hollywood vol. 1

TT is 60:21

  1.  Pirates of the Caribbean (3:34)
  2.  Forrest Gump (4:19)
  3.  James Bond compilation (6:18)
  4.  Flintstone (1:11)
  5.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (6:36)
  6.  King Kong (8:48)
  7.  Terminal (4:19)
  8.  Star Wars (5:29)
  9.  Lord of the Rings 2 Towers Suite (5:08)
  10.  Gladiator (6:29)
  11.  Schindler’s List (4:37)
  12.  Jurassic Park (3:29)

The Vogtland Philharmonic 10 years ago issued a release of film music called Hollywood Sounds featuring many of the new releases in simple but effective arrangements. The one hour CD, probably played in one of their numerous concerts offers a variety of material which helps to break up the CD. Going from the entertaining James Bond material to the funny Flintstone theme, which brought back memories to me when it was on prime time television, to the serious Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, an action score. My favorite of the group is the main theme from The Terminal (Viktor’s Theme) The use of the clarinet perfectly fits the behavior of Viktor who is trapped in the airport unable to enter the United States. One of Hanks better efforts in my opinion. Also included are the standards Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Schindler’s List. Included is a James Bond compilation which I found very weak as well as a poor rendition of Forrest Gump. I found the 9 minute version of King Kong  to be be a pleasant listening experience. As part of the three volume set this starats the ball rolling and subsequent volumes (especially three) make this an exciting package.

As a listener I’m quite surprised that I was unaware of this series given th fact I easily have over 2000 CD’s in my collection. The surround quality is far superior to the convential CD system with it’s stereo quality opposed to the 5 speaker system.

A major complaint that I had about this disk was the published track listing. It was completely wrong and I found I needed to listen to the tracks and put them in the proper order. If you do purchase the disk my track listings in my review are correct.

hollywood vol 2

1. Mission Impossible (2:59)
2. The Typewriter (1:49)
3. Doctor Zhivago (3:35)
4. The Dark Knight (7:19)
5. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (3:58)
6. Trojan (4:58)
7. A Tribute to John Williams (4:58)
8. Tango (3:56)
9. The Last Samurai (7:47)
10. Ben Hur (3:57)
11. Spider Man (4:42)
12. The Mission (4:04)
13. The Pink Panther (2:57)
14. Pirates of the Caribbean (5:12)

Sounds of Hollywood vol. 2 offers another varied selection of mater although I do take exception to the arrangements such as Ben Hur which lacked the emotion necessary to such a powerful score, perhaps the best work that Rozsa ever did. The orchestra seemed to go through the motions and the result is quite evident. On the other hand one of the real treats of this CD is the playing of the John Williams Tango. The violin is superb, the tempo nicely done. One can close your eyes and see two performers dancing the night away. I’ll give a passing mark to The Pink Panther theme although if you listen to the Boston Pops version with John Williams conducting you’ll find it a lot jazzier and a much stronger sax solo. When I was studying music (arrangements) in college I orchestrated this piece and it came out fine. Light and airy describes the Leroy Anderson tune The Typewriter and is a fun piece to listen to although I miss the use of an actual typewriter which was used in the original.  Gabriel’s Oboe a tur Oscar winner for Morricone that never happened is again on the weak side when one compares it to the original soundtrack. The Dark Knight version of the Hans Zimmer composition to the film is a strong 7 minute version filled with all the emotions you’d expect to hear. We canput this one in the plus column.

As was the case with volume one of the sounds of hollywood volume 2 adheres to the wrong track listing. The one I provided in my review is correct. Pehaps we’ll see in the future a three volume set of these recordings at a special price.

30 years 30 CD

30cd set

Hong Kong – Naxos was launched in 1987 as a budget classical CD label, offering CDs at the price of an LP at a time when CDs cost about three times more than LPs. The focus was on recording the standard repertoire in state-of-the-art digital sound with outstanding, if unknown artists and orchestras, initially mainly from Eastern Europe. From these humble beginnings, Naxos developed into one of the world’s leading classical labels, recording a wide range of repertoire with artists and orchestras from more than 30 countries.

The Naxos Music Group will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the launch of Naxos with events in Munich and London, including a gala concert on May 16 at the Court Chapel in Munich featuring Naxos artists Boris Giltburg, Tianwa Yang and Gabriel Schwabe.

Today, at the gala event in Munich, Klaus Heymann, the founder of Naxos, will receive the Special Achievement Award of the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) awarded to him on April 1, 2017. Says ICMA President Remy Franck: “Klaus Heymann has changed the recording industry and without him it would never have achieved the dynamic it has today, despite all the problems which might exist. Due to his strong visions, his incredible efficiency and has profound love for the music he became the industry’s major player.”

