Chopin's two piano concertos have long been admired more as pianistic vehicles than as integrated works for piano and orchestra. But in his revelatory new recording, Krystian Zimerman suggests otherwise: The opening orchestral tuttis have so much more light, shade, orchestral color, and detail, you wonder if they've been rewritten. Every gesture, every instrumental solo is so specifically characterized that by the time the piano makes a dramatic entrance, the pieces have become operas without words.
These two discs from Sun Ra and his Solar Myth Arkestra are not, as their title suggests, parts of a singular or continuous work. They were initially issued as two separate titles – similar to the two-part Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra – by the Belgian BYG Actuel label in 1971. Both volumes consist of mid-fidelity and primarily self-realized and -produced recordings. Despite the claim that these sides were taped in New York City at Sun Studios, Ra discographer Robert L. Campbell notes that by the time these tracks were documented, the Arkestra had ended its N.Y.C. residency and returned to Philadelphia.