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If you've been to an SF Symphony concert and want to hear an artist or piece of music again and again, our rotating selection of Guest Artist recordings offers listeners a chance to pick up CDs connected to our ever-changing music season.

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Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary (2 CD Set)
SKU: 12763
 
A timely, controversial work of grand proportions, The Gospel According To The Other Mary is a new, full-scale re-imagining of the Bach oratorio from composer John Adams and iconoclast writer/director Peter Sellars.
 
Adams and Sellars previous collaborations included Nixon In China, the most-performed American opera since Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and Dr. Atomic, an opera about the invention of the atomic bomb.
 
Focusing on the oft marginalized perspectives of Mary Magdalene and Martha, The Gospel According To The Other Mary sets Biblical characters and events, including the resurrection of Lazarus and the passion of Christ, in a powerfully political, contemporary light.
 
As with the nativity oratorio El Nino (a response to Handel's Messiah), and the opera Dr. Atomic, the libretto is been assembled by Peter Sellars, who has interwoven events from the New and Old Testaments with poetry reflecting themes of faith and liberation from the 12th Century mystic Hildegard von Bingen, to the 20th Century Mexican feminist poet Rosario Castellanos.
 
This World Premiere recording, featuring the original cast, was made in Disney Hall, Los Angeles, at performances staged by Peter Sellars - with soloists, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.
 
A champion of contemporary music and social engagement through art, Gustavo Dudamel commissioned The Gospel…, together with the LA Phil, as part of a long-standing creative relationship with John Adams.
 
This important DG release marks the 5th Anniversary of Gustavo Dudamels appointment as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the 10th Anniversary of the LA Phils home, Walt Disney Concert Hall.
 
Packaging: the 2 CD set will come in a digi-sleeve with a 100 page booklet. It will contain an introduction by the composer and a synopsis by Peter Sellars in English; plus the libretto in the original languages (English and Spanish) with English translations of the Spanish texts.
 
CD Contents:
 
John Adams
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Master Chorale
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
 
CD 1:
Act 1
1-2. Scene 1 - Jail/House of Hospitality
3-5. Scene 2 - Mary
6-14. Scene 3 - Lazarus
15-17. Scene 4 - Supper at Bethany
18-20. Scene 5 - Pasover
 
CD 2:
Act 2
1. Who Rips His Own Flesh Down the Seams
2. Scene 1 - Police Raid
3-6. Arrest of the Women
7-10. Golgotha
11-15. Burial/Spring
16-17. Earthquake and Recognition
 
Total Playing Time: 2:13:01
Our price: $29.99
Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary (Signed 2 CD Set)
Special Offer - CD Signed by Composer John Adams! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrikwrapped to allow for the signature. The interior booklet is signed.
 
SKU: 0127635
 
A timely, controversial work of grand proportions, The Gospel According To The Other Mary is a new, full-scale re-imagining of the Bach oratorio from composer John Adams and iconoclast writer/director Peter Sellars.
 
Adams and Sellars previous collaborations included Nixon In China, the most-performed American opera since Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and Dr. Atomic, an opera about the invention of the atomic bomb.
 
Focusing on the oft marginalized perspectives of Mary Magdalene and Martha, The Gospel According To The Other Mary sets Biblical characters and events, including the resurrection of Lazarus and the passion of Christ, in a powerfully political, contemporary light.
 
As with the nativity oratorio El Nino (a response to Handel's Messiah), and the opera Dr. Atomic, the libretto is been assembled by Peter Sellars, who has interwoven events from the New and Old Testaments with poetry reflecting themes of faith and liberation from the 12th Century mystic Hildegard von Bingen, to the 20th Century Mexican feminist poet Rosario Castellanos.
 
This World Premiere recording, featuring the original cast, was made in Disney Hall, Los Angeles, at performances staged by Peter Sellars - with soloists, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.
 
A champion of contemporary music and social engagement through art, Gustavo Dudamel commissioned The Gospel…, together with the LA Phil, as part of a long-standing creative relationship with John Adams.
 
This important DG release marks the 5th Anniversary of Gustavo Dudamels appointment as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the 10th Anniversary of the LA Phils home, Walt Disney Concert Hall.
 
Packaging: the 2 CD set will come in a digi-sleeve with a 100 page booklet. It will contain an introduction by the composer and a synopsis by Peter Sellars in English; plus the libretto in the original languages (English and Spanish) with English translations of the Spanish texts.
 
