This is not going to be an "objective" review, because I specifically asked that Australian Eloquence issue this compilation for the express purpose of bringing back into the catalog the Surinach Piano Concerto, a dazzling, hell-for-leather contemporary Spanish romp that would bring the house down in a live setting, and that has never been released on CD until now. The truth is, I heard it on my car radio in 1984 and sat transfixed in a parking lot, engine running, late for work, until it was done. Then I ran to my local Tower Records to buy it, only to find that it was out of print (it was recorded in 1977). I couldn't find it used, and never heard it again. I was extremely annoyed that Decca Legends released the equally gorgeous and little-known Montsalvatge Concerto Breve (which isn't so "breve" after all, lasting about 25 minutes) in tandem with a miscellany of solo works, when the Surinach would have made the perfect coupling. All of the material included here is vintage Larrocha. The Albéniz and Turina performances are famous and highly regarded anyway, making this CD the ultimate 20th-century Spanish piano concerto collection that does not include the ubiquitous Nights in the Gardens of Spain. So aside from saying that the performances are spectacular, the sonics are terrific, and coming clean about my complicity in this enterprise, I'm just going to limit myself to a heartfelt "Thank you!" I hope that you agree.
This first complete studio recording of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, made between 1958 and 1966, was a groundbreaking technical and artistic achievement, the most ambitious and intricately involved opera recording project of the 20th century. Produced for Decca by John Culshaw, whose vision and untiring devotion brought the gargantuan project to completion, the 14 ½-hour release set a new standard for opera recordings. The details Culshaw lavished on the production, which included building new musical instruments, precisely calculating the placement and choreography of each singer to maximize the theatricality of each scene, and creating an array of fabulous special effects resulted in a landmark recording that has lost none of its power with the passage of time.
Famously conducted the world premieres of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and other prominent works including Petrushka, Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé, and Debussy's Jeux. Monteux was the principal conductor of the French repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Steinway & Sons, for over 150 years the maker of the world's finest pianos and the symbol of quality and excellence to generations, joins forces with Universal Classics, home to history's greatest pianists on the Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and Philips labels, to present the Steinway Legends Grand Edition, an impressive box that holds all 10 Steinway Legends packages in the series in a unique "Steinway Series D" Piano Box.
What remains consistent is Pierre Fournier's elegant and aristocratic playing, his superb control of the bow and his supple, consistently beautiful tone impressed a whole generation of cellists and music lovers all over the world. Sixty-five years since he first recorded for Decca, we are proud to celebrate the artistry of this most distinguished of cellists and the wealth of recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and Philips – presented here together for the very first time in this 25-CD limited edition set.
The Legends, aka Labrador Records head Johan Angergård (also of Club 8, Acid House Kings, and many others), will release new album Nightshift on April 22. The album includes The Legends’ recent singles “Cocaine,” “Summer In The City (Living Is For Somebody Else)” and their cover of Chainsmokers’ “Roses.” It also continues Angergård’s fascination with vocoder and light synthpop. Lyrically, though, the forecast is cloudier. “With people like Trump, Putin, and Jinping ruling and ruining the world I need this creative outlet more than ever,” says Angergård. “I don’t know if it’s a happy album… it’s more of an ‘eat-your-SSRIs-and-try-to-enjoy-yourself-FFS!’ kind of record.”