I remember well the first time I heard the music of Tobias Hume. It was in late 1984, and a neighbor in the small French village where I was living, Marie B., played me the LP of Musicall Humors. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) This disc had 13 tracks of the most astounding Renaissance music I had […]
Music Review: Franz Schubert Complete Songs
40 CDs plus book containing song texts, 2005. List price GBP 180.
In 1987, Hyperion Records began what turned out to be a colossal project: the recording of all of Franz Schubert’s songs (or lieder), a total of 729 songs performed by over 60 soloists. Some of these songs are for male voice, others for female voice, and others for several singers together. (In comparison, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s landmark recording of all the lieder for solo male voice includes 463 songs on 21 CDs.) Originally released on 37 CDs, over a period of 18 years (the amount of time it took Schubert to compose all these songs, before his early death), this new set presents the songs in chronological order.
I reviewed this set a couple of years ago; 73 CDs of Murray Perahia’s piano recordings, which, at the time, cost €115, was a great bargain back then. But the price has plummeted, and you can get it now on Amazon.com for about $55, and on Amazon UK for £84 (less from third-party sellers). This […]
Graham Johnson, the pianist behind Hyperion Record’s monumental series of Schubert’s complete lieder, is known for having a lot to say about these songs. His liner notes to the original releases of the series are rich and full of insight. Unfortunately, the current box set doesn’t come with those notes, but just a book of […]
Jeremy Denk has in interesting article about Charles Ives in the New York Review of Books. Disguised as a review of a new biography of the composer – Mad Music: Charles Ives, the Nostalgic Rebel, by Stephen Budiansky (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) – Denk addresses much of the criticism of Ives’ music. In particular, he points […]
Apple’s latest “your verse” campaign, touting the features of the iPad, features conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen. As a conductor, he is well-known in the United States, having worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 1984, where he was long music director. As a composer, he is also well-known, in contemporary music circles, having written […]
Deutsche Grammophon has just released another of their big box sets. This one is not about a composer or conductor, but is a selection of 100 great symphonies ( , Amazon UK), from Giovanni Battista Sammartini to Philip Glass. According to DG: We have prepared 100 Great Symphonies whose contents are based on the results […]
Buy from: Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Amazon FR | Amazon DE Classical DVDs and Blu-Rays come in several varieties. There are the filmed concerts, now commonplace, which are created to provide content to the few “arts” TV channels around the world, then sold on disc to music fans. Some of these are operas, and […]