Zubin Mehta, New York Philharmonic with soloists. Teldec cassette.
Zubin Mehta, now in his 82nd year, has achieved fame via his directorships of the Los Angeles, New York and Israel Philharmonics, Bavarian State Opera, etc., and a truckload of recordings. The above is a decently performed program of the great Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess selections, sung with feeling by Roberta Alexander and Gregg Baker; and the ever captivating American in Paris and Cuban Overture. His recordings have been a mixture of great, good, average and poor but his best ones have a very exciting, inspired and exactingly precise musicality that wears well.
Along with this album, I recommend his Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle with Ashkenazy and Brahms 1st Symphony, both with the Vienna Philharmonic; the L.A. Beethoven 7th Symphony; and Puccini Turandot and both Toscas.
Francesco d’Avalos, Philharmonia Orchestra; ASV CD.
Anton Bruckner, 1824-1896, composed music as his means of worshiping and praising God – only that! The Symphonies, Masses, etc., could be lengthy but their spans of uplifting, heavenly beauty seal his deserved status of greatness.
The 7th Symphony moved the Waltz King, Johann Strauss Jr., to declare it one of the finest musical experiences of his own lifetime. The above recording of Francesco d’Avalos can be easily added to a sizable but distinguished catalog that includes Karajan, Haitink, Chailly, Ormandy Giulini and others.
starring Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart, etc.; 1971, two hours.
A comedy about what happens when a midwest village of the worst chain smokers agree to quit smoking for a month in order to win $25 million. I fell off the couch!
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