The symphonies are well-performed. 'Reformation' is an inspired live recording. The 12 string symphonies, written in Mendelssohn's youth, are also included. The concertos are exceptional - the violin concerto is as good as you'll find anywhere. The oratorios Elijah and Paulus are included, as well as the complete chamber works and a diverse assortment of choral works. The last few discs include the Lied ohne worte, the epic organ sonatas, and excellent renditions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Fingal's Cave. While there are a few sketchy performances in the choral and chamber works, the performances and recordings are generally very solid, and the body of work couldn't be better.
While this collection brings together all the standard tunes Mstislav Rostropovich recorded for EMI Classics, the "Russian" recordings are deservedly the headline grabbers. World premieres abound, from a searing account of Prokofiev's Cello Sonata with Sviatoslav Richter to an especially probing Shostakovich Second Cello Concerto, both given in the presence of the composers.
THE COMPLETE BILL EVANS ON VERVE is an 18-disc, 269-track box set featuring every track that Bill Evans recorded for Verve between 1962 and 1969, including 98 previously-unreleased tracks. It includes a 160-page, full-color book. THE COMPLETE BILL EVANS ON VERVE was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Recording Package - Boxed and for Best Historical Album. The 18 CDs in this exhaustive set provide a comprehensive picture of Bill Evans from 1962 to 1969, a period when the pianist was both consolidating his fame and sometimes taking his music into untested waters, from unaccompanied piano to symphony orchestra. His work with multitracked solo piano, originally released as Conversations with Myself and the later Further Conversations with Myself, was the most remarkable new format for his introspective music. It gave Evans a way to be all the pianists he could be at once–combining densely chordal, harmonically oblique parts with surprising, rhythmic punctuation and darting, exploratory runs.
It's hard to believe this CD was done with only a violin, viola da gama and harpsichord. This is polyphonic music at its finest. It does tribute to Buxtehude, who preceded Bach. The ensemble is perfect - the instruments complement each other. When they go from slow to fast, it is remarkable to hear the contrast. These are expert musicians with a complete mastery of their instruments. They use loud-soft as easily as any masters of the Baroque. The result is joyous, lively and entertaining.
Though Puccini represents the late-Romantic apex of the Italian operatic tradition, his songs are much less well known and, in their pared simplicity and emotional restraint, could hardly be more different from his stage works. The nineteen complete songs for soprano (two in duet with a mezzo) and piano cover themes typical of lyric poetry including life, death, personal resolution, love, nature, home and religious faith. There are also rare salon pieces and examples of Puccini’s secular and sacred juvenilia, written between 1875 and 1880.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Ferdinand Povel's one of those players we never seem to get enough of – a tenorist who may not be one of the bigger stars on the European scene, but one who always finds a way to serve up something special! Povel's got a nice edge in his horn at times – a mode that's always inside, but often sharply spoken – even when he's going for some mellower moments too – a bit of old school bite in the way he approaches the reed, maybe – and a definite sense of attack that really comes on when he's in a more swinging mode! The group here has some great guitar from Wim Overgaauw, whose ringing tones bring a bright balance between Povel's horn and the piano of Frans Elsen – and the rest of the group features Victor Kaihatu on bass and Ruud Pronk on drums.