Dave's Picks Volume 11: Century II Convention Hall, Wichita, KS 11/17/72 - SOLD OUT
Jack Straw may have been from Wichita but the Grateful Dead only played there once and what a show it was! Whether the band knew they would only have one shot to show the "Doo-dah" city what they were all about, we just don't know but they sure did nail it. Dick's Picks producer Dick Latvala initially considered this one for release and with a single listen, you'll know why. From the epic 90-minute 16-song first set to super tight ditties from the massively popular Workingman's Dead and American Beauty albums and newly minted Europe '72 classics like "He's Gone," "Brown-Eyed Women," and "China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider," you're bound to agree. Lest we forget to mention the great sounding tapes and excellent acoustics at the Century II Convention Hall. (Oh, and as a little bonus, we've thrown in the best of the bunch from Oklahoma City 11/15/72!)
Mastered in HDCD from the original soundboard recordings produced by Owsley Stanley, with fresh artwork from Tony Millionaire (and his little dog too), and liner notes from original handbill artist and then first-time Grateful Dead concert attendee Gary Houston, this sonic adventure is one to cross off the old bucket list.
Pre-order it here while you can!
3 Disc set
Limited to 14,000 individually numbered copies
Mastered to HDCD specs by Jeffrey Norman
Digipak made of 100% recycled and PCW materials
Release Date: August 1, 2014
A note about the cover: The Black and White cover is the only cover made for this release. The color version is the booklet cover. The Black and White version wasn't revealed till Street Date which is why the booklet color version was the only version shown at the time of Pre-order.
Century II Convention Hall, Wichita, KS (11/17/72)
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One of the single most enjoyable discs we have in our collection is the Handel Suites played on piano by Keith Jarrett. I've been listening to it quite a bit over the past several months or so and it hasn't let me down. I believe it's on the ECM label. It's an interesting juxtaposition to the Bach English or French suites or Partitas which you can't go wrong with if you find a decent recording or performance of those.
that Europe '72 was coursing through me like my very own blood and then I discovered the December '71 shows - the two probably most famous, 12/05 & 12/10. I happened on a picture-disc - a Jerry shot from the show - of 12/05 that featured all first set material. I put it on a cassette and played that sucker everywhere I went. At about the same time, I was hooked up with a Dylan/Dead disciple who had taped the 12/10 broadcast from KADI-fm to reel-to-reel. Three cassettes of absolute beauty from one Valhalla of a hall, the Fox Theatre, were made in an afternoon. (I also got the 10/24/70 show w/ NRPS). So, of course, I would learn of a run of shows that bridged the Europe - December gap, that only existed in atrocious quality, the ones from the Academy of Music in New York. Holy grails - those darned objects of desire that would never be heard in good sound beyond those hallowed walls.
Years passed. And then...and then there was Dick's Picks 30. Thank you very much. And then the Rhein bonus disc - it's got the meat from 3/22 & 3/23 - but I/we want both shows. And then on Archive are posted 3/23 and 3/21 in fabulous sound ! Wow - what was once thought lost is now found. And now 3/22 & 3/27, with 3/26 as a Dave's Pick, can and will be heard? Nothing left to do but Fall, Fall, Fall. (and Summer, of course!)
Op 18 I have only by Tokyo St Qt released around the same time as the middle quartets, including Op 74 and Op 95.
I have quite a few LVB Emperor's:
Furtwangler/Edwin Fischer 2/19/51 Philharmonia Orch
Klemperer/Barenboim Philharmonia Orch
Kovacevich Australian Chamber Orch
Menges/Solomon Philharmonia Orch
Horowitz/Reiner RCA Victor Symph Orch
Van Kempen/Kempff Berlin PO
Actually, each of these has something special, but really Kovacevich find the most magic, at least for me. And, I usually prefer the older performers! I have two Kovacevich performances, one where he leads himself - which is a little faster than the older one with Colin Davis. I can't decide between them. In the Furtwangler one, he has a soloist of top calibre, unlike in that #4 I sent. Klemperer/Barenboim is interesting as the combination of Klemperer's older style and a very young Barenboim. Solomon is a unique player (I'm unfamililar with Menges his conductor). Horowitz, as usual, gets colors galore out of everything, but I don't think he gets inside the music like the others. As technical playing, it's breathtaking. And the Kempff with Van Kempen is predictably fantastic - it's the closest rival I've heard to the Kovacevich.
I don't believe I have any Charlie Rouse. Or Louis Smith. The three Monk albums I have are Brilliant Corners, Thelonious Hiself and Monk's Music, none of which have Rouse I don't think.
The only AOM concert I've heard in its entirety is 3/23. Plus I have DP30 and the RtR bonus disc. I haven't listened to 3/27 yet, but I have that one.
Yes, anticipation of what is coming is killing me. Sweetly.
of an announcement - I can feel it in my bones. Wjonjd, since you've been sated Razumovsky-wise, how 'you set for op.18? Op.74 & 95? I'm going to listen to the "Harp" quartet tomorrow AM, along w/ the Leonore overtures and the op.78, 79 & 81 pno sntas. In addition to the two op.70 piano trios, I listened to Kempff/BPO/Leitner murder Pno Cto no.5 in all its remastered glory this AM. Of the versions I own, this one stands very tall - my fave middle movement (partnered w/ the Rondo Allegro finale) is on the Immortal Beloved soundtrack. Only thing is, it's first movement-less! Oh, no!
Hey!!! Am I alone in feeling Gratefully giddy about 3/22, 3/26 & 3/27/72 and how two can actually be heard in something other than less than mediocre sound, with 3/26 nearing readiness to be placed in the post? Llama al bombero!!!
ATM, Louis Smith "Smithville" - Blue Note Connoisseur Series, purchased 5/14/08. Recorded 3/30/58. Mastered in 24-bit by Ron McMaster. RVG did the original engineering - he's 91 years young - in Hackensack, NJ. Accompanying Mr. Smith are Charlie Rouse (you know, the Monk guy), Sonny Clark (best professional amateur), P.C. aka Paul Chambers (think Miles from the '50's 'til Carter took over) and Art Taylor (he's not Blakey, Clarke, P.J.Jones, Cobb, Roach, Williams or Haynes) BUT he's awful darn good!
