Ödön Rácz is a fourth generation contrabassist. Great grandfather and grandfather played in ensembles, his father in an orchestra. The son, born in Budapest in 1981, also chose the same path. He has been a member of Vienna’s State Opera orchestra since 2004 and as such, the successor to his prominent teacher Alois Posch. Rácz studied the orchestral literature with him and Posch is still today his most important role model as an orchestra musician. His idol as a solo musician is also a former Vienna Philharmonic member Ludwig Streicher, whose soloist tracks Rácz follows on this recording. For Streicher, the most prominent contrabassist of his time, the concerti from Vanhal, Dittersdorf and Bottesini were also his declared favourites.
The narrators are two gifted children, the pianist Alezandre Tharaud, whose acute playing has sparked the series. Set for narrator and small ensemble and originally improvised to please the composer's three-year old cousin, the tale of Babar the Elephant receives a charming performance from Alexandre Tharaud and friends with child narrators on this fifth instalment of Naxos's chamber-music series.
Michala Petri adds her characteristic spright to this recording and the largos are pleasant as well. The concerto in F includes a bassoon part which adds bottom to the works on this CD as a contra to the higher-pitched recorder.The Philips recording quality on this CD is near flawless as well– there is a nice balance between the woodwinds on the one hand and the strings and the occassional harpsichord on the other. Overall quite a worthwhile and enjoyable addition to one's baroque-period collection.
Legacy's second reissue of Texas Flood, the 1983 debut from Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, now expands the album to two CDs, adding a complete concert given at Ripley's Music Hall in Philadelphia on October 20, 1983, four months after the record was released. On the first disc, an early version of "Tin Pan Alley (aka Roughest Place in Town)" is added to the original album but that is the only carry-over from the 1999 expansion. That disc also had three live cuts, but those were taken from a different 1983 concert, so this 2013 30th Anniversary Edition offers something completely new: an entire radio broadcast featuring SRV and Double Trouble at the peak of their power. The set has few surprises…
Regarded as one of the most brilliant composers of her generation, Cindy McTee demonstrates her prodigious skills at orchestral writing in this 2013 Naxos release, recorded by Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.For the perpetual motion piece Circuits (1990), McTee uses timbres in a dynamic way, keeping tone colors cycling in constant rotation, almost in synchronization with the changes of rhythmic cells
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Anyone who loves twentieth century music, who loves English music, or who just plain loves music will love this collection of the music of Michael Tippett. Culled from previously issued but long out-of-print Philips, London, Argo, and l'Oiseau-Lyre LPs, most of these recordings were world premieres made in close consultation with the composer and in the hands of conductors Colin Davis, Georg Solti, Neville Marriner, pianist Paul Crossley, and the Lindsay String Quartet, they receive what can fairly be described as definitive performances. From the ecstatic lyricism of the Suite for Double String Orchestra of 1939 through the luminous vitality of the First Symphony of 1945, the radiant sensuality of the Ritual Dances of 1955, the blues-based modernism of the Third Symphony of 1972, to the glistening transcendentalism of the Fourth Symphony of 1977, Tippett's unique fusion of line, drive, color, and form is performed throughout with passionate dedication and absolute faith in the music's greatness.
In the 21st century, it's easy to take technology for granted and forget that in the time of Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685, d. 1750), there were no cars, busses, airplanes, TVs, radios, movies, tape recorders, electric lights, or computers. People used candles to light their homes, and horses were the fastest way to get around. There were excellent plays and opinionated theater critics to review them, but no cameras to film the actors and actresses. Recording technology had yet to be invented, so the only way to hear classical musicians was to hear them performing live. Although the classical artists of Bach's time could not be recorded, they left behind their compositions, and today's classical musicians continue to keep them alive.
In 1961, the young Hungarian composer György Ligeti did a pretty amazing thing: he wrote a piece called Atmospheres, in which almost nothing happens, extremely slowly. The European avant-garde was still obsessed with quantifying musical parameters, with crystallizing pitch, duration, timbre, and register into rigid regions, radiating with speed and hardness – and then Ligeti cast out this massive orchestral goo, the enemy of all geometries, devoid of contours and as slow and gaseous as a trip through Saturn. A paean to all mysterious and intangible, Atmospheres initialized both a brilliant swerve from the music of its time, and a kind of life-journey for Ligeti's own incipient voice: a musical vision on the verge of disintegration, inventively trying to put itself back together, to re-integrate.
Though Les Rallizes Denudes, also known as Hadaka no Rallizes, were one of the earliest and most revolutionary Japanese psychedelic rock bands, and have existed off and on through four decades, they are also one of the most obscure, barely known even in their native country. This cult of noise terrorists shrouded themselves in mystery, seldom touring and releasing very few records, usually with no discernible label. Their sound presages the later psychedelic experimental noise of Fushitsusha, High Rise, and others in the current crop more than any other Japanese psychedelic group from the late '60s…