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CLASSICAL CD Releases Summer 2001

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    "Riley: Requiem for Adam" Kronos Quartet
    ...available here.
    With "Requiem for Adam," Kronos delivers one of their most sobering recordings since Crumb's"Black Angels." A moving eulogy for Adam Harrington, son of Kronos founder-violinist David Harrington, Terry Riley's composition consists of three movements that range from somber minimalism to wild electronic-fueled bleats. A wonderful bonus is Riley's gorgeous six-minute solo piano improvisation "The Philosopher's Hand"; it's reminiscent of solo Keith Jarrett and quite impressive. A stirring release.

    "Sasha Plays Romantic Russian Rarities" Alexander Sitkovetsky
    ...available here.
    Young Alexander "Sasha" Sitkovetsky boasts one of the finest violin tones we've heard in recent times on his recital of Russian Romantic pieces. Accompanied by his mother on the piano, Sasha delivers an exciting performance of bonbons and encore pieces. Based upon this impressive debut, we look forward to hearing more from the prodigy.

    "Classic Yo-Yo" Yo-Yo Ma
    ...available here.
    "Classic Yo-Yo" only scratches the surface of superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma's vast body of CDs, but it does feature some of his best-loved and most famous recordings. The prelude to Bach's first cello suite, a theme from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," and three unreleased gems (including a duet with singer Alison Krauss) can all be found on this great collection of cello favorites.

    "Brendel: Live in Salzburg" Alfred Brendel
    ...available here.
    Pianist Alfred Brendel chose the works used for his "Live in Salzburg" compilation, and the fine quality of performances heard here is the result. Brendel has performed at the Salzburg Festival for four decades, and these solo recordings made in the early 1980s--featuring Haydn, Schubert, and Liszt (a gorgeous piano transcription of "Liebestod" from Wagner's "Tristan")--rank among his finest recital recordings available. Full of intellect and playful expressiveness, this delightful disc will keep you coming back for more.

    "Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique" Hector Berlioz
    ...available here.
    There are several fine recordings of Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique," but this new one featuring Paavo Jarvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra might just boast the best sonics of them all. There's nothing shocking in Jarvi's approach to the music; his long, graceful lines showcase the beauty of Berlioz's passages, but there's still plenty of drama here. And Telarc's sound is, as usual, spectacular.

    New 2-Channel SACD releases now available!
    Shostakovich: Fifth Symphony / Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet performed by the Cleveland Orchestra and conducted by Lorin Maazel: Telarc

    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons performed by the Boston Symphony with Joseph Silverstein under the baton of Seiji Ozawa: Telarc

    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” / Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 conducted by Seiji Ozawa with pianist, Rudolf Serkin and the Boston Symphony Orchestra: Telarc

    Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique conducted by Paavo Jarvi and the Cincinnati Orchestra: Telarc

    Mahler by Zander:
    Benjamin Zander continues to garner extraordinary worldwide acclaim for his series of Mahler symphonies, with insightful bonus discussion discs, on Telarc. For his third recording, the conductor joins the ethereal soprano Camilla Tilling in her recording debut for a richly detailed performance of the lively Fourth Symphony. Click here for more details: Telarc
    Symphonie Fantastique:

    “To call it an auspicious debut would be an understatement. It is one of the most exciting debut recordings in recent memory, with interpretations that breathe new life into established repertory…Jarvi guides all with a sure hand, inviting the best possible playing from his musicians and delivering a reading that is dramatic without missing an ounce of lyricism…The Telarc engineering team…has outdone itself here. Every sound is perfectly balanced and clear…In an age where we're deluged with competent, well-played run-throughs, we eagerly await Jarvi's next antidote recording!” –Schwann Inside