Speaking of giddy, if the news we're 'bout to receive has anything in common with that initial flash from a few years ago about a certain crate I just took down off the shelf I'll be really, really, REALLY surprised! Bring it, oh, modern-day prankster of distinction. 'nuff.
i've been spending some time with some recently acquired rasumovsky quartets performed by the Lindsays. Great middle period go for broke stuff. It's amazing what hearing these by other performers is like after only hearing one version (early Tokyo qt.). They've come to life with a vibrancy they didn't have before.
Never enough time to listen to the heart's content. I've even more recently aquired some very tasty looking morsels which I will post about after I get a chance to savor. Where to start? Where to start? Kid in a candy store :)
all the way through the Eroica - bam, Mr. Gardiner knows what to do. Next few days'll have op.57, "appassionata" - Perahia or Kempff? BOTH!!! Pno cto # 4, Op.59 Str Quartets, Symph #4, op.60.
Been listening to 3/27/72 in the car (miller 2/15), and it is a revelation. Jerry's steel on LLR will make you shed a tear or two.
I've got "Somethin' Else" by Ornette Coleman on the stereo. Would ornette played a good "Star" at the show?
tomorrow. Beethoven, op.1, Monday.
1/02/72 sounding great! When Mr. Charlie started it was such a relief! Months and months with no cerdo - like some-kinda-lent or something! And, once again, the excitement builds for the tour.
I'm listening to the newly released dubmaster, Scientist, work his magic on something that's been in the can for 35 years entitled, "The Dub album They Didn't Want You to Hear". Ahhhhhhhh! Mas ron!
A fave line:
S: How about this one. (plays K525 allegro)
P: (sings along) That's charming! I didn't know you wrote that?
S: I didn't. (pregnant pause) THAT was Mozart ... the little despicable varmint! (or some such)
Patron saint of all mediocrities, indeed.
And speaking of varmints, Punxsutawney Phil prognosticated six more weeks of Winter and I will be forced to endure more Hayden. I've still got some sonatas, the op.64 & 76 quartets, the London symphs, the Seasons and the Creation - Beethoven will have to wait. Just listened to MA Hamelin's piano concertos disc and found it revelatory (if I may use a word oft used by Kate). Great sound/balance(Hyperion), nice chamber orch support, and tremendous piano playing. I didn't know Haydn rocked piano concertos!
Finished 12/12 - ex! - and started 12/15 (I'd all-but forgotten about that one!). Last night, before the sposa and I ventured through the tundra and got a bite to eat, I lopped my head with 2/27/69 - I pronounce the box and my head dusted. (Can the late Jan, Avalon shows be too far in the offing?)
I'm glad you liked it. I loved the ending - he takes Pépinot out of the system and raises him himself.
And I also hope Kate will return - she said she would at some point. She writes so well, and comes up with the most interesting things to say and such clever ways to say them - a real pleasure to read. Something to look forward to :)
I did see "Les Choristes". Thanks for the recco, wjonjd. It was enjoyable.
P.S. recco a Kate_C word, remember her? Here's hoping she'll float back again sometime to twist my brain with her prose.
Actually, 2 oopses.
I misread a post somewhere and got and listened to 12/12 instead of 12/11. I will have to go back and get 12/11 now :)
The other oops is I completely forgot about the "bordello" opera! I have Gardiner's version of that one too, and no others.
Yes, I LOVE that movie as well. It's completely inaccurate in so many ways, but it doesn't matter - it's just such a great movie. I love the depiction of Salieri as the patron saint of mediocrities!
As far as a comparison of the core to the trad core, I must claim ignorance. These are the only set I have and though I've listened to Idomeneo and Serail a handful of times, I have yet to really dig into the lebretti and become a student of all of them. All good things in all good time, eh? Do you ever watch Amadeus? One of my absolute fave movies of all time!!!
In listening to the Winterland 12/11/72, I rediscovered (I believe) the first time in Half Step where Jerry plays a lead before the Acrooooss the Rio Grande-o, acroooss the lazy river refrain. Of course! Also, enjoyed the absolute elsewhere in Dark Star with a Stella chaser. The DS reminded me somehow of Miles "On the Corner" record - the Stella beautiful, just beautiful. "Bout ready to start 12/12 and then, of course, the marathon 12/31 - New Riders included!
I have Idomeneo and La Clemenza di Tito by Gardiner and they are excellent. Do you know how the core operas compare to traditional performances?
I have a lot of versions of Figaro (Klemperer, Furtwangler in german, Giulini, Erich Kleiber, Vittorio Gui, Solti). Don Giovanni I have 3(!) versions by Furtwangler, 2 by Klemperer and Giulini. For Cosi I have Klemperer and Bohm. And for the Magic Flute I have 3 by Furtwangler, Klemperer, Ostman (period instruments), and Beecham.
So, except for Magic Flute, I don't have any period instrument performances of the core. But, I have so many to enjoy - this is the reason I'm focusing on stuff I don't have at all!
How critical are the Gardiner versions? If nothing I else, I would consider getting Figaro - you can NEVER have too many of those.
Upon return to the biblioteca to return my Rach/Ives cache, I was going to just head out to do anothe errand but instead decided to take another pass through the classical section. Score! I've seen Gardiner's Mozart operas recently released as a box for a song on Amazon and was thinking of purchasing. I've needed just Cosi and La Clemenza di Tito so it probably wasn't going to happen, but there it was! It was in the mid-30's yesterday, too, so I thought I'd go for a run - btw, I hope Kate didn't have a run in with a bear or something - while listening to 12/11/72 en route. 12/10/72 is very good, but 12/11 steps it up somewhat - there's a Dark Star on the horizon. Man, I sure wish Dave's 13 could arrive in March - next year there's going to be a science to listening to all the AOM shows, etc.
