Mahler Symphony No. 4

performed by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta, Barbara Hendricks, soprano (my hands-down absolute favorite recording of this piece; she’s stunning. Took my breath away the first time I heard her after having listened to many other recordings, but the … Continue reading Mahler Symphony No. 4

Ravel: Bolero

performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under Claudio Abbado MYCU: Part 6  In one swift stroke of genius, I wrote a wonderful post about this piece, and then Blogger ate it. I am livid. Thankfully, I have most of it still in mind. Thanks for nothing, technologies. From Wikipedia: Ida Rubinstein, the inspiration behind Boléro. Portrait by Valentin Serov. I had to check with a friend to make sure this wouldn’t sound weird, but there’s basically two things you need to know about this piece, and they are as follows: It’s a fantastic treatise in orchestration It’s like, the sexiest piece of classical … Continue reading Ravel: Bolero

Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, op. 26

performed by the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, Yefim Bronfman, piano (while I mention Wang below, and Argerich many times, I do quite enjoy Bronfman’s performance here. It’s a new album for me and I was pleased enough to listen to it instead of the other Argerich recordings and Wang’s with Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra; they’re all great) The above is of the wonderful Yuja Wang and the Concertgebouw, under their (soon-to-be) new maestro, Daniele Gatti. The above is of Ms. Martha Argerich herself. The first recording I had of this piece was of her and … Continue reading Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, op. 26

Thinking about Mahler’s ninth

As I’ve said before in multiple places here, I have lots of anticipation and ideas and thoughts about Mahler’s ninth that may or may not be accurate, but I have certainly built it up a lot in my head, and I am realizing that it may all be a bit overblown. It doesn’t much matter, because that whole dream image of how I planned to enjoy Mahler’s pinnacle work for the first time is coming to an end much earlier than I’d expected.  I read this article that describes Mahler’s ninth as a great symphony. I then sort of ran … Continue reading Thinking about Mahler’s ninth

Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto no. 1 in Eb

performed by The London Symphony Orchestra under Claudio Abbado Martha Argerich, piano (from the Great Pianists of the 20th Century collection by Philips) I couldn’t find the above recording on YouTube, but this is Ms. Argerich with the Berlin Radio Symphony (this version is almost as good as the one I have become accustomed to listening to) “Das versteht ihr alle nicht, haha!” (None of you understand this, haha!)  Or at least how some say begins the opening of the first movement of this concerto. (It fits rhythmically). Regardless, this twenty-minute piece in four movements is one hell of a ride.  … Continue reading Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto no. 1 in Eb