Now that we are heading into fall, the selection of new classical recordings have improved greatly. We here in Southern California may have nowhere to buy them, with Tower Records gone, but there are still a number of them worth having via download or otherwise that I have highlighted in my new "On Top" segment.
At number 1 is the much anticipated DG release of the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps
under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen. this is the first CD release of material recorded at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and represents a return to recording for the orchestra after several years. (If you don't count the direct-to-download live concerts made available last year on iTunes, also sponsored by DG). I attended to of the performances that went into this recording and while I haven't heard it yet, if it is half-as-good as the live performances it is definitely worth owning.
DG of course has bought ad space in the recent LA Phil programs to promote this release that focus heavily on Salonen who is without question near and dear to the hearts of local listeners. However, his normally Nordic too-cool-for-school image may be suffering. Whether or not shoes with velcro ties will ruin what Anthony Tomasini called
"the risk-taking, brassy, urban personality the philharmonic has developed under its dynamic conductor" remains to be seen.
In the meantime, it's off to Götterdämmerung
and the big finish to the Kirov's Ring cycle tomorrow in the OC. You can read Bernard Holland's review
of Monday's Siegfried
performance if you can stomach his old tropes about tanned and monied Southern Californians. I'll hold off on further commentary on this Ring until after tomorrow.