All Horowitz fans will instantly love this recording from Carnegie Hall on November 16, 1975. They will gaze at the marvels of his Schumann, gasp at the miracles of his Liszt, and gape at the wonders of his Rachmaninov. His Chopin will astound them, his Debussy will amaze them, and his Moszkowski will astonish them. Jon Samuels' arduous editing will gratify them and RCA's assiduous sound will satisfy them. For all Horowitz fans, this release will be immensely welcome. For non-Horowitz fans, there is not much in this to love.
The English cellist Steven Isserlis has been a leading light on the international musical scene for more than three decades. His complete recordings for RCA Victor including concertos and chamber works by Haydn, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Brahms, Grieg, Saint-Saens, Anton Rubinstein, Faure, Richard Strauss, Janacek, Bloch, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and John Tavener will now be available in a 12-CD box.
Orbison recorded the majority of his best work between the mid ‘50s and the early ‘60s, including hits like “Only the Lonely,” “Ooby Dooby,” “Running Scared,” “Crying,” “Dream Baby,” and “Workin' for the Man,” to name just a few. The aforementioned songs, and many others, have been included on this essential CD, which compiles all of Roy Orbison's 7” singles (A & B sides) released between 1956 and 1962 by such iconic labels as Sun, RCA, and Monument. The original gems presented here have been brilliantly remastered to achieve the most pristine sound. These sides helped to consolidate “The Big O” (Orbison's nickname) as one of the all-time-great singers.
French jazz pianist Martial Solal's American recording debut took place at the 1963 Newport Jazz Festival, with his set recorded and initially released by RCA Victor, though it was deemed too short for release, so a few numbers recorded during his afternoon rehearsal were added to lengthen the album, with applause duplicated from other numbers. Joined by Bill Evans' former rhythm section, bassist Teddy Kotick and drummer Paul Motian (who also made up his trio during an extended gig at New York City's Hickory House prior to Newport), Solal blends Art Tatum-like runs with an inherent lyrical side in a decidedly advanced bop setting. In addition to his enjoyable arrangements of standards and timeless jazz compositions, his extended work "Suite Pour Une Frise" also merits praise. In spite of a CD reissue by Cloud 9 in 2004, this is still a rather difficult release to acquire.
Chet Atkins earned and held the title of "Mr. Guitar" for 50 years before passing away in the summer of 2001. Signed to RCA in 1947, he would help define the "Nashville Sound" in the late '50s while simultaneously releasing a steady string of instrumental albums. RCA Country Legends captures Atkins on 14 wonderful tracks recorded between 1949 and 1976. Atkins recorded the self-penned single "Barber Shop Rag" with mandolinist Jethro Burns and guitarist Homer Haynes. Burns' speedy runs work as a nice counterpoint, and bring out equally inspired work from Atkins. Curiously, Atkins and his buddies even add vocals on an infectious cut titled "Boogie Man Boogie." There's a nice duet with writer and fellow guitar picker Jerry Reed on "Twitchy," and a spunky take on "Tiger Rag" worthy of Django Reinhardt. There are also a number of solo pieces, including "Petite Waltz," "Yes Ma'am," and the closer, "Liza." These cuts capture a quintessential Atkins, just a man and his guitar, handling the rhythm and lead without blinking.
Listening to a work of Armenian-American composer Alan Hovhaness, you recognize his characteristic style in a few measures. His music is often broadly expansive, painting sonorous landscapes that often use brass instruments to blend with and accentuate the strings. Also, while his peers experimented with serialism or highly intellectually challenging styles, Hovhaness maintained his world music-infused neo-Romantic style throughout his life. The result is an enormous body of work that are all a joy to listen to.