Day 43 – Schumann Concerto in A Minor (CD 43)

Everybody knows the name Van Cliburn (1934-2013). I knew it decades ago, even while I was listening to The Monkees. So when it popped up in today’s rotation, I was thrilled. Strangely, in all of my knowing the name Van Cliburn, I don’t recall ever hearing him play. Today’s the day I will rectify that … [Read more…]

Day 42 – “Festival” (various composers) CD 42

I decided I needed a change of pace from my usual listening post of nut-squeezing, piped-in music and, thus, chose a local food store that also features a large dining area and a kiosk that serves famous caffeinated brews (hint: it’s named after “the scrupulous and steadfast first mate of the Pequod,” in Herman Melville’s … [Read more…]

Day 41 – Prokofiev Alexander Nevsky (CD 41)

The spelling of Sergei’s name on this Frtiz Reiner Chicago Symphony Orchestra The Complete RCA Album Collection box set is starting to bug me. Nowhere else do I find his last name spelled “Prokofieff.” It’s always “Prokofiev.” What’s up with that? I first noted this discrepancy on Day 22. His name on the album cover … [Read more…]

Day 40 – Mozart Concerto No. 25 (CD 40)

Ahhh. This is more like it. Not even Van Morrison’s unique voice (also an acquired taste) could rattle me as I walked into the bagel-and-coffee restaurant this morning to purchase my usual Asiago bagel (toasted twice!) with plain cream cheese and a mug of Light Roast coffee. (It’s so usual that the person at the … [Read more…]

Day 39 – Don Quixote (Strauss) CD 39

The first thing I noticed about today’s album is the cover, which is different from every other one so far. I also noticed it doesn’t say “Living Stereo” or “Miracle Surface” or “New Orthophonic” High Fidelity Recording or anything other than RCA Victor in the upper right corner…and a phrase I’d never seen (or even … [Read more…]

Day 38 – Haydn Symphony No. 88 (CD 38)

When I first listened to Haydn’s complete works a number of years ago, I wasn’t impressed. I thought Haydn was a snooze fest. And, yes, I’m aware that he’s referred to as “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet” That notwithstanding, I never connected to Haydn. Fast forward several years and first … [Read more…]

Day 37 – Mahler The Song of the Earth (CD 37)

This is a challenging CD for me, for a number of reasons. First, I’m not a big fan of Gustav Mahler. Second, I’m not a big fan of opera. Third, I’m not a big fan of Gustav Mahler’s opera. So I’m listening and gritting my teeth and fighting the urge to leave snide comments on … [Read more…]

Day 36 – Bartok Music For Strings, Percussion and Celesta (CD 36)

I noticed two things about Bartok’s Music For Strings, Percussion and Celesta (well, three things, actually; I have no idea what a Celesta is): First, this is creepy, moody music, and Second, it’s creepy, moody music, some of which Stanley Kubrick used for his creepy, moody 1980 movie horror film The Shining. In fact, in … [Read more…]

Day 35 – Mahler Symphony No. 4 (CD 35)

If I didn’t like these Asiago bagels (toasted twice!) with plain cream cheese and this bottomless Light Roast coffee so much, and if this particular eatery didn’t open at 6am, I’d pick another listening station for my daily adventure through the Fritz Reiner box set. Alas. Here I am again. What I don’t particularly care … [Read more…]

Day 34 – Beethoven Symphony No. 5 (CD 34)

Now this is more like it: Beethoven. I’m a huge fan of Ludwig’s. In fact, my top three Classical composers are Bruckner, Beethoven, and Mozart – in that order. (Or, maybe Ludwig and Anton are tied for first. I can’t tell. Both offer some of the greatest music I’ve ever heard in my life.) Whatever. … [Read more…]