The 1977 edition of what Japanese producers billed "The Great Jazz Trio" features pianist Hank Jones, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams performing pretty modern material. There is one original apiece from each of the musicians on this out-of-print LP, along with "Freedom Jazz Dance," "Mr. P.C.," "All Blues" and "A Child Is Born." Jones, a very flexible pianist able to excel in settings ranging from Fats Waller tributes to post-bop, keeps up with his younger sidemen and comes up with consistently fresh statements full of subtle surprises.
Ralph Vaughan Williams' A London Symphony, otherwise known as the Symphony No. 2 in G major, was composed between 1911 and 1913, and premiered in 1914. After the score was lost in the mail, reconstructed from the short score and orchestral parts, and revised twice, the symphony was published at last in 1920, though it was ultimately replaced by the definitive version in 1936, with cuts to the about 20 minutes of the original material. This recording by Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Symphony Orchestra presents the 1920 version, along with three short works, Sound sleep for female voices and small orchestra, Orpheus with his lute for voice and orchestra, and the Variations for brass band. The filler pieces are delightful rarities that Vaughan Williams specialists will find of some interest, though most listeners will prize this recording for the energetic and colorful performance of the symphony, which is one of the composer's most vivid and satisfying works.
A stunning 12-CD box set, Beethoven Unbound, will be released to mark the completion of Llŷr Williams’ monumental Beethoven cycle at Wigmore Hall and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) – recorded live at Wigmore Hall over three years and nine recitals.
Robbie Williams will release his first ever Christmas album, ‘The Christmas Present’, on November 22. The double album features two discs – ‘Christmas Past’ and ‘Christmas Future’ – both including a brilliant mixture of original songs and special festive covers with some star guest appearances.
Elgar’s Violin Concerto has a certain mystique about it independent of the knee-jerk obeisance it has received in the British press. It probably is the longest and most difficult of all Romantic violin concertos, requiring not just great technical facility but great concentration from the soloist and a real partnership of equals with the orchestra. And like all of Elgar’s large orchestral works, it is extremely episodic in construction and liable to fall apart if not handled with a compelling sense of the long line. In reviewing the score while listening to this excellent performance, I was struck by just how fussy Elgar’s indications often are: the constant accelerandos and ritards, and the minute (and impractical) dynamic indications that ask more questions than they sometimes answer. No version, least of all the composer’s own, even attempts to realize them all: it would be impossible without italicizing and sectionalizing the work to death.
Walt Disney Records is set to release the original motion picture soundtrack for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The album features a new score conducted and composed by five-time Academy Award®-winning composer John Williams. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker digital soundtrack is set for release on December 18 and the physical album will be available on December 20 as the film opens in U.S. theaters nationwide.