CD Contents:
 
John Adams
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Master Chorale
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
 
CD 1:
Act 1
1-2. Scene 1 - Jail/House of Hospitality
3-5. Scene 2 - Mary
6-14. Scene 3 - Lazarus
15-17. Scene 4 - Supper at Bethany
18-20. Scene 5 - Pasover
 
CD 2:
Act 2
1. Who Rips His Own Flesh Down the Seams
2. Scene 1 - Police Raid
3-6. Arrest of the Women
7-10. Golgotha
11-15. Burial/Spring
16-17. Earthquake and Recognition
 
Total Playing Time: 2:13:01
Our price: $39.99
Alisa Weilerstein & Inon Barnatan - Rachmaninov & Chopin: Cello Sonatas (Signed CD)
SKU: 01563255
 
Special Offer - CD Signed by Cellist Alisa Weilerstein and Pianist Inon Barnatan! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrinkwrapped to allow for the signature.
 
Together with long-term duo partner Inon Barnatan, best-selling Decca cellist Alisa Weilerstein records two of the giants of ‘cello chamber music: the Rachmaninov and Chopin sonatas.
 
Alisa Weilerstein’s debut on Decca with the Elgar Cello Concerto (conducted by Daniel Barenboim; his first recording of this outstanding work since his earlier recording with the legendary Jacqueline du Pre) was received rapturously by critics worldwide; and her subsequent recording of the Dvorak cello concerto no less well-received.
 
Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan are two of the world’s leading instrumentalists, and this album clearly shows the benefits of a long-lasting chamber music partnership with two exceptional musicians, captured in their prime.
 
The Rachmaninov Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano – premiered with the composer himself playing the fiendishly tricky piano part – is Rachmaninov’s last chamber music work. One of the first major pieces to be written after Rachmaninov overcame “writer’s block” with a course of hypnotherapy, this is a piece to be discovered and treasured.
 
Chopin’s Cello Sonata in G minor is one of the few works Chopin wrote for instruments other than the piano; and the last of his works to be published in his lifetime. Remarkable for its concentration of material, no work of Chopin’s gave him more trouble; “I write a little and cross out a lot”, wrote Chopin. Alisa and Inon bring out a wealth of feeling in this emotional rollercoaster of a piece.
 
By contrast, Chopin’s Introduction and Polonaise Brillante is one of his first published compositions. Full of bravura and verve, it has an undeniable feel for the spirit of the dance and a distinctive theme. Then Chopin’s Etude – essentially a nocturne – brings a dramatic change of character and mood “somber, mysterious dreams” (Heller); “a song of happiness irredeemably lost” (Koczalski).
 
When Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan perform together, audiences are enthralled, critics enraptured. This disc sets a new benchmark for recordings of these great works, and this exceptional quality of music-making is certain to set the bar for a long time.
 
“The pair closed with Chopin’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, a work of such fiendish difficulty that even Chopin was convinced that parts of it might be unplayable. Ms. Weilerstein and Mr. Barnatan put that notion to rest with their poise and passion, and they returned amid thunderous applause”

Sergei Rachmaninov
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano
 
1-4. Sonata for cello and piano, op.19         
5. Vocalise, op.34 no.14 
 
Frederic Chopin
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano 
       
6-9. Sonata for cello and piano, op.65
10. Etude, op.25 no.7
11. Introduction et Polonaise brillante for piano and cello, op.3
 
Total Playing Time: 80:47
Our price: $29.99
Alisa Weilerstein - Shostakovich: Cello Concertos No. 1 & 2 (Signed CD)
SKU: 0161665
 
Special Offer - CD Signed by Cellist Alisa Weilerstein! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrinkwrapped to allow for the signature.
 
It was in Shostakovich's First Cello Concerto that cellist Alisa Weilerstein prompted the Los Angeles Times to marvel: "Weilersteins cello is her id... She and the cello seem simply to be one and the same."
 
Composed for the virtuosic cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, the coupling and contrasting of these two arresting works is irresistible: the anti-heroic, relentless, emotionally suppressed First Concerto set alongside the sarcasm and isolation of the Second.
 
Weilerstein's interpretation is underpinned by her meeting Rostropovich a close friend of the composer when she was 22, playing Shostakovich for him and absorbing his advice and wisdom.
 
Her outstanding rapport with conductor Pablo Heras-Casado and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is evident in this new recording.
 
CD Contents:
 
Dmitri Shostakovich
Alisa Weilerstein, cellist
Pablo Heras-Casado, conductor
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
 
1-4. Cello Concerto No. 1, Op.107
5-7. Cello Concerto No. 2, Op.127
 
Total Playing Time: 60:43
 
Our price: $24.99
Anne-Sophie Mutter - Mutterissimo (Signed 2 CD Set)
Special Offer - CD Signed by Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrikwrapped to allow for the signature. The interior booklet is signed.
 
SKU: 016545
 
Universally considered as one of the greatest violinists of our time, Anne-Sophie Mutter’s stunning and multi-faceted music-making extends across masterworks from the full breadth of the violin repertoire.
 
