This is the eagerly awaited final volume in our historic series of Vaughan Williams’s Symphonies, started about twenty-five years ago by the late Richard Hickox, and recently continued by that other expert in British repertoire, Sir Andrew Davis.
This might just be one of the most intriguing of all of the Mozart multi-pianos concertos on record. Here we have a rare collaboration not found on any other recording between George Solti and Daniel Barenboim, where the two conductors face each other playing the concerto for two pianos K.365; the conducting of the English Camber Orchestra from the piano on this Decca recording is at the hands of George Solti.
From the irresitably forceful opening bars of the English Suite's prelude to the throbbing repeated octaves of the D minor concerto, Richter shows why many of Bach's works are ideally suited to the piano. The Bach concerto is often regarded as a student piece, or relegated to refined performances on the harpsichord. Not here – the bookend movements are as maniacal, pulsing and driving as the best of John Coltrane or Prokofiev. The CD is worth it just for those movements, but Richter's treatment of the English Suite is equally enlightening, especially the Prelude and Gavotte.
Jaan Rääts is a composer with a fairly constant sound and style. The bulk of his work consists of instrumental music. From 1957–1993, Rääts completed ten symphonies. He has also written 24 concertos for orchestra and soloist(s) and two concertos for chamber orchestra, symphonic pieces and a lot of chamber music……..
Recording performed with his own group to the Mercury label by Italian musician, pianist, arranger and composer, based in USA, Pete Rugolo (Sicily, 1915-2011). During the 50 Rugolo went to the pop style and worked primarily preparing arrangements for pop and jazz singers (June Christy, Harry Belafonte, Nat King Cole, Billy Exkstine, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee and The Diamonds among others), but he was also musical director of Mercury Records from 1957. During the 60s and 70s to early 80s departed jazz but was noted for his abundant work for TV. Rugolo won three Emmy Awards and two Grammy. This album features twelve songs with his little big band with a marked swing style.
BIS' investigation of Greek composer Nikos Skalkottas' oeuvre is getting into his latest and least-known concerted repertoire with its Skalkottas: Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra (1945). It features violinists Georgios Demertzis and Simos Papanas with Vassilis Christopoulos and the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra in the concerto; the same body supports pianists Maria Asteriadou and Nikolaos Samaltanos in Skalkottas' Concertino (1935) and xylophonist Dimitris Dessyllas in his tiny Characteristic Piece "Nocturnal Amusement" (1949)………..Uncle Dave Lewis @ AllMusic
Although outspoken in his support of the post-World War I Parisian avant-garde during his youth, English composer Arthur Bliss ended his long career as a dedicated proponent of a more conservative, neo-Romantic musical aesthetic. Educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge and at the Royal College of Music (where he found his studies with Charles Stanford too stifling), Bliss' earliest music (all later withdrawn and subsequently destroyed by the composer) shows a strong knowledge of and interest in the music of Edward Elgar. After service with the Royal Fusiliers (and later the Grenadier Guards) during the War, however, Bliss' musical aesthetic changed dramatically, and he quickly became known as a thoroughly "modern" composer, owing more allegiance to the exciting happenings ……
Through his far-reaching endeavors as composer, performer, educator, and ethnomusicolgist, Béla Bartók emerged as one of the most forceful and influential musical personalities of the twentieth century. Born in Nagyszentmiklós, Hungary (now Romania), on March 25, 1881, Bartók began his musical training with piano studies at the age of five, foreshadowing his lifelong affinity for the instrument. Following his graduation from the Royal Academy of Music in 1901 and the composition of his first mature works – most notably, the symphonic poem Kossuth (1903) – Bartók embarked on one of the classic field studies in the history of ethnomusicology. With fellow countryman and composer Zoltán Kodály, he traveled throughout Hungary ……..From Allmusic