REVIEW POTPOURRI – TV: NCIS; Conductor: Andre Cluytens; Film: Dark Eyes; Music: Liszt

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

NCIS

Current Netflix 15th season

Mark Harmon

This program featuring naval intelligence stories is one that keeps on giving. I am convinced some viewers watch it for the facial expressions of Mark Harmon alone. The balance of humor and suspense is another factor. The addition of Maria Bello as special agent Jack is a third factor. The series is one special in ways beyond description. Try the first five episodes of the 15th season. They are entertaining.

Andre Cluytens

The Complete Concerto and Orchestral Recordings
Erato. 65 CDs.

Andre Cluytens

The conductor Andre Cluytens (1905-1967) was one very gifted individual. I have been collecting his recordings for about 20 years. They are the gift that keeps on giving as far as I am concerned. Beethoven Concertos with Solomon and Oistrakh. Debussy, Ravel, Franck, Bizet, Gounod, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rossini, etc…

The best approach would be to sample the various YouTubes and decide if he is for you. There are videos as well.

Dark Eyes

Nikita Mikhalkov

Dark Eyes is the 1987 film of Nikita Mikhalkov. Francis Lai’s soundtrack is a mixture of Mozart, Strauss, Rossini, Lehar and Francis Lai himself, most famous as the composer of A Man and a Woman. It is a mix most suitable for pleasant ambiance at dinner parties and very listenable. The soundtrack is on the DRG label, a cassette with the catalog number SBLC 12592. The actor Marcello Mastroianni.

Liszt

Piano Concerto No. 2; Sonata in B minor.

Franz Liszt

The Concerto has Walter Susskind conducting the Philhar­monia Orchestra and the Angel lp is from the ‘50s – Angel 35031. Again this Polish pianist, Witold Malcuzynski, knew how to make the kind of music making that wore well, much like the conductor Andre Cluytens. His Liszt recordings had the combination of musicality and virtuosity that elevated my fondness for this composer, the 2nd Concerto and Sonata being cases in point.

YouTube is a good place to sample these selections mentioned above.

 
 

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