Also, diggin' into 2/21 & 2/22/69; next weekend the FW box will get a good dusting!
Check PM :)
Yes! May I pplease take you up on your offer? (my addy's in the pm)
I know how to capture the "stream" from the Archive site. This allows me to download the shows as variable bit-rate MP3's. They usually download as somewhere between 160kbs and 280kbs depending on the file. Since they're variable bit-rate, not constant bit-rate, the quality is better than a constant bit-rate of the same number.
Some people only want the lossless, which would be nice but I think you can only get those now via torrenting which I hardly ever bother with.
If you don't mind the MP3's, I can let you know how to get them, or I can get them and burn them to CD and send them.
I will have to check out my local library and see what they've got!!
wjonjd, I haven't veered from my Uchida Mozart sonatas path - ever! ... well I dabbled in Eschenbach for a minute ... and I've thought about, but not laid my money down for, the Ingrid Haebler set. But something seems right, very right about the Hamelin salvo. Thinking about Mozart right now is akin to being on a plane to Hawaii!
I went to the library - a very good one at that - and scored the Rachmaninov/Ashkenazy 1st Piano Snta/Chopin Variations and Rarities discs, as well as Tilson Thomas/Ives "Holidays, etc." and Symph #3, etc. I've listened to the former of the the two Rach and Ives discs and love 'em both! I hadn't listened to Ives for a while so, of course, this set me on me ear. What a trip! Holidays on President's Day!
On an entirely different note, I noticed an abundance of new Charlie Millers on the Archive:
Would you, or any one you know, have access to these delights?
Based on the Haydn set I have, this is something to get excited about. But, I already have two complete sets (Andras Schiff and Walter Klien) and lots of individual performances of many of them.
Maybe one day, but I'm still focusing on compositions I don't have at all yet. If you get it, let me know what you think :)
Just back from a Valentine's day matinee concert with Martha Argerich and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Argerich was just wonderful. She's 73 and better than ever. Well, I mean, I never saw her when she was younger, but I just can't imagine she was ever better. She played a beautiful version of the Schumann piano concerto. Her encore was the first part of Schumann's Kinderszenen, and it was the highlight of the concert for me. Just amazingly inspired. The Phil closed with a ravishing performance of Strauss' "Death and Transfiguration" with guest conductor Juraj Valcuha. Then listened to DaP13 disc 2 on the drive home. The "Roses" arguably the musical peak of the day. Hard to beat the good old Grateful Dead!
I'll get back to this more fully in the near future, but you made me think of something I wanted to write right away.
You mentioned the harder driving tempos. Well, Klemperer, in particular, has some of the slowest tempos ever by anyone in the history of the universe. BUT, you've GOT to try some of it. He's incredible. The tempos may take a while to get used to, but they're certainly different than, say, Gardiner or Pinnock. It's great to have them both ways.
If you do try a/some Klemperer discs, the EMI Haydn set is great. I believe you can get a large Mozart Klemperer box now from EMI that's pretty inexpensive. There's a "romantic" box, a separate Mahler box I think, I don't remember them all. But, try something of his; preferably something you already know by someone else. When the tempos throw you at first, just lay back, close your eyes, and just sink into it. If you don't take to it, that's ok - it's worth a shot, and most of the standard orchestral repertoire is available by him. I'd stick with EMI or Testament releases for him for the best sound quality. Most of them sound just great, and not just for their age.
Take care for now
I'm happy this thread has returned. I meant to make some notes of all the interesting recommendations but then the thread disappeared. I took the Hamelin Haydn recommendation for Sonata 46. I need to listen to this one since I'm going to see Perahia play it next month. The Hamelin seems like a great choice. I've listened to it 5 times in a row now. Very nice. I like it much more than Gould's Haydn, which I never warmed to. I've also been listening to Franck's "Prelude, Choral et Fugue". Perahia will also be playing it next month. The pianist/writer David Dubal called it "mystical" and "the most important French work for the piano of the late 19th century". I have the Kissin version. Great stuff!
Man, you have to get this so you can tell me about the sound - I'm thinking about grabbing it, too.
The Hamelin 2cd is the 1st (not numbered) of three - all are well played and, like you said, sound terrific.
I'm with you on the harpsichord - it's like Irish music, a little goes a long, long way. Gardiner does have a recently released box of Haydn masses, but I'm not going there ... any time soon.
I've heard Solti do a couple, few London symphs, but I know not of older school crony Klemperer.
And I don't know Walter/Beecham Mozart. When I got into Uchida/Tate piano concertos, I later decided to try the Tate/ECO symphs and they're real good, but I prefer the harder driving tempos.
Hombre, down the line it's a good idea to own the Gardiner/Brahms symphs WITH companion pieces - is aurally tactile a fitting description? I don't know.
I have a Rubenstein/Dvorak/Brahms piano quintet disc that really measures up - it's the only Rubenstein I own.
As for Ives, he's a trip!!! You made me dig up what I've got so I could rave. I've got the piano sonata (Concord) partnered w/ Barber's pno snta, which are great and a str qrt disc, no.1 & 2 (Lydian Str Qt) which needs more listening. But I have that symph 1 & 4 disc to which you refer and it's a mind blower! Both of 'em. Please, let me recommend a 2cd, sonatas for vln & pno disc on Bridge - the fourth will remind you of those scary episodes in the other one from spr/summer '71. Whoa! Tengo que irme!
No, I didn't get the Ash/Rach box (piano, I have his symphony one) yet, but I guess I better not wait for Tower Records to open up on Saturday, huh?
I have a 2-disc Hamelin Haydn Piano disc, but it doesn't have a volume number. Maybe it's a sampler? It's excellent in any case, with typically full and spacious sound from Hyperion.
I have two volumes of the BAT piano sonatas (#38-40&43 and 41/42/44/45) They are typically excellent also, but these are pieces that I have nothing to compare with.
