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ArtistTitleFormat LabelDate

FRICSAY, FERENC
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MOZART - MASS IN C MINOR (K 427) (180 GRAM)
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12/13/2017
CLASSICAL: It is not often that incomplete works enjoy great popularity. And it is even rarer that a torso should exercise such great importance in music history, but this is the case with Mozart's Great Mass, K. 427. The C minor Mass is always spoken of as if it were complete: it is spoken of with reverence, eyes looking towards Heaven, lost in the beauty of the music, transported to celestial heights. Mozart combines the compositional style of the Baroque masters with the more modern style of the Viennese Classic. Lofty arioso sections alternate with tremendous choral sections for up to eight parts whose splendid and spectacular timbre broke the bounds of tradition and set new standards for the genre. This Mass is, of course, not merely performed but celebrated, as the Berlin RSO under its Principal Conductor Ferenc Fricsay has so admirably demonstrated in this recording. Precise entries, strict tempi, a polished orchestral timbre and vocal soloists so brilliant one might think they were standing in one's own front room lend this recording top marks for musical quality and repertoire value.

SZELL, GEORGE
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DVORAK - CONCERTO FOR VIOLONCELLO AND ORCHESTRA (180 GRAM)
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9/6/2013
CLASSICAL: The Cello Concerto op. 104 is the last orchestral piece Dvor k wrote during his stay in America. Unlike his Ninth Symphony which borrowed folkloric themes from the New World, the charming Cello Concerto reveals Dvor k's yearning for his Bohemian homeland. This piece demands masterly playing and interpretation from the soloist which is enhanced by a sumptuous sound in the strings and explosive brass. Dvor k reaches back to various musical passages from the first and second movements in the finale and so illustrates his style of composition in his later works. Yearning for the Old World must have motivated George Szell to briefly leave his adopted home, the USA, in order to set down this late-Romantic musical gem together with the master cellist Pierre Fournier and the Berlin Philharmonic. The artists were obviously inspired by this favourable constellation during the recording which sets the standards for artistic quality and perfection of sound technology. Indeed, this LP is among the most successful classical productions of the Sixties. Thirty years on, this recording is just as popular as it ever was.." Recording: June 1961 at the Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlinby Gnter Hermanns / Hans Weber." Dvor k: Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra - Pierre Fournier and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by George Szell." standard sleeve

JOCHUM, EUGEN
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BEETHOVEN - CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN AND ORCHESTRA (180 GRAM)
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12/13/2017
CLASSICAL: Beethoven's only violin concerto is certainly one of the most lovely works ever written for this instrument. The symphonically conceived work is admired for its highly lyrical and expressive character and as such belongs in the repertory of all great violinists. Numerous performances, often all too sentimental or exaggerated, are available on record - but this Deutsche Grammophon production from 1962 is a refreshing exception. With a tender, serene timbre and perfect intonation, the soloist Wolfgang Schneiderhan allows the spirit of the score to breathe throughout. The captivating and poetic music is further enhanced by the Berlin Philharmonic who play with a sonority that has yet to be equaled. The strings with the swell and subsidence of their carpets of sound, the subtle and finely balanced woodwinds, the double basses which murmur darkly at the very bottom of their register - all effuse a feeling of consecration and peaceful transfiguration in this concerto, a concerto which has never seen its like in two centuries. The balance engineers achieved a remarkable feat when documenting this epoch-making work, for this recording is certainly one of the very best to come from Deutsche Grammophon in the Sixties.

ARGERICH, MARTHA
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DEBUT RECITAL (180 GRAM)
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12/13/2017
CLASSICAL: The debut recording by the Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich took the public by the storm all over the world - and the applause has still not subsided! A mere glance at the repertoire shows that she was reaching for the stars. To bring five composers together on an LP of roughly 45 minutes length means nothing other than speaking five different musical languages - and Martha Argerich proves herself a master of them all! The demonic opening of the Scherzo in C sharp minor gives way to an iridescent dialogue which sings and sparkles beyond compare. The Barcarolle rocks gently along; Prokofiev's Toccata is filled with dynamic force and nervous agitation; Ravel's Jeux d'eau is pensive and introverted, with the water rippling in a circular motion. As a contrast, the two famous Brahms Rhapsodies are performed with passion, impetuosity and occasionally the required heaviness. This recording is surely one of the brightest candles to burn anew on Deutsche Grammophon's birthday cake.

