Lovely Recordings Hosted by Richard Crimi (Part 5)

Lovely Piano Recordings
If I were to pick a favorite instrument it would likely be piano. I can never get enough of it. I listen when I when I want to think. I listen when I don't want to think. I listen when I want to listen. The recordings here are perhaps the crème de la crème of my classical piano collection.

Christina and Michelle Naughton: Visions: Adams, Bach, Messiaen (Warner Classics, 2016)
The Naughton sisters are a dynamite duo combo on the keyboards. I recently saw a performance they gave for Portland Piano International, an organization that sponsors some amazing up and coming artists. After the concert I described the twin sisters playing as "fireworks on the keyboards". You can see some of that in the video. This recording is stunning, clean and true in 24/96.

Presented by Presto Classical

Naughton fireworks on the keyboards:

Stephen Hough: New York Variations (Hyperion, 1998)
When I discovered this album, uh, 20 years ago, I began collecting everything from Stephen Hough. The opening striking cords feel sort of like a macabre piano version of Ludvig's Da-Da-Dah; draws you in and sends chills up and down. From there I'm hooked. Recently saw Mr. Hough perform and he just kills. Funny and personable in the pre-concert too. For further adventure, his interpretations of Frederico Mompou and York Bowen are quite lovely recordings too, and his Hummel Piano Concertos are a reference point I think.

Available from Hyperion Records

Vladimir Ashkenazy and Andre Previn: Rachmaninov: Music For Two Pianos (Decca Classics, 1995)
There's only one way to listen to this recording --all the way through late at night with low-low, soft glowing lights. It will make you forget just about everything. Over 2 hours of sublime Rachmaninov by two premier ivory knockers, $13 USD at the time of this writing.

Find it on Decca Classics

Philip Glass: Solo Piano (Sony Music Masterworks, 1989)
Philip Glass was always on the periphery of my Classical music listening until just a few years ago. Then I heard an in-depth program on his music on a local radio program on All Classical Portland. I was hooked. His pulsating and pounding themes, repetitive with growing variations, give me an energy I can't explain. Here, the maestro performs his own compositions, just as he took to the keyboards when I saw him recently on an 80th Anniversary tour concert with Kronos Quartet. What a treat.

Do like I did and dial him up on Tidal.

The Maestro explains his work:

Alessandra Pompili: Hovhaness: Piano Works (Dynamic, 2014)
Eastern influences often weave into works by Alex Hovaness. On his piano works though I get more of a Spanish influence coming across. Not a bad thing, this performance covers a lot ground from uplifting, delicate, and pleasant to flourishes and thoughtful darker expressions.

Another Presto Classical selection

Ludovico Einaudi: La Scala Concert: 03 03 03 (Sony Classical, 2003)
Another find for me from Tidal, Einaudi evokes introspection and contemplation. This is what attracts me to piano music, gives me a place to go, explore.

From Quoboz - launching in US soon, so the reports say.

At the Royal Albert Hall:

Keith Jarrett: Paris Concert (ECM Records, 2009)
Not to be confused with his Paris/London (Testament) masterpiece, Jarret's Paris Concert is an eye opener. The beginning and end pieces are improvisational as he is wont to do, but it is never dull or meandering as sometimes such music can be. He has a treasure trove of worthwhile albums but this happens to be in my collection.

Tidal the title

Imogen Cooper and Anne Queffelec: Mozart Piano Works For Four Hands (Ottavo)
Man, these women are having too much fun even judging from the album cover. Hey, it's Mozart, he's a fun guy! To be enjoyed anytime.

Ever hear of Ottavo label? Tidal has.

And on that note, I'll leave it with one small mention: I was unable to find recordings of Santiago Rodriguez to download in anything other than mp3. His Rachmaninov Sonatas are mind-blowing, worth seeking out the CD and ripping into your stream. Have a pleasant day!

My other Lovely Recordings:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


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