This audio complement to "A History of Western Music" includes recordings of all the works appearing in "The Norton Anthology of Western Music". As in the previous edition, the recordings are of the highest quality and are performed by outstanding groups and soloists. New track references in the textbook allow students to locate the recorded works on the CD set as they read the corresponding discussions in the text. The collection features 20 new works, plus an additional 14 new recordings of works included in the previous edition
As complete sets of Brahms piano music go, it's hard to get more complete than this set by Martin Jones on Nimbus. Jones includes not only the canonical two Rhapsodies, three Sonatas, four Ballades, six sets of variations, ten Hungarian Dances, sixteen Waltzes and twenty-eight short piano pieces, but also the almost forgotten sarabandes, gigues, gavottes, studies, canons and transcriptions. Listeners looking for the most complete Brahms available need look no further. Listeners who do look no further, however, will have to settle for good but by no means great performances. Jones has a big tone coupled to an impressive technique and many of his performances are quite fine. But too often here he seems to be merely going through the motions, turning in accomplished but unexciting sometimes even dutiful performances. When extroverted virtuosity is called for in the Paganini Variations, Jones is almost but not altogether on top of the notes.
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia reunite some 30 years later for a follow-up to their beautiful and groundbreaking Call of the Valley. Sharma (santoor) and Chaurasia (flute) were highly regarded on their instruments back then, and are now acknowledged as living masters. Although Brij Bhushan Kabra has been replaced on Indian acoustic slide guitar by Jayanti Shah, the overall mood is just as lovely and contemplative, even though the role of the guitar has been diminished. The Valley Recalls is beautiful, gentle work, and a worthy successor to Call of the Valley.