#553 George Gershwin – Rhapsody In Blue & An American In Paris

Rhapsody in Blue has already popped up on the Randometer, with Stefano Bollani’s recording of the original version for jazz band; this is the more commonly performed fuller orchestral version. And it is s'wonderful. I won’t repeat what I attempted to write about it last time, but will focus briefly on the other Gershwin classic … Continue reading #553 George Gershwin – Rhapsody In Blue & An American In Paris

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#679 Jóhann Jóhannsson – IBM 1401, a user’s manual

I love this. I first came across this 10 years ago from reading something somewhere on the internet and managed to track down a digital copy. This LP copy, which is extremely beautiful on clear vinyl and a wonder to behold, was purchased in late 2017 when 4AD released it on vinyl for the first … Continue reading #679 Jóhann Jóhannsson – IBM 1401, a user’s manual

#121 Ludwig Van Beethoven – Symphonies 5 & 7

Arguably the most famous four notes in musical history, recognisable across the globe over 200 years after they were written. Yes, this is Beethoven’s Fifth. Epic, striking, dramatic, definitive in terms of the classical symphonic form, it was often termed the ‘Victory Symphony’ after the Second World War and previously as ‘the symphony of destiny’. … Continue reading #121 Ludwig Van Beethoven – Symphonies 5 & 7

#654 Gustav Holst – The Planets

The classical work that launched a hundred film soundtracks and John Williams career (listen to Mars around from 4.47 and tell me that’s not the entrance of the Stormtroopers in Star Wars). From the ominous opening with the string players hitting their bows wood-side against the strings, to the brain-fazing vocals drifting off into space … Continue reading #654 Gustav Holst – The Planets

#566 George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue (Chailly & Bollani)

Rhapsody in Blue is without doubt one of the defining classical works of the 20th century, and possibly the defining work of American classical music. It was as ground-breaking as the Rite of Spring, albeit in different ways, and although it caused no riots at its premiere there were plenty of detractors from this self-proclaimed … Continue reading #566 George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue (Chailly & Bollani)

#119 Beethoven – Missa Solemnis

My initial (ignorant) observation of this, not having listened to it for several years, is that’s its very long. Even by classical symphonic standards, it’s long. 80 mins long – you do always get your money’s worth with Beethoven. It’s a solid work in all respects, and one that Beethoven himself considered his greatest. Written … Continue reading #119 Beethoven – Missa Solemnis