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Classical Music


David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf"

David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" Lowest new price: $5.78
Lowest used price: $2.17
Model: 2975449

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J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations (CD+DVD)

J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations (CD+DVD) Lowest new price: $14.40
Lowest used price: $8.95
Model: 27571072

Nonesuch presents pianist Jeremy Denk's recording of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations. A companion DVD accompanies the album and contains video liner notes with Denk demonstrating passages on the piano as he explains certain details of the iconic piece. The beloved Bach work has long been a staple of Denk's repertoire and his performances have received critical praise. The New York Times has remarked on his "profound affinity with Bach, " and the Philadelphia Inquirer called Denk's performance of this piece "mesmerizing, " noting that his "Bach is expressive, but not fussy or overthought. Technically unbothered by the work's more explosive spots and remarkably fluid in its scurrying passage work, he was able to make connections between and among bits of material that sometimes occur many seconds apart. "

Note: Disc 1 is a CD and Disc 2 is a DVD and would only play in compatible players.

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Partite & Toccate

Partite & Toccate Lowest used price: $24.99

The Most Soothing Lullabies In The Universe

The Most Soothing Lullabies In The Universe Lowest new price: $6.27
Lowest used price: $2.45
Brand: CD
Model: 2173196


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Baby Mozart

Baby Mozart Lowest new price: $14.61
Lowest used price: $1.21
Brand: Disney

No Description Available.Genre: ChildrensMedia Format: Compact DiskRating: Release Date: 7-MAY-2002

Of all the reasons you'll click the Add to Shopping Cart button next to Baby Einstein's Baby Mozart--and there are many--the best one is that playing this record for babies doesn't feel weird. Instead of subjecting tiny, tender ears to the kind of Mozart that can make adult classical fans wilt when tackled by a maestro who means business, this is Mozart lite, mixed and mastered by a dad, Bill Weisbach, who's clearly hung around for his share of crib-side cooing. The slightly tinny sound of a child's piano sweeps the sting out of Piano Sonata in B Flat's third movement; the first movement of Concerto for Flute and Harp in C floats by, birdlike; variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman" translate to a fancy-sounding (but adorable) "Twinkle, Twinkle"; and Piano Sonata in F's third movement snuggles so deeply into its childlike setting that if you close your eyes, you'll see a pastel parade of animals floating by overhead. Other pieces (more aptly called fragments, since only one track stretches beyond the three-minute mark), like Symphony No. 41's fourth movement, wander into more robust Mozart territory, but it's here the claims about classical music enhancing young kids' abstract reasoning skills and spatial intelligence crystallize. Babies strapped in for a roller coaster of sounds that gracefully dips, swerves, and high-jumps like this version, do have to process what they're hearing somehow (and a case could be made that the instruments Weisbach's chosen--the vibraphone, glockenspiel, and music box among them--make it more appealing for them to do so). Followers of Julie Aigner-Clark's Baby Einstein empire, many of whom opted out of the fan club once Disney bought the company in 2001, won't trip over a single Mickey Mouse-ified sound here. This is pure, plugged in, and muted Mozart, and if it doesn't make your baby smarter, it'll at least sound awfully sweet issuing from your nursery's speakers. --Tammy La Gorce

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Bach: Great Organ Works

Bach: Great Organ Works Lowest new price: $9.59
Lowest used price: $3.75
Model: 1990667

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Bach: Works for Trumpet

Bach: Works for Trumpet Lowest new price: $9.35
Lowest used price: $7.84
Brand: EMI Classics
Model: 2128343


