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Brahms, Johannes – “Brahms Concerto No. 1″ – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

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Piano and orchestra. 3 movements, 50 minutes. Took Brahms 5 years to write this, completed in 1859. Vigorous, learned, and uncompromising. “The Texan Who Conquered Russia” — Van Cliburn on the ivories. Give it a spin!

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on June 27, 2017 at 11:23 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Brahms – “Sonatas For Viola and Piano, Op. 120″ – [Capitol Records]

    In 1912 Rudolf Firkusny was born in Moravian Napajedla, in what is now Czechoslovakia period he studied with Janacek, touring Europe in the 1920s and premiering in London in 1933 and New York in 1938. He fled the Nazis in 1939, escaping to Paris and settling in New York.
    William Primrose was a Scottish violist, teacher, and author. He was part of the NBC Symphony Orchestra with Jascha Heifetz and others. He began in 1924 as a professional violinist and switched to the viola in 1930. Late in life he developed hearing difficulties that prevented him from hearing certain pitches. He died in Utah.

    Brahms’ Op. 120 are his final chamber works. Published in 1895. Brahms loved the clarinet and wrote These originally for clarinet and piano although he also wrote a version for viola. Side A begins with a 4 bar piano theme in octaves that has been shown in recent analysis to be generative of every musical idea that follows. Side B is not too shabby either.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on June 8, 2017 at 2:27 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Brahms, Johannes / Festival Quartet – “Piano Quartet In C Minor, Op. 60″ – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

    brahmsop60

    Brahms couldn’t seal the deal and abated his frustration through musical composition.
    First movement premiered by Clara Schumann, who Brahms was in love with
    Often called the Werther quartet – a common theme for 19th century suicidal love birds
    Almost twenty years later Brahms is in love with Mrs. Elisabeth von Herzogenberg and he finds enough of himself to finish.

    The festival quartet came together at the summer festival in Aspen, and features:
    Szymon Goldberg, violin
    William Primrose, viola
    Nikolai Graudan, cello
    Victor Babin, piano

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Brahms / Heifetz / Reiner – “Violin Concerto In D, Op. 77″ – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

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    The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, was composed by Johannes Brahms in 1878 and dedicated to his friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. It is Brahms’s only violin concerto, and, according to Joachim, one of the four great German violin concerti.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on April 6, 2017 at 12:28 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Brahms – “Complete Quartets For Piano & Strings Vol. 2″ – [Capitol Records]

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    The Piano Quartet in A major, Op. 26 by Johannes Brahms, for piano, violin, viola and cello. It was completed in 1861 and received its premiere in November 1863 by the Hellmesberger Quartet with the composer playing the piano part.
    This quartet is long and shows the influence of Schubert. When performed badly it is quite interminable. None of that here, Victor Allen at the piano with members of the Hollywood String Quartet, Felix Slatkin- violin, Alvin Dinkin- viola, Eleanor Allen- cello.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on April 6, 2017 at 10:40 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Beethoven – “Sonata No. 9 In a Minor, No. 6 In a Major” – [Epic Records]

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    The Kreutzer Sonata is very demanding. It is emotionally varied, technically difficult, and long (performances can last 40 minutes.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on March 15, 2017 at 1:46 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Beethoven – “Trios: In G, Op. 9, No. 1 / In C Minor, Op. 9, No.” – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

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    Composed 1797-8, published in Vienna 1799. At the time of publication, Beethoven thought these were his best works. The musicologist Gerald Abraham has remarked that in terms of their style and aesthetic value the string trios of Op. 9 rank with Beethoven’s first string quartets which ousted the trios from the concert halls.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on March 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Beethoven – “String Quartet No. 15 In a Minor, Op. 132″ – [Philips]

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    Beethoven’s late quartets were written in failing health in April 1825. Considered among the greatest works of all time, Beethoven composed these in almost total deafness. In his words, B2 is his “Holy song of thanks (‘Heiliger Dankgesang’) to the divinity, from one made well.”
    TS Eliot wrote the Four Quartets with a copy on the turntable, saying:

    I find it quite inexhaustible to study. There is a sort of heavenly or at least more than human gaiety about some of his later things which one imagines might come to oneself as the fruit of reconciliation and relief after immense suffering; I should like to get something of that into verse before I die.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on March 15, 2017 at 10:57 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Beethoven/ Serkin, Laredo, Parnas – “Beethoven: Triple Concerto – Concerto In C Major” – [Columbia]

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    Beethoven’s Triple Concerto
    Concerto in C Major for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Op. 56
    Rudolf Serkin, piano
    Jaime Laredo, Violin
    Leslie Parnas, Cello
    Alexander Schneider Conducting The Marlboro Festival Orchestra

    Every summer, America’s finest classical musicians gather in Marlboro, VT. This dates from 1964. The B side begins with a high-pitched recording defect which resolves just after you begin pulling your hair out. A fine record.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on January 24, 2017 at 10:41 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Beethoven/ Schumann/ Souvairan, Pierre – “Beethoven, Bagatelles – Schumann, Fantasiestucke” – [Radio Canada Internationl]

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    Pierre Souvairain was born in Switzerland to French parents, July 30, 1911. In 1953 he joined the faculty at the University of Toronto, and in 1959 he became a Canadian citizen.

