Both sets of Chopin's etudes can be as fiendishly difficult for the performer as they are mesmerizing for the listener, yet Maurizio Pollini makes them sound as if they pose no problems whatsoever for him in this 1972 recording. Every one of the etudes is played with easy precision, energy, and an entirely enjoyable musicality that demonstrates why Chopin's etudes are no mere exercises and are as suited to the recital hall as to the practice room. The Op. 25 No. 5 Etude in E minor has some tricky finger acrobatics in it, but Pollini brings out a singing melody all the same in the middle section, while adding a bit of dancing animation to the outer sections…
Undercurrent has long been considered one of the classic piano/guitar duo sessions, pairing Bill Evans with Jim Hall.
To be fair, if you're into the Christmas standards, this LP is NOT for you. If, however, at any point in your life you painted your nails black and hung out at a goth club, you might be intrigued by some of the interesting, and occasionally ascerbic takes on Christmas here. This is a widely eclectic collection of musical styles, from Benedictine chant to angry industrial, with a lot of very strange stops in between.
The sound is first class (as the bright-as-a-button Shostakovich overture readily shows at the opening), and the large TV studio in Moscow proves an admirable venue, offering plenty of ambience, while the microphone placing seeks a natural concert hall balance throughout the three programmes. There is brilliance without edge and the recording truthfully reflects the fact that the strings have not quite the body and weight of the finest West European orchestras, but that they do not lack commitment or vitality.[ Gramophone Magazine, February 1988 ]
The B-Flat Symphony is the product of a man who had heard, and remembered, a great deal of Haydn and Mozart. One may turn up one's nose at its lack of originality, but one can hardly deny its geniality and charm.( John Briggs )
Long before No Doubt brought back ska and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy resurrected swing, Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry were making music that recalled an earlier time. How early? Try the Renaissance. Everything old–really old–is new again on Aion, the band's fifth and arguably finest album.
There is no question that the Viennese stamp of genuineness has remained indelibly in Reiner's readings of the music of Vienna. And it is no coincidence that in Chicago, where the orchestra was founded by Theodore Thomas and led for many years by the late Frederick Stock, the spirit of Vienna is perpetuated by several Viennese-trained members of the orchestra.( Joseph Wechsberg )
One of the first African musicians to gain widespread international recognition, Hamza El Din is a Nubian master of the oud, or the fretless lute. Western listeners are as likely as not to have been exposed to his work via the Grateful Dead, who played with him on-stage occasionally.
Sizzling from start to finish, “Harlequin” is the result of one of the most intuitive partnerships in the world of jazz. Although Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin had been working together for a decade, “Harlequin” is regarded by the two musicians as their first genuine recorded collaboration, whereby from original concept, through selection of tracks and personnel to arrangements and mixing, it was truly a joint effort. Included in the top ten best jazz recordings ever by a noted poll, “Harlequin” is a blend of smoldering Brazilian rhythms and moods with a freshness and verve that brings on a tingle of excitement each time it is played. The scintillating jazz fusion of “Harlequin” includes added spice in the form of a major contribution by Brazilian singer-songwriter Ivan Lins who appears on three tracks.(grusin.net)