Mutterissimo – The Art of Anne-Sophie Mutter is a selection of highlights from her discography, personally picked by Mutter herself, bringing together recordings that date for the most part from the last twenty years. It invites listeners to undertake two tours of Anne-Sophie Mutter’s multiple worlds of music.
 
The first explores the highways and byways of the core repertory and features well-known works for violin and orchestra by Dvořák and Schumann alongside less familiar pieces. The second one, often with Mutter’s long-standing piano partner, Lambert Orkis, combines virtuosity and light-heartedness; the popular and the surprising; and emotion and rhythmic energy.
 
For many years Anne-Sophie Mutter has performed not only in major international concert halls but recently also in clubs, where a young audience, largely unconcerned with traditional rituals, reacts to the music much more spontaneously. It is only logical, therefore, that she increasingly uses social media to engage in a dialogue with her fans.
 
CD Contents:
 
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
 
Disc 1
1. Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Violin Concerto In D Major, Op.35
2. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto In D, Op.35, TH. 59
3. Antonín Dvorák: Violin Concerto In A Minor, Op.53, B.108
4-5. Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Romance No.2 In F Major, Op.50
6. Robert Schumann: Fantasy For Violin And Orchestra In C Major, Op. 131
7. Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto In D, Op.77
8. Igor Stravinsky: Violin Concerto In D Major
 
Total Playing Time CD 1: 69:59
 
Disc 2
1. Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 1
2. Fritz Kreisler: Schön Rosmarin
3. Maurice Ravel: Tzigane, M.76
4. Franz Schubert: L'Abeille
5. Henryk Wieniawski: Legende, Op.17
6. Jean Sibelius: Humoresque No.1
7. Felix Mendelssohn: Frühlingslied Op.62
8. Antonín Dvorák: Mazurek, Op.49, B.90
9. Claude Debussy: Clair de lune
11. Arthur Benjamin: Jamaican Rumba
12. George Gershwin: Porgy and Bess - It Ain't Necessarily So
13. Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 7
14-17. Sergei Prokofiev: Sonata for Violin Op.94b
18. Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite No.3 - Air
 
Total Playing Time CD 2: 79:34
 
Our price: $44.99
Anne-Sophie Mutter - The Club Album (Signed CD)
Special Offer - CD Signed by Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrikwrapped to allow for the signature.
 
SKU: 016546
 
The electric atmosphere of Anne-Sophie Mutter's 2015 "Yellow Lounge" event at one of Berlin's hottest new venues is palpable in this first-ever live recording from DG's ground-breaking "classical-goes-clubbing" series. Joining the great violinist in a program ranging from Bach and Vivaldi to Gershwin and John Williams are her longtime accompanist Lambert Orkis, her hand-picked young ensemble Mutter's Virtuosi, and excellent harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani.
 
CD Contents:
 
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Lambert Orkis, piano
Mutter's Virtuosi
 
1. Concerto for Violin in G minor, Oo.8 no 2/RV 315 "L'estate": 3rd movement, Presto by Antonio Vivaldi 
2-4. Three Preludes by George Gershwin 
5. Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043: 3rd movement, Allegro by Johann Sebastian Bach 
6. Mélodie by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky 
7. Concerto for Violin in F minor, op.8 no 4/RV 297 "L'inverno": 1st movement, Allegro non molto by Antonio Vivaldi 
8. Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043: 1st movement, Vivace by Johann Sebastian Bach 
9. Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G minor by Johannes Brahms 
10. Golliwogg's Cake-walk by Claude Debussy 
11. Introduction and Rondo capriccioso for Violin and Orchestra in A minor, op.28 by Camille Saint-Saëns 
12. Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy 
13. Hoe-down by Aaron Copland 
14. Ave Maria by Charles Gounod 
15. Jamaican Rumba by Arthur Benjamin 
14. Schindler's List: Main Theme by John Williams 
 
Total Playing Time: 61:45
Our price: $29.99
Bernstein Conducts Bernstein (7-Disc CD Set)
SKU: 015772
 
This seven-disc set offers the basic Bernstein in the composer’s own incomparable performances with the New York Philharmonic. His later versions for Deutsche Gramophone may feature some of this music in the final, revised editions, but the differences are never large, and Bernstein in his more youthful prime is a tough act to follow, even for himself. Consider the second movement of the First Symphony, with its wicked use of the Torah tropes and climax featuring timpani pounded with maracas. Even the Israel Philharmonic doesn’t capture quite the same explosive energy that Bernstein does here.
 
In this set, you get all three symphonies, all of the ballets including the complete Dybbuk (still very underrated), Zino   Francescatti in the earlier of Bernstein’s two Sony recordings of the Serenade after Plato’s “Symposium,” the suites from On the Waterfront, On the Town, and West Side Story, the Candide Overture, Chichester Psalms, the witty song cycles I Hate Music! and La Bonne Cuisine, Trouble in Tahiti (so much better in this original version as opposed to its inclusion in the awful opera A Quiet Place), and best of all, Mass. I have great personal affection for this latter work, sort of Bernstein’s Broadway answer to Britten’s War Requiem, with its typically eclectic and riotous mixture of styles.
 
