We're heeding the call for more of the majestic early 70s! No doubt, this was a time of great exploration and innovation for the Grateful Dead, one of their peaks… And so it is with great pleasure, that we are proud to present the official release of Winterland, February 24, 1974. On the fertile grounds of their home turf and on the edge of what would become the Wall of Sound era, the Dead embarked upon a tremendous three-night run at Winterland. On this particular night, the last in the run, they warmed up the crowd with stellar new tracks "U.S. Blues" (previously known as "Wave That Flag"), "Ship of Fools," and "It Must Have Been The Roses."
The cold rain and snow have started to fade away and with it, we're dusting off a super hot one from a soaring seven nights at New York's old Academy of Music. On the brink of their revelatory Europe '72 tour, the Grateful Dead brought their sevenfold merriment to winter-worn Manhattan and boy, did they warm things up! Particularly on March 26 when the dual piano/Hammond combo of Godchaux and McKernan was in full effect and Alabama singer Donna Jean Godchaux began to find her vocal footing in the band's rich harmonies.
This first volume of John Cage’s complete works for flute spans a fifty year period, from the Three Pieces for Flute Duet of 1935—deft studies in chromatic writing—to the 1984 Ryoanji, which involves the use of pre-recorded flutes and percussion with resultant diverse and intricate textures. Two is the first of Cage’s important ‘number’ series and is edgily ruminative, while Music for Two, written for any combination of the 17 different instrumental ‘parts without scores’ provided by the composer, is heard in an arrangement described by Katrin Zenz as a ‘new piece for flute and piano’.
The penultimate volume in Hyperion’s four-part survey of the complete solo piano music of Ernő Dohnányi focuses on music from the period when the composer’s pre-eminent position was being assured. The titles of the largest works here, Ruralia hungarica and the Variations on a Hungarian Folksong, mask in their nationalistic ostentation the skill of a true master of piano composition. Martin Roscoe inhabits the world of Dohnányi’s music like no other—appraisals of the earlier volumes attest to this—and this new recording is a joy.
This is Volume 4 in Barry Douglas’s monumental project to record the complete works for solo piano by Johannes Brahms. Each volume has been released to critical acclaim, the first one, in 2012, being seen by BBC Music as ‘a triumph of Brahmsian thought, with playing that gets right to the heart of the composer’. Once again, the album is presented as a stand-alone recital, prominently featuring the C major Sonata, which was Brahms’s first published work. The influence on Brahms of his early romantic predecessors Beethoven and Schubert is obvious here, not only in the virtuoso demands on the performer but also in the opening, which recalls both Beethoven’s ‘Hammerklavier’ Sonata, Op. 106 and Schubert’s ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy.
This album is the penultimate in what BBC Music has described as a ‘triumph of Brahmsian thought’, namely the survey by Barry Douglas of the composer’s complete works for solo piano. Three years after the release of Volume 1, the winner of the 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition is now performing this repertoire in the finest international venues, such as the Wigmore Hall in July 2015 and Concertgebouw in 2016, when the series will come to a highly anticipated climax with the final volume. Taking a big step further in his career with this achievement, Barry Douglas is gaining a reputation of one of the few accomplished world-class piano virtuosi of the romantic repertoire.