    These pieces are part of a 19th century genre of solo piano music. Beethoven’s Bagatelles, Op. 126 was his final work for piano. He called them “cycle of little pieces,” and they are tracked together on this LP. Schumann’s Fantasiestucke, Op. 12 was written in 1837, dedicated to Fraulein Anna Robena Laidlaw, an accomplished and attractive 18-year-old Scottish pianist with whom Schumann had become good friends. Dreamy fanciful sketches.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on January 24, 2017 at 10:20 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Beethoven / Heifetz, Primrose, Piatigorsky – “Trio In E Flat, Op. 3″ – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

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    String trio published in 1797 when Beethoven was 27 years old. The first of four, all from his youth.

    Violin – Jascha Heifetz
    Viola – William Primrose
    Cello – Gregor Piatigorsky

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on January 18, 2017 at 12:10 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
  • Comment on this review
  • Beethoven / Vladimir Horowitz – “Sonata In F Minor, Op. 57 – Sonata No. 7 In D, Op. 10, No. 3″ – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

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    Horowitz married Toscanini’s daughter. Beethoven piano sonatas. Good for the mood.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on January 11, 2017 at 4:47 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
  • Comment on this review
  • Beethoven / Steven Bishop – “Diabelli Variations” – [Philips]

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    Beethoven took Viennese music publisher Anton Diabelli’s cut-n-paste waltz with one unexpected chord change and freaked it every which way, writing 33 variations. Beethoven pushes the limits of piano composition. Steven Bishop at the piano.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on January 11, 2017 at 3:48 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Mozart / Budapest String Quartet – “Quartet No. 16 (K. 428); Quartet No. 17 (K. 458)” – [Columbia]

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    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart born Salzburg, Austria 1756; died Vienna, Austria, 1791.
    Mozart wrote six string quartets dedicated to Joseph Haydn. Here are two, played by the Budapest String Quartet using the Library of Congress’ Stradivari instruments, given to the nation by Gertrude Clarke Whitall. Great old Mono pressing from 1953.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on January 4, 2017 at 1:53 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Heifetz, Munch, Boston Symphony – “Mendelssohn – Concerto In E Minor, Prokofieff – Concerto In” – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

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    Jascha Heifetz – violin (YA-sha HIGH-fetz)
    with the BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA conducted by Charles Munch (like “The Scream” painter)

    Released 1959. Violin concertos. Heifetz was a rock star for RCA Victor, “the greatest violinist of our generation.”

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on December 17, 2016 at 4:04 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
  • Comment on this review
  • Mendelssohn / Ravel / Rubinstein, Heifetz, Piatigorsky – “Trio / Trio In a Minor” – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

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    Arthur Rubinstein – piano
    Jascha Heifetz – violin
    Gregor Piatagorsky – cello

    Released February 1951. Heavy vinyl, well-loved condition. In his lifetime, Ravel was dogged by critical and public opinion that regarded him dismissively as a follower of Debussy. Mendelssohn’s trio is so idiomatic as to be playable by third- and fourth- year students.

    Side A – Ravel – Piano Trio in A Minor
    Side B – Mendelssohn – Piano Trio No. 1 In D Minor, Op. 49

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on December 17, 2016 at 3:44 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
  • Comment on this review
  • Mendelssohn, Felix & Serkin, Rudolf – “Concerto No. 1 In G Minor / Concerto No. 2 In D Minor” – [Columbia]

    rsm

    One look into Rudolf Serkin’s steamy bedroom eyes.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on December 14, 2016 at 5:30 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
  • Comment on this review
  • Oistrakh, David Trio – “Mendelssohn Violin Concerto No. 2 / Schubert Trio Op. 99″ – [Angel Records]

    Attention MISPRINT: side a is the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto Number 2 in E Minor Opus 64. IMO it is the better side.
    According to Billboard Magazine of August 31, 1959, “Violinist Oistrakh, cellist Knushevitsky, and pianist Oborin are instrumentalists first and musicians second. Oistrakh and Knushevitsky don’t brush over their strings, but literally dig into them, producing a richness and sweetness of sound found in few trios. As musicians, however, they missed some of Schubert’s lightness and grace. Prime material for the chamber music fancier.”

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on November 30, 2016 at 5:25 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Dvorak, Antonin / Dvorak Quartet – “String Quintet In E-flat / The Cypresses” – [Crossroads/CBS]

    Antonin Dvorak (DVOR-jack) wrote the Quintet op. 97 in the summer of 1894 in Spillville, Iowa, a settlement of his fellow Bohemians. Dvorak loved folk music and here he takes rhythmic inspiration from the drumming of Iroquois indians. He would later say the summer in Spillville was his favorite time in America.
    B side is the Cypresses For String Quartet – originally songs. Elaboraations on the classical string quartet.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on November 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
  • Comment on this review
  • Philharmonia Orchestra & Thomas, Michael Tilson – “Debussy: La Mer / Nocturnes” – [CBS Records]

    San Francisco Symphony conductor Michael Tilson Thomas in 1976, conducting London’s Philharmonia Orchestra & Ambrosian Singers through Claude Debussy’s (DEB-u-see) La Mer and Nocturnes.
    La Mer is an ode to the sea but also an attempt at a symphony. The usual narrative of a symphony is dispensed with. A vast seascape.
    Nocturnes are 3 separate parts, often programmed with just the first two. Clouds, Parties, Sirenes.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on November 15, 2016 at 12:17 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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