    Click here for more details: Telarc

    Find out where our classical artists are touring: Telarc

    Mehmet Okonsar Pianist, Organist
    First Prize Winner, at the International Young Virtuosos Competition, Antwerp, and laureate of other prestigious International Competitions such as the Gina Bachauer, Salt Lake City (1991) and J.S.Bach, Paris (1989); also Gold Medallist of the "Premio Etruria", Rome (1991) and of the "Académie Internationale Des Arts Contemporains", Enghien (Belgium, 1991), Mehmet Okonºar is recognized as one of Turkey's premier young concert pianists
    Okonsar Site ~ Biography
    ON CDs...
    Die Kunst Der FugueThe Art of Fugue by Johann Sebastian BACH, performed on organ and harpsichord by Mehmet Okonsar. This complete version of what may be called the greatest work of Bach comes in a CD-XTRA format where, besides the beautifully recorded audio tracks there are extensive analysis, readings, internet links for further research, midi files and more. Those features makes this CD the most complete and extensive source for the enjoyment as well as the study of this masterpiece.
    Das Wohltemperierte KlavierThe Well Tempered Keyboard by Johann Sebastian BACH, performed on piano by Mehmet Okonsar. This complete version comes in a set of 3 CD's and represents all the diversity and the originality of the greatest composer of all times. The CD #3 in the set is a CD-MIXEDMODE where, besides the beautifully recorded audio tracks there are extensive readings, internet links for further research and analysis, midi files and more. Those features make this CD the most complete and extensive source for the enjoyment as well as the study of this masterpiece. ~amazon


    Benjamin Zander brings Telarc another in his series of Mahler Symphonies with discussion disc.
    Soprano Camilla Tillig makes her recording debut here. Mahler Symphony No. 4 TELARC CD-80527
    Mahler: Symphony No. 4

    POSTED 7 AUGUST 2001

    "Plays Mozart Sinfonia Concertante" Midori
    ...available here.
    Here's a disc of Mozart that will sound fresh even to seasoned collectors. The lineup is superb--violinist Midori, violist Nabuko Imai, and conductor Christoph Eschenbach leading the NDR-Sinfonieorchester--and the music-making is gorgeous. On the "Sinfonia Concertante," the strings of Midori and Imai sound spontaneous and expressive, their roles exhibiting gorgeous interplay.

    "Leos Janacek: A Recollection" Leos Janacek (Composer), Andras Schiff (Performer)
    ...available here.
    The solo piano works of Leos Janacek require a tender touch--these miniatures can be gentle, haunting, or whimsical. On "A Recollection," Andras Schiff is in fine form, showing restraint or letting loose, as needed. The playing is great and the repertoire couldn't be better.

    "Boccherini: String Quintets, Minuet in A" Luigi Boccherini (Composer), et al
    ...available here.
    Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante tackle some of Boccherini's best string quintets, and the results can be summed up in one word: fun. These period instrument performances are energetic, lively, but never lightweight, making this easily one of the best Classical CDs of the year. Fine sound, too.

    "Ginastera: Concerto pour harpe, Estancia" Alberto Ginastera (Composer), et al
    ...available here.
    If you haven't heard the orchestral music of Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera, here's your chance. Conductor David Robertson and the Orchestre National de Lyon squeeze plenty of excitement out of Ginastera's "Estancia" and harp concerto. Latin American folk elements, spiky Stravinsky-esque rhythms, and a superb performance by harpist Isabelle Moretti make this a great disc for Modern lovers.

    "Tintinnabulum: Organ Works by Arvo Part ..." Arvo Part (Composer), et al
    ...available here.
    "Tintinnabulum" is one of the strangest--and most beautiful--CDs to be released in recent months. Featuring the organ music of Arvo Part set against a backdrop of real church bell sounds (a clever reminder of Part's "tintinnabuli" style of composing), the disc also features a selection of early organ music (William Byrd's "The Bells," for one). Lorenzo Ghielmi delivers a fine performance and a novel approach to classical organ music.


    "Peter and the Wolf: A Special Report" Various (Composer), et al
    ...available here.
    National Public Radio's new "Peter and the Wolf: A Special Report" has to be one of the most innovative treatments of the classic work available today. The composer's famous introduction to the orchestra is transformed into a clever "All Things Considered" audio story, performed by the Virginia Symphony with the narration of favorite NPR hosts Robert Siegel, Linda Wertheimer, Ann Taylor, and others. Two other classical works for little ones--Britten's "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" and Saint-Saens's "Carnival of the Animals"--fill out this most-impressive disc.

