Friday, November 23, 2007

Recordings of Interest

As promised, here is another brief list of suggestions for music listeners:

The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven
Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra

The landmark symphonies of Beethoven have been recorded over the past century by many.
However, the most compelling reading of these masterpieces, from my perch, are the performances by the legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini and the orchestra he put together, which well could be the orchestra to measure the other great orchestras by.
The indescribable sense of power and drive, coupled with the fantastic lyricism engendered by this group of musicians, make for a view of Beethoven like no other view. Recorded from 1949 through the early fifties, it is a collection well worth searching for.

The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikowsky, transcribed for solo piano by M. Pletnev, and recorded by him, should be a Christmas gift for any music lover. It may be difficult to obtain, but DO try - it will have been worth the effort!

ANY recordings by Ella Fitzgerald and the wonderful guitarist Joe Pass!
The melding of Fitzgerald's lustrous voice and the degree of harmonic empathy by Pass, which lends even greater luminosity to her vocals, create a degree of pleasure one should experience - they were like no other duo in the pop field . I have wonderful photos of the two seated and facing one another during one of their recordings, and that picture IS the music.



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