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Symphony At Seven

June 19th, 2007

A Fond Farewell @ 02:26 pm

On 29 June, radio station WCLV will broadcast Karl Haas' Adventures In Good Music for the last time. The full story can be found here. During the week of 25 June, WCLV will "double bill" the program, presenting two installments on each of Monday through Friday. I, for one, plan to make plenty of hard drive space available for recording, for my own use, I assure all concerned.

May 28th, 2007

Bach in Gold And Brass @ 10:14 am

Canadian Brass
Bach, Goldberg Variations
BMG Classics 2000

My partner noted the Classical Music Sale at Barnes&Noble, and brought this home. I was overjoyed, as I had already purchased, many years ago, a recording of Daniel Barenboim's Buenos Aires preformance of this piece.

The keyboard may be J S Bach's medium, but there is a special sonority to a brass choir, and the Goldberg Variations are perfectly suited to it. Reminiscent of an era when you arranged for what you had available, this recording offers an excellent opportunity for a compare-and-contrast. Besides, the brass-lovers among us now have the chance to hear an excellent ensemble bring the sweet sounds of brass and Baroque to our eager ears.

April 30th, 2007

As I'm not too familiar with Beethoven, @ 11:24 pm

I'll make a post of my own.

Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Violins in G Major.

I heard it in a movie recently, and didn't particularly like the version they used. The version of it I have is... almost a bit more folk. Flawless, but just has a bit of a tinny, almost fiddle-like sound to it. A vocal sound, with each of the violins having its own voice. The one they played in the movie was dull; it felt like it had been composed to be background music. And I'll tell you what, this piece is not background music. It's a damn concerto!

It bugs me when classical pieces get used as background music. Especially when I'm familiar with the piece in all its intricacies.

But what really bugs me is when people describe an oboe as "like a clarinet." (I'm an oboist. I've had people ask me, "Why does your clarinet have a funny thing on top?" I want to tear out their souls.)

My Favorite Beethoven Symphony Cycle @ 07:45 pm

Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies
Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan
Deutsche Grammophon 1962

No real surprise here; this is probably the best recorded Beethoven symphony cycle ever.

From the Washington Post:
Karajan's recording with the Berlin Philharmonic on Deutsche Grammophon, which dates from the early 1960s, still sounds spectacular.... It is, if you like, a set of interpretations that sticks fairly close to the proverbial 50-yard line; there are no eccentricities and few surprises in Karajan's performances. But the recordings wear well -- and Beethoven himself offers enough surprises to keep us interested, time after time. Tim Page

Symphony At Seven