Classical Music

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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.)
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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)

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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.

Yuri Simonov
“The Nutcracker Suite” (download mp3)
from “Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite & Swan Lake Suite”
(Russian Music Society)
The Nutcracker Suite” (play)
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GiorcesRossini100Here 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)

DiamondDiscPhonograph100And 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)

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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″
(Christmas Chill)
Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” (play)
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beethoven100Beethoven’s evocative “Egmont Overture,” performed by the New York Philharmonic on January 14, 1930. Few composers have been able to traverse such dramatic plateaus and valleys so effortlessly as our good old Ludwig Van. The dynamic range of this great orchestra going full bore on this work is breathtaking.

Beethoven – “Egmont Overture” mp3

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GiorcesRossini100Here 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)

William Tell Overture – part 2 (1914)

DiamondDiscPhonograph100And 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 (1927)

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It was the holiday season, December 17, to be exact, in 1936, when this magnificent performance of Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” was recorded by The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Under the inspired leadership of the great German conductor Bruno Walter, each movement of the masterpiece comes to life and crackles with joyful energy.

Kudos to F. Reeder for the outstanding audio transfer to digital from the original Victor 78 RPM record. Here are all four movements, as breathtaking and unpretentiously beautiful as any music ever conceived. You can click the first one and the player will take you through the rest in sequence, or if you prefer you can download them by right clicking the links, select “save as” and download the files. Enjoy!

I. Allegro
II. Romanze (Andante)
III. Menuetto and Trio (Allegretto)
IV. Rondo (Allegro)

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FritzKreisler100

A sublime rendition of Beethoven’s Concerto in D Major, Op. 61, for Violin and Orchestra, recorded in 1936 by The London Philharmonic Orchestra. Sir John Barbirolli conducted and the great Fritz Kreisler was the featured violinist. A faithful yet passionate interpretation of one of Beethoven’s most evocative violin works. Ausgeszeignet.

I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Larghetto
III. Rondo (Allegro)

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Here is an absolutely stellar performance of Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5, in E-flat Major, Op. 73 (“Emperor”), by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by George Szell, featuring Benno Moiseivitch on piano. The audio quality is superb, especially when you consider this was recorded in 1938 and only much later transferred to a digital medium. Here are all three movements, in two high resolution mp3s. Magnificent.

1. I. Allegro
2. II. Adagio, III. Rondo