About the Pinnock Haydn Sturm & Drang - when I started collecting them, they didn't have a box. I ended up with 5 out of 6 of the discs when it went out of print! Not long after, DG Archiv released a disc with #42,45 and 46. I have no idea why they did it that way, so I ended up with a duplicat of #45, and I'm missing one symphony that would be in the box :( Performance-wise, I always love Pinnock, but I prefer the symphonies without the harpsichord continuo, and will eventually get other versions of these. I don't know if Gardiner has done these yet, but if he does, I hope he decides to leave the harpsichord off, or at least to keep it very low-key.
My favorite Haydn symphonies are, not surprisingly, those performed by Klemperer.
Of the Mozart symphonies, I got Pinnock's Early Symphonies box, and it is very good. I have so many versions of the later symphonies, but Gardiner is the only period instrument one, except for #39 with Franz Bruggen and the Orchestra of the 18th Century, which is pretty good, but not as good as Gardiner. My favorites of these are probably Bruno Walter's. I've compared the playing one after the other on several sets of the late symphonies, and Walter's is the one always stands out with unique and breathtaking phrasing And, I couldn't live without some of Beecham's recordings of these as well.
I some of the Gardiner Brahms on the radio, soon after it was released, and it IS fantastic as you would expect. But, I have several other sets, and I have begun to primarily (not exclusively) focus on pieces that I don't own yet at all.
Wish I could help out with the Haydn piano trio recommendation, but it sounds like you're already familiar with Beaux Arts, and those two volumes are the only ones I have - but yes, I do recommend them very much.
My only recent purchases have been a bargain box of Rubinstein playing Brahms because there were several chamber pieces on it that I have very little Rubinstein, and then I also picked up 2 Ives discs with the CSO and Tilson-Thomas because they had symphonies 1,4 and Holidays. Thomas has a third disc, which wasn't in stock, but it has symphonies 2 and 3 which I already have by Bernstein and Hanson. Symphony #1 particularly surprised me by how much fun it was. Very Very recommended!
if any more threads disappear on you. Luckily this one hadn't gone far!
Glad to see the Eleven do a Lazarus. Since we departed to the absolute elsewhere, I've gone from 11/19 to 11/24 - just one more November show to go. They're all so good.
Blasted through Rocky, too. wjonjd, did you pop for the Ashkenazy/Rach-box? I complemented my collection with Ashkenazy's Transcriptions disc (finishes w/ the Star Bangled Banner) and Corelli Variations/Etudes from the mid-80's. Now I'm touring through Haydn for February and will repair to Beethoven for March. Mozart always rules April and May and onward.
I started the Haydn listening with Marc Andre Hamelin's sonatas, Vol.1, and Pinnock's Morning/Afternoon/Evening symphonies. MAH has three volumes of sonatas and one piano concertos disc - all on Hyperion. I haven't heard the concertos disc, but the sonatas are fine - I do have to take breaks because it's a lot of Haydn piano sonatas! BTW, any recommended piano trios? I've got my eye on BAT, but any advice would be welcomed.
I've been listening to the three symphonies since the late-80's and find their light touch excellent morning music. I also have Pinnock's Sturm and Drang box, but would pounce on Gardiner's should he decide to have a go at them.
Speaking of Gardiner, I saw your Gardiner list and found that I have many of the same ones. I've listened to the Mozart symphonies since they were released, but have purchased and enjoyed Pinnock's, too. Might I recommend Gardiner's Brahms symphonies on Soli deo Gloria? What's cool about them is each is partnered with choral works AND they sound absolutely fantastic! Numero 2 is especially gorgeous.
One more thing - I had set and setting in full-swing while listening to Dave's 13, but had promised my daughter a "get-the-Led-out" session and it happened to fall right at the end of the second disc. Aaaarghh! What I've found interesting so far comments-wise is how posters are grappling with adjectives to describe the 1st disc. Man, it just can't be done, can it? It sports the usual intonation challenges, Jerry on/Bobby out-of-sorts, the seventh member having his say - but the sound, is as usual for the series, spot-on and an incredible upgrade of an already-incredible circulating Miller board with the original showing on the LMA 133,445 downloads with 66 reviews. I love this show, but my heart's still with the Eleven. Nos vemos.
Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart, you just gotta poke around...
Clicked over here after seeing your post, Wjonjd, as I just happen to be listening to this show right now. After much consideration I feel it's fair to say that DaP11 is my favorite of the first 13, but I truly do like them all.
I don't know much about classical music but love what I heard in the movie Breaking Away.
Picked up 2 of a CD set (each CD sold individually, although a box might be available) of Ives by Michael Tilson Thomas on Sony. They have symphonies 1 and 4 and the Holidays symphony plus Unanswered Question (revised and original versions) and Central Park in the Dark. The remaining disc that I don't have has symphonies 2 and 3, but I have other excellent versions of those (Bernstein and Howard Hanson). Really love these, especially symphony 1 which I had never heard before. Classic Ives, but less experimental than some of his other stuff.
Also picked up a CD OF Nathan Milstein playing the Glazunov, Dvorak, and Tcaikovsky concertos with Steinberg/Pittsburgh (first two) and Friedrich Stock(!!!!)/Chicago. I have very little Milstein compared to some of the other giants - really enjoying his special playing.
Lastly, just picked up a bargain box of Rubinstein playing Brahms (9 CDs). Has both concertos, piano sonata #3, the violin sonatas with Szeryng, the piano trios with Szeryng and Fournier, the cello sonatas with Piatigorsky, and the piano quartets and quintet with the Guarneri quartet. I haven't heard it all yet, but the concertos are excellent. I compared trio #1 with a version I have with Golub-Kaplan-Carr trio. The Rubinstein-Szeryng-Fournier version has much different tempos (usually slower) for a very different effect. Excellent.
Hey there DCated -
I have one set of the symphonies that I am very happy with - Ashkenazy and the Concertgebouw. I don't have anything to compare them with, but they feel/sound excellent to me.
