by Peter Cates
Prokofiev and Bartok
3rd Piano Concertos
Boris Krajny, piano, with Jiri Belohlavek conducting the Czech Philharmonic; Stradivari- SCD-6068, CD, released 1989.
Boris Krajny (1945-) is a Czech-born pianist who has performed in this country a few times while still being better known in Eastern Europe; also his list of recordings is quite small and include this long out of print and rarely seen gem from the late ‘80s, which – and I mean this in the truest sense of the word – miraculously appeared one day out of the blue at Waterville’s Bull Moose.
The 3rd Concertos of both Bela Bartok (1881-1945) and Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) are two very good introductions to 20th century piano music, along with the 2nd and 3rd Concertos of Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) .
All four have a most engaging combination of melody, rhythm and deep, sincere emotion that give pleasure on the first hearing, especially with a great performance and very good recorded sound.
The great conductor, Jiri Belohlavek (1946-), and world class Czech Philharmonic rise to the challenge, giving very satisfying performances; Stradivari’s engineers deliver superb sound.
Unfortunately, since the CD is hard to find, I recommend the very reasonably priced classic DG recording of Geza Anda, with Ferenc Fricsay conducting for a two-CD package containing all three Bartok Concertos and a cheap Sony single CD presenting Gary Graffman and the arch- perfectionist, George Szell, in Prokofiev’s 1 and 3.
Flower Of Love
Pickwick SPC-3267, 12-inch stereo vinyl LP, released during the 1970s as a re-issue of singles from the Chart record label.
Flower of Love brought together 10 of Lynn Anderson’s (1947-2015) singles from Chart records, for whom she recorded between 1966 and 1970 before her move to Columbia records. They include such hits as Joe South’s Games People Play, Merle Haggard’s Okie From Muskogee and Tammy Wynette’s Stand by Your Man, all of whom are sung with spirit and personality, the very traits which rightfully endeared her to many listeners during her more than 40 years of performing.
She was also the daughter of the very talented singer/songwriter, Liz Anderson (1927-2011), who had already been signed also to Chart records in 1965, one year before her daughter, with one of her songs being a megahit for Merle Haggard, namely All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers.
Unfortunately, daughter Lynn’s private life was a horror show of difficulties with alcohol and the legal system – blatantly cursing her children in court, DWIs, and punching an arresting cop; one can read more details in her wiki bio.
In 2015, Lynn Anderson died of complications brought on by pneumonia and a heart attack.
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