Walter Murphy's "A Fifth of Beethoven" put classical disco on the map. It helped that Beethoven's symphony had a heavy percussion feel, which Murphy cranked up a couple of notches with his amazing ingenuity. Other selections, while creatively different, are just as good, but didn't burn a hole in the charts like "Fifth." "Suite Love Symphony," "Flight '76," "California Strut," and "Russian Dressing" will expand your mind and quench your musical thirst at the same time. "Midnight Express" is fine European boogie, while the horn-laden "Get a Little Lovin'" is a funky thing. It's always a nice trick when artists can define a genre with a single song, and Murphy did that. Even better when they can follow it up with an album that expands on that song's charms and delivers a satisfying listening experience.
Menahem Pressler is a living legend of the piano. A founding member of the famed Beaux Arts Trio, Pressler's career was launched in 1946 when he won first prize at the Debussy International Piano Competition. After a working as a soloist for a decade, he then became one of the world's most famous chamber musicians, playing with the Beaux Arts Trio for 53 years. This solo album celebrates Pressler's 90th birthday with a collection of music from the Viennese Classical tradition. It pairs Schubert's Piano Sonata No.18 with Beethoven's Bagatelles and a remarkably poignant A minor Rondo by Mozart. The music here encompasses the full range of emotions. Pressler has honed his sonority to the point where it resembles a vocal timbre. His sound is infinitely warm, pure and tender, like a fine vintage wine. This disc is a true event, giving listeners the sensation of being transported back to a lost era.
60 CD box set. Selection of Ludwig Van Beethoven works recorded by David Zinman & Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich (Symphonies), Yefim Bronfman, David Zinman & tonhalle Orchestra Zurich (Piano concertos), Pinchas Zuckerman & Marc Neikrug (Violin Sonatas), Anner Bylsma & Jon Van Immerseel (Cello Sonatas), Seraphin Trio (Piano Trios), Alexander String Quartet (String Quartets), Yukio Yokoyama, Robert Casadesus, Justus Frantz, Vladimir Horowitz, Gerhard Oppitz & Charles Rosen (Piano Sonatas), Eugene Ormandy & Philadelphia Orchestra (Christ On The Mount Of Olives), Wolfdieter Maurer & Tokyo Oratorio Society (Mass in C Major), David Zinman & Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich (Missa Solemnis) and many other great artists.
Five Piano Concertos and the Piano Sonata No. 32, opus 111, recorded in stereo in 1962 and 1964, respectively, by Wilhelm Kempff [1895-1991] and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Ferdinand Leitner [1912-96]. The sonata, the composer’s last, is certainly more than a mere filler, from the opening hesitancy of the ‘Allegro con brio ed appassionato’ to the extended closing section of the second movement.