As I mentioned, I have several versions of the piano concertos and can tell you about those if you want, and I have individual solo piano works spread across many different CD's of various pianists (usually they are CD's of a pianist, not specifically of Rocky's music.)
Other than that the only things I have are (I mentioned that Rocky was underrepresented in my collection):
Isle of the Dead - on a Reiner/CSO RCA disc
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Rachmaninov/Stokowski Philadelphia Orchestra (Naxos)
Gavrilov/Muti Philadelphia Orchestra (EMI)
Two 2 disc sets of piano music for 2 pianos/4 hands
Rachmaninov - Piano Music for 2 Pianos and Piano Duet
Brigitte Engerer and Oleg Maisenberg on Harmonia Mundi
Great Pianists of the 20th Century Vol 15
Lyubov Bruk & Mark Taimanov (coupled with works by Arensky/Busoni/Mozart/Poulenc)
2 short pieces for violin and piano in an Oistrakh live collection on Praga
Daisies Op 38/3 (Oistrakh/Yampolski)
Vocalise Op 34/14 (Oistrakh/Kollegorskaya)
One short choral piece from his Vespsers
Vespers - Now Let Thy Servant Depart
(Robert Shaw The Power and The Majesty)
and that's it! Someone else will have to give recommendations for other works.
Of the above discs, the most amazing are the disks for 2 pianos/4 hands. Both are great. Rocky with 2 hands is full and 'plush' by any standard. Try Rocky music for 4 hands!
I'm not familiar with Carissimi piece - I'll see if I can preview it somewhere.
As far as Bach Cantatas/Gardiner, I love Gardiner's work, but I have the complete Cantata set with Harnoncourt (60 discs). I picked up a few duplicates of some of these works (just a few) for variety and comparison, including Rilling, Gardiner, and Rifkin. I think I'm set on the Bach Cantata front! Additions to this would not be near the top of my acquisition need list :)
But, I do have other Gardiner discs:
Bach Mass in B Minor
Bach St. Matthew Passion
Beethoven: Mass in C
Beethoven: Missa Solemnis
Berlioz: Harold In Italy
Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem
Handel: Dixit Dominus, Zadok The Priest
Monteverdi: L'Incoronazione Di Poppea
Mozart: Die Entfuhrun Aus Dem Serail
Mozart: La Clemenza Di Tito
Mozart: Mass in C Minor
Mozart: Piano Concertos (w/ Bilson)
Mozart: Symphonies 29,31,32,33,34,35,36,38,39,40,41
All of his recordings are excellent. He never just goes through the motions. When I'm looking for period performances, Gardiner is generally my favorite, followed by Trevor Pinnock. If he had had a complete Bach Cantata set when I was first collecting them, I probably would have gone for his.
I guess it wasn't a 10 on the laugh-o-meter. :)
wjonjd - first, I'd like to say thanks for all your recommendations (especially the Kempff/Schubert!). I do, indeed, heartily recommend the 2014 Ashkenazy, Complete Piano - he's a natural with the Rach-man. The concertos are from the '80's with, your fave, Haitink/Concertgebouw, but the sound-world is ex. I tried the earlier ones with Previn, but found them lacking verve. The box does include one non-piano piece, Symphonic Dances, which I have partnered with a tremendous work, called Isle of the Dead. Speaking of chorale works, his Vespers (Hiller/Estonian Phil) on Harmonia Mundi, is drop-dead gorgeous. And a polyphonic piece that I find loaded with pathos is Carissimi's Jepthe (Gardiner/Monteverde Choir) on Erato. The Bach/Gardiner, Cantata Pilgrimage on Soli Deo Gloria, initially sold as double-discs in state-of-the-art packaging, is now a limited, bargain-priced as a box, sans the bells and whistles. I have a handful of them and they have to be some of the finest sounding music I've yet heard. I'd pounce on it, but I'd be dippin' to deeply into my GD fund.
Recommendations on Rach-man symphs or chamber works?
Hmm. Can you take seriously any guy who goes by the appellation "Guy", and appears to have had something to do with the Flowbee?
What's that? ;-) We live in the stone age and still go to the library. I already checked, and it's there...along with some Maupassant.
I believe that the movie The Chorus is avilable on Netflix now. I hope you enjoy it. I love it and the music throughout is excellent. I didn't bother to check who wrote the music, but I will.
I've heard of Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre, I sang on that in college. I agree the choral sound can be so ethereal as to be among the most beautiful sounds on earth.
Thanks so much wjonjd for the film suggestion. My wife and I will love to watch that together. French is her 2nd language, and English is her 3rd. Although, chances are she has seen it, I haven't. We recently watched 'Jeux Interdits' together. That's a sad movie. Btw, she participated in master classes with Olivier Messaien while in Paris. Right now, she's working on a piece of his, Le Merle Noir for flute and piano for an upcoming performance in February.
I'm not very familiar with very modern choral, orchestral, chamber, etc. works. The most modern stuff in my collection is some Takemitsu, Benjamin Britten, Philip Glass, Martinu, Messiaen, and maybe a few others I'm not recollecting right now. Of those, the only one from which I have a lot of vocal music would be Britten. His melodies have a very distinct sound.
I just googled the piece you mentioned and it's on youtube. I'll check it out. I do love choral music, but the vast majority (almost all) of what I have is much older. Personal favorites are Berlioz' Requiem, Faure's Requiem, Mozart's Requiem, Verdi's Requiem (a theme developing here?), Mozart's Coronation Mass, the Schubert masses, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Mass in C, very old polyphonic stuff like Palestrina, Schutz, Tallis, Byrd, etc., Monteverdi. Oh, I have a complete collection of the Bach sacred Cantatas (I think it's 60 CD's) - a lot of it is incredible choral music. I have several collections of choruses from various operas that are great. There's lots of other stuff, but that's what comes to mind right away.
I've never sung in a chorus, as I believe the penalty for what I would inflict is probably death by stoning.