    More Classical Music for kids
    ...available here.


    "Bernstein: West Side Story Suite" Joshua Bell (Performer), et al
    ...available here.
    "I prefer to go for something subtle rather than try to hit the audience over the head; I'd rather err on that side than on the side of overplaying or overexaggeration. It's a style of playing that I was exposed to from my teacher, Josef Gingold. He would sometimes play incredibly softly, so you felt like you were being invited into his little world. He had a great influence on me in that way. There's a huge concentration these days on belting all the time--the louder the voice, the better. But for me, often the most magical moments are the ones where you feel like you're being drawn in." --Joshua Bell on his playing technique, speaking to editor Thomas May.

    Read's interview with Joshua Bell
    ...available here.


    "Moiseiwitsch: The Complete Acoustic Recordings" Benno Moiseiwitsch (Performer), et al
    ...available here.
    "The Complete Acoustic Recordings" gathers two CDs' worth of prime Benno Moiseiwitsch performances. These 80-year-old recordings, featuring a vast array of solo piano works, sound simply timeless in the subtle and elegant hands of Moiseiwitsch.

    "Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 "New World"; Franck: Symphony in D Minor" Antonin Dvorak (Composer), et al
    ...available here.
    Willem Mengelberg's romanticized readings of Dvorak's "New World" Symphony and Franck's Symphony in D Minor with the Concertgebouw Orchestra make for one of Teldec's best Telefunken reissues yet.

    "Beethoven: Symphony No. 9" Ludwig Van Beethoven (Composer), et al
    ...available here.
    Pierre Monteux was nearly 90 when he recorded this take of Beethoven's Ninth with the London Symphony Orchestra, but this effortlessly flowing performance reveals a conducting genius still in his prime.


    You'll either love or hate Bernard Haitink's conducting--fans hear him as cool and collected, while detractors say he's downright cold. But on this well-recorded CD featuring Shostakovich's Symphonies Nos. 5 and 9, the style pays off.
    ...available here.

    More Haitink Shostakovich recordings
    ...available here.


    "Compassion: A Tribute to Yehudi Menuhin" John Tavener (Composer), et al
    ...available here.
    Some of today's best composers can be found on "Compassion: A Tribute to Yehudi Menuhin," a tribute disc featuring new music by John Tavener, Hans Werner Henze, Iannis Xenakis, Lukas Foss, Philip Glass, and numerous others. At times moving, this disc offers a great glimpse into modern composing styles and features some great violin playing by Menuhin collaborator Edna Michell. An interesting release.

    Read more
    ...available here.

    POSTED 25 JULY 2001

    New from Telarc:

    Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra:
    Author, scholar and conductor, Leon Botstein, is known for his innovative programming and for uncovering unusual repertoire and bringing it back into the concert hall. On his newest recording for Telarc, he leads the London Philharmonic in music by Bartok that includes the popular Concerto for Orchestra—including the composer’s alternative ending—as well as the rarely-heard Four Orchestral Pieces, Op. 12.
    Click here for more details:

    Now in his fifteenth and final season as Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Jesus Lopez-Cobos makes his penultimate recording for Telarc, performing the first and last symphonies written by Dmitri Shostakovich. These two symphonies display this evolution in the composer’ s style. The First was composed as a graduation piece and was finished before he turned nineteen. His Fifteenth Symphony is one of the composer’s most internal and enigmatic works.
    Click here for more details:

    Find out where our classical artists are touring: X

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    The success of Opera d'Oro, Allegro's budget live opera series, has led to the creation of a sister label: Classica d'Oro. Classica d'Oro will present an ongoing series of great orchestral and instrumental performances. And, like Opera d'Oro, the prices are unbeatable at $7.97 each.
    enter Classica D'Oro in search window below...


