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Classical Music

Symphonies


Ruth Crawford Seeger: Portrait

Ruth Crawford Seeger: Portrait Lowest used price: $12.99

Crawford is a neglected but significant figure in the development of American music in the 20th century. Perhaps it's that she took 15 years off from composing in the middle of her life to help found the American folk revivalist movement carried on by her children Michael, Peggy, and stepson Pete. But her early works define their own new territory next to contemporaries and friends Henry Cowell and Carl Ruggles. With a decidedly proletarian slant, Crawford's earlier works merge folk melodies and forms of meandering clarity and layer them between swirls of chamber dissonance. These include settings of her friend Carl Sandburg's conversational poetry, the political words of Daily Worker writer H.T. Tsiang, the curious and circular patterns in String Quartet No. 1, and the homespun-meets-high-art Rissolty Rossolty. The CD finishes with a song setting by her husband Charles, and her "comeback" work, 1952's Suite for Wind Quartet, which patchworks rolling contemplation, lyrical melody, and forceful irregular rhythms together. --Robin Edgerton

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Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Vol. 1 ~ Nos. 1, 2, 4 & 5

Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Vol. 1 ~ Nos. 1, 2, 4 & 5 Lowest new price: $13.45
Lowest used price: $2.23

As so often happens in the classical record business, Sir Colin Davis has been busily rerecording all of this music for RCA, with the London Symphony. And because he's an English conductor working with an English orchestra, the British critics are raving, as if these earlier, much better, and much less expensive versions didn't even exist. Well, ignore the hype. Not only does the Boston Symphony play rings around today's London Symphony Orchestra (Davis's current group), but they are much better recorded too. This first Sibelius cycle was a prime recommendation when it first came out, and it still is, plain and simple. --David Hurwitz

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Idiots Guide to Classical Music

Idiots Guide to Classical Music Lowest new price: $12.85
Lowest used price: $0.85

Idiots Guide to Classical Music

Features:

  • RCA

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Mozart: The Symphonies

Mozart: The Symphonies Lowest new price: $35.84
Lowest used price: $35.60
Brand: 84

The grand finale: Karl B+Ýhm leading the Berlin Philharmonic through the majestic symphonies of Mozart! Here are 10 CDs of Symphony No. 35 in D Major "Haffner"; Symphony No. 36 in C Major "Linz"; Symphony No. 38 in D Major "Prague"; Symphony No. 40 in G Minor; Symphony No. 41 in C Major "Jupiter" , and more.

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Peter and the Wolf: A Prokofiev Fantasy

Peter and the Wolf: A Prokofiev Fantasy Lowest new price: $14.79
Lowest used price: $8.74
List price: $24.98
Brand: CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OF
Model: 3348236

Prokofiev's fantasy for children is brought to life by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Claudio Abbado and narrated by pop star Sting.

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Copland: Music for Films

Copland: Music for Films Lowest new price: $6.40
Lowest used price: $2.22
Model: 2025759

1. - 7. The Red Pony - 1. Morning on the Ranch, 2. The Gift, 3. Dream March, 4. Circus Music, 5. Walk to the Bunkhouse, 6. Grandfather's Story, 7. Happy Ending, 8. Our Town, 9. The Heiress Suite, 10. - 14. Music for the Movies - 10. New England Countryside, 11. Barley Wagons, 12. Sunday Trafic, 13, Grovers Corners, 14. Threshing Machines, 15. Prairie Journal (Music for Radio)

This is a great series of recordings. Leonard Slatkin has generally chosen the right balance of music for the composers used in the series (with terrific cover art from Thomas Hart Benton). This disc is devoted to Copland's film music. The treat here is a version of The Heiress Suite reconstructed by Arnold Freed. Copland's talent for writing for films rested in his ability to identify and maintain themes, at the same time not slacking on the transitional details. This belongs in any Copland collection. --Paul Cook

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The Wurst of P. D. Q. Bach

The Wurst of P. D. Q. Bach Lowest new price: $17.70
Lowest used price: $13.55
Model: 1978435

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Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloe (Complete)

Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloe (Complete) Lowest new price: $8.92
Lowest used price: $4.98
Brand: CD
Model: 2194606

RAVEL - DAPHNIS ET CHLOE (CHARLES MUNCH) - HYBRID SACD

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Hovhaness: Mystery of the Holy Martyrs (World Premiere) / Symphony No. 3 Op. 148

Hovhaness: Mystery of the Holy Martyrs (World Premiere) / Symphony No. 3 Op. 148 Lowest new price: $37.15
Lowest used price: $5.98

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Messiaen: Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum; Chronochromie; La Ville d'en haut

Messiaen: Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum; Chronochromie; La Ville d'en haut Lowest new price: $21.96
Lowest used price: $14.99

Messiaen: Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum; Chronochromie; La Ville d'en haut

Pierre Boulez's performances of Olivier Messiaen's scores, especially the tough ones, are legendary, and "Chronochromie" is the composer's most complex and abstract work. Rising to the challenge, Boulez directs what is clearly its finest recording--not that there's been all that much competition! Of course, he has the great advantage of the Cleveland Orchestra--easily the world's finest ensemble in the field of contemporary music, and a DG recording of extreme clarity. The two couplings are less difficult, but let's not kid ourselves, this isn't a record for the casual listener looking for a pretty tune. It's great music, but it demands commitment. --David Hurwitz

Features:

  • Deutsche Grammophon

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