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The Barber Chair

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aligreto:
Barber: Summer Music Op. 31





Very pleasant, atmospheric and evocative pastoral music.

aligreto:
I have just finished listening to this collection of Barber's music under the baton of Alsop:





Cello Concerto:

On first listen to this version of this work and I was not convinced by the entire performance. I felt that the cellist, Warner, was a very capable cellist but that her presentation lacked warmth, lyricism and fluidity. Alsop does a good enough job with the orchestral accompaniment but the whole presentation feels just a bit laboured to me. The recording is made in a somewhat dry acoustic.


Medea Ballet Suite:

This is my first listen to this music. I really like this work. I like the musical language, the orchestration and the wonderful atmosphere of the work. All of these elements contribute to a mixed variety of drama, tension, atmosphere, power, excitement and lyricism to the music. I find the work to be most engaging. I have no other version to compare it with but it seems to me that this is a very fine presentation.


Adagio for Strings:

Even if you are not familiar with the music of Barber you will have heard this music somewhere. The emotional strength of the work is derived from the wonderful melodic lines, harmonies and counterpoint, all of which are basic building blocks in the foundation of a very solid and serene work. I like this version; it is not overly emotional, sentimental or saccharine.

vandermolen:
I first came across the Cello Concerto, brilliantly performed by Zara Nelsova with Barber conducting, on a fabulous old Decca Eclipse LP, where it was imaginatively coupled with Rawsthorne's equally fine Second Piano Concerto - if my memory is correct I bought in at a classical music record shop (they did once exist) near to South Kensington Underground Station. The Barber has been reissued on an excellent Naxos Historical CD:

aligreto:

--- Quote from: vandermolen on October 10, 2021, 12:32:19 PM ---I first came across the Cello Concerto, brilliantly performed by Zara Nelsova with Barber conducting, on a fabulous old Decca Eclipse LP, where it was imaginatively coupled with Rawsthorne's equally fine Second Piano Concerto - if my memory is correct I bought in at a classical music record shop (they did once exist) near to South Kensington Underground Station. The Barber has been reissued on an excellent Naxos Historical CD:


--- End quote ---

Good to know, Jeffrey. Thank you for the information and recommendation.

vandermolen:

--- Quote from: aligreto on October 10, 2021, 01:19:53 PM ---Good to know, Jeffrey. Thank you for the information and recommendation.

--- End quote ---
I think that you'd like the Naxos disc Fergus, if you don't already know it.

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