The performances, like the music, have an enduring value that hasn’t diminished one bit, and the sonics have held up quite well too.
 
-ClassicsToday.com

CD Contents:
 
Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein, conductor
 
Disc 1:
 
Benny Goodman, clarinet
Columbia Jazz Combo
New York Philharmonic
"Candide" Overture
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront
Fancy Free
Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs
 
Disc 2:
 
David Johnson, baritone
John Ostendorf, bass
New York City Ballet Orchestra
Dybbuk
 
Zino Francescatti, violin
New York Philharmonic
Serenade after Plato's "Symposium"
 
Disc 3:
 
Jennie Tourel, mezzo-soprano
New York Philharmonic
Symphony No. 1: Jeremiah
 
Philippe Entremont, piano
New York Philharmonic
Three Dance Episodes from On the Town
Symphony No. 2: The Age of Anxiety
 
Disc 4:
 
Felecia Montealegre, speaker
Jennie Tourel, mezzo-soprano
Columbus Boychoir
New York Philharmonic
Symphony No. 3: Kaddish
 
John Bogart, alto
Camerata Singers
New York Philharmonic
Chichester Psalms
 
Jennie Tourel, mezzo-soprano
Leonard Bernstein, piano
I Hate Music!
La Bonne Cuisine
 
Disc 5:
 
Antonia Butler, soprano
Nancy Williams, mezzo-soprano
Michael Clarke, tenor
Mark Brown, baritone
Julian Patrick, bass baritone
Columbia Wind Ensemble
Trouble in Tahiti
 
New York Philharmonic
Facsimile
 
Discs 6 & 7:
Alan Titus, baritone
Norman Scribner Choir
Berkshire Boy Choir
Orchestra
Mass

Total Playing Time: 7:51:28

 

Our price: $29.99
Christian Tetzlaff - Shostakovich: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 (Signed CD)
SKU: 0150255
 
Special Offer - CD Signed by Violinist Christian Tetzlaff! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrinkwrapped to allow for the signature.
 
Christian Tetzlaff has been considered as one of the world's leading international violinists for many years, and still maintains a most extensive performing schedule. Musical America named him "Instrumentalist of the Year" in 2005 and his recording of the violin concertos by Mendelssohn and Schumann received the "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik." Tetzlaff's recording of the Mozart Violin Sonatas was chosen Gramophone Magazine's Editor's Choice and Recording of the Month by the BBC Music Magazine. Tetzlaff's release featuring the Schumann Violin Sonatas was also chosen Disc of the Month by the Gramophone Magazine.
 
The two Violin Concertos by Shostakovich, written in the 1940s and 60s, belong to the composer's most powerful and most personal works, yet they are very much different from each other. Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 was written during a wave of Anti-Semitism in Soviet Union and premiered only after Stalin's death. Violin Concerto No. 2 is a grand example of Shostakovich's late period including quotes from Shostakovich's earlier works. David Oistrakh described the concertos: "I have played Shostakovich's magnificent Violin Concertos in many countries with the greatest pleasure. But they really are very different from one another: I would be hard put to find anything that they have musically in common."
 
Dmitri Shostakovich
Chrstian Tetzlaff, violin
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
John Storgårds, conductor
 
CD Contents:
 
1. Violin Concerto #1 in A minor Op.77: Nocturne                11:01 
2. Violin Concerto #1 in A minor Op.77: Scherzo                  6:41 
3. Violin Concerto #1 in A minor Op.77: Passcaglio              13:24 
4. Violin Concerto #1 in A minor Op.77: Burlesque                5:02 
5. Violin Concerto #2 in C# minor Op.129: Moderato              13:50 
6. Violin Concerto #2 in C# minor Op.129: Adagio                10:09 
7. Violin Concerto #2 in C# minor Op.129: Adagio-Allegro         8:02
 
Runtime: 68:23
Our price: $24.99
Christine Brewer & Paul Jacobs - Divine Redeemer (Signed CD)
SKU: 0142515
 
Special Offer - CD Signed by both Soprano Christine Brewer and Organist Paul Jacobs! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrinkwrapped to allow for the signature.
 
Two of America’s most celebrated musicians, both Grammy® Award Winners, join for a programme that ranges across the sacred vocal and organ repertoire. Some of the most beloved of all pieces, such as Franck’s Panis angelicus (taken from his Messe à 3 voix) are complemented by rarer items. Nadia Boulanger’s three organ pieces are heard alongside her sister Lili’s beautiful Pie Jesu while Max Reger’s sensitive organ arrangements of three Hugo Wolf songs are followed by the rousing Toccata and Fugue, Op. 59.
 