Oh, one of my favorite CD's is the soundtrack to the movie "The Chorus". Do you know it? It's a french film about a man who gets a teaching job at a boarding school for discipline problem young students. He thinks of himself as a failed musician, and decides to create a choir from the students, teaching them to sing using music he writes for them. The music in the film is great.
Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen is the most beautiful choral music I've ever heard, having had the privilege of singing it on a few occasions. An absolutely transporting experience, whether singing it or listening to it on a proper set of headphones. I imagine it's how heaven must sound.
I just noticed your use of this phrase: "an orgasmic Tristan Vorspiel>Isoldes Liebestod by Bohm" referring to the combined Vorspiel/Liebestod (the very beginning and the very ending of the opera with the vocals removed from the ending, frequently played as a concert piece.)
Your choice of words is interesting because there is no doubt whatsoever that what Wagner was shooting for (pun intended) in the ending is a decidedly Uninterrupted musical depiction of orgasm through death. Yeah, I'm pretty sure many people felt it was more than a little obscene back then too!
I forgot to mention an absolutely must-have recording, now that we're talking about Rach. There is a CD available that has Rachmaninov on piano and Fritz Kreisler on violin playing violin sonatas. They play the Beethoven #8 Op 30 #3, the Schubert sonata #5 D574 and the Grieg sonata #3 Op 45. You can get these recordings on various labels, but the one I have on RCA also has Kreisler and Carl Lamson playing Rachmaninov's Albumblatt Op38 #3, and the piece de resistance, Kreisler on PIANO playing Rachmaninov's piano arrangement of Kreisler's own Liebesfreud and his Leibesleid - Kreisler was not only one of the greatest violinists of ever (he has a sound that once heard can never be mistaken for anyone but him), but a truly fabulous pianist as well - he could absolutely have had a career as a pianist instead, but I expect he just loved the violin more. All the very best violinists have a unique sound, and Kreisler's unique sound is not only the sweetest I have ever heard - I was trying to think of a way to describe it, and can only come up with, it is a violin sound more full of love than any violinist I have ever heard. Whatever you can find of his playing you should get unless you have a complete aversion to older recordings.
Janet Baker is one of my all time favorite singers in classical music. I'll buy anything at all with her on it. Except I'm not much a Haitink fan, especially in Mahler. I haven't heard all of his Mahler discs, but I have a couple, including that Das Lied von der Erde you mentioned with her and James King. Haitink just doesn't do it for me. One of his that I have is Mahler's 3rd, a great symphony, Mahler's longest. I have never once made it through Haitink's without falling asleep. Seriously. Just doesn't happen with other versions.
I was unaware of the Ashkenazy Rachmaninov collection, and Rachmaninov is woefully underrepresented in my collection. I have most of what Rachmaninov recorded himself, and quite a few other discs (several versions of all 4 piano concertos) and a smattering of solo works by some favorite pianists, but not a lot. If you tell me that it is very good, that would do it for me as I already am an Ashkenazy fan.
Yes, the Hyperion label is outstanding - their sound engineers deserve medals. And, I really enjoy Domus. I have quite a few recordings by them, including the Faure Piano Quartets, and Piano Quintets and the Brahms Piano Quartets. (The Brahms is not Hyperion it's Virgin which I think is an EMI label.)
The Kempff Schubert sonatas I have is a "collectors edition" small box of 7 CD's. I don't think I got it more than 10 years ago, but it doesn't have any remastering info in it that I can find. I find the sound excellent. No, it doesn't have the 3-D space of the Uchida recordings, but the trade-off is that in the Kempff you can hear more detail, the sound is a little drier. I can't imagine being unhappy with the sound quality. They're completely magical recordings.
Sleep is overrated. I would highly recommend getting full versions of the Wagner Operas and the Mahler symphonies, good coffee, and in the case of the Wagner, after reading through a libretto, put on headphones (or, better, blast your speakers) and follow along in the libretto. Eventually, you know the story well enough that you can just sit back and close your eyes and let the music take you to Valhalla or Nirvana. Then, call in sick, and do the next few. The first one, Flying Dutchman, is only mildly "Wagnerian", but they get progessively moreso except that Die Meistersinger is a kind of a one-off, very traditionally melodic, but with that one of a kind Wagner orchestration.
Seriously, though, a lot of people, including myself, couldn't take Wagner singing at first. It didn't appeal to me at all. I don't even know what compelled me to keep giving them another go. At some point, one day, I realized I was jonesing to hear the beginning of Das Rheingold and the song of the Rheinmaidens. It just clicked (rolling back eyes in pleasure.) Where have we heard of such a thing before??
There are few composers that have as wide a selection of recordings to choose from. Some of my favorites:
1 - Jascha Horenstein (Unicorn), Bernstein (I prefer DG over earlier CBS)
2 - Klemperer (EMI Live version with Heather Harper and Janet Baker, even better than the studio one with Schwarzkopf and Hilde Rossl-Majdan)
3 - Horenstein (Unicorn)
4 - Bernstein (DG) - Every review I have seen of this release crucifies Bernstein for using a boy treble instead of a soprano for the final movement. It's described by Mahler as a child's depiction of heaven, and yes, it was written for soprano. I think the choice of a treble works absolutely brilliantly. If you want a soprano here, my favorite is the Szell with Judith Raskin.
5 - Barbirolli (EMI)
6 - Karajan (I'm not usually much of a Karajan fan, and this version is frequently criticized as being too militaristic, especially in the first movement. Yeah, well, I think that is exactly what Mahler was going for, and it's done magnificently here, as is the whole symphony. The slow movement here is jaw-dropping. And the sound, played at the proper volume, will have the neighbors calling the police on you.
7 - Bernstein (DG)
8 - Solti (Decca)
9 - Walter (Live 1938 VPO) and Bernstein (DG with Concergebouw 1985, better than Berlin 1979 - both great, but the ending of his final version is just, well, final.)