ALWYN, KENNETH
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TCHAIKOVSKY - 1812 OVERTURE (180 GRAM)
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12/13/2017
CLASSICAL: The 1812 Overture, Tchaikovsky's musical tribute to celebrate victory over Napoleon's army, is one of those 19th-century works which is seldom performed in the concert hall due to the enormous number of instruments it requires. This programmatic symphonic work with its battlefield participants - male-voice choir, bell chimes, percussion, and cannon-fire - requires the utmost from everyone involved, from the tutti strings right up to the balance engineer. The gratifying result of a production made with only the very best ingredients can now be enjoyed once again with this re-release of a DECCA recording. The London Symphony Orchestra, led by Kenneth Alwyn, has achieved a remarkable feat, their rich timbre enhancing every nuance of this closely-knit score. Sonorous strings and polished brass wind passages ensure that the listener's attention will be riveted right to the very last bar. Less nerve-racking but certainly no less riveting in its beauty and lightness are the well-known Capriccio italien and the popular Marche slave. The purchaser of this LP can congratulate himself that he now possesses three of Tchaikovsky's greatest showpieces.

KNAPPERTSBUSCH, HANS
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BEETHOVEN - CONCERTO NO. 5 (EMPEROR) (180 GRAM)
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9/6/2013
CLASSICAL: The Concerto No. 5 in E flat major for Piano and Orchestra, composed in 1809 at the time of Napoleon's siege and occupation of Vienna, was Ludwig van Beethoven's last work in this form. The heroic optimism at the heart of the Concerto finds expression in the majesty of its design and the innovative virtuosity of the solo part. The dialect between piano and orchestra creates an electric atmosphere of brooding depth and sweeping grandeur. Beethoven's choice of key, the E-flat major, was not arbitrary but gave voice rather to the wild pathos in his own soul. Clifford Curzon's interpretation of the score is intelligent and refined, his execution characterized by introspective discipline. The exemplary interplay between Curzon and Hans Knappertsbusch evokes the chiaroscuro latent in each of the Emperor's three movements. The Vienna Symphony Orchestra displays its customary brilliance throughout. This DECCA recording, one of the very earliest in stereo, is convincing both musically and tonally. More than a document, it is a milestone in musical history.." Recording: June 1957, Sofiensaal, Vienna by Gordon Parry / Production: Erik Smith." Beethoven: Concerto No. 5 for Piano and Orchestra "Emperor" - Sir Clifford Curzon, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Hans Knappertsbusch." standard sleeve

STRAVINKSY, IGOR
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PETRUSHKA (180 GRAM)
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11/8/2013
CLASSICAL: The highly controversial reactions of the public could hardly have inspired Stravinsky to believe that, of all his compositions, his early ballets would bring him world fame one day. But just how the composer set the story of the puppet Petrushka to music is doubtless one of the greatest achievements ever in ballet music. Petrushka's wild behaviour puts the orchestra's patience to a hard test. Eventually the ensemble takes its revenge with a vengeance and eventually causes the puppet to collapse.

