Entries by Peter Cates

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Singer: Sarah Vaughan

by Peter Cates Sarah Vaughan Sings the Mancini Songbook Mercury, 61009, stereo LP, recorded 1965. This very fine album, a bringing together of one of the finest singers and composers in American music history, was a collaboration that never got the attention it truly deserved. Singer Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990) brought thorough professionalism, exquisite taste, and […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Mendelssohn Violin Concerto Part 2

by Peter Cates (Read part one here.) Zino Francescatti had a style of playing that was elegant, vibrantly alive and communicative and recorded an early ‘50s Columbia mono LP with Dimitri Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic in which this style truly shined. A late ‘50s second recording of the firebrand Jascha Heifetz paired him […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Composer: Felix Mendelssohn, Part 1

by Peter Cates This week I am focusing on the recordings of the Violin Concerto of Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), conceived in 1838 and completed and first performed by the composer’s concertmaster, Ferdinand David, of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, where Mendelssohn was music director from 1835 to 1847. David also proved invaluable with his advice on […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Book: The Fifties by David Halberstam

by Peter Cates David Halberstam The Fifties Villard Press, 1993, 733 pages A maxim that underscored journalist David Halberstam’s work ethic was that being a professional meant doing the work one loved on the days one didn’t feel like doing it; this combination of passion and painstaking self-discipline resulted in roughly 22 books and countless […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Beethoven’s 5 Piano Concertos

by Peter Cates Something a little different this week: Beethoven’s 5 Piano Concertos were a very significant body of work because they both consolidated the best of what the composer learned from his predecessors — Haydn, Mozart etc. – and broke new ground on the expansion of the piano’s technical possibilities and musical depths. These […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Album: Scandinavia; Group: The Rays; Opera: Verdi

by Peter Cates Scandinavia Laserlight, 79 675, cassette, released 1991. The Laserlight label began releasing very inexpensive cassettes and CDs during the late ‘80s and focusing mainly on classical music. Scandina­via, a musical grab bag centered on Norway, Sweden and Fin­land, contains the 2nd Peer Gynt Suite and two Elegiac Melodies of Norway’s Edvard Grieg and […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Scottish conductor, Sir Alexander Gibson

by Peter Cates Alex by Conrad Wilson; Mainstream Publishing, 1993, 159 pages. This biography has a special fascination because Alex and I were good friends during the early ‘80s – Alex being the late Scottish conductor, Sir Alexander Gibson (1926-1995), whose recordings, guest appearances and 25 years as music director of both the Scottish National […]