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July 28, 2019

Charles T. Downey Briefly Noted: More Beauty Farm

Obrecht, Masses, Beauty Farm
(released on April 5, 2019)
Fra Bernardo FB1905157 | 94’11”
Beauty Farm came to my attention a couple years back, when I reviewed two of their discs for the Washington Post. They are a male vocal ensemble, formed in 2014 by members of leading early music groups and based in the cultural center at the former Carthusian monastery of Mauerbach, Austria. I am happy to

from Ionarts

Freya Parr Five essential works by Mahler


Symphony No. 2, ‘Resurrection’ 

One of the most dramatic openings of any symphony – baleful scurryings from cellos and basses launching a work of extraordinary contrasts.

Recommended recording:
Bamberg Chorus & Symphony Orchestra/Jonathan Nott 
Tudor 7158 (2 discs) 



Symphony No. 6, ‘Tragic’

Lean and purposeful, ‘Tragic’ launches with an implacable march and ends with a finale punctuated with three hammer blows of ‘fate’. 

Recommended recording:
San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas
San Francisco Symphony 821936-0001-2 




Some of Mahler’s most sublime songs are included here, most particularly the twilight atmosphere of ‘Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen’.

Recommended recording:
Janet Baker; New Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli 
EMI 566 9812



Symphony No. 9

Mahler’s last completed symphony seems to express the complex feelings of someone facing the end of their life, shot through with fear.

Recommended recording:
Philharmonia/Esa-Pekka Salonen
Signum SGCD 188



Das Lied von der Erde

A despairing yet blissful hymn to earthly life, these settings of ancient Chinese poems is one of Mahler’s most powerful song cycles for solo voices and orchestra.

Recommended recording:
Kathleen Ferrier, Julius Patzak; Vienna PO/Bruno Walter 
Alto ALC 1120


Woody Shaw

During his tragically short career, trumpeter Woody Shaw (1944-89) won praise across the jazz spectrum, from Eric Dolphy and Miles Davis to Wynton Marsalis, for his brilliant technique and story-telling power. Geoffrey Smith celebrates a master who died all too young.

from Geoffrey Smith’s Jazz

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