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 ]
Kijé is from the mainstream Prokofiev stable: folk tunes scored with great invention and combined with sections of sarcasm and wit. The Stravinsky tone poem, Song of the Nightingale, is music taken from his opera, The Nightingale. It is a score of great brilliance and demands the utmost virtuosity from every player. Here, under the watchful eye of Fritz Reiner, the Chicago Symphony delivers the goods.(Anthony Kershaw, audiophilia classic, 2009)
Brilliant recording of favorite ballet scores by a conductor who commands an appropriately energetic approach. The sound here is exceptionally live, with remarkable definition of various instruments and real "bite" to the reproduction.(Billboard, Jan 1958)
These late era analogue recordings are likely to be well known to many who collected LPs in the 1970s although they will not be quite as familiar as the contents of some of the other GROC series discs.
These are stereo ADD recordings. In the case of the Britten Sinfonia and the Grimes episodes the recordings derive from an LP first issued in dual compatible stereo and SQ quad. That LP was a celebrated hi-fi artefact with the clean satin openness of the LSO strings almost as impressive as the crashingly captured climaxes, growling, thunderous and metallic. Every sound is accommodated in a grand acoustic.( Rob Barnett - MusicWeb International, 2004 )
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 )