I thought I'd give this a go:
Janacek's From the House of the Dead done by Vaclav Neumann (good conductor) and a Czech band. But I can't help thinking it's utterly awful: plodding, clumsy, hammy singing. Oh dear!
So back to the canonical Mackerras VPO recording:
which is most wonderful: a superb recording of one of the 20th century's greatest operas.
What classical music are you listening to?
A familiar old favourite, and even if it's just too familiar, I'd still recommend having a listen to the John Ogdon/Sir John Pritchard/Philharmonia Orchestra recording from 1962. It's available on the EMI John Ogdon 70th Anniversary 4-disk set:
And on Spotify:
John Ogdon – John Ogdon - 70th Anniversary Edition
I think it's now generally acknowledged that in his pomp Ogdon was one of the greats. The recording may not be absolutely pin sharp, but the power and dynamism of the playing more than makes up for it.
The performance of the Liszt B Minor Sonata is also great.
Beethoven's Triple Concerto, Violin Concerto and the piano version of the latter, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. All on CD.
...Not sure it qualifies as strictly 'classical' music (though definitely more so than Red Hot ChiliPeppers ).
'One Hot Minute' by the Chili Peppers may not be classical but it is a classic.
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1
Sony NWZ-A847 64GB Walkman > Westone UM3x
Delibes - Flower Duet
Just home from hearing Ex Cathedra/Fretwork performing Elizabethan music at Birmingham's Town Hall (they are a wonderful choir) and I've put my old Byrd - The Great Service - King's College Choir/Cleobury CD on. I have to admit I've not listened to this for many years but it is a great performance. Not sure if it is still available but it was EMI CDC 7 47771 2.
Recommended if you like 16th century polyphony.
Nice one. I'll check that out. I have a couple of King's/Cleobury recordings. The Bruckner Te Deum etc springs to mind -- obviously miles away from the Byrd ...
Britten, 3rd String Quartet -- a late work, hugely complex, in one of BB's favourite genres, with lots of nods to the Austro-German tradition.
This really is in the top flight of 20th-century chamber music.
John Taverner (c1490-1545) "Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas" - The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips recorded in the Chapel of Merton College, Oxford. This was recorded to celebrate the 40th anniversay of the Tallis Scholars and is simply beautiful, geat singing in a great acoustic. Gimell CDGIM 045
Piano Sonata, Fantasy & Fugue on the theme B-A-C-H by Marc-Andre Hamelin and Franz Liszt
Sonos Connect, Cyrus DAC XP Signature with PSX-R
Cyrus Mono X 300 Signature, Wilmslow Phoenix with Bass Extenders.
Puccini -- La Rondine (Gheorghiu/Alagna/Pappano/LSO)
Puccini La Rondine
Relatively little known, this has some ravishing tunes in it, and the performances are outstanding. And the sound quality ... oh boy! If you want to hear the dynamic range your system's capable of, put this on and crank up the volume.
Great call. Have listened to this recording twice in the last week. Exhilarating stuff.
meanwhile, I have also been listening to Brahms' Piano Quintet in F Minor. Brahms divides people it seems but personally I like a lot of Brahms' music and this is a not particularly well-known gem. I have a couple of versions and have listened to both this week but it is the Artemis Quartet with Leif Ove Andsnes version on Virgin that has particularly excited me. I am unfamiliar with the Artemis quartet otherwise but have been an admirer of Andsnes' incisively uncomplicated musicianship and the way he seems to so effortlessly cut to the emotional heart of the piece for years, and he is on top form here. The accompanying Schumann quintet is delivered with notable elegance too.
The Pretenders - Don't Get Me Wrong
You might be interested to know that I use Act I for my speaker auditions.
Yes, big Brahms fan here, and I also have the Andsnes/Artemis version. Great stuff!
Stephen Hough - Brahms Piano Concertos on Hyperion.
I was really looking forward to these as I'm a great admirer of Hough but I'm slightly disappointed. There's nothing wrong with the playing and the recordings are excellent but the performances don't catch fire for me (2 is better than 1). If you like your Brahms serious then maybe these are for you. For me they are simply not as good as the recent Grimaux versions.
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