Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Anyone who loves twentieth century music, who loves English music, or who just plain loves music will love this collection of the music of Michael Tippett. Culled from previously issued but long out-of-print Philips, London, Argo, and l'Oiseau-Lyre LPs, most of these recordings were world premieres made in close consultation with the composer and in the hands of conductors Colin Davis, Georg Solti, Neville Marriner, pianist Paul Crossley, and the Lindsay String Quartet, they receive what can fairly be described as definitive performances. From the ecstatic lyricism of the Suite for Double String Orchestra of 1939 through the luminous vitality of the First Symphony of 1945, the radiant sensuality of the Ritual Dances of 1955, the blues-based modernism of the Third Symphony of 1972, to the glistening transcendentalism of the Fourth Symphony of 1977, Tippett's unique fusion of line, drive, color, and form is performed throughout with passionate dedication and absolute faith in the music's greatness.
Shostakovich's two Piano Concertos lack the seriousness of this four concertos for violin or cello. The first is actually a "double" concerto, having an important part for solo trumpet. It's an early but expertly written work sharing the same musical climate as the First Symphony. The Second Concerto was created for the composer's son Maxim, now a well-known conductor. It's a light- hearted, tongue-in-cheek piece with a Romantic slow movement.
The second release in Orange Mountain Music's 'Concerto Project' series features two world premiere recordings of works by Philip Glass, performed by the Seattle-based Northwest Chamber Orchestra under Ralf Gothóni (well-known to UK audiences as Principal Conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra since 2000). Pianist Paul Barnes performs Piano Concerto No2, After Lewis and Clark written to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the explorers' journey across the American continent. A fortuitous meeting between Barnes and Glass on an airplane in 1995 eventually led to this concerto, but it was only composed after Orange Mountain Music's acclaimed 2003 release of the pianist's transcriptions of Glass operas 'The Orphee Suite'.
Ginette Neveu (11 August 1919 – 28 October 1949) was a famous French classical violinist who was killed in a plane crash at the age of 30. At age 16, Ginette Neveu achieved worldwide celebrity status when she won the Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition over 180 contestants, including the future virtuoso David Oistrakh, who finished second, and Henri Temianka, who finished third. Édith Piaf wrote of Neveu in her autobiography: "I would have traveled thousands of miles to hear the great Ginette Neveu…."