This four-LP set contains a great deal of extraordinary music from Stan Kenton, most of it recorded live in concert or taken from radio transcriptions. Kenton is heard reminiscing about his first 15 years in the business, there are some selections taken from his famous 1941 stint at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa, CA, numbers from rehearsals in 1944, radio airchecks dating from 1944-48, some startling performances by Kenton's Innovations orchestra of 1950-51 and a few swinging numbers from his 1952-53 big band. Virtually all of the music is rare, making this an essential acquisition for collectors.
The good news is this recording of Shostakovich's Eleventh Symphony is in the same class as the best ever made. The even better news is it's the start of a projected series of recordings of all the Soviet master's symphonies. Vasily Petrenko has demonstrated before this disc that he is among the most talented of young Russian conductors with superb recordings of Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony and of selected ballet suites. But neither of those recordings can compare with this Eleventh. Paired as before with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Petrenko turns in a full-scale riot of a performance that is yet tightly controlled and cogently argued. Said to depict the failed revolution of 1905, Shostakovich's Eleventh is not often treated with the respect it deserves, except, of course, by Yevgeny Mravinsky, the greatest of Shostakovich conductors whose two accounts have been deemed the most searing on record. Until now: Petrenko respects the composer's score and his intentions by unleashing a performance of staggering immediacy and violence, a virtuoso performance of immense drama, enormous tragedy, and overwhelming power.
The 2017 New Year's Concert took place on January 1, 2017, under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel in the Vienna Musikverein. Gustavo Dudamel, who was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela in 1981, became the youngest conductor in the 75 year history of the New Year's Concert. In 2007, Gustavo Dudamel conducted the Vienna Philharmonic for the first time at the Lucerne Festival and made his debut at the Vienna Philharmonic Subscription Concerts in 2011. Dudamel conducted the Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn in 2012 and led the orchestra on its traditional Vienna Philharmonic Week in Japan in 2014.
The 2017 New Year's Concert was broadcast in over 90 countries and followed by up to 50 million television viewers around the world.