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PAUL LEWIS-BBC ORCHESTRA/Complete Beethoven Concertos: Here's a triple cd that covers the ground you know so well that you'd think there's nothing new under the sun to be uncovered here. That's why classical fans just don't underestimate Harmonia Mundi. Lewis is a piano player that brings something new to the party and is going to be heralded as one of the top players of this age. A dazzling player that knows how to hold the listener in the palm of his hand, Beethoven's piano concertos have a breath of new life making them fresh and relevant yet again. Simply a killer collection that not only captures your imagination but opens said imagination to a raft of new possibilities as well. Hot stuff.

HOWARD SHELLEY-TASMANIAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA/Romantic Piano Concerto V. 51: It seems like the only time you think of Tasmania is in regards to Bugs Bunny's nemesis and his problems recently with face cancer wiping his brethren out. The tide has turned as volume 51 in this series from way down under continues to unearth delightful surprises. Dusting off the works of two composers that were contemporaries Liszt, Chopin, Wagner and the rest of that bunch, their works were lauded by their contemporaries but they don't seem to be mentioned in the same breath anymore. Leading the orchestra from his piano perch, Shelley has the touch and feel to make this music live and breathe making you wonder just how many rabbits they can keep pulling out of their hat. A fun, shining example of how to keep the classics alive and well.

PIETER WISPELWEY/Britten-Cello Symphony Cello Suite No. 1: If the music here sounds triumphant it might be because this was Britten's return to "pure" classical composing after a time off exploring other disciplines. Backed with the Flanders symphony trying hard to drive home the point that the rest of the world better consider them a world class outfit, this stunning work is nothing less than an aural feast for discerning ears and a taste treat throughout.

Volume 33/Number 310
September 8, 2010
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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