California violinist and former child prodigy Anne Akiko Meyers has stretched the violin recital in interesting ways, venturing into crossover territory (and even appearing at nightclubs) without losing the basic shape of the traditional program. Here's a decent sampling of her talents for those who follow the ways the classical violin is developing in the U.S., or just for those whose tastes run somewhere between Sarah Chang and Vanessa-Mae. The Seasons…Dreams concept of the album is not original, but the material with which Meyers fills it indeed is so. At the center of the program is the Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 3, Op. 24, "Spring," given a restrained performance inflected toward the evanescent, fantasy-like tone of the rest of the album. The other pieces push the seasons-and-dreams theme into unusual territory. Clair de lune is certainly a common enough item on such programs, but Wagner's Träume is less so, as is the shift from harp to piano accompaniment that follows with the Beethoven (the harp returns later).
Of the American violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, the American Record Guide is quoted as saying, Through her peerless mastery and vivid imagination there seems to be no limit to the colors she can draw from her instrument. Sony Classicals 6-CD reissue of some of her finest recordings include the Mendelssohn Concerto, which Gramophone praised for its sweetness and poetry, also lauding her rapt playing in Vaughan Williamss The Lark Ascending and her performance of Bruchs Scottish Fantasy, altogether a great success.
This fourth volume in the Kristjan Järvi Sound Project series is a tribute to his close friend and countryman composer Arvo Pärt, one of the most emblematic figures in contemporary music, to mark the celebration of his 80th birthday. Constantly inspired by pioneering, thrilling and exhilarating ideas, American-Estonian conductor Kristjan Järvi has gathered works spanning 40 years of Pärt’s compositions, as a culmination of of years of collaboration, musical exploration and spiritual connection.
This specialty album is of particular interest for audiophiles and for anyone wishing to calibrate their precious sound system and speaker placement. This is a great Setup and Test recording, packed with expertly chosen music cuts, test tones, instrument resonances, stage perspectives, noises and a system burn-in track, in HD format, to help properly set up and enhance your system; a must have tool to help tweak your system for maximum performance.
Jakub Ciupinski is Polish composer living in New York City. Although his music is often associated with electronics and interactive performances, he has written numerous pieces for traditional acoustic forces, varying in scope from solo miniatures to an hour long Oratorio for symphony orchestra and double choir. At the age of 18, he signed a contract with Sony Music Poland and since then has been recording electronica-infused world music under the stage name Jakub Żak. His concert music has been commissioned by various institutions and ensembles including Metropolis Ensemble, The New Juilliard Ensemble, The New York City Ballet's Choreographic Institute, as well as the world-famous violinists Anne Akiko-Meyers and Philippe Quint…
This live Appassionata, from a Moscow recital of 1959, is one of the most thrilling piano performances ever recorded. Sviatoslav Richter fills every moment of the first movement with intense drama, creates the illusion of total repose in the central variations, and then takes off in the finale with an exhibition of musical virtuosity and ever-increasing tension that becomes almost unbearably intense (and unbelievably fast and accurate). The studio Pathétique is quite fine, and the Fantasy (sung in Russian!) well performed by all but still rather quaint in its effect. But don't miss that Appassionata!
Gems: The Duets Collection may bear a title that suggests it’s a compilation, but this 2011 effort is a brand-new album containing nothing but new collaborations between Michael Bolton and similarly minded travelers of the middle of the road…