If you have not yet stumbled upon Grumpy's Classics Cave, you are depriving yourself of some extremely rare aural treats. Yes, a bit of time is required to download Grumpy's lossless .flac files, but your patience will be well rewarded. His latest offering from the cave is an exceptional vintage recording of lute music by John Dowland played with pre-historically-informed, almost neo-Romantic passion by Mildred Clary.
The New York Times's Steve Smith profiles the groundbreaking German record label and its iconoclastic founder Manfred Eicher.
Yes, I know it's from an Easter oratorio. Yes, you'd expect me to post an historically informed version. But no! Here's a 1938 aircheck of the "Hallelujah" Chorus from Handel's Messiah (in what sounds to me to be Mozart's arrangement) performed by the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Tonkunstkoor conducted by Willem Mengelberg, with a little bit of audio restoration from a so-so source by yours truly.
A surprisingly good confluence of solo piano music from the former Soviet Union has found its way to the CD, SACD, and DVD formats in 2009. Four of these releases are of particular merit, and one of them made my Best of 2009 list.
Now that you've had a chance to take in my modest, understated views on this year's best classical recordings, I feel it only fair to point to a few other top ten lists:
Jack DeSalvo, one of the most versatile guitarists on the eastern seaboard, is offering private guitar lessons via Skype. Details at his Web site. Full disclosure: yes, he's a client of mine.
I know that this goes against my soft-spoken, diffident nature, but for some reason I'm in the mood to opine about my ten favorite releases of 2009. So here they are, in no particular order:
… or, more accurately, as inside as Allen Dulles would allow the media to go in 1968. "We're not spies. We're intelligence gatherers." Newstalgia has posted the audio of an amazing interview with then ex-CIA director Allan Dulles, first broadcast in 1968 on NET (now PBS). It's a must hear for all students of "The Great Game" then -- and now.
Some of my recent remastering projects have at last hit the retail market… some here, one in Japan.
The Arditti Quartet performed two "sets" last night at Le Poisson Rouge, the Greenwich Village club that has become New York City's hot go-to spot for new music in a casual cabaret atmosphere. The presentation was more formal than usual for the club, closer in atmosphere to an evening at Zankel Hall that a hip music venue.
The first "set" featured three works written for the Ardittis.
"Berkeley Rep scrutinized InstantEncore and the competition. We opted for IE and have no regrets. Designing our mobile site and app was affordable, collaborative, and on-time. We launched both, and we love them. We can’t wait to see what they do for the Theatre."