July 13, 2013

Dvorak Cello Concerto Classic Recording

A classic recording is one which is used as a standard for all recordings of that composition that come after it. Cellists playing the Dvorak Cello Concerto have come and gone over the decades, but their performances are still compared to one made in April 1938 in Prague by Pablo Casals. This recording has never been out of print, and it is hard to imagine it ever being so. You can hear it on the program.

July 06, 2013

Conductors Who Advocated for American Music

During the 1930s and 1940s, not all conductors active in the U.S. were interested in American music, but Serge Koussevitzky and Leopold Stokowski were. Koussevitzky, with the Boston Symphony, was a strong advocate of the music of Aaron Copland and Roy Harris, and Stokowski, with many ensembles, was a tireless champion of a large array of American composers. I'll play some of their best known recordings.

June 29, 2013

Hungarian Cellist Janos Starker

The great Hungarian cellist Janos Starker died this past April. Starker was famous for the technical perfection as well as the emotional power of his cello performances. He recorded for the budget label Period in the 1950s, and later went on to record for highly prestigious labels. His musical legacy on discs is extensive. We'll sample some of his esteemed recordings.  

June 22, 2013

10 am Early Start!: Pianists Who Love Chamber Music

When we think of piano virtuosos, we usually get an image of brilliant soloists performing dazzling technical feats at the keyboard. But there are famous pianists who are also lovers of chamber music, and who like nothing better than to submerge their musical egos in a larger group of musicians. The names of Arthur Schnabel, Rudolf Serkin and Emmanuel Ax come to mind. We'll hear some their recordings.

June 15, 2013

Wagner Recordings by Outstanding Conductors

This year marks the commemoration of Richard Wagner's birth 200 years ago. After the flood of Wagner recordings after 1925, in the following decades of the 1930s and 1940s, another generation of Wagner conductors emerged. Arturo Toscanini, Bruno Walter and Wilhelm Furtwaengler made outstanding recordings in this period. We'll sample some of these discs.

June 08, 2013

20th Century Violin Concertos

For concert violinists, the great violin concertos of the 19th century may be the bread and butter repertory, but in the 20th century, the period from 1930 to 1950 saw the composition of many fine violin concertos, and the soloists who first played these concertos often also made the premier recordings of these works. There were, in that period, new concertos by Serge Prokofiev, Samuel Barber, and Bela Bartok, and we'll sample some of those recordings. 

June 01, 2013

Recording of Colin Davis

The famous British conductor Colin Davis died this past April 14. Davis had been a highly successful recording conductor over many decades. Among his many specialties, his achievements in recording the music of Hector Berlioz stand out. He was the first one to get on discs Berlioz's epic opera The Trojans. We'll sample some of Davis' outstanding recordings.

May 25, 2013

Beecham Recordings of Early Schubert Symphonies

Sir Thomas Beecham was a man of strong likes and dislikes. The conductor was cold to the music of Bach, but very warm to Handel, and his love for the music of Mozart and Delius was famous. Less known was his affection for the earlier, less heroic symphonies of Franz Schubert. He recorded some of these works in the 1930s and later in the 1950s. There was something in the buoyant youthful cheerfulness in these earlier symphonies that appealed to the genial side of Beecham. We'll hear some of these recordings.

May 13, 2013

Glazunov’s Late Romantic Music

The Russian composer Alexander Glazunov was somewhat born out of the right time. He began writing late Romantic music when the music work was spinning into modernism. His beautifully crafted works seemed old fashioned in the early 20th century, but they have worn well. I'll play some of this most famous compositions.

May 11, 2013

From Keyboard to Podium (Early Start Time at 10 am)

Most conductors are musically trained as pianists. And many virtuoso pianists, at the height of successful careers, take up the baton and broaden their careers to include conducting as well as solo performing. Such has been the case the Vladimir Ashkenazy and Daniel Barenboim. We will trace some career paths, from keyboard to podium.

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