    New from Telarc:
    Leon Botstein
    London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra
    Leon Botstein—author, scholar, and conductor—is known for his innovative programming and for uncovering unusual repertoire and bringing it back into the concert hall. Here he leads the London Philharmonic in music by Bartok that ranges from the popular Concerto for Orchestra to the rarely heard Four Orchestral Pieces. Release 7/24/01

    BERLIOZ: Symphonie fantastique, and Love Scene from Romeo and Juliette Release date Aug 28
    with Paavo Jarvi, newly-appointed music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, making his debut recording on Telarc (CD-80578) This is Järvi’s recording debut both with the Cincinnati Symphony and with Telarc. Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique and Love Scene from Romeo et Juliette comprised the first program that the maestro conducted in Cincinnati after being named the music director designate of the orchestra. In a concert review, the Cincinnati Enquirer called the performance "electrifying...Mr. Järvi’s dynamics were wide-ranging; every accent and crescendo was etched in bold relief. He propelled the music with incisive rhythmic control..."
    Enter Classica D'Oro, Paavo Jarvi or Leon Botstein in the window:
    then click small square at right
    Search by keywords:
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    POSTED 13 JULY 2001


    "Bach: For Relaxation" Johann Sebastian Bach (Composer), et al
    ...available here.
    Classical music has long been known to possess an extraordinary power to heal. Check out our selection of classical music to induce relaxation. These are marvelous combinations of sound, melody, timbre, and tempo that can confer an enduring effect of destressing and refocusing of energy into a positive direction.

    Classical music for relaxation
    ...available here.

    Bach's French Suites by the renowned harpsichordist, Bradley Brookshire....
    French Suites, available here
    Purchase Records, a classical label affiliated with the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College (State University of New York), who has made Brookshire's recording available throughout the United States via many internet sites (including, Barnes&,, etc.) and by special arrangement with Tower Records. Though he is only 41 (his birthday is Christmas Day), Brookshire has been called "a brilliant performer," "an excellent Bach harpsichordist," "assured and stylish," "secure and reasoned," and "Perhaps the finest Bach harpsichordist active today in New York."

    POSTED 29 JUNE 2001

    "Albeniz: Iberia & Espana" Daniel Barenboim
    ...available here.
    These days, we don't get to hear the piano music of Isaac Albeniz too often, but in the capable hands of Daniel Barenboim, the experience is a real joy. He delivers the first two books of "Iberia" with a light, authoritative touch. Barenboim also performs the six movements of the Andalusian-infused "Espana." A real delight for Albeniz fans.

    "Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien, Marche Slave, etc." Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Composer), et al
    ...available here.
    Telarc pays tribute to their classic 1970s recording of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" with this brand-new, state-of-the-art recording of the work featuring DSD technology. Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra deliver an edge-of-your-seat reading of this riveting work, while the sonics emphasize the loud stuff: percussion, brass, and (of course) those cannons.

    "Royal Strings" Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

    Charles Rosekrans/ Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    ...available here.
    Conductor Charles Rosekrans and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra create an interesting program of diverse classical music for string orchestra on "Royal Strings." Included are arrangements of chamber works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Mendelssohn, along with an arrangement of Dido's "Lament" from Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas" performed on solo cello.

    "Bells Opus. 35/John of Damascus" Taneyev Rachmaninov
    ...available here.
    With his new recording of "The Bells" with the Russian National Orchestra and the Moscow State Chamber Choir, Mikhail Pletnev finishes his cycle of Rachmaninov's complete orchestral works. It's a noteworthy achievement that makes for a rewarding disc of music. A cantata by Sergei Taneyev fills out this fascinating disc.


    "Bernstein: West Side Story Suite" Joshua Bell (Performer), et al
    ...available here.
    Joshua Bell's singing violin seems tailor-made for Leonard Bernstein's well-loved "West Side Story Suite." But on this disc, we also get to hear the young talent performing violin arrangements featuring music from Bernstein's "On the Town" and "Candide." Conductor David Zinman and the Philharmonia Orchestra back Bell on what is sure to be one of the biggest classical hits this year.

    "Ives: Three Places in New England, Ruggles: Sun Treader, etc." Charles Ives (Composer), et al
    ...available here.
    Thirty years ago, at the helm of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a young Michael Tilson Thomas recorded three masterpieces of American orchestral music. Charles Ives's "Three Places in New England," Carl Ruggles's "Sun-treader," and Walter Piston's Symphony No. 2 are all given definitive performances here, and the recorded sound is clear and warm.