Alison Balsom's Bach is a spirited romp through various works of the master arranged for trumpet solo and a changing cast of colleagues. Orchestral works are done in a chamber reduction, with the trumpet taking the solo violin part; solo works, like two movements from Bach's Cello Suite No. 2, are played in arrangements for trumpet. Transpositions abound, the net result being vaguely familiar music sounding fresh and different. In general, Balsom is most effective in faster, more outgoing movements and pieces where her bright tone, technical mastery, and sprightly tempos carry the day. The Italian-based works, Bach's Italian Variations, and his own arrangements from Vivaldi and Marcello fit this pattern, and so does the Trio Sonata arrangement from an organ work, where Balsom's trumpet interacts with violin and basso continuo to strike sparks. Least effective are the arrangements of movements from Bach's unaccompanied violin and cello masterpieces, in part because the inherent brightness of her trumpet is at odds with the warmth and nuances of a stringed instrument. The Badinerie from Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 2, whose melody and its association with the flute are indelibly imprinted on music lovers, comes off as a spectacular accomplishment on Balsom's far more unwieldy instrument. Excellent playing by the assisting musicians helps make this foray into a modernized version of Bach's music an enjoyable experience. --Dan Davis


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Bach: Goldberg Variations

Bach: Goldberg Variations Lowest new price: $11.64
Lowest used price: $7.25
Brand: Bach
Model: 3379278

Dinnerstein's Goldberg Variations was recorded in the neoclassic auditorium of the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York in March 2005. The piano she plays, a 1903 Hamburg Steinway model D concert grand, was originally owned by the town council of Hull,

This is destined to be one of the best-remembered and significant classical releases of 2007. Simone (pronounced "See-mo-nuh") Dinnerstein has recently been attracting lots of media attention, from Oprah’s magazine to The New York Times. Within a classical-music circuit increasingly unwilling to take artistic risks, hers has been the rare success story. The 30-something pianist (a former student of Peter Serkin), backing herself, wowed critics with some notable concerts and eventually secured the support of a major label to release a self-produced recording Dinnerstein had made in March 2005. This Telarc account of the Goldberg Variations thus marks her solo debut CD (following some earlier collaborations with cellist Zuill Bailey on the Delos label). For once, the publicity is trying to keep up with the musical achievement--rather than the other way around.

Dinnerstein's seriousness of purpose is immediately obvious from her choice of the Bach masterpiece to make her mark. With the specter of Glenn Gould's own epoch-making 1955 debut playing the same work—not to mention a vast catalog of competing interpretations—Dinnerstein is nothing if not bold. But what's really extraordinary here is the liberating sense she conveys of its not having all been said before—without resorting to tiresome idiosyncrasies to stand apart from the crowd. Her remarkably deliberate way with the opening aria is unusual, to be sure. But it establishes the stakes for what will follow, where Dinnerstein's thoughtfulness and spectacular clarity seem to discover new facets at every turn. Her pianism embraces a prismatic array of touches, whether the feathery lightness of Variation 5, the burbling rhythms of Variation 14, or the tragic weight of the "black pearl" Variation 25. The cumulative effect is exhilarating, intensely moving, and an affirmation of the Goldbergs' infinite variety. --Thomas May

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Mathis Der Maler / Symphonic Metamorphosis

Mathis Der Maler / Symphonic Metamorphosis Lowest new price: $14.99
Lowest used price: $2.19

These 1987 realizations of the Mathis Symphony and the Symphonic Metamorphosis from Herbert Blomstedt and the San Francisco Symphony, marking their first recorded collaboration, are powerful, deeply felt, and thrilling to the ear. The Mathis is particularly striking in its evocation of mood: dramatic without being overblown. Blomstedt is notably successful with the score's difficult concluding movement--by making each of its episodes substantive, he makes the whole seem less episodic than it usually does. Both here and in the Symphonic Metamorphosis, there is beautiful wind and brass playing from the San Franciscans; they are clearly well rehearsed and exhibit a commendable responsiveness to Blomstedt's direction. The recording is of demonstration quality: impressive in its depth, sense of space, and visceral impact. --Ted Libbey

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Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Haydn Variations / Tragic Overture / Academic Festival Overture ~ Barenboim

Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Haydn Variations / Tragic Overture / Academic Festival Overture ~ Barenboim Lowest new price: $7.84
Lowest used price: $9.99

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