It's a tall order to compile the best classical music of the twentieth century, but EMI has selected its top 100 classics for this six-disc set, and it's difficult to argue with most of the choices. Without taking sides in the great ideological debates of the modern era – traditionalist vs. avant-garde, tonal vs. atonal, styles vs. schools, and so on – the label has picked the composers whose reputations seem most secure at the turn of the twenty-first century and has chosen representative excerpts of their music. Certainly, the titans of modernism are here, such as Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Béla Bartók, Dmitry Shostakovich, Sergey Prokofiev, Claude Debussy, and Benjamin Britten, to name just a few masters, but they don't cast such a large shadow that they eclipse either their more backward-looking predecessors or their more experimental successors.
Although the musical Oliver! was a successful musical (both in London and the U.S.), pianist Bob Dorough was one of the few (maybe only) jazz musicians who saw the possibilities to improvise upon its music. Omitting vocals on this occasion, Dorough examines both the dramatic nature of the 11 songs as well as finding humor within some of them. "Boy for Sale" is very moody, featuring Al Schackman on bouzoukee (not exactly an instrument heard on the common jazz date), while he switches to classical guitar for a bossa nova arrangement of the normally plaintive ballad "Where Is Love?" and sticks to electric guitar on the rest of the date…
It's curious why there are not more compositions for cello and guitar duo. The two overlap greatly in range, have wonderfully complementary timbres, and possess virtually none of the inherent balance problems encountered when pairing the cello with the more commonplace piano. The guitar is often thought of in term of Spanish or Latin-influenced music, and though there have been many compositions written for the cello by composers from these parts of the world, precious few have bothered to incorporate the guitar as a duo partner.
The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and IMG Artists present an exclusive deluxe 8CD box set edition celebrating the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and its century-long national and international tradition. The box offers a unique collection of recordings dating from 1934-1978 with more than 10 hours of music. Here the orchestra plays under legendary names like Arturo Toscanini, Fritz Busch, Leopold Stokowski, Bruno Walter, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Pierre Monteux and Rafael Kubelik, together with their Swedish counterparts Tor Mann, Sixten Ehrling and Herbert Blomstedt.