I’m a huge fan of wizardly recording engineer Tony Faulkner, a longtime practicioner of “less-is-more” audiophile recording techniques. He hasn’t hesitated to tip a few sacred cows over the years, and created a major fuss in the classical recording industry during the early 1990s when he had the audacity to criticize no less an institution than Deutsche Grammophon on the matter of their overhyped, artificial-sounding “4D” recording process. In an editorial posted to Classical Source, Tony puts the smackdown on the venerable BBC for labeling its Radio 3 transmissions as “H[igh] D[efinition]” when it simply isn’t true (we’ve been seeing similar misleading monkeyshines in the States). The editorial is a must-read for audiophiles and casual listeners alike.
Once again, it’s the end of the year and time to proclaim my not-so-humble opinions as to my favorite releases of 2010:
The confusing and convoluted tale of my journey from composer to record label jack-of-all-trades to registered lobbyist (for the good guys in health and the performing arts) to renegade reissue producer is best left to a post all its own, but after having read and heard a litany of positive feedback on one reissue project with which I was recently involved, I feel the urge to weigh in. Continue reading Richter Fixer
I’ve been a bit disappointed with the interpretive side of Bernard Haitink’s most recent concerts with the Chicago Symphony in Carnegie Hall, but remain mighty impressed by the quality of the orchestra. Under Haitink’s interim leadership between music directors Daniel Barenboim and Riccardo Muti (in tandem with Pierre Boulez), the orchestra remains one of the world’s greatest, and has even taken on a richer wind sound.
My favorite radio producer for the arts, the indefatigable Gail Wein, writes:
Find your local PBS outlet here.
I’m about halfway through listening to Budapest Music Center Records’ marvelous 14-disc collection of live recordings by piano titan Sviatoslav Richter. A couple of reviewers have not been too kind to this set, and I think they need to clean out their ears. Continue reading Candy Is Dandy, But Richter Is Quicker, Budapest Edition
In celebration of the American Independence Day weekend — and because it was toward the top of the massive “yet-to-be-played” pile — I fired up a Naxos CD release of symphonic music by Roy Harris played by the Bournemouth Symphony conducted by Marin Alsop (catalogue number 8.559609).
Just over a month ago, amidst a wave of upheaval that had disrupted (and continues to wreak small waves of havoc with) my life and work, I received a package containing a couple of CDs and a cover letter.
The NY Times’ Vivien Schweitzer likes the new recording of Michael Hersch’s solo cello music played by Daniel Gaisford. I agree completely. Hats off to Vanguard Classics (and my friends at Musical Concepts) for issuing the set and getting this excellent music the exposure it deserves. And there’s more on the way: Vanguard will be issuing more of Hersch’s chamber music, including works for violin played by Miranda Cuckson.
Robert Schumann‘s piano music never made much of an impression on me when I was in high school or college; it wasn’t until I began to delve into the music of Johannes Brahms as a student and listener that I began to work my way back to the music of his mentor and take a careful listen.