out of 5 stars Boulez doing The Water Music ?? Yes and amazingly well,, September 1, 2013
This is one of those albums where you say who would have thought it would be good? But it is if you can tolerate Handel's Water Music being played by a slimmed down NY Philharmonic. Boulez drops the atonal music for one of the oldest warhorses of all and does a great job at it. He must have a fondness for it since he recorded the Water Music back in the 1960s with a Netherlands Orchestra (Nonesuch Records). This one was done in the mid 70s. What is surprising is how apt and felicitous are the little rhythmic nuances and phrases Boulez brings out. This is not fustian or dry and angular but full of life. Note that this record was also remastered for SACD by Sony. The SACD is out of print but used copies can be found. Amazing, and well done Pierre!


PIERRE BOULEZ Handel, Water Music NY PHC 12" LP M33436
PIERRE BOULEZ Handel, Water Music NY PHC 12" LP M33436

5.0 out of 5 stars Boulez doing The Water Music ?? Yes and amazingly well,, September 1, 2013
This is one of those albums where you say who would have thought it would be good? But it is if you can tolerate Handel's Water Music being played by a slimmed down NY Philharmonic. Boulez drops the atonal music for one of the oldest warhorses of all and does a great job at it. He must have a fondness for it since he recorded the Water Music back in the 1960s with a Netherlands Orchestra (Nonesuch Records). This one was done in the mid 70s. What is surprising is how apt and felicitous are the little rhythmic nuances and phrases Boulez brings out. This is not fustian or dry and angular but full of life. Note that this record was also remastered for SACD by Sony. The SACD is out of print but used copies can be found. Amazing, and well done Pierre!


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