Bill Dodd’s DSD Discoveries Jan 20 by Bill Dodd in Dodd's DSD Discoveries

Transcriptions, reductions, and orchestrations, oh my!

15% discount coupon code: TRANSCRIPTION
*(valid on these DSD Albums, through January 29, 2017)

Transcriptions, reductions, and orchestrations can be quite enjoyable. Stokowski got a lot of mileage out of orchestrating Bach organ pieces. Ravel orchestrated many of his own works for piano, not to mention his famous orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition. This next DSD Discovery is Gustav Mahler’s arrangement for full string orchestra of Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, “Death and the Maiden”. Also included is Rudolf Barshai’s arrangement of Shostakovich’s String quartet No. 8 as the Chamber Symphony in C minor. The London Symphony Orchestra String Ensemble is conducted by Roman Simovic in a live concert recording. Schubert was a bit avant garde for Vienna in the early 1800’s, but I think that’s why the string orchestra arrangement sounds as modern as it does.

Shostakovich was going through a massive bout of depression and contemplating suicide after a trip to Dresden in 1960. He wrote his String Quartet No. 8 in three days– figuring that no one else would write one to honor him after his death. The outer movements are slow and even heart-rending. The central movements are very much Shostakovich as we expect. These are beautiful pieces, performed beautifully, with a recording quality to match.

LSO0786

 

LSO0786

Schubert (arr. Mahler)
Death and the Maiden

Shostakovich (orch. Barshai)
Chamber Symphony in C minor

LSO String Ensemble
Roman Simovic

DSD 64fs
Stereo, Multi

 

Speaking of Mahler and rearrangements, I want to present what I think is one of the most amazing albums of 2016: The Natalia Ensemble playing their own reduction of Mahler’s 5th Symphony. I know what you’re thinking! Mahler wrote his symphonies for huge orchestras to express huge feelings. Well… Yes. But I really want you to listen to what this group of 17 superb musicians does with their own arrangement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Arnold Shoenberg started the Society for Private Musical Performances after World War I. Chamber versions of Mahler’s 1st and 4th symphonies were performed during that time. Through the years, there have been other chamber versions written and performed. But I’ve never heard one that made me forget that I wasn’t hearing the full orchestra until now. You may forget as well, but I can guarantee you will hear phrasing and melody lines as you never did before.   I could go on and on, but I want you to simply go to the appropriate page, listen to the samples, and watch the video. This might not be a release that will be discovered by the Grammy Awards, but if you love Mahler, you need to discover this one for yourself! It’s wonderful!

COBRA0055

 

COBRA 0055

Natalia Ensemble
Mahler 5

DSD 64fs, 128fs, 256fs
Stereo, Multi

 

 

 

Now comes the unexpected! We talked about how Ravel (and many others) orchestrated Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition. Let me introduce you to Calvin Hampton’s transcription for organ! If you don’t like the sound of a mighty organ, I doubt that this one will hustle you down the Promenade, make you dance to the Ballet of Unhatched Chicks, or marvel at the Great Gate of Kiev. But if you enjoy the occasional bit of the big pipes, you may find yourself enjoying this very different look at Pictures. And if you are a total organ fan, it’s a no-brainer– go for it. Listen:

HDTTMMPAAEFO-1

 

HDTTMMPAAEFO-1

Mussorgsky
Pictures at an Exhibition
(Transcribed for Organ by Calvin Hampton)

DSD 64fs, 128fs, 256fs
Stereo

 

 

 

And if you’ve never heard the original, for solo piano, here are two very fine recordings:

PTC5186355
PTC5186355

Sa Chen, piano

Rachmaninov
6 Etudes Tableaux
Mussorgsky
Pictures at an Exhibition
A Night on Bold Mountain

DSD 64fs, 128fs, 256fs
Stereo

 

Wilson9025
Wilson9025

Hyperion Knight, piano

Mussorgsky
Pictures at an Exhibition
Ginastera
Sonata No.1

DSD 64fs
Stereo

 

And for Ravel’s orchestrated versions:

2XHDJD1035

2xHDJD1035

Mussorgsky (Orch. Ravel)
Pictures at an Exhibition
R. Strauss

Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche
Dvorak
Slavonic Dance No. 8

Orchestre Mondial des Jeunesses Musicales
Pierre Hetu

DXD, DSD 64fs, 128fs
Stereo

 

PTC5186332

 

PTC5186332

Mussorgsky
Pictures at an Exhibition
Night on the Bare Mountain

Russian National Orchestra
Carlo Ponti

DSD 64fs
Stereo, Multi

 

15% discount coupon code: TRANSCRIPTION
*(valid on these DSD Albums, through January 29, 2017)

Bill Dodd

Bill Dodd

Bill Dodd is a retired radio broadcaster who was born and raised near San Francisco, but now lives in the USA’s Pacific Northwest. “Discovery is important to me. Along with finding an exciting new viewpoint of a favorite work, I really love discovering music and composers I haven’t heard before, or haven’t been able to get close to in the past.”

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