Naxos releases about 200 new titles per year, offering many world première recordings but also installments of huge complete works projects such as the complete piano music of Liszt and the complete symphonies of Villa-Lobos. The Naxos catalog now consists of more than 9000 titles of mostly unduplicated repertoire recorded in state-of-the-art sound by well-known artists and orchestras, prize-winners and other rising young stars. The label features many series targeting specific national markets, none more important than its American Classics whose composers, orchestras, conductors, soloists and producers among them have won 19 GRAMMY® awards.

A major Naxos project is a complete recording of Wagner’s Ring with the Hong Kong Philharmonic conducted by Jaap van Zweden and featuring soloists such as Matthias Goerne, Michelle deYoung, Stuart Skelton, Simon O’Neill and others. In a video interview with Klaus Heymann, Music Director Designate of the New York Philharmonic, van Zweden had this to say about this important undertaking: “I am enjoying this [journey]. I want to thank Klaus for having the courage, in the times we live in now, to do this [Ring cycle] with us… I’m so proud of this project.” Das Rheingold was released in 2015 and Die Walküre in 2016, both to great critical acclaim. Siegfried was recorded in January 2017 and will be released in November this year.

Parallel to the growth of the label, Naxos built a worldwide infrastructure for its own and most other independent classical labels. It offers these labels a wide range of services ranging from physical and digital distribution and logistics to marketing and promotion, licensing, royalty administration and collection of public performance royalties. Naxos also has brought a number of independent classical labels under its umbrella offering them its infrastructure while maintaining their artistic independence. Among these labels are Capriccio, Dynamic, Ondine, Orfeo and 13 others.

Naxos is also the industry leader in the digital presentation of classical music. In 1996, it made the complete catalogs of Naxos and its sister label, Marco Polo, available for streaming, the first labels in the history of the industry to do so. In 2002, the company launched Naxos Music Library, the industry’s first subscription streaming platform, four years before the launch of Spotify. Since then, streaming platforms for jazz, world music, spoken word and audiovisual productions were launched.

The Naxos online libraries are used by thousands of educational institutions and music professionals around the world. They offer not only music listening but also a wide range of reference material including an interactive music dictionary, pronunciation guides, guided tours and many other resources. Beyond these libraries Naxos has made big investments in music education ranging from books with CDs to e-books and apps. The hardcover My First Classical Music Book has been published in 10 languages and the App based on the book has been one of the most successful ever in classical music.

A limited edition box set offering 30 CDs selected from the vast Naxos catalog has been released worldwide. It offers landmark recordings from the 30-year history of the label.

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About Naxos Music Group
Celebrating 30 years in 2017, Naxos has evolved from its beginnings as a budget label to a leading classical music group.  Headquartered in Hong Kong with distribution and marketing subsidiaries in fifteen countries, the group distributes its Naxos, Naxos AudioBooks and Marco Polo labels and provides distribution and licensing services to more than 200 independent and major CD and DVD labels.  The Naxos Group is also an industry leader in music education boasting a wide range of physical and digital educational products.  The Naxos Group’s digital platforms include the Naxos Music Library, Naxos Spoken Word Library and Naxos Video Library subscription services. Please visit www.naxosmusicgroup.com.

About Naxos Records
Launched in 1987 and currently offering over 9,000 titles, Naxos celebrates 30 years as the world’s leading classical music label in terms of number of new releases and breadth of catalog.  Its strategy of recording exciting new repertoire with exceptional talent has been recognized with 24 GRAMMY® awards, over 800 Penguin Guide 3-star recommendations, 184 Gramophone Editor’s Choice Awards and numerous other honors.  Naxos is a truly international label and produces over 200 new recordings a year in more than 30 countries. Naxos has developed a wide range of educational products and services including the Naxos Music Library; today’s most important classical subscription platform.  Please visit www.naxos.com.

Kolodochka BOOKLET CD1 o.k

4260052382288.pt01

TT is 53:38

When I first received the download of this May 2017 release I thought to myself oh no not another Hollywood compilation and by an orchestra and conductor that I’d never heard of playing material I  have on other recordings. I almost thought of passing on it and going to the next choice on the list. I decided to give it a listen and now my opinion has changed. It is one of the best CD’s ever done and I’m including some of the Boston Pops material with conductors Fielder and Williams. To the younger generation this is the same John Williams who composed Star Wars, Jaws, E.T., Superman, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The selection of material spans a 50 year period of time ranging from Bonanza and The Magnificent Seven to Antman and House of Cards. The CD begins with a nice compilation of Star Wars which incorporates several of the themes from different remake versions. An attractive Irish melody is offered in How to Train Your Dragon which leads into a new composer to compilation material Jeff Beal and his continuing work on the TV series House of Cards. The theme, trumpet led is an erratic theme with percussion, trombones, and other instruments appearing when you least expectit. Not the best in terms of armchair listening I’m sure that followers of the series will enjoy the material. We are treated to two older western standards Magnificent Seven, one of my favorite movies, along with a faster tempo version of Bonanza. Both are well played. It is followed by Jungle Book which offers the three main themes from the film, all nicely arranged and played. My favorite track offers a compilation of three unlikely films that mke no sense being put together but the Vogtland ensemble not only makes it works but I’ve found myself returning to it over and over again turning up the volume so that I get the full effect of the outstanding playing of Batman (the movie), Dances With Wolves, and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Pay close attention to the fine brass work in Dances With Wolves along with the outstanding arrangement. John Barry never sounded better. The same can also be said of Robin Hood. The brass is definitely better in this fine orchestra. Antman offers little in term of melody but offers percussion that is the harmony for the staccato brass. The “Chairman Waltz” from Memoirs of a Geisha is almost a forgotten John Willams film but one listen to the violin solo will make this one of your favorites on this CD. Aladdin offers a compilation of four themes from the film with my favorite being “Arabian Nights.” The CD concludes with the fine score of Silvestri for The Polar Express.

