Sony Music Entertainment is pleased to announce another ten Masters, the latest instalments in this mouth-watering series for collectors of the great artists. Here are ten new budget-priced box sets of classic recordings by some of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.
Russian pianist Denis Matsuev has established himself as one of the most dynamic and virtuosic performers of his generation, and his program on this RCA album with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic is ideally suited to his extraordinary abilities. The pairing of Sergey Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor and George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is a natural one, particularly because of the works' shared post-romanticism (note Rachmaninov's influence on Gershwin's slow theme in the Rhapsody), as well as for the dazzling writing for the piano in both works. Of course, the challenge for Matsuev is to make his part appear effortless, and he succeeds so well in both performances that listeners may be a bit blasé about his playing, taking it in without really considering what knuckle-busters these pieces really are.
This newest release from BR KLASSIK explores the genre of the 19th and 20th century Rhapsody, featuring works from masterful composers Emmanuel Chabrier, George Gershwin, George Enesecu, Maurice Ravel, and Franz Liszt. The concert-like atmosphere of this recording makes this a truly unique release, as these works were recorded live in Munich as recently as October 2015. The five rhapsodies featured here come from different regions and the composers unique styles can be heard in each of their works. Chabriers Espana is centered around Iberian and folk music which was very popular at the time. Liszts Hungarian Rhapsody contrasts this work with its use of Hungarian folk melodies. The ever-popular Rhapsody in Blue from George Gershwin throws Americana into the mix with its blues roots. Mariss Jansons and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks never fails to please with their brilliant interpretations and performance quality. World-renowned Russian pianist Denis Matusev is brilliant as the Rhapsody in Blue soloist.
"…A lot of bang for the buck."
Gershwin Plays Gershwin: The Piano Rolls is an album of piano rolls recorded (with one exception) by George Gershwin. It was released by Nonesuch Records in 1993. Gershwin recorded these piano rolls between 1916 and 1927. Several rolls use overdubbing, so that Gershwin is in effect playing a four-handed piece solo. The final selection, "An American In Paris", was recorded by Frank Milne in 1933. Milne worked as a roll-editor with Gershwin in the 1920s, and edited several of the rolls reproduced on this disc. So skilled was Milne as a roll editor, the liner notes suggest that he may not have actually "played" "An American In Paris" at all – in the same way that a musician can write sheet music…
This unique album is a wonderful snapshot of American jazz in an orchestral setting. Most classical music aficionados are familiar with George Gershwin and his works such as Rhapsody in Blue, but there are also a number of less-famous composers who wrote around the same time who are no less brilliant. These composers also interacted with and influenced each other. For example, James Price Johnson also wrote a rhapsody, entitled Yamekraw, Negro Rhapsody, which is a sophisticated work full of tempo changes, varied rhythms, and various moods and character. (William Grant Still orchestrated this piece.) Yamekraw swings and is syncopated, giving it a very dancelike feel, and the Hot Springs Music Festival Symphony Orchestra does an excellent job bringing the music alive without ever making it rigid. Not only do it play beautifully on this first piece, but also through the rest of the album, where it truly captures all the moods jazz pieces require while never losing strong classical technique. It is much to conductor Richard Rosenberg's credit that all of the pieces have energy and good musical taste.
If you are familiar with the theme, you know the bell-toned baritone of . His clarity in rendering a ballad is well applied in this album of standards. These 1992 recordings sound remarkably fresh, even though the tunes are 60-70 years old and have been recorded countless times. simultaneously presents them as cabaret performances and as art songs.