JOHN WILLIAMS: Olympic Fanfare and Theme. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (excerpts). Out to Sea and The Shark Cage Fugue from Jaws. Three seledtions from Harry Potter. Theme from Schindler's List. Adventures on Earth from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The Flight to Neverland from Hook Theme from Jurrasic Park. Three Selections from Indiana Jones. Theme from Memoirs of a Geisha. Three Selections from Star Wars. Adagio from Sttar Wars: The ForceAwakens. Superman March
Simone Porter, violin, Robert deMaine, cello. Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra / Gustavo Dudamel, cond.
DGG Boo289939 (2 disks) TT: 49:11 & 46:18

TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35. MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64. BRAHMS: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 77. BACH: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin. Short works of Geminiani, Schubert, Milstein, Liszt, Stravinsky, Kodaly and Mussorgsky
Nathan Milstein, violin. Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra / Claudio Abbado (Tchaikovskyu/Mendelssohn). (Eugen Jochum (Brahms). George Pludemacher, piano.
DGG 002894836512 (5 disks)

Joyce Di Donato, soprano. Craig Terry, pianiust/arranger. Charlie Porter, trumpet & flugelhorn. Lautaro Greco, bandoneon. Chuck Israels, bass. Jimmy Madison, drums
ERATO 0190285534587 TT: 70:49

John Williams and Gustavo Dudamel have enjjoyed a close relationship for some time. In September 2014 they collaborated on a gala concert in Walt Disney Hall consisting entirely of the famed composer's film music, a festive occasion. This was issued on DVD and praised on this site (REVIEW). Now we have another such event, this one recorded during concerts in the same venue January 24 - 27, 2019. The program is virtually the same, but there are a few not on the 2014 concert, and the Schindler's List soloist is Simone Potter rather than Itzhak Perlman. Eudience enthusiasm doubtless was high, but no applause is heard. The stereo sound is fine—however, this repertory is more entertaining via the video. Some Williams admirers will wish to have this new set just for the few new pieces.

Nathan Milstein (1903 -1992) was a prodigy; when only 11 studied with Leopold Auer at the Paris Conservatory. In 1929 he made his American debut with Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra and shortly after that became an American citizen residing in New York. In 1945 he acquired the 1716 "Goldman" Stradivarius, and used it for the remainder of his career. He was recognized as one of the major violinists of the century. Milstein mae relatively few recordings, so we are fortunate to have this six-disk set of all of his recordings for DGG. Surely these performances of the Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn concertos, recorded in 1972 an 1973, and the Brahms concerto, recorded in 1974, are among the most important ever made. Of great importance are his Bach recordings made in London's Conway Hall 1973 - 1974. These are legendary readings. The final CD contains shorter works including the violinist's own dazzling Paganiana, recorded in Munich in 1975 with pianist George Pludemacher. Excellent stereo sound throughout Limited program notes, but essential for collectors, particularly at this budget price. Many other Milstein recordings including live performances, are available. Collectors should check them out, particularly the 1950 recording of the Brahms Sonata No 3 with Vladimir Horowitz, a rare early meeting of two musical giants.

Joyce DiDonato began her professional career in the 1998/1999 season singing with several regional opera companies in the United States. Since that time, she has conquered the operatic world in a wide variety of roles, from Baroque to contemporary.She sang in the premiere of Tod Machover's Resurrection with the Houston Grand Opera, Mark Adamo's Little Women, and Daugherty's Jackie O. She is in demand at all leading opera houses, and made many recordings of Rossini, Mozart, Berlioz, Handel. DiDonato is remarkably versatile as evidenced on her latest disk called Songplay, a varied program combining baroque music (Caccini, , Rosa, Torelli, Vivaldi, Conti. and Giordani, along with more recent American pop songs. The purpose of this issue was to display "love and heart-felt music-making," (whatever that means), and Ms. DiDonato, collaborating with Craig Terry, surely have given us a lovely program in tasteful, imaginative arrangements, perfectly performed. Terry plays piano and harpsichord, Charlie Porter plays trumpet in five selections, flugelhorn in one; Lautaro Greco plays the bandoneon on three tracks and bassist Chuck Israels is heard in almost all as is drummer Jimmy Madison. All sound as if they are having a great time, and their imaginative performances have been well recorded. The CD booklet contains many pictures of the party, along with the mezzo dressed in cabaret style/ We also have complete texts and translations. A quality, entertaining issue indeed!

R.E.B.(April 2019)