FJELDSTAD, OIVIN
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GRIEG - PEER GYNT (180 GRAM)
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9/6/2013
CLASSICAL: No matter how often one hears it, who can ever fail to enjoy "Morning Mood" from Peer Gynt, the incidental music which Grieg wrote for Henrik Ibsen's play of the same name. And who can fail to want to accompany the hero on his musical journey through the uncanny world of gnomes and trolls and the seductive exoticism of the Orient, and to return to the stillness of the North after a long sea voyage? And who better to capture the magic of romantic Scandinavian music than Grieg's compatriot, the unforgettable Oivin Fjeldstad, under whose baton the London Symphony Orchestra conjures up the highly changeable moods with a rare forceful presence. The velvet-smooth, highly sonorous strings play with delicately shaded dynamics and impressive spatiality, while the wonderfully gentle winds transport the listener to the atmosphere of the concert hall. There's no escaping this music; once you have sat down to listen to it, it will hold you enraptured right up to the very last note. This excellent DECCA recording, now available in a limited edition, will surely be sold out within no time!." Recording: Februar 1958 at Kingsway Hall, London by Cyril Windeback / Production: Christopher Raeburn." Grieg: "Peer Gynt" op. 23 - London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Oivin Fjeldstad." standard sleeve

ANSERMET, ERNEST
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STRAVINSKY - THE FIREBIRD (180 GRAM)
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9/6/2013
CLASSICAL: Ernest Ansermet's long friendship with Igor Stravinsky enabled him to witness the birth of some of the composer's most important creations. This proved to be of incalculable worth in his interpretation of the works he premiered for Stravinsksy. Here Ansermet directs the OSR in a performance of Stravinsky's The Firebird. It is the composer's first major ballet, brought him world fame and continues to gain in popularity to this day. The story - which combines the motifs of several Russian fairy tales with a magic Firebird, a vanishing castle, an evil magician, and a hero who saves the maiden - inspired Stravinsky to write some of his most fascinating and mysterious music. The OSR is fully equal to its fine reputation. Ernest Ansermet's competence as an interpreter is evident throughout. Acoustically, this pressing offers advantages over the original. Here the orchestra resonates with a full, natural and mellow sound that blossoms into a veritable garden of tonality extending around and behind the loudspeakers. This new edition of Stravinsky's The Firebird is a true stereophonic delight.." Recording date and venue: May 1955 at Victoria Hall, Geneva by Roy Wallace / Production: James Walker." Stravinsky: "The Firebird" - Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Ernest Ansermet." standard sleeve

KRIPS, JOSEF
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SCHUBERT - SYMPHONY NO. 9 (THE GREAT) (180 GRAM)
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12/13/2017
CLASSICAL: This is Schubert's longest symphony, and its music has been described as heavenly. The symphony is typically and specifically Schubertian in its form, occupying a position in the history of music between Beethoven, Bruckner and Mahler - right on the threshold which separates classicism from romanticism. It is hard to say if Josef Krips ever succeeded in making a finer recording. The presentation has a direct, unforced spontaneity, confirming that Krips had an intuitive understanding of Schubert's compositions. The orchestra plays with dynamic vivacity without ever sounding aggressive. The interpretation of the two final movements is delightful in its airy exhilaration: swaying in a dance-like rhythm, tripping lightly through virtually every key there is, and in between, in the Scherzo, the gravity of the trio. The Finale, again, is merry in character with triplets rushing past, and the listener revels in every single repetition as the magnificence of this work reveals itself. The inspired orchestra does full justice to the music and renders an interpretation in the Viennese tradition at its very best. This recording simply cannot be surpassed in terms of performance or sound quality - it is a must not only for the lover of Schubert's music.

MAAG, PETER
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MENDELSSOHN - A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (180 GRAM)
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12/13/2017
CLASSICAL: Felix Mendelssohn composed the concert overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1826 while the remaining incidental music, composed for a performance of Shakespeare's famous play, was written many years later. His well known Wedding March and the other important numbers of A Midsummer Night's Dream are included in this sought-after DECCA recording. This composition is Mendelssohn's most important stage works and a great favorite, which explains why it is so frequently performed (especially the overture) and recorded. World-class musicians like the soloists Jennifer Vyvyan, Marion Lowe and the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Peter Maag, and supported by the Women's Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, give a masterly performance of this delightful work which offers an insight into Mendelssohn's early and late compositional styles. The quality of the performance leaves nothing to be desired and the listener is carried away to a world of dreams, not only during a summer night.

