Three Palms for string quartet and soprano, op. 120 (1977): A poem by Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov (1814–1841) speaks of three palm trees in the Arabian desert. Weinberg used this text as the basis of his like-named work, scored for the unusual combination of soprano and string quartet. The character of this 20-minute work, conceived in 1977, comes from its mixture of chamber music, song cycle and cantata……..
Joseph Haydn is universally acknowledged as the father of both the string quartet and the symphony. In his long and estimable career, he transformed the two genres from Gebrauchsmusik to full-fledged concert-hall staples. Because Haydn's concertos seldom figure in concert programs or broadcasts, it is not so well known that he was also an accomplished and rather prolific composer of concertos.
The Karajan Official Remastered Edition comprises 13 box sets containing official remasterings of the finest recordings the Austrian conductor made for EMI between 1946 and 1984, which are now a jewel of the Warner Classics catalog. Karajan's extraordinary capacity for elevating his soloists on a 'magic carpet' of orchestral sound is demonstrated in this 10 CD collection of concertos; among the instrumentalists are such figures as Sