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David L. Smith

Author

Recordings

Virtually unknown today, Giovanni Punto (1748—1803) was famous in his time as a horn virtuoso and composer. Born Jan Vaclav Stich to a serf family in Prague, he was educated musically by a patron, Count von Thun, from whose dominance he fled, at [...]

Recordings

Buskers are street musicians, and the Cambridge Buskers are Michael Copley and Dag Ingram, who are said to have got their start when a temporary shortage of change for the ride home led to a impromptu fund-raising concert in a London tube station, p [...]

Recordings

Ricardo Muti is a responsive exponent of Tchaikovsky's music in his masterly account of the Manfred Symphony with the Philharmonia Orchestra (Angel DS-37752). Here is playing with real muscle, nobility, and fire—all in the right proportions. Lis [...]

Recordings

Umberto Giordano's opera Andrea Chénier (1896) is based loosely on the life of a poet-victim of the French Revolution, evoking the era in classic verismo fashion. Its immediate success rescued Giordano's sagging fortunes, then haunted him by having [...]

Recordings, Winter 1985

The Music Master (1752) is a timeless, witty entertainment about the dictates of art, commerce, and love backstage at the opera house. By tradition, Pergolesi receives composer credit, though he likely wrote only some of the music. In its latest inc [...]

Recordings, Summer 1984

The music of French composer Charles Koechlin (and there is alot of it) seems not to have been in vogue during his lifetime (1867—1950) and is all but forgotten today, qualifying EMI's recording of two of his longer works as a rarity. As performed [...]

Recordings, Winter 1984

Although Prokofiev didn't produce many chamber works, his two string quartets are late, fully developed compositions whose neglect on disc is undeserved. The intense, dark-hued Quartet No. 1 contrasts with the colorful Second Quartet, which is based [...]

Recordings

The Itzhak Perlman/Gennady Rozhdesvetsky collaborations in the Prokofiev Violin Concertos are interpretations that truly scale the heights. Perlman's strong characterizations couple a taut rhythmic vitality with a sure sense of the music's lyric lin [...]

Recordings

Just as our Bicentennial focused attention on American composers, the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebration in England this past year provided an occasion for the rest of the world to sample the works of British composers whose names may be familiar, b [...]

Recordings

Opera buffa in the late 18th century was dominated by Domenico Cimarosa, "the Italian Mo/art," as the standard texts have it, who wrote more than 50 such works. As this output has largely been forgotten, the recent revival of II Matrimonio Segreto ( [...]

Recordings

Sergei Eisenstein's massive Ivan the Terrible marked the final collaboration between the film director and his chief composer, Serge Prokofiev: only two parts of the film were completed before a heart attack felled Eisenstein and brought an end to t [...]

Recordings

Handel's Acts and Galatea, a masque based on the pastoral story by Ovid, has been recorded by the English Baroque Soloists, under John Eliot Gardiner, with vocal soloists Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Norma Burrowes, Martyn Hill, and Willard White. This is [...]

Recordings

Those who admire the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams have long awaited a modern recording of his pastoral opera Hugh the Drover, a work begun in 1914 but not completed to the composer's satisfaction until 1956, when he was 84. Of the five Vaughan Wi [...]

Recordings

The final year of the 1970's was unkind to the music industry, particularly the classical music industry. It was a year in which RCA made substantial reductions in recording projects; the giant Polygram combine absorbed financially troubled London/D [...]

Recordings

Piano music has always played an integral role in motion pictures, but perhaps never so much as during the 1930's and 1940's when a lush piano and orchestra score was considered essential to convey romantic emotions. Some directors, like David Lean [...]

Recordings

It is often said that Rossini's William Tell (1829) is a difficult opera to mount, detractors noting its length (excessive) and its construction (awkward) as factors problematic to its stage worthiness. Its recordings have tended to compensate for t [...]