Four discs of key recordings by the most revered classical guitarist of our time, many debuting on CD! Disc one, "Concertos," features works by Rodrigo, Ponce and Boccherini. Discs two and three, "Works for Solo Guitar," include Seis Pavanas Milan; Granada Albeniz; Praeludium & Allegro De Murcia, and more. And disc four collects Segovia's celebrated arrangements of works by J.S. Bach. Over five hours of gorgeous guitar mastery!
This is an enjoyable, somehow spontaneous recording of several of Bach's works for a pair of harpsichords, with the great Japanese Bach conductor Masaaki Suzuki joined by his son Masato. The high spirits of the elder Suzuki here could be chalked up to any combination of several factors. One might be freedom from the rigors of his complete Bach cantata cycle, just recently completed when this album appeared in 2014.
Listening to this irresistibly joyful and magnificently musical set of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos and Orchestral Suites, one is immediately struck by two thoughts. First, Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan have been wasting their time concentrating on Bach's dour cantatas, and second, Bach himself was wasting his time writing his melancholy church music when he could have been composing infinitely more cheerful secular music. While Suzuki and his crew have turned in superlatively performed, if spectacularly severe recording of the cantatas, they sound just as virtuosic and vastly more comfortable here.
"The trees are coming into leaf/Like something almost being said." Taking a cue from these lines of Philip Larkin, pianist Simone Dinnerstein casts her album of the music of J.S. Bach and Franz Schubert in poetic terms. Her understanding of the composers is summed up in her own words: "The music of Bach and Schubert share a distinctive quality, as if wordless voices were singing textless melodies." Of course, Bach and Schubert were masters of setting texts to profoundly expressive music, so it is fruitful to look for the lyrical impulse in their keyboard works and appropriate to find songful interpretations. Yet Dinnerstein doesn't merely serve up rhapsodic renditions or treat the music as some kind of tuneful vehicle for idiosyncratic or personal reveries. Her playing is quite in character for both composers, and her treatment of the material is far from self-indulgent. Indeed, counterpoint and harmony are carefully balanced against the upper lines, and Dinnerstein is completely in control of the inner parts in Bach's partitas and the rhythmic subtleties of Schubert impromptus. Dinnerstein's playing is well-rounded and skillful, and the care she lavishes on the smallest details of execution may well remind listeners of Glenn Gould (without his attendant eccentricities) or Angela Hewitt.
After an auspicious beginning with the Chick Webb band and long solo run featuring a celebrated string of songbook albums on Verve (Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Rodgers & Hart, etc.), Ella Fitzgerald maintained her high profile from the mid-'60s onward, mostly by touring the world and - to a lesser extent - recording a series of enjoyable dates for Pablo. This informal-sounding, never before released Stockholm concert recording from 1966 shows why Fitzgerald as primarily a live performer is not such a bad thing. Backed by Duke Ellington's orchestra and her own trio of pianist Jimmy Jones, bassist Joe Comfort, and drummer Gus Johnson, she shows off her incredible interpretive skills on a mix of standards heavy with Ellington and Strayhorn classics…
This disc brings together recordings made in the 1980's as part of a reduction of three original discs down to two. At the same time, the original fine recordings have been remastered to good effect with added depth and space. This makes a particularly important improvement to the Coronation Anthems which previously came over as sonically lacking ideal breadth, depth and recorded weight in Zadok. The ears adjusted after that.