Das Lied von der Erde - Walter with Kathleen Ferrier
I love many other versions. I didn't mention any Tennstedt because none of them are my very favorite of any of the them individually, but in every one of them he's great.
Those Wagner operas and Mahler symphonies are heavy-duty, seriously looooong works? My nods to those composers are overtures highlights discs (Bohm/VPO and Toscanini/NBCSO), with an orgasmic Tristan Vorspiel>Isoldes Liebestod by Bohm, and a high-flying Ride of the Valkyries by Toscanini.
I haven't revisited my 20-minutes of Tristan for some time, but I always get choked-up at its climax. I couldn't imagine what listening to this in context would be like - whew!
I love my Mahler's 2nd (Kaplan/LSO) and try to get around to it once a year - the choir at its climax sends tremors all up and down. "Resurrection", indeed. And I have "The Song of the Earth" with Janet Baker (Haitink/Concertgebouw) that I should, but haven't really "gotten".
Thanks for the write-up on Schubert, Chopin and Dvorak. The Domus sounds appealing - I'm a huge fan of the Hyperion label. And speaking of Ashkenazy/Chopin and all works in one place, did you see the Ashkenazy/Rachmaninov 11-disc release? If I were starting, that's where I'd lay my money down! Wow! One last thing - how's the quality on the Kempf Schubert? I've been kinda holding off 'til it was remastered.
Deadicated aka Kevin
You do indeed hear the roots of Hollywood music in Mahler, but the roots actually go back further to Wager, a major influence on Mahler and ever other musician that came after Wagner. Yes, Wagner, like any artist, builds on what has come before, but some advances are more evolutionary and some are more revolutionary. Prior to Wagner, music simply didn't serve the same dramatic purpose that he used it for. It's not just accompaniment, it's not just background; it is used PRIMARILY for its affect on the drama. This is in fact what the "background" music to most Hollywood movies is for, ever since movies got sound. If you listen to Wagner's primary output (there's not that much - the main thing is the ten mature operas), and then watch a Hollywood movie, it becomes immediately apparent that the entire function of the music is Wagnerian. Prior to Wagner, it is true, music was obviously frequently used for dramatic effect. That's not the point. With Wagner, that became its FUNCTION. And, as you mentioned people like Williams, you will hear a DIRECT line of influence from Wagner to Williams and most anyone other movie score. I'm not talking about musicals, I'm talking about the virtually ubiquitous background music that is in ANY Hollywood movie drama. Those musical scores, the use of sound to create tension (think the scene in Psycho that has those repeating slashing sounds or the repeated Jaws theme), to create elation, or any other emotional response that the viewer is meant to be experiencing at that moment in the movie. Movie score writers are STILL using primarily the exact same techniques that Wagner used to elicit those same emotions - and it pretty much started with him.
I went through a period of Wagner addiction. I think he was one of the absolute musical geniuses of all time. An anti-semite, yes. A misanthrope who ill used everyone around him, yes. A hypocritical, unethical ego-maniac, yes. Still, one of the most amazing geniuses who ever lived. His music is a PHYSICAL hedonistic pleasure. For some (including me) it took quite a while to get used to the way he uses the voice, and the frequent lack of typical melody. But, eventually, you start to hear it differently (including the melody), and after that it's a sound that becomes addicting and nothing else will satisfy.
His music may form the basis behind virtually all of today's dramatic music, but virtually none of it is as staggeringly beautiful in sound and in effect.
As much as I love older orchestral recordings (especially Furtwangler), sometimes I need to hear Wagner's music in its full sonic glory with modern recordings. My favorite "modern" versions are: Dutchman - Klemperer; Tannhauser - Solti; Lohengrin - Solti; The Ring - Barenboim; Meistersinger - Kubelik; Tristan - Pappano; Parsifal - Thielemann. I have an obscene number of versions of most of these (just like with the Mozart operas!) - any one of them is just not enough.
Hi Deadicated (and anyone else interested),
Dvorak piano recommendations:
Domus has a fabulous release of the Piano Quartets Op 23 and 87 on Hyperion.
The Alban Berg Quartet has a CD of the Piano Quintet Op 81 (Rudolf Buchinder on piano) coupled with Schumann's Piano Quintet Op 44 (Philippe Entremont piano) that is excellent. The Trio Fontenay has a complete set of the Piano Trios that I really enjoy. There may be individual performances of some of these trios that are more exciting or more beautiful, etc., but this is a complete set and I enjoy them very much. The Slavonic Dances, which were originally written for two pianos before Dvorak orchestrated them, can be found in their original two piano version (which I prefer) on the Praga label performed by the Prague Piano Duo. Also, William Howard performs some of Dvorak's solo piano music on an excellent Chandos CD - among other pieces, it contains Poetic Tone Pictures Op 85 and the Waltzes Op 54.
You also mentioned moving onto Chopin. Some of my favorite Chopin recordings are:
Livia Rev - Complete Nocturnes on Hyperion. Some critics have dismissed this release as too "sedate." Seriously? They're NOCTURNES. I like hers even more than the famous Rubinstein recordings. Yes, they have an almost "veiled" quality to the playing, never getting very loud. To me, they're magically played. I have put this one on many times when I have migraines, and getting lost in Chopin's most ethereal melodies played so gently as Rev plays them always helps me feel better; if the migraine doesn't go away, at least the time spent in pain was made quite less miserable. As I mentioned before, the recording of Kissin playing the two piano concertos when he was 12 or 13 has so much joy in the act of music making that whatever "profundities" some critics would claim the child misses are irrlelevent to me. Kissin has a natural feel for Chopin, he still does, and I think his poetry in these pieces is as marvelous as anyone's. I also love the Rubinstein version I have on RCA and the version Concerto #1 by Pollini. The "almost" complete set of Chopin's solo piano music on Decca by Ashkenazy fills the bill quite well if looking for all the solo music in one place played by someone who clearly loves Chopin.
