Friday, June 29, 2012

Sunday Classics preview: Italy!


by Ken

Yes, Italy! (And yes, I think we really do need the exclamation point!)

It was a source of fascination for all manner of more northerly creative artists, not just for the obvious reason (climate!) but for its position as the cradle of so much of Western culture, and there isn't any group for whom this was more true than musicians.

We're going to kick off with a composer who developed a deep affection for Italy. The composer and piece are so familiar that I thought I'd hold off identifying them for the time being -- and the performers as well. I will say, though, that all three of these (I think) quite wonderful recordings were made on what "neutral ground," which is to say North America. But we have one conductor born in Switzerland, one in Siberian Russia, and one in Hungary (Budapest, in fact). The Russian, at least, I think should be relatively easy to recognize. (For some totally inexplicable reason I had a devil of a time uploading this file, but I think the performance -- which hasn't circulated that much -- was worth the trouble.)

If you don't want to play, you can skip straight to the click-through, where the piece and the performances are all properly identified.



[The excerpt up top is from performance B (at 7:56).]




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