CD Contents:
1. Bist du bei mir by Gottfried H. Stolzel 
2. Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 547 by Johann Sebastian Bach 
3. Repentir "O Divine Redeemer" by Charles Gounod 
4. Panis angelicus by César Franck 
5. Prélude for organ in F minor by Nadia Boulanger 
6. Petit canon, for organ by Nadia Boulanger 
7. Improvisation for organ by Nadia Boulanger 
8. Salve Regina by Giacomo Puccini 
9. Spanisches Liederbuch: no 5, Führ mich, Kind, nach Bethlehem by Hugo Wolf 
10. Spanisches Liederbuch: no 3, Nun wandre, Maria by Hugo Wolf 
11. Mörike Lieder: no 28, Gebet by Hugo Wolf 
12. Pieces (12) for Organ, Op. 59 "Orgelmesse": no 6, Fugue in D major by Max Reger 
13. Pieces (12) for Organ, Op. 59 "Orgelmesse": no 5, Toccata in D minor by Max Reger 
14. Ode for St Cecilia's Day, HWV 76: But oh! What art can teach by George Frideric Handel 
 
Runtime: 71:19
Our price: $24.99
Denis Kozhukhin - Brahms: Ballades & Fantasies (Signed CD)
Special Offer - CD Signed by Pianist Denis Kozhukhin! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrikwrapped to allow for the signature.
 
SKU: 016599
 
Bold, turbulent defiance sit alongside pained introspection and bittersweet reverie in this penetrating recital of Brahms piano works by the acclaimed young Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin.
 
By turns placid, sparse, restive, and impassioned, the highly personal and contemplative late piano pieces of Brahms have been described as “the mirrors of his soul.” The seven pieces comprising the Fantasias, Op. 116 are quite different in mood but are nevertheless intricately constructed to produce poetic miniatures of great depth and sonority, requiring sensitive artistry to convey their sense of unity and poignancy.
 
Brahms is in a more full-bloodied and demonstrative mood with the four character pieces in the much earlier Ballades, Op 10. But these too show moments of transcendent beauty as in the closing ballade where the tenor melody is woven into the mellifluously undulating pianissimo accompaniment. And in the rarely heard Theme and Variations, Op. 18b, Brahms makes a sumptuous and instantly seductive arrangement of the second movement of his own String Sextet, producing an arresting and magisterial work with exquisite tone colorations and a hushed, sublime ending.

CD Contents:
 
Johannes Brahms
Denis Kozhukin, piano
 
1. Themes and Variations, Op. 18b
2-5. Ballades, Op. 10
6-12. Fantasies, Op. 116
 
Total Playing Time: 57:01
 
Super Audio CD
Our price: $24.99
Denis Kozhukhin - Tchaikovsky & Grieg: Piano Concertos (Signed CD)
Special Offer - CD Signed by Pianist Denis Kozhukhin! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrikwrapped to allow for the signature.
 
SKU: 016600
 
Kozhukhin established himself on the international concert scene after winning prizes at the 2006 Leeds International Piano Competition, as well as the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition. ‘I am thrilled to have the opportunity to record repertoire that has played a significant part in my musical life,’ says Kozhukhin about this recording, made with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, conducted by Vassily Sinaisky.
 
Kozhukhin chose two concertos that against all odds, both turned out to become “virtuoso warhorses.”
 
Grieg is known as a composer with a focus on the more intimate musical genres. His first attempt to compose in a more extensive musical genre, resulted in a symphony of which Grieg himself said it “should never be performed....” His other attempt however, the Piano Concerto in A minor, brought him world-wide success.
 
Until Tchaikovsky started writing his first piano concerto, piano music had only been of secondary interest to him. As he himself put it: “Basically, I am inflicting violence upon myself by forcing my brain to come up with piano passages.” After seeking professional advice on the composition with his friend and excellent pianist Nikolaj Rubinstein, the latter basically massacred the piece and refused to première it. Fortunately Tchaikovsky then decided to dedicate it to German pianist Hans von Bülow, who later on gave it its triumphant première. Nowadays these two concertos rank among the most magical in the piano repertoire.