You also mentioned Schubert. Some of my favorite Schubert piano:
A CD that includes the Impromptus and Moments Musicaux by Andras Schiff.
A fabulous version of the Grand Duo sonata for 4 hands by Barenboim and Radu Lupu.
A CD of music for solo violin and piano played by Szymon Goldberg and Radu Lupu. Goldberg was the concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic under Futwangler until forced to flee Germany.
On Decca, there is a FANTASTIC performance of the Arpreggione Sonata (I LOVE that piece) with Benjamin Britten on piano and Rostropovich on cello. If you don't mind much older recordings, you can find recordings with cellist Emmanuel Feuermann. And for a great and interesting modern version, you can get a version using VIOLIN and GUITAR! on a Schubert for Two CD with Gil Shaham and Goran Sellscher.
As far as the piano sonatas go, my favorite complete set is the one by Wilhelm Kempff. I love the Mitsuko Uchida set as well, but Kempff out-magics her by a hair. I have several individual CD's of Sviatislov Richter. He loved playing Schubert, and he is one of the last outposts of VERY personal playing (for which he was frequently pilloried by the critics that in the last 60 years pillory any truly personal playing - until it became unfashionable to criticize Richter in this way; he didn't stop playing the pieces extraordinarily personally, but somehow terms like "willfull", and "self-indulgent" just magically disappeared almost overnight as piano players themselves wrote and spoke about how stunning his playing was, the critics evidently suddenly stopped hearing "willful" and started hearing art. Miraculous. If only they would apply the same standard across the board. No one else would get away with what Richter does. It's still in fashion to lambast most anyone else who tries to do this, whatever their result - not that the critics would actually listen for or care about the "result" once they detect such "old fashioned" playing.
TooMuch had criticized my earlier post saying that basically it was simply was not true. Writing this brought to mind something that happened in 1976. Most people, not even critics, were really familiar with Josef Hoffmann's piano playing except by reputation. A new recording of his was unearthed in 1976 of Hoffmann playing Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata. Now, keep in mind the following. Most professional pianists' and critics' lists of greatest piano players of all time almost always list Hofmann and Rachmaninov at or near the very top. When Rachmaninov was once asked to name the greatest piano players alive he said (only slightly tongue-in-cheek,) "well, there's me ... and Hofmann." Also keep in mind that both of these players considered themselves part of the new "objectivist" movement, keeping tighter limits on how much their own "personal art" affected a piece. When this sonata was released in 1976 (probably the first time many of these critics actually HEARD Hofmann play) here is some of what was said: "... arrogant refusal to acknowledge even the most basic directions ... and the way Hofmann's legendary 'virtuosity' collapses so quickly into so much uncontrolled gibberish." Another: "... this astonishing virtuoso technician for his artistically irresponsible and cynical exploitation of Beethoven..." and "... attitude toward the phrasing of the music in which using the music to play the piano was more important than using the piano to play the music." And yet, somehow, the greatest pianists of his day (both technically AND artistically) REVERED Hofmann - and they heard him A LOT. Godowsky, Paderewski, Moisewich, Rachmaninov, the young Horowitz, Cortot, Myra Hess and the list goes on an on. It was primarily through testimonials from these pianists and others that led the critics to "understand" that Hofmann and Rachmaninov were considered the greatest (not just technically) by their PEERS, even when recordings of them were few and far between. When most of these critics finally got to hear them, what HAPPENED? They didn't sound AT ALL like what they had been raised and taught was an appropriate way to play the piano. Rather than one truly great artist bring to life another great artists works, what they had grown to expect was "fidelity" to the score - stray from that at your peril from the critics - similar to TooMuch referring to Thielmann's orchestral "massacres" I think was the term he used, a term I have read frequently in critics' assessment of his work. The same type of expression used by MODERN critics of the work of the GREATEST artists of the past when they actually get to hear them. What I hear is frequently artistic magic. You know, the kind of thing that critics almost NEVER hear in even (in fact ESPECIALLY in) the Grateful Dead's most amazing work. I think the more you look into this, the more you realize that as wonderful as what we now have to enjoy is, there is an artistic aspect to what was "normal" and in fact EXPECTED in the past, and those who could not pull off a truly PERSONAL vision that had great artistic value was not likely to get very far. Now, someone who has excellent taste and admittedly excellent feel for the pieces and the technical ability to play well can become "great", and thankfully the masterpieces stand up relatively well even without a towering artist to recreate them. But, there is no denying that that is NOT how it was done - not in Beethoven's time, not in Schumann's time, not in Debussy's time, and still not in the 20's and 30's as things began to change to what we have now.
I can and do enjoy VERY much what is available by current artists. But, spend a little time with some of these much older artists and I promise you will hear what the artists of the past used to revere and what the critics are reacting to in horror. Of course, it is sometimes impossible for the critics to lambast SOME great names from the past in this way, without losing credibility as the founts of artistic wisdom. But, if a young'un were to do the same, even if they have the truly amazing artistic genius to pull it off, it would not get past the critics scathing indictment, and a career would be unlikely. It is in fact, our loss.
Thanks wiljo - will pull the trigger - they look great.
I recently found myself enjoying 2 of the minor key Dvorak trios, op. 65 and op. 90, recorded by Emanuel Ax, Y.U. Kim, and Ma on the CBS Masterworks label.
Oh yes. For some reason, I currently gravitate toward the brighter IPAs. Finch's Threadless and Jekyll Hop Diggity Dang are my faves at the moment. I also can't resist the occasional winter stout or porter, like Terrapin Moo Hoo for example. I've tried a couple of stouts treated with chipotle, which sounds ridiculous on paper but tastes amazing. Only brown bottles for me. I find that light passing through green glass quickly skunks the taste. We have some truly great locals here in the ATL. Just ask my waistline. I recently had to embark on serious rationing (no beer Monday - Thursday) just to maintain, even with plenty of deliberate physical activity. Of course the food around here doesn't help either. I am doomed to a (probably shorter) life of perpetual celebration. It could be much worse!