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Mar 25 2006, 1h30

tonight:

Glenn Gould's double album from the great pianists of the 20th century series. Probably on the wise assumption that all interested parts already owned the relevant records, the selection includes no Bach at all; instead we get, in CD 1, his richly ornamented and inventive takes on William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons, two master virginalists of the English Cinquecentto, whom are sadly so seldom tackled on the pianoforte; three Scarlatti sonatas of the L-four-hundreds period; Haydn's 49th; and, just to be a little sacrilegious, Mozart's Fantasia (Prelude) and Fugue in C, KV 394 (there's nothing to complain about here, though - his interpretation is sincere and respectful and so on and so forth; I guess this is a rare bit of the late mozart he liked...) CD 2 sends us to unusual Gould with Bizet's Variations Chromatiques, 5 Piano pieces Op. 3 of Richard Strauss (the only late-romantic composer he admired and seemed able to play with a straight face), Prokofiev sonata no.7, Scriabin's 2 Morceaux Op. 57 (this is the atonal Scriabin, of course, not the Chopinesque Scriabin Gould most likely despised), and Berg's Piano Sonata no. 1. (Did any other major pianist consistently record the atonal repertoire? I know Vladimir Ashkenazy recorded Berg and Boris Blacher, but otherwise, anyone?)

Dave Brubeck Trio & Gerry Mulligan, Live at the Berlin Philarmonie, another double album. This was the record that first got me interested in jazz, and my liking of it has survived the test of nostalgia. I'm particularly fond of the aggressive piano in Blessed are the Poor (The Sermon of the Mount) and its surprising, joyful resolution; and, of course, the just plain fun of Take Five, here played as an encore. ^^

(oh, just for the record: this is dave brubeck's trio, not the Dave Brubeck's Quartet of Time Out, which had already disbanded by then.)

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