As a musician, as a man of ideals, and as a true world citizen, Yehudi Menuhin made an extraordinary mark on his era. The Menuhin Century commemorates the 100th anniversary of his birth on 22 April 1916. Offering both dazzling showpieces and major concertos and sonatas, The Virtuoso and his Landmark Recordings reveals as much about Menuhin's technical brilliance as about his depth as an interpreter.
This double album from the Accent label collects two single recordings, one made in Ghent in 1994, the other in Corsica and Frankfurt in 2003 and 2005. The second shares only a few musicians with the first but is essentially made of the same stuff, so you might wonder what exactly is added. The pieces on the second CD are generally longer, more serious, and more intricate.
The Complete Recordings with Hephzibah Menuhin traces Menuhin's close and inspiring relationship with his pianist sister - a distinguished artist in her own right - through studio and live performances, CD premieres, and first-time releases.
An enterprising and extremely well-documented record, this collection is a distinct success. I listened to it both at a properly high volume, and late in the evening at a low level, when the illusion of the brass in the distance was just as real. The opening Dvorak Fanfare looks back to earlier times. The writing for natural trumpets is designedly primitive, but the composer's allusion to the Austro-Hungarian anthem is wittily engraved in the structure, and its familiarity makes one smile.
Yeah, Kingdom Come were a bit too enamored with Led Zeppelin on their first album, and their career didn't last much longer after that, but at the very least they were one of the very examples of what was storming the rock charts back in 1987-1988. Zep-styled riffs and that sorta watered-down boogie-guitar swagger were everywhere, and Kingdom Come were just one of the many bands getting loads and loads of criticism from purists. Oddly, though, the kids (for a short time) loved it, and the records sold enough to convince those at Polydor to release this collection of some of their more well-known tunes…
Alexei Lubimov is a Russian pianist who also plays fortepiano and harpsichord. In his early years he studied at the Moscow Central Music School, and in 1963, entered the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied with Heinrich Neuhaus and Lew Naumov. He developed a strong interest in Baroque music and 20th century modernist works. Lubimov gave the Soviet premieres of many western compositions, including pieces by Charles Ives, Arnold Schoenberg, John Cage, Terry Riley, Pierre Boulez, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, which brought censorship from the Soviet authorities. For a number of years he was prevented from traveling outside the Soviet Union. Turning to his interest in period instruments and authentic performance practices, he founded the Moscow Baroque Quartet and co-founded the Moscow Chamber Academy with Tatiana Grindenko.