Bill Dodd’s DSD Discoveries: Living The Music Feb 17 by Bill Dodd in Dodd's DSD Discoveries

Living The Music

I love Debussy. I think he was a giant among composers. And I suspect that some or all of the Preludes, Books 1 and 2, are probably part of your own library. Some pianists capture the dreamy, impressionistic qualities. Others play them in a neo-classical manner, letting the notes speak for themselves. I love having differing approaches to go to in order to keep my attitude fresh. I’ll even throw in my favorite jazz impressions by Jacques Lousier with his trio– highly recommended, by the way!

And now, here’s Ilya Itin! When I first played his Debussy Preludes (Books 1 and 2 available separately) I was gobsmacked by what I was hearing. Here’s a quote from Itin: “Debussy himself is ‘recording’ human experience, revealing veiled messages ranging from bemused comedy to the shards of a shattered universe. Ever fascinating and often terrifying…” This is Debussy that doesn’t suggest flower petals. Without pounding the Steinway or exaggerating dynamics, Ilya Itin brings an undercurrent of natural strength that makes me feel like I’m living the music, rather than just listening.

Well, I see I am perhaps waxing too poetically, so let me just suggest you try some samples from these two LP length albums. I don’t care how much Debussy you have, you will thank me. Oh yes— The recording quality is world class.

WVK001

 

WVK001

Debussy:
Preludes, Book 1

Ilya Itin

DSD 64fs, 128fs, 256fs
Stereo

 

 

WVK002

 

WVK002

Debussy:
Preludes, Book 2

Ilya Itin

DSD 64fs, 128fs, 256fs
Stereo

 

 

Have you heard about Ning Feng! Violinist Ning Feng has been garnering attention worldwide for his incredible skill and artistry. I’ve enjoyed his albums, but for some reason I had not heard the set that includes Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D. The five movement Scottish Fantasy is something new to me, and I found it charming and beautiful. Bruch was inspired to compose it (1880) by the writings of Sir Walter Scott. It’s delightful allusions to Scottish tunes are a treat. I think a wonderful time is being had by all involved.

Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto needs no introduction— There are a zillion recordings, but this one is elevated by the grace and skill of the soloist. Perhaps you DO need another recording of this. I really should add that the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under the young conductor, Yang Yang is quite fine.

CCSSA34913NingFeng_DSO_booklet.indd

 

34913

Bruch: Scottish Fantasy
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D

Ning Feng, violin
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Yang Yang, conductor

DSD 64fs
Stereo, Multi

 

 

In times of political uncertainty, it’s interesting to take a look a similar periods in the past. Here are three works written in the 1930’s for string Orchestra: Britten’s Variations on a Theme By Frank Bridge, Hartmann’s Concerto funebre for Solo Violin and String Orchestra, and Bartok’s Divertimento for String Orchestra. The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra under Gordan Nikolic is quite fine in these works, and the sound is excellent. These are modern (in a sense) but are quite accessible. As life goes on, my appreciation for Benjamin Britten and Bela Bartok grows more and more. I’m still in a beginner’s mode for Karl Amadeus Hartmann, but this piece is a good place for beginning. Take a listen:

ptc5186056

 

PTC5186056

Britten: Frank Bridge Variations
Bartók: Divertimento
Hartmann: Concerto Funèbre


Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
Gordan Nikolic, conductor

DSD 64fs
Stereo, Multi

 

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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