The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic has brought about the re-release of James Cameron’s masterpiece, “Titanic,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, retrofitted into the 3D format. The soundtrack has been re-released, too, in a special ‘Anniversary Edition.’
This week, the Criterion Collection released a marvelous set of David Lean films based on the work of Noël Coward. Of those films (and many others), “Brief Encounter” has always been and remains a favorite of mine. It’s also the movie that rescued Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 for me from the realm of figure skating Olympians, and put it in what I feel is its proper place, as the soundtrack to a doomed romance!
Renee Fleming - the beautiful voice - sings this Wednesday in San Antonio, kicking off a tour across the western United States and Canada. It will feature some selections from her brand new album, “Poèmes,” on Decca.
If you collect DVDs, you probably come across titles that are no longer in print. Netflix won’t rent these, and looking for them online can give you a case of sticker shock--prices can be 8 to 10 times what they cost new. The problem is money: studios gear up for production, and to recoup their investment they have to sell lots of units of a popular film to make a profit. This means that titles with limited commercial value usually don’t reach the market.
The new CD "Triple Doubles" presents three recent double concertos - works composed for violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson. Performed by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, these performances have a remarkably personal quality, undoubtedly a result of the performers' close relationship with the composers and the unique bond of a husband and wife interacting with "their" orchestra.
Troy Peters, who conducts Daron Hagen’s Masquerade, spoke with John Clare about this release.
Steven Spielberg has asked John Williams to score almost every single movie he’s ever directed since “Jaws,” which won Mr. Williams his second Oscar, and his first for Best Original Score. It’s a working relationship that has lasted nearly 40 years, and given us some of the most memorable melodies of our time.
A painter may paint a picture, a composer may write a beautiful melody for solo piano, but in the world of the theater (and here I count motion pictures as well), one person may have a vision, but production is a collaborative art. W. S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan worked together on a total of 14 comic operas, of which “The Mikado” is far and away the most popular, and arguably the best. Two new releases from the Criterion Collection highlight the work of Gilbert and Sullivan in different ways.
"There are not many composers in the modern world who possess the lucky combination of writing music of substance and at the same time exercising an immediate appeal to mixed audiences. Zwilich offers this happy combination of purely technical excellence and a distinct power of communication."
Judith Lang Zaimont’s music is internationally acclaimed for its drama and expressiveness and has been programmed around the globe by major ensembles such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore and Mississippi Symphonies, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Czech Radio Orchestra, Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, Women’s Philharmonic, Connecticut Opera, New York Virtuosi, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestras (New York and Boston), American Guild of Organists, Harlem String Quartet, International Double Reed Society, World Viola Congress, Norway’s Bergen Wind Quintet, Zagreb Saxophone Quartet and others.