These are the main ingredients of a perfectly-made CD for your listening pleasure: mix violins, piano, bass and drums together, combine two terrific violinists, season with the best melodies in the 20s, 30s and 40s from Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hart. Add the musical talents of Nelson Riddle, Max Harris, Martin Taylor, Eddie Tripp, Alan Clare and the rest of the studio musicians. Now all you have to do is to sit back, relax and savor these stunning melodies coming from your CD player. Listen to it in full-volume and fill your music room with the sheer beauty of these classics. A musical treat!
The concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall in April last year was one of those rousing ringside events where the supporters gather as at a great party and everybody has a tremendous time cheering and asking for more. The recording was made the following month in Henry Wood Hall, and it preserves much of the sparky atmosphere of the live occasion though of course leaving to us the cheering (which I’m afraid in this establishment is reduced to a grunt or two, usually of approval, from the depths of the armchair).
Jerome Kern's stage tunes - going back to the late '20s with the acclaimed presentation Show Boat - right up to the '40s, will forever be at the core of quintessential American popular songs that hold a dear place in the heart of all straight-ahead jazz performers. Oscar Peterson's immortal trio with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen play Kern's themes expertly, with no small degree of interpretation, and a clever angle on these well-worn songs that only Peterson can self-identify with his genius mindset…
Valery Gergiev directs the Kirov Opera and Ballet in this magnificent 1998 production of Borodin’s "Prince Igor", presented in a new Mariinsky Theatre performing edition and featuring Mikhail Fokine’s original choreography in the famous Polovtsian Dances. Its four acts tell of the struggle between the Russians and Polovtsian nomads, of Prince Igor’s capture and escape from his noble opponent, Khan Konchak, and of love between Igor’s son, Vladimir, and Konchak’s daughter, Konchakovna.
Modest Mussorgsky's opera in prologue and four acts is performed by the Kirov Opera with performances from Olga Borodina, Alexei Steblianko and Sergei Leiferkust. Boris Godunov has obtained the throne of Russia by murdering the rightful heir Dmitry. An old monk, Pimen, witnessed this, and convinces his apprentice Grigory to avenge Dmitry's death. In the following years Grigory poses as Dmitry, raising an army against Boris, who is now convinced that he is being punished for the murder.