ANSERMET, ERNEST
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RAVEL - MA MERE LOYE / DEBUSSY: NOCTURNES (180 GRAM)
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9/6/2013
CLASSICAL: Ravel's ballet music Ma MŠre l'Oye, originally written for piano, four hands, was inspired by Charles Perrault's fairy tale. Ravel mostly wrote music for small forms which is reflected by the short movements of the suite. The world renowned Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, led by the conductor best suited to this kind of music, Ernest Ansermet, bring out the vivacious and colourful elements of the work. The orchestra's timbre is well suited to the gentle shading of the music, as is shown in the final Jardin f‚erique. Completed by Debussy in 1899, the three Nocturnes reveal the aesthetics of a composer who put Nature above Art. Debussy endeavoured to achieve a natural flow and consistency in his music without slavishly copying the sounds of nature. Although Nuages (Clouds), Fˆtes (Festivals) and SirŠnes (Sirents) are night pieces, they are seen with a view to light and shadow: two optic conditions that influence the music. The artists give an amazingly transparent and differentiated performance of the music. The present recording should not be missed by any lover of Impressionist music.." Recording: November 1957 at Victoria Hall, Geneva by Roy Wallace / Production: James Walker." Ravel: "Ma MŠre l'Oye" / Debussy: Nocturnes: "Nuages", "Fˆtes" and "SirŠnes" - Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Ernest Ansermet." standard sleeve

ANSERMET, ERNEST
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TCHAIKOVSKY - THE NUTCRACKER (180 GRAM)
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9/6/2013
CLASSICAL: When the evenings grow longer, the autumn leaves begin to fall and Jack Frost calls during the night, then it is time to conjure up the magic world of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker while relaxing in front of a crackling fire. In this double album you will hear the delightfully varied ballet music in its entirety and not just the usual highlights. Each and every one of the highly individual numbers, be it a dance, a march or a waltz, is enchanting with its ever varying orchestral colouring, here merry and impudent and tripping along lightly without a care in the world, there sturdy and vigourous, even coarse. The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, led by its conductor of many years standing, Ernest Ansermet, is very much at home in Russian repertoire and masters the occasional immense difficulties of the score with bravado. The DECCA team has once again proved its worth and leaves any nuts which still need to be cracked to the hi-fi equipment - the airy strings, the delicate triangles, the thrill of cymbals clashing, and the wooden clack of the castanets. And if, by an amazing coincidence, the heating should fail when you are listening to this record, there is no reason to worry - this music is guaranteed to warm the cockels of your heart and keep Jack Frost from the door.." Recording: October / November 1958 at Victoria Hall, Geneva by Roy Wallace / Production: James Walker." Tchaikovsky: "The Nutcracker" - Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Ernest Ansermet." gatefold sleeve, booklet

CLIFFORD CURZON, SIR & THE VIENNA OCTET
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SCHUBERT - TROUT QUINTET (180 GRAM)
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9/6/2013
CLASSICAL: In the summer of 1819, Franz Schubert stayed in the Austrian town of Steyr where he began work on the composition of the five-movement Piano Quintet in A major, op. 114 (D 667) which was commissioned by the cellist Sylvester Paumgartner. The work was completed in the autumn and soon achieved great popularity under the name of Trout Quintet, which it owes to the Andantino fourth movement - a set of variations on the song of the same name. The work has remained highly popular right up to the present day and so it comes as no surprise to find this highly praised recording, made with such renowned artists as the pianist Clifford Curzon, the violinist Willi Boskovsky and other members of the Vienna Octet, being released once again. The ensembles refreshing performance reflects the sparkling lightness and virtuosity of the work. The well-balanced recording with its full tone certainly deserves a place in every music lovers collection.." Recording: October 1957 at Sofiensaal, Vienna by James Brown / Production: Erik Smith." Schubert: Quintet for Piano, Violin, Viola, Violoncello and Double-Bass ("Trout" Quintet) - Sir Clifford Curzon and Members of the Vienna Octet." standard sleeve

