Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Inspired music making


http://amzn.to/2eNh88z

This delightful 5-CD album from LSO Live includes the Symphonies and various other orchestral works by Sibelius, conducted by Colin Davis. That's five and a half hours of amazing music, with assured and often transcendent playing and singing by these marvellous musicians. These stories that Davis tells, the tone poems with their programmes and the symphonies with their dramatic arcs and awesome vistas, are made more cogent by the live recording and the great conductor's steady hand. I've been living with this music for a couple of weeks, and pretty much every musical decision seems bang on. I've listened to all 30 tracks straight through a couple of times, and started a few more times but had to stop for various reasons, that is, life. Of course, none of this was deep listening in front of a score, and these are really more impressions than deeply considered critical opinion. But the cumulation of all this listening makes me feel confident of my feelings. Every time the last movement of the First Symphony comes around I listen for the ultra-Romantic passages (beginning around 9:00), which sound like slightly-overripe Tchaikovsky, and the theatrical conclusion. This is inspired music making!

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