    "Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology" Bell, et al
    ...available here.
    "Heartland: An Appalachian Journey" gathers some of the very best tracks from Sony's "Appalachia Waltz," "Short Trip Home," and "Appalachian Journey" series of releases. Featuring performances by Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Joshua Bell, Mark O'Connor, and others, these Americana-themed chamber pieces can delight both folk aficionados and classical music lovers.

    New World's American Classical Music CDs New World Records has done more to promote obscure, yet important, early American Classical music than any other label. Among the highlights of their vast catalog are discs featuring turn-of-the-century mandolin ensemble music, Civil War-era saxhorn compositions, and early American psalmody. American history buffs and classical music fans shouldn't pass these great discs up.
    ...available here.


    "The Ligeti Project 1: Melodien, Chamber Concerto, Piano Concerto, Mysteries of the Macabre" Gyorgy Ligeti (Composer), et al
    ...available here.
    Maverick composer Gyorgy Ligeti has created absurdist operas, a symphonic poem for 100 metronomes, and works for barrel organ. But on this excellently played (and relatively straightforward) disc featuring Ligeti's "Melodien," Chamber Concerto, and Piano Concerto, we can hear why he's one of the most admired composers living today. It's a wonderful release that any Classical lover can appreciate and a great introduction to the composer.

    "Haydn: Complete String Quartets [BOX SET]" Franz Joseph Haydn (Composer), Angeles String Quartet (Orchestra)
    ...available here.
    When you do the math, the Angeles String Quartet's recent recording of Haydn's complete string quartets is one of Classical music's finest deals. Stretching across 21 CDs, these performances rank as some of the best available. A true bargain that will reward chamber music lovers for years to come.


    "Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3; Suite No. 2" Sergei Rachmaninov (Composer), et al
    ...available here.
    The work has been billed as the Everest of piano music, but on Martha Argerich's 1982 account of Rachmaninov's Third, she plays the piece with ease, confidence, and all her trademark energy. Riccardo Chailly and the Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin are the perfect match for her on this legendary recording. If you get just one Rach Third in your collection, make it this one.

    Trio Fundacion Astor Piazzolla y Orquesta de Camara Mayo’s Nacar. Commissioned by Laura Piazzolla, the widow of Astor Piazzolla, this piece for trio and orchestra has never before been recorded. Pianist and Piazzolla godchild Sebastian Forster was the brainchild behind this release, which was recorded in Buenos Aires in April 2000.

    Since his death in 1992, there has been a rise of popularity of the “nuevo tangos” of Astor Piazzolla. Numerous recordings of the compositions of Piazzolla have been released throughout this past decade. Laura Piazzolla and the Astor Piazzolla Foundation have officially sanctioned this recording.



    Arizona University Recordings (AUR) has recently finished an extensive three year on going project titled "America's Millennium Tribute to Adolphe Sax" in a seven CD set (AUR Box Set 3116). When all 7 CDs are aligned, a picture of Adolphe Sax & a saxophone will appear.

    Volume I features Jean-Marie Londeix; America's Millenium Tribute to Adolphe Sax Volume II features Eugene Rousseau; Volume III features François Daneels (Brussels Conservatory); Volume IV features Claude Delangle (Paris Conservatory); Volume V features Jean-Yves Fourmeau (Cergy Conservatory, France); VI features François Daneels with the Brussels (Belgium) National TV & Radio Orchestra (the "BRT") performing Frank Martin's "Ballade;" and VII features Joseph Lulloff and the legendary Marcel Mule.

    The series is available in a limited boxed set edition, as well as via individual CDs.

    Naturally AUR has many other saxophone, etc. CDs in its catalogue, including the exclusive USA distribution of the Marcel Mule double CD set "La Légende." Please visit our web site at Arizona University Recordings for more information about our catalogue.



reviews excerpted are copyright © 2001 & associate ncdn and CDnow, TowerRecords, Barnes & Nobel associates