The CD is a multi-channel one so it will give enhanced sound on 5 speaker system surround units. It plays on DVD players as well as older CD players. Well worth having in your collection as well as the first two installments of the on going series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenplay from 1954 novel. This is the first episode in the series. Aired on 9/21/1957.

Cast:

Raymond Burr (Perry Mason)

Barbara Hale (Della Street)

William Hopper (Paul Drake)

Ray Collins (Lt. Tragg)

Willliam Talman (Hamilton Burger)

Whitney Blake (Evelyn Bagby)

Ralph Clanton (Mervyn Aldritch)

Gloria Henry ( Helene Chaney)

Vaughn Taylor (Mr. Boles)

Jane Buchanan (Mrs. Boles)

Dick Rich (Sgt. Holcomb)

Grandon Rhodes (Judge Kippon)

Jack Gargan (Court Clerk)

PLOT

Evelyn Bagby is forced off the road by a hooded man. Having found a gun in her apartment she fired wo shots at the assailant to scare him off. The hooded man is found dead and she is accused of killing him. Two guns, a movie studio, a sleazy motel in Riverside, and a burglary all figure into the plot. The guns are the best part of the plot with mushroomed slugs and trying to figure out which gun was which.

NOTES

Whitney Blake was mother of Meredith Baxter Birney and co-star of TV show “Hazel.” Vaughn Taylor appeared in 8 different Perry Mason series from 1957-1964. There are music cues from Bernard Herrmann taken from the CBS library. The court clerk also doubles as stenographer as well as oath swearing in.

Rating is 6 out of 10. Watchable and I like the gun sequence but there are better.

Three Piano Concertos

April 8, 2017

9003643991309 copy

 

As I listened to this selectiion for the first time I thought to myself what an unusual choice of selections especially the Rimsky-Korsakov selection, one that I would consider unsung and seldom performed. Does Lizst and Tchaikovsky fit? The answer to the question is a resounding yes.  Not only does the historical (50+) years sound good, no stereo, but the playing is very good. While this would not be my choice of listening recordings of the Tchaikovsky or the Lizst recordings:I guess we have our favorites I tend to favor the Rimsky Korsakov recording over any of the others I have heard. For me this was just another orchestral color piece of Rimsky-Korsakov not better or worse than many of his others. This performance seemed to stick a little more inside me and I wanted to hear it again and again. Suddenly I began to enjoy the fine playing and listened to it as more of a piano concerto rather than an orchestral piece and I truly appreciated it for what it was written for. It is a scant 13 minutes, 5 minutes less than Tchaikovsky’s first movement but the shortness is an advantage as there is no excess baggage and every note and chord are there for a reason.

Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto is the favorite of many and for good reason. It is filled with melodies and is very accessible to even the beginning classical listener. The Lizst has a very powerful bold melody in the first movement that is fully developed around piano chords. A second more delicate theme appears part way through the first movement and continues into the next movement. A new theme, rather flashy surfaces in the third movement and also a repeat of the second theme. The final movement is a repeat of the theme from the first movement. Note that this is a four movement concerto not the standard three which is the norm.

Keep in mind that this is considered a historical recording and you’ll not hear the extended range as you’re accustomed to hearing on a Chandos recording. I feel that the fine playing overcomes that objection nicely.

 

 

 

Federal Fugitives

January 6, 2017

 

The copy of the film that I had was poor quality with an excess amount
of contrast and vertical lines off and on throughout the film. I
purchased it because I like the genre, Neil Hamilton, and have a look
at Doris Day in 1941. I didn’t even recognize her! The basic plot was
Federal Agent James Madison (Neil Hamilton) trying to arrest Otto
Libermann aka Haskel(Victor Varconi) for a plane crash he was
responsible for. Chuck (Lyle Littel is just the right amount of comedic
relief for the picture.Music doesn’t fit some of the scenes which leads
me to believe that they tried to use source tracks without success. If
I had a copy of better quality I might raise my rating from 3-5.
Otherwise pass and watch some better ‘B’ movies.