ANTHEIL: Mother's Day Piece. The Ben Hehct Valses. Musical Picture of a Friend. Carnival of the Beautiful Dresses. Two Toccatas. Valentine Waltzes. Presto from Piano Sonata No. 5. Waltzes from Volpone. Berceuse for Thomas Montgomery Newman.
Judy Pang, piano

BERNSTEIN: Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah" (Marie-Nicole Lemiux, mezzo-soprano). Symphony No. 2 "The Age of Anxiety" (Beatrice Rona, piano). Symphony No.3 "Kaddish:" (Nadine Sierra, soprano. St. Cecilia National Academy Chorus). Prelude, Fugue and Riffs (Alessando Carbonara, clarinet). St. Cecilia National Academy Orchestra / Anonio Pappano, cond.
WARNER CLASSICS 66158 (2 disks) TT: 63:57 / 48:56

BERNSTEIN: Symphony No. 2 "The Age of Anxiety."
Kristian Zimmermann, piano. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle, cond.
DGG 483 5539 TT: 39:50

"MEMORY" Piano music of Valentin Silvestrov, Debussy, Satie, Chopin, , and Nina Sawhney
Hélene Grimaud, piano
DGG B0029051 TT: 52:00

CHOPIN: Etudes, Op. 10. SCRIABIN: Sonata No. 10, Op. 70. 2 Poems, Op. 71, Vers la Flamme, Op. 72. 2 Danses, Op. 73, 5 Preludes, Op. 74. STOCKHAUSEN: Klavierstück IX.
Danielle Pollini, piano
DGG CD B0029051 TT: 72 min.

BRAHMS: 16 Waltzes, Op. 39. 21 Hungarian dances
Hélène Mercier, Cyprien Katsaris, piano

George Antheil (1900-1959) was a important maverick on the American musical scene. This site has mentioned a number of recordings of his imaginative music including the stunning ballet Capitol of the World (REVIEW), Ballet Mechanique (REVIEW), the Jazz Symphony (REVIEW), and two Piano Concertos (REVIEW). If you check those reviews you will' learn about his unique association with glamorous actress Hedy Lamarr. Antheil wrote much music for the piano and recently this site praised a fine recording of some of it played by Gottlieb Wallisch (REVIEW). Now we have this new Bridge recording, the first in a projected series of Antheil's piano music. There is little duplication of repertory on the Wallisch CD. Performances are by the superb young pianist Judy Wang, who specializes in contemporary music. She has the virtuosity and spirit to bring out the best in Antheil's imaginative and sometimes whimsical scores, and engineers have captured her sound most realistically. I look forward to the next issue in the series.

There are numerous new recordings (and reissues) of music of Leonard Bernstein to celebrate the centenary of his birth. Here we have a two-disk set of the three symphonies (and Prelude, Fugue and Riffs) conducted by Antonio Pappano with La Scala forces recorded February 2018 in Rome's Auditorium Parco della Musica. This is a deluxe handsome presentation with a bound-in 82-page booklet with color illustrations of performers and complete texts. Eexcellent stereo sound; one wonders why it wasn't released in multi-channel. At any rate, should you be looking for a fine new recording of Bernstein's symphonies, here they are

Should you only wish to acquire another new recording of "The Age of Anxiety," here is a splendid performance recorded live during Sir simon Rattle's last season as Music Director of the Berlin Philharmonic in 2018. Program notes state that Zimmermann played this music with Bernstein conducting on the occasion of the conductor's 70th birthday at which time he asked Zimmermann if he would also play it when Bernstein was 100! So this is a strong memorial performance. Excellent audio. It is unfortunate more music isn't included, as laying time is less than 40 minutes.

DGG has issued a disk featuring Danielli Pollini, son of famed pianist Maurizio Pollini. Danielli is now in his late 30's, and although he made his concert debut in 1997 at the Rossini Opera Festival of Pesaro, his career seems to be developing slowly. On this debut DGG disk he gives solid performances of the first set of Chopin Etudes, a wide range of works by Scriabin, and, perhaps to prove he is as adept in contemporary music as his father, the 8-minute abrasive Stockhausen piano piece, a track I imagine most listeners will skip. Excellent audio.

Hélène Grimaud's latest disk is a rather sedate affair called Memory. In program notes she discusses what this means to her and her life. We have generally retrospective brief works by the composers listed above, and of course they are played with the greatest sensitivity in these rewordings made December 2017 in Munich's Himmelfahrtskirche. This is a mid-price issue, perhaps because the program is so brief (52:00).

French-Cyprian Cyprian Katsaris (b. 1952), was a whirlwind during his era. After his 1966 debut in Paris, he was a leading virtuoso of and appeared with many orchestras and conductors to great acclaim. He won numerous competitions and recorded profusely, a wide range of repertory including all of the Mozart concertos and many of his own transcriptions. One of his most famous recordings was with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra: Liszt Hungarian Fantasy, and Concerto in the Hungarian Style. Still very active, he has this new recording of music of Brahms arranged for piano four hands: 16 Waltzes and 21 Hungarian Dances. These are spirited performances by Katsaris and his colleague Canadian Hélène Mercier. Recordings were made in May 2016 in Saint-Marcel Church in Paris. Totally enjoyable, and a fine addition to the pianist's catalog

R.E.B. (October 2018)