CD Contents:
 
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Vassily Sinaisky, conductor
Denis Kozhukin, piano
 
1-3. Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23
4-6. Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
 
Total Playing Time: 64:37
 
Super Audio CD
Our price: $24.99
Emanuel Ax - Chopin: 4 Ballades; Scherzos; Mazurkas

SKU: 6432

Emanuel Ax here offers a fine selection of Chopin, showcasing every aspect of the great Polish composer. The G Minor Ballade is played as poetically as the Scherzos are played expressively, with some of the more chaotic moments presented in the most melodious way. Ax rarely showboats and is mostly interested in Chopin's long lines. His tone is always warm and never brittle; the argument could be made that some of the music is emotionally thornier than Ax acknowledges, but he nonetheless is always communicative, underlining the harmonic daring of the music this latter trait particularly in the mazurkas. The two CDs are programmed for variety and it works--listening straight through never tires the ear or the sensations. The sound is big and rich. Highly recommended. --Robert Levine, Amazon.com

Our price: $20.00
Emanuel Ax: Brahms Piano Concertos (Signed 2 CD Set)
Special Offer - CD Signed by Pianist Emanuel Ax! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrinkwrapped to allow for the signature.
 
SKU: 0154005
 
Emanuel Ax begins his program notes by describing his lifelong love affair with the Brahms Concertos and the never-ending challenges and rewards of performing them. On this 2-CD re-issue of recordings originally made between 1983 and 1997, this love speaks through every note. Playing from deep inside the music, he creates a sense of unhurried expansiveness, caressing the magical melodic and harmonic turns, making transitions and changes of mood and character seem natural and inevitable; his rhythm is unshakable yet flexible enough for perfectly balanced liberties. Making light of what he calls the concertos' terrifying difficulties, he puts his virtuosity entirely at the service of the music, projecting its stormy impetuousness, majestic grandeur, feathery lightness, radiant ecstasy, and inward expressiveness. The orchestras engage in a true partnership with the pianist, each matching the other's intensity of sound and emotion in constant give-and-take; the horn and cello solos in the second concerto are meltingly beautiful. Both concertos open with an extraordinary juxtaposition. In the first, the ominous timpani rumbles and tutti trills are answered by the piano's fervent pleading. In the second, the peaceful orchestral introduction is followed by the piano's outburst of passion and exuberance. The discs include three sets of Piano Pieces, grouped by genre. Written for Clara Schumann, Ax feels they are among Brahms's most intimate, personal works. In deeply felt performances, he brings out their pervasive melancholy resignation without losing their contrasting individual character. -- Edith Eisler
 
CD Contents:
 
Johannes Brahms 
Emanuel Ax, piano
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
James Levine, conductor
 
1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15
2. Rhapsodies (2) for piano, Op. 79 
3. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 119: No. 4: Rhapsody in E-flat Major 
 
Johannes Brahms 
Emanuel Ax, piano
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Bernard Haitink, conductor

4. Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83 
5. Intermezzi (3) for piano, Op. 117
6. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 119: No. 1: Intermezzo in B minor
7. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 119: No. 2: Intermezzo in E Minor 
8. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 119: No. 3: Intermezzo in C Major 
 
Total Playing Time: 2:28:30
Our price: $24.99
Garrick Ohlsson - Chopin: Chamber Music (Signed CD)
Special Offer - CD Signed by Pianist Garrick Ohlsson! - Limited Quantities
 
All Signed CDs are unshrikwrapped to allow for the signature.
 
SKU: 016549
 
While there is no composition by Chopin that does not involve the piano, the cello is the only other instrument for which he wrote any significant music. His first effort was a polonaise written in 1829 when he was visiting the home of Prince Radziwill, governor of the Principality of Poznan and himself a composer and cellist of sorts. Writing to his friend Tytus Woyciechowski in November, he is rather dismissive of his ‘alla polacca’ describing it as ‘nothing more than a brilliant drawing-room piece suitable for the ladies’. He hoped that the Prince’s daughter, Wanda, would practise the piano part (he was supposed to be giving her lessons) in which case she must have been an accomplished pianist, though her father would not have found the cello part over-taxing. The following year Chopin added an introduction, inspired by his friendship in Vienna with the cellist Joseph Merk. The Introduction and Polonaise brillante in C major for piano and cello Op 3 was dedicated to Merk. Carl Czerny (1791–1857) produced a piano solo version of the work but in the 1980s an arrangement by Chopin himself was unearthed.
 
The Piano Trio in G minor Op 8 was composed a year earlier, in 1828, for private performance at ‘Antonin’, the home of Prince Radziwill. This is Chopin’s only example of writing for the violin, and it shows a surprising lack of flair (in the first movement, for instance, the violinist rarely moves out of first position). It is a genial work in four movements (Allegro con fuoco, Scherzo, Adagio sostenuto and an Allegretto finale) but there is little of the interplay between the three instruments of the kind that makes the trios of Beethoven, Schubert and Hummel such a delight. Chopin seems hampered by the confines of classical procedures, working ideas through dutifully rather than with individuality and imagination, though various commentators have praised the Trio as ‘one of the most perfect and, unfortunately, most neglected of Chopin’s works’ (Charles Willeby) and wondered why ‘so graceful and winning a piece is not more of a staple in the concert hall’ (Emanuel Ax).
 
