Anne-Sophie Mutter is in Sydney for a few concerts playing Mozart, a composer she has played for her first recording in 1978, at the tender age of 15 for Deutsche Grammophon. I own her third recording a few years later in 1980 - Beethoven, and 1983 - Bach - see photo above.
I missed her visit to Sydney in 2012, so I am quite excited to go to her concert tomorrow night at the Sydney Opera House. Now, I need to find this first record, don't I? I will keep you posted...
You can read an article on a recent interview with Margaret Throsby on ABC Classic FM, and listen to the recording of the interview for another three weeks.
World Record Store Day
Red Eye Records - 143 York Street - Sydney
You have probably heard that the sales of vinyl records are actually up, so it was appropriate to spend some time on Saturday to visit a few record stores in the Sydney CBD (I didn't venture any further as we had like 60mm of rain that day...) to celebrate World Record Store Day.
And it is certainly true that the number of physical record stores are down, but the ones that are left are obviously the ones that are specialists in a niche market, have evolved with an online presence and finally have knowledgeable staff! 22 shops in Sydney participated in the event.
Two of the stores I visited, Fish Fine Music and Birland Records (where I bought Cafe Blue from Patricia Barber in a HDCD Collector version) are primarily stocked with CDs and DVDs/BluRay. Birland Records also stock a rare collection of XRCDs, a specially mastered format invented by JVC, and a large selection of SACDs.
I also shop occasionally at the Mojo Record Bar who are primarily vinyl stockists, new and second-hand.
My surprise came from Red Eye Records which i pass by often driving but never had a chance to visit properly ...until then.
Well, this was certainly a very busy place, where the cash registers were ticking red hot.
The crowd was diverse in age, sex and all alleys were busy with shoppers wandering mainly in the vinyl sections, but also DVD and music BluRay had their fans (me included...)
I bought this record in LA earlier this year on my way to the CES in Las Vegas, among others.
When I got back home, I listened quickly to all my new vinyls, and some just got a quick attention span, like this one.
But some time this week, I had a chance to sit down and listen to it properly and it is a gem. Not only it is in great condition, but also, it includes some of my favourite pieces from Debussy smartly rearranged by this moonlighting quartet of saxophonists whose day jobs were to record in the big orchestras of the major film studios like the 20th Century Fox Orchestra and playing their individual parts in famous scores like West Side Story, The Flinstones and This Is Your Life to name a few.
And you can hear they are having fun playing together, and it becomes infectious quite quickly...
If you click on the cover, you will be taken to the excellent website put together by one of their children, Ellen. Ellen has done a great job as an historian of the group, collating sheet music, mp3 of rehearsal tapes (from a resident Ampex 350, no less...) and all sort of memorabilia!
First Anniversary! Shostakovich Symphoniy No. 5 - Mercury Records - SR90060 - Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducting the Minneapolis Symphony
As discussed on my main page, this new part of my blog is a way of celebrating our first anniversary.
I am no musical critic, so do not expect an in-depth analysis of the piece, or the interpretation, or a comparison between several versions.
I just want to share with you the music I enjoy listening to.
No need to say, it will usually be records or CDs that are best reproduced thru my own HiFi system, for extra enjoyment!
Shostakovich Symphoniy No. 5 - Mercury Records - SR90060 - Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducting the Minneapolis Symphony
I thought I would start with a composer that I have only recently discovered, listening to my favourite radio station in my car: ABC Classic FM.
(BTW, you can listen to it on the Net; here is the link:http://www.abc.net.au/classic/audio/streaming.htm)
I find Shostakovich quite a diverse musician, with a lot of humour and sarcasm, given the fact he was living and composing soon after the Communist revolution in Russia, and certainly didn't have the freedom to compose anything that was not following the line of the Party.
But to his credit, he manages to write some beautiful music.
His 5th Symphony is certainly a good example of his talent.
This version was recorded in 1961 in Minneapolis and reissued in 2006 by Speakers Corner Records:
The recording is one of the first stereo recordings by Mercury, so much so, that there was a mono version available at the time! It has a very good tonal balance and wide dynamic range. Very good for such an oldie!
Some of the credit goes to Speakers Corner Records obviously for cleaning the master tapes and recutting a metal master.
Use your favourite search engine to find videos of their processes on YouTube.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.