Continuing his impressive series of Anton Bruckner's symphonies on CPO, Mario Venzago leads the Bern Symphony Orchestra in period style performances of the Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1889 version) and the Symphony No. 6 in A major (1881 version), using scores edited by Leopold Nowak. Venzago strives for historically informed performances that give varying perspectives on Bruckner's development, employing different orchestras with each release to reveal important differences in the composer's orchestral conceptions and to show that there wasn't one prescription of how the symphonies should sound. Instead, Venzago rejects the massive and heavy-handed interpretations of the early 20th century and tries to re-create the 19th century sound world in all its variety and intimacy. The glistening, vibrato-less string tone, pungent woodwinds, and crisp brass and timpani are easily distinguished from the more homogenized tone colors of a modern symphony orchestra, and Venzago ensures that these distinctive timbres aren't obscured by keeping the orchestral sections lean and discrete.
Four-disc monument to the Killer, containing no filler… What with one thing and another, it took the Grand Ole Opry a while to invite Jerry Lee Lewis to make his debut. Sixteen years, in fact, from his first hits (“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On”, “Great Balls Of Fire” ) to finally ushering the Killer onto the stage of Nashville’s Ryman auditorium in January 1973. The high temple of the country music establishment had their reasons for hesitating. Lewis was not known for family-friendly behaviour, unless one counts as such already having three families by this point – one, to the detriment of his box office, with a cousin he’d wed when she was thirteen. But he’d grown up, surely. He was pushing 40. He’d married for a fourth time, to someone old enough to vote. And he was reinventing himself as a proper country singer – he’d had hits with versions of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me & Bobby McGee”, Jimmie Rodgers’ “Waiting For A Train” and Ray Griff’s “Who’s Gonna Play This Old Piano?”. The Opry prepared to formally welcome the black sheep to the fold.