In the chronology of works for cello and piano, the Grand Duo in E major on themes from Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable comes next. The opera had a sensational premiere in Paris on 21 November 1831. Set in thirteenth-century Sicily, the libretto, ‘in which the grotesque is carried to the point of absurdity’ (Kobbé), was saved by Meyerbeer’s brilliant score, and the work made a fortune for the Paris Opéra. Its themes attracted dozens of composers including Thalberg, Kalkbrenner, Herz and Liszt. Chopin was commissioned by his publisher Schlesinger to write this potpourri, a brilliant display piece of the kind that was so popular in the Parisian salons of the time. After the piano’s Largo introduction, among the themes used are the Romanza and the chorus ‘Non pietà’ from Act 1, and ‘Le mie cure ancor dei cielo’ (Act 5). Composed in 1831, it is one of only four Chopin works published in his lifetime without an opus number and the only one to be composed in collaboration, in this case with his friend the cellist August Franchomme.
 
‘I write a little and cross out a lot’, Chopin wrote to his sister during the composition of his final major work, the Cello Sonata in G minor Op 65, written in Paris in 1845 and 1846. ‘Sometimes I am pleased with it, sometimes not. I throw it into a corner and then pick it up again.’ No work of his gave him more trouble, as manifested by the extensive sketches. It was the last one to be published during his lifetime, written when his health was failing. The four movements (Allegro moderato, Scherzo, Largo and Allegro) show how far Chopin had developed in his ability to form a closely integrated sonata structure, with ideas developing from a variety of short but related motifs.
 
For some of Chopin’s contemporaries it was a difficult work to grasp. Moscheles found ‘passages which sound to me like someone preluding on the piano, the player knocking at the door of every key and clef, to find if any melodious sounds were at home’, yet he thought well enough of it to make an arrangement for piano four hands. The Allegro moderato, especially, puzzled even Chopin’s intimates—players today find it the most problematic in terms of balance—and he omitted the movement at the premiere given by himself and Franchomme, the work’s dedicatee, on 16 February 1848. This first movement clearly had some hidden significance for him. Various commentators have noted in it thematic references from Schubert’s Winterreise, notably the initial phrase of ‘Gute Nacht’, the opening song. The subject of the song-cycle, the disappointed lover in despair at leaving his beloved, would seem to reflect the circumstances of Chopin’s life when he was writing the Sonata. There is evidence that he turned to Winterreise at the time of his separation from George Sand. Could that be why the first movement was not played at the premiere? Is that why on his deathbed he asked Franchomme to play it but could not bear to hear more than the opening bars?

CD Contents:
 
Frédéric Chopin
Garrick Ohlsson, piano
Carter Brey, cello
Leila Josefowicz, violin
 
1-4. Cello Sonata in G minor, op.65
5. Introduction and Polonaise brillante in C major, op.3
6. Grand Duo in E major
7-10. Piano Trio in G minor, op.8
 
Total Playing Time: 76:13
Our price: $24.99
Garrick Ohlsson - Études: Debussy, Bartók, Prokofiev (Signed CD)
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SKU: 016548
 
Garrick Ohlsson has an unbeaten reputation as the master of the miniature. In this new recital he presents three sets of Études: the twelve by Claude Debussy (so ferocious in their demands they were shunned even by elite pianists for decades), as well as Prokofiev’s revolutionary opus 2 and a set of three lesser-known works by Bartók. In all Ohlsson excels.
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Garrick Ohlsson - Smetana: Czech Dances & On the Seashore (Signed CD)
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SKU: 016547
 
Smetana’s two sets of Czech Dances—the first comprising four Chopin-esque Polkas, the second exploring other dance forms more associated with Dvořák—provide the ideal vehicle for the understated pianism of Garrick Ohlsson. The evocative tone poem in miniature On the seashore completes the programme.
 
CD Contents:
 
Bedřich Smetana
Garrick Ohlsson, piano
 
1-4. Czech Dances: Book 1
5-14. Czech Dances: Book 2
15. On the Seashore - A Reminiscence
 
Total Playing Time: 62:15
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Gautier Capuçon - Arpeggione (Signed CD)
SKU: 14090S
 
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With this collection of works for cello and piano, Gautier Capuçon and Frank Braley pay tribute to two towering musicians of the 20th century: Mstislav Rostropovich and Benjamin Britten, whose famous collaboration resulted in the historic recording of all four works on the album.
 
Schubert wrote the 'Arpeggione' Sonata in 1824, when he was already desperately ill and suffering from crushing bouts of depression. "It is a work that has always profoundly touched and moved me," says Capuçon, "There is such greatness of feeling in it, even though Schubert was in the depths of despair. Debussy's Cello Sonata was also written at a dark time, in 1915, the second year of the First World War, when the composer was already ill with the cancer that was to kill him in 1918; yet it is a work of both sober elegance and mercurial fantasy."
 
