Important: This is a historical and influential document of why Irish music captivated around the world.
As a curiosity, the vinyl of this LP weighs about 180g (!) It’s a very first edition, you can see it on Transatlantic labels.
This disc is the first ever to offer the complete Shostakovich score to the 1964 Grigori Kozintsev film Hamlet. Actually, it contains a bit more: track 6 for example, "The Ball," presents music not heard in the film, music the composer wrote apparently because he wanted to reach a logical ending, even if in the film the music just fades away. There are 23 numbers in all, with a total timing of over 62 minutes. Stylistically, the music is related to the Eleventh (1957) and Thirteenth (1962) symphonies, but is of course less developmental and more programmatic, coming across as a sort of tone poem made up of many short movements. While there is a fair amount of bright, even happy music in the score, the mood is generally dark and intense, appropriately so considering the subject matter: Shakespeare's Hamlet is, after all, hardly a comedy. The music doesn't skim surfaces, either – it haunts, it sasses, it laughs, and it plumbs the depths.
Gilels had immense physical power and impeccable control, but he was also capable of exquisitely refined poetry and had an acute perception of the lyrical impulse lying behind even the most assertive of Brahms's writing. The firmness of attack and the depth of sound that make his (and the Berlin Philharmonic's) playing so thrillingly dynamic can be offset by the most poignant of delicate gestures. There is undeniable grandeur to these readings, but with those additional qualities of wise thinking, generous expression and artistry of great subtlety, these performances are in a class of their own.
Appearing: Ralph Towner, Jan Garbarek & Collin Walcott
Gismonti has been amazingly prolific in making many great albums from early 70's up to mid 90's.
Mehta was twenty-six when he became conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and he stayed for seventeen years, growing into a major conductor. These performances were recorded in 1977 in concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Mehta left the following year to take over the New York Philharmonic. Kirk Browning of Live from Lincoln Center was the producer and RCA veteran Max Wilcox was the sound engineer and their work is first-rate. (…) The orchestra plays superbly and Mehta is at his charismatic best. He could pass for either a Hollywood or a Bollywood film star playing a great conductor. Fortunately, he was also a great musician.