Young Moscow born pianist Vassily Primakov is quite the rising star in the US and on the world classical stage. Here’s a live recording with the Odense Symphony Orchestra in Denmark, expertly conducted by American Scott Yoo. This is the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, an epic piece of great humor and wit, plus an air of impending tragedy. Primakov’s approach is pure and direct – this is not a player who puts himself in front of the composition. Rather he gets on it, goes where it leads, and enjoys the ride. It’s a joy to listen to a work like this played so naturally and vitally. Super clean recording, too. The whole marvelous concert is available from the iTunewebs.
Vassily Primakov: Mozart Piano Concertos
“Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491: I. Allegro” (download mp3)
from “Mozart Piano Concertos, Vol. 1”
“Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491: I. Allegro” (play)
(Bridge Records, Inc.)
More On This Album
The Choir of Durham Cathedral – “O Come, All Ye Faithful”
Here’s a lovely choral rendition of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” by The Choir of Durham Cathedral in Durham, England. A little traditional for me? Well, I am full of surprises. And I hope your holiday is, too! Merry Christmas everyone.
The choir of Durham cathedral
“O Come, All Ye Faithful” (mp3)
from “A Festival of Carols- Music of Christmas from the cathedrals of England”
(Classic Fox Records)
Shall I post some of the most famous holiday music ever? Sure, I’m feeling it, and after all, there’s a reason this piece is so universally loved. So here is the Overture to Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite,” as performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under the lively baton of famed Russian conductor Yuri Simonov. The sound quality is glorious, the music as magical as a childhood dream. Click the handy “Need more!” link below, if overwhelmed with spirit, you require the entire piece to fill your home with holiday wonder and cheer. I can think of no better plan.
“The Nutcracker Suite” (download mp3)
from “Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite & Swan Lake Suite”
(Russian Music Society)
“The Nutcracker Suite” (play)
Here is a beautiful and surprisingly well preserved recording of Gioachino Rossini‘s iconic work, created nearly 100 years ago when recording technology and the record business were together taking their first baby steps. The inspired and energetic performance by Cesare Sodero‘s orchestra – who recorded for Edison under the unassuming name of “Sodero’s Band” – would help cement the William Tell Overture’s fate to become one of the most popular and beloved pieces of music of all time.
“William Tell Overture” (part 1, 1914) (play/download mp3)
“William Tell Overture” (part 2, 1914) (play download mp3)
And here is a 1927 recording of the entire piece in one pass, from a magnificent performance by the Victor Symphony Orchestra. The digital transfer is remarkably clean – hardly a scratch is audible – and the powerful dynamics of the top flight ensemble come through clear as day, making this an outstanding listening experience.
Victor Symphony Orchestra, “William Tell Overture“ (play/download mp3)
Ah, the Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy, it had to eventually come to this. Bassoons loom whilst chimes jingle and drums bump in Berlin Symphony Orchestra’s adventurous take on the Tchaikovsky classic. Fraught with mystery and intrigue, this gem from the “Christmas Remixed 2” comp capers with a mischievous glee that honors the composition, even as it treads into new forests of sound and wonder.
Berlin Symphony Orchestra
“Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” (mp3)
from “Christmas Remixed 2”
“Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” (play)
Andreas Haefliger – “Piano Sonata No 23 in F Minor Op 57 – Appassionata”
Andreas Haefliger’s performance of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 – or “Appassionata” as it is known colloquially, is a stellar record in every regard. Composed in first few years of the 19th century, a period which yielded some of the greatest works for grand piano the world has known, this Sonata is a personal favorite of mine that I am delighted to share now that I found it online. What, you thought I only listened to 20th and 21st century music? Pull emergency cord, get clue! Chuckle. Enjoy. This music is quite heavenly, and Haefliger renders it beautifully and effortlessly.
“Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 – “Appassionata”” (mp3)
from “Perspectives 3”
I found this interesting note on the piece, in wikipedia:
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, writer-director of the 2006 film The Lives of Others, has said that his movie was inspired by the anecdote that Lenin loved the “Appassionata” but refused to listen to it because it deterred him from the Communist revolution. (The film tells the story of a Stasi agent who has a moral awakening when coming into contact with music and art.) The characters in the movie even discuss the Appassionata/Lenin story.