Benjamin Britten, Claude Debussy, Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert
Gautier Capuçon, cello
Frank Braley, piano
 
1. Sonata for cello & piano in C major, Op. 65  - Benjamin Britten
2. Sonata for cello & piano, L. 135  - Claude Debussy
3. Stücke im Volkston (5) for cello (or violin) & piano, Op. 102  - Robert Schumann
4. Sonata for arpeggione & piano in A minor ("Arpeggione Sonata"), D. 821  - Franz Schubert
 
Total Playing Time: 64:00
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Gautier Capuçon - Beethoven: Sonatas and Variations (Signed 2 CD Set)
SKU: 0164125
 
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Universally recognised as the finest cellist of his generation, Gautier Capuçon has a firm reputation as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He is a regular performer with the Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, NHK Symphony, and at festivals such as Verbier and Lugano, and has won several awards at the ECHOS and the Victoires de la Musique.

Following on from last year’s live recording of the Shostakovich cello concertos, this album sees Gautier return to the studio with his friend and recital partner of many years, Frank Braley, in a programme of Beethoven’s Sonatas for Cello and Piano. In addition the album includes Beethoven’s wonderful variations on three different themes – two on arias from Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte, and the other from Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus. This is the first new recording of the complete Beethoven cello works for some time and is a long-awaited release.

CD Contents:

Ludwig van Beethoven
Gautier Capuçon, violoncelle, cello
Frank Braley, piano
 
CD 1:
1-2. Sonata No. 1 in F major, Op.5/1
3-4. Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op.5/2
5-7. Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op.69

CD 2:
1-2. Sonata No. 4 in C major, Op.102/1
3-5. Sonata No. 5 in D major, Op.102/2
6. 7 Variations on "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen", from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte
7. 12 Variations on "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen", from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte
8. 12 Variations on "See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes", from Handel's Judas Maccabaeus
 
Total Playing Time: 2:23:52

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Gautier Capuçon - Dvořák: Cello Concertos (Signed CD)
SKU: 8379S
 
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"Gautier Capuçon would be in danger of being typecast as just “one of the Capuçon brothers” (whose recording of Brahms’s Double Concerto last year was so fascinating) if he weren’t so darn good. Happily, the solo projects keep coming alongside the sibling acts: the result here is a dazzling Dvořák Concerto with a little-known and most entertaining coupling."
-Gramophone
 
Antonín Dvořák, Victor Herbert
Gautier Capuçon, cello
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Paavo Järvi, conductor
 
1-3. Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op.104
4-6. Herbert: Cello Concerto No.2 in E Minor, Op.30
 
Total Playing Time: 61:00
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Gautier Capuçon - Shostakovich: Cello Concertos (Signed CD)
SKU: 0164115
 
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“Capuçon and Gergiev deliver some grand and glorious moments” wrote Gramophone when the French cellist Gautier Capuçon and the Russian conductor Valery Gergiev last collaborated on a disc of Russian music for Erato – works by Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, released in 2010. The Daily Telegraph found that: “Capuçon [plays] with a blend of impeccable taste, Romantic ardour and technical aplomb ... Whether quizzical, rapturous, pensive or demonstrative, Capuçon has full measure of [the music] here in a performance of impressive stature.”

Now, the two musicians -- whose collaboration, again in Gramophone’s words, “was bound to strike sparks” – have come together for two live recordings, made in December 2013 at Paris’s Salle Pleyel and June 2014 at St. Petersbourg’s Mariinsky Thetre with the Mariinsky Orchestra. The works in question are Dmitri Shostakovich’s cello concertos Nos 1 and 2, both of which were written for Mstislav Rostropovich. The first was composed in 1959 (a year after the Central Committee of the Communist Party admitted that in 1948 there had been unjust condemnation of Shostakovich and other composers as ‘Formalist’), the second in 1966. The two concertos are different in spirit and shape: the first is often assertive and energetic, and features a huge cadenza for the cello that is almost a movement in its own right, while the second is introspective and enigmatic.

When Capuçon played the Concerto No.1 in New York in early 2014, the New York Times said: “Mr Capuçon played the work beautifully, negotiating its difficulties with seeming ease ... his elegance paid dividends ..., especially in the meditative Moderato and the brooding opening of the cadenza.” When he took the piece to Montreal, also in early 2014, the news website Pieuvre.ca reported that “[his] sensitive, virtuosic interpretation was rewarded with a long ovation.”

Dmitri Shostakovich
Gautier Capuçon, cello
Mariinsky Orchestra
Valery Gergiev, conductor
 
1-4. Cello Concerto No. 1, Op.107
5-7. Cello Concerto No. 2, Op.126
 
Total Playing Time: 67:06

Our price: $26.99
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