WORD FOR WORD: ANNE-SOPHIE MUTTER
"It started innocently with the idea that I wanted to work with a small orchestra without a conductor. I immediately felt that every single member of this orchestra [the Trondheim Soloists] was burning the candle at both ends. The amount of passion, dedication, and technical skill involved in their playing was amazing."
--Anne-Sophie Mutter on her latest recording of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons"
CLASSICAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR: MARTHA ARGERICH
Between her long-awaited "Legendary 1965 Recording" and her numerous new chamber-music projects, 1999 has been a great year for pianist Martha Argerich. So it's no surprise that Argerich earns our nod as Classical Artist of 1999. Read more
NEW AND NOTABLE RELEASES
"A Tribute to Ellington"
Daniel Barenboim, piano; others
In 1999, seemingly everyone paid tribute to jazz leader Duke Ellington. And Daniel Barenboim has been no different, delivering a classical crossover disc that perhaps doesn't swing but is certainly a fun listen. Here we get Duke classics such as "Take the A-Train," "Star-Crossed Lovers," and "Prelude to a Kiss" performed by Barenboim, a small ensemble of performers, and guests Dianne Reeves and Don Byron. Read more
"George Crumb--70th Birthday Album"
New Music maestro George Crumb will forever be remembered for "Ancient Voices of Children," but this disc, the composer's birthday present to fans, is every bit as impressive. The large ensemble work "Star-Child" requires choirs, bell ringers, orchestra, and a soprano spread throughout a music hall at various locations. Needless to say, this vast undertaking, with its Latin text, isn't something you'll hear every day. But it's a gorgeous work, and the rest of the disc--"Three Early Songs" and "Mundus Canis," the composer's tribute to his dogs, with guitarist David Starobin--is every bit as impressive. Read more
"Music of Giuliani"
David Russell, guitar
Italian composer Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) was no slouch in the performing department, either--he was dubbed the "Paganini of the guitar"; Beethoven arranged songs for his six-string instrument. On "Music of Giuliani," we can hear what all the fuss was about. David Russell plays these five charming solo works with incredible precision--everything from the famous "Grande Ouverture" to "Rosiniana," a series of works based on Rossini operas. For classical-guitar fans, this is one of 1999's finest discs. Read more
"Songs Without Words"
Murray Perahia, piano
This strange but fascinating collection of keyboard works performed by Murray Perahia proves to be highly effective. The lyrical miniatures of Mendelssohn's "Songs Without Words" compose the bulk of this collection, but Busoni's Bach organ transcriptions and Liszt's arrangements of Schubert songs are also included. Superb listening. Read more
THE BEST REISSUES OF 1999
For fans of classic recordings, this has been a banner year for great reissues. Unearthed and legendary recordings have never sounded or looked better, thanks to new remastering technology and packaging. Here's a glimpse at this year's very best reissues. Read more
GET STARTED IN: CLAUDE DEBUSSY
When did modern music start? However you may try to answer that question, the name of Claude Debussy remains difficult to avoid. His works have been compared to paintings, but they always illustrate a deep sensitivity to literature, as well. Check out our Get Started in Classical feature, which includes an audio tour and essay, and let Amazon.com's experts introduce you to Debussy's seductive beauty. Read more
You'll find more great music, articles, and interviews in Amazon.com's Classical Music section.
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