Bill’s Back Catalog Treasures #1

1st Edition
Different Times & Sensibilities 
written by Bill Dodd

We all put a lot of emphasis on currently active artists as well as the latest developments in recording technology. But it’s important to remember that Channel Classics releases from earlier years have award-winning performances, with unsurpassed recording quality for the time they were released.

Retired broadcaster Bill Dodd is exploring many of these recordings to help you find some wonderful music. In some cases the CDs are (almost) sold out, but all of these recordings are available as CD-quality FLAC as well as MP3 downloads.

This time we explore 3 recordings with music from widely different times, and sensibilities…

Paolo Giacometti, piano
Schumann Piano Works (released in 1998)

Paolo Giacometti, known for his superb survey of Rossini on Channel, puts his talent and his heart into this wonderful selection of Schumann works.   I was amazed by what I’ve been missing by not exploring Robert Schumann’s piano works more carefully. This is amazing music making and the recording captures the full body of the piano perfectly.

Jos van Immerseel, Anima Eterna, Collegium Vocale
Buxtehude 6 Cantatas (released in 1995)

The multi-talented Jos van Immerseel conducts his Orchestra Anima Eterna and the Collegium Vocale in Six Cantatas by Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707), a Gramophone Editor’s Choice album when it was released. Buxtehude was a remarkable composer whose works extended the boundaries of music at the time. This is delightful choral music, with a crystal-clear recording.

Ilya Grubert, violin & Vladimir Tropp, piano
Shostakovich 24 Preludes, Sonata for Violin and Piano (released in 1998)

What a find! Some Shostakovich you won’t commonly find is featured on this set by Ilya Grubert, violin, and Vladimir Tropp, piano. These 24 jewel-like Preludes, are all delightful, and all quite short. They range from sweet to playful, and thoughtful to irreverent.  The earlier 3 Fantastic Dances are well named. I can easily imagine youthful ballerinas floating through the air. The more serious work is the later, Sonata for Violin and Piano. As I listened, I could imagine Shostakovich and Rostropovich playing. The recording puts them in your room.

Next time, a real eye opener – or should I say, an ear opener – more reasons to explore the back catalog!