MAAG, PETER
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MOZART - CLARINET CONCERTO (180 GRAM)
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9/6/2013
CLASSICAL: The amazing skill of two great virtuosos, Joseph Leutgeb and Anton Stadler, inspired Mozart to compose the concertos heard here. Made in 1959, this DECCA recording gives us an excellent idea of how the concertos would have sounded in Mozart's day, thanks to two of today's very best instrumentalists - the clarinettist Gervase de Peyer and the horn player Barry Tuckwell. Amazing lightness, warmth of tone and perfect intonation are the hallmarks of the soloist and London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Peter Maag in the clarinet concerto, which Mozart completed only a few weeks before his death. The two horn concertos heard here were also written during Mozart's final creative period in Vienna. Just one hearing is enough to let them be remembered for all time - for these concertos employ to the full the horn's rich and widely varied range of expression. Broad arching melodies, tripping runs and merry hunting calls in the final movements guarantee musical enjoyment, and for this we owe our thanks to both the past and present masters of their instruments in this delightful recording.." Recording: November 1959 at Kingsway Hall, London by Kenneth E. Wilkinson / Production: Ray Minshull." Mozart: Clarinet Concerto, Horn Concertos Nos. 1-3 - Gervase de Peyer, Barry Tuckwell, London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Peter Maag." standard sleeve

ANSERMET, ERNEST
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ALBENIZ - IBERIA / TURINA: DANZAS FANTASTICAS (180 GRAM)
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9/6/2013
CLASSICAL: As in numerous other works by Spanish composers, Isaac Alb‚niz's aim in his Iberia Suite was to portray the landscape and express the zest for life which is so abundant in southern countries. Infused with folkmusic elements, the suite is introduced by the dancelike Evocaci¢n which vividly evokes a picture of Iberia. The lush, extravagant harmonies and the stark contrasts of the dynamics in particular - from the softest pianissimo to the extreme fortissimo - certainly whet one's appetite. Don't worry - Spain has a lot to offer! The next movement, El Corpus en Sevilla transports us to Andalusia where a solemn procession is taking place to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi. This is followed by a sparkling Triana in which the various complex and brilliant rhythms of the national dances Almer¡a, Ronde¤a and Fandango are ingeniously combined. And the two movements El puerto and El Albaic¡n are no less exciting: the first presents a rich potpourri of types of Spanish songs, while the second - held in the minor key - conjures up a picture of Granada's gypsy quarter. Turina's Danzas fant sticas are noted for their sumptuous orchestration and marked rhythms. A better choice to round off this first-class recording, dedicated to Spanish tradition, is almost impossible to imagine.." Recording: Mai 1960 at Victoria Hall, Geneva by Roy Wallace / Production: James Walker." Alb‚niz: "Iberia" / Turina: Danzas fant sticas - Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Ernest Ansermet." standard sleeve

REINER, FRITZ
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BRAHMS - HUNGARIAN DANCES / DVORAK: SLAVONIC DANCES (180 GRAM)
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9/6/2013
CLASSICAL: Fritz Reiner dedicated himself to the interpretation of works by modern composers such as Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss and B‚la Bart¢k, and it suited him well to tackle works such as Brahms's Hungarian Dances and Dvor k's Slavonic Dances. These lively compositions require a conductor whose interaction with the orchestra is vivacious and animated. Reiner always demanded utmost concentration and perfection from his ensemble. Under his baton, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra plays with enthusiasm and without restaint; no trace of a sterile concert atmosphere is found in this recording. Reiner's penchant for effects is not irritating, but rather adds highlights which support his highly musical interpretation, indeed one even forgets this trait when listening to the brilliant music. From a tonal point of view, the sound is beautifully balanced and reaches the highest standards despite its recording date of 1960 - or maybe just for that reason? The recording is characterized by its brilliance, warmth and vivacity with the result that listening becomes a true musical pleasure.." Recording: June 1960 at Sofiensaal, Vienna by James Brown / Production: Erik Smith." Brahms: Hungarian Dances / Dvor k: Slavonic Dances - Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Fritz Reiner." standard sleeve

MUNCHINGER, KARL
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MOZART - EINE KLEINE NACHTMUSIK (180 GRAM)
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12/13/2017
CLASSICAL: Mozart wrote the Divertimento No. 1 at the age of six, while A Musical Joke and Eine kleine Nachtmusik were composed shortly before his death. From what one hears, apparently only a few music lovers enjoy listening to Eine kleine Nachtmusik. Far too often has it been performed routinely rather than being filled with life. This recording is quite different: living up to his reputation, Karl Mnchinger proves that this favorite can be imbued with significance. The historical root of the serenade lie in the suite which consists of varied contrasting dance movements. In the spirit of this tradition, Mnchinger offers a clear interpretation which is absolutely credible and has a freshness rarely heard. The ensemble plays both cheerfully and and wittily. In A Musical Joke, Mozart parodies amateurish composers of his own era, and the orchestra quite obviously participates in the fun. This LP is distinguished by its musical and tonal balance and is one of DECCA's best sound recordings.

ROSTROPOVICH, MSTISLAV & BENJAMIN BRITTEN
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BRITTEN - SONATA IN C FOR CELLO AND PIANO (180 GRAM)
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9/6/2013
CLASSICAL: The cello has always been held in high esteem for its warm, noble timbre and range of expression. So it is no wonder that numerous solo pieces have been written for the instrument. In this recording, the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, together with the great Benjamin Britten at the piano, have left the accustomed pathway to perform three less well-known - but nevertheless excellent - works from the 19th and 20th century. Robert Schumann's Fnf Stcke im Volkston allows the cellist to bring out the whole beauty of his instrument. Well-paced tempi, a crystal-clear tone, and an exquisitely precise piano part emphasize the unique character of this music - a work which points the way towards modern times. The mysterious tonal and harmonic world of the Impressionists is evoked by Debussy's Sonata for Piano and Cello. Written in the aftermath of the First World War, it reflects human tragedy and a feeling of oppression and anxiety. Britten's Cello Sonata was tailormade for Rostropovich and dedicated to the great cellist. The two musicians, both of them technical perfectionists, provide an inspired performance - beginning with the thrilling dialogue of the very first bars, via a lyrical elegy, right up to the gripping Finale in 6/8 time. To sum it up: top marks for music, tonal quality and choice of repertoire.." ." Britten: Sonata in C for Cello and Piano / Schumann: Fnf Stcke im Volkston / Debussy: Sonata for Cello and Piano - Mstislav Rostropovich and Benjamin Britten." standard sleeve

ARGENTA, ATAULFO
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DEBUSSY - IMAGES POUR ORCHESTRE (180 GRAM)
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3/30/2018
CLASSICAL: "And the blind shall see" - promising words indeed! And very apt to describe the impressionist tonal paintings of Claude Debussy, who exchanged the paintbrush for a pen and the canvas for manuscript paper. Debussy's musical tools were not so much the etching-needle or sharp pencil but rather more a rich variety of glorious paints on his palette and thick brushes and sponges to form flowing figures and shapes on his musical canvas. With the Images pour Orchestre, the art lover possesses three of the mature composer's most important musical paintings to hang in his gallery. Thanks to its rhythmic and melodic structure, Ib‚ria is very probably the most striking of these three studies. The impressionistic, frazzled theme is lent substance through the familiar sounds and rhythms of Spanish folk music; Debussy conjures up the moods and impressions of a landscape which he himself hardly knew. And should the listener not be in a position to wander the streets and pathways, to breathe the perfume of the night, nor to enjoy a fiesta morning, then this record will certainly enable him to "see" all this for himself.


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