Never one to relegate particular instruments to merely supporting roles, Hindemith composed his String Trio No. 1 (1924) with an eye (and ear) toward complete equality among the parts. The Trio is written in an almost constantly contrapuntal texture that makes much use of canon and fugue techniques; virtually the only instances where a homophonic texture is evident are those that mark important structural divisions of the movements. Though much of the music has an atonal feel, Hindemith provides a sense of direction by establishing tonal centers as points of momentary resolution. Typical of Hindemith's music of the early 1920s, the Trio is marked by a bracing, energetic spirit. The String Trio No. 2 strongly contrasts with its predecessor, the String Trio No. 1 (1924), which is marked by a strong feeling of atonality. When Hindemith wrote the present work nearly a decade later, his style had evolved somewhat. The Trio No. 2 is built on standard Classical forms but incorporates Hindemith's personal sense of tonality, in which any note or chord may be related to a given tonal center; the music has a refreshing, non-Romantic sound.
This special once-in-a-lifetime set is housed in a replica of the original Motown headquarters: the "Hitsville U.S.A." house on Detroit's West Grand Boulevard, now the home of the internationally renowned Motown Museum. It's a true collectible. Inside the house are 5 digi-paks - containing 10 CDs. The box set comes with a beautiful 100-page mini-photo book, including rare and classic images, track annotations and an introductory essay by the man who started it off, the one and only Smokey Robinson. Limited to 30,000 copies.
Deep in the heart of the Cold War, there was once a miracle in Moscow – Texas-based classical pianist Van Cliburn, of whom no one had heard, conquered at the First Tchaikovsky Competition, an event set aside to showcase Soviet talent. Cliburn was warned by his own government not to go, given the tense political relationship between the United States and Soviet Union at the time, and once he arrived he was greeted as a party crasher, subject to hostile stares and animosity of the kind he had never dreamed of back in Texas. And it was Cliburn, at the end, which brought down the house, and held the award. Back in America, he was greeted with a ticker tape parade and was the subject of a best-selling biography by Abram Chasins, The Van Cliburn Story, copies of which continue to clog the shelves of American thrift stores five decades hence. Ultimately, though, Cliburn's celebrity lost its luster. Nerves, ultra-picky perfectionism, and mishandling by management led to his early retirement from the concert scene; his greatest latter-day achievement being the force behind the Van Cliburn Piano Competition, America's most prestigious such event.
Released at the forefront of the early-'80s thrash movement, Show No Mercy proved to be only a small step toward Slayer's domination of the extreme metal scene, basically amounting to a cleaned-up version of black metal stalwarts Venom. Everything about this album, from the production to the musicianship, is amateurish compared to later releases, but in the same way Metallica was on their own debut, Kill 'Em All. Despite the band's shortcomings, a number of future classics are present on this album, including concert favorites "The Antichrist," "Die by the Sword," and "Black Magic." Show No Mercy remains a solid, if inessential, part of the Slayer legacy.