Arnold Schoenberg is unquestionably one of the pivotal composers of the 20th century. By opening new aesthetic horizons, he played a crucial role in the development of contemporary classical music. This Sony Classical CD includes 1978 recordings of two works from Schoenberg's expressionist period: Erwartung (1909) and Pierrot Lunaire (1912). It also features an excerpt from the Gurre-Lieder: “Der Lied Der Waldtaube”.
You will probably be as incredulous as I was to learn that the greatest cycle of Mahler symphonies comes not from any of the usual suspects - Abbado, Bernstein, Chially, Haitink, Kubelik, Rattle, Sinopoli, Solti, Tennstedt - but from the unsung Gary Bertini, who spent the better part of his career as music director of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra. Unlike any of those more publicized sets, each of which includes a misfire or two, Bertini is consistently successful from first to last; his performance of each of these works can stand comparison with the very best available.
Ennio Morricone is one of the most inimitable composers in contemporary music- the trumpeter who broke with convention and mastered composition, the pop arranger who melded the wonders of non-instrumental sounds with airwave-ready song structure, the writer of concert hall symphonies, practitioner of the avant-garde, master of the melodic, and ultimately, the creator of some of the most innovative and memorable movie soundtracks of the 20th century. Given the sheer size and diversity of the man’s output, any Morricone fan is sure to have individual pieces that resonate more for them than others. But here they are: Ennio Morricone's 32 Greatest Musical Cues.
This is an excellent and varied selection of composers from the very well known like Palestrina, Monteverdi, Bach and Vivaldi, through the less famous but familiar like Frescobaldi, Sainte-Colombe and Zelenka, to the downright obscure. It is all delightful: the musicians are uniformly excellent, and include such great names as Gustav Leonhardt, Cantus Colln, Christopher Hogwood and so on. They give fine performances both of the familiar works and of the less familiar ones.
This unbelievably exciting record is actually a Mahler world premiere! Das klagende Lied was Mahler's first great work–he was only 18 when he wrote it–but he later removed its first part and extensively revised the remaining two. The original versions of the second two parts, then, have never been performed until their release in 1997 as part of the new critical edition. The music is, as might be expected, less polished than the revision, but it's also wilder and even more powerful in many respects. Hopefully it will gain new attention for this neglected but totally characteristic work. This performance is nothing short of spectacular, and makes the best possible case for Mahler's original thoughts.
Zupfgeigenhansel was a German folk duo, one of the most successful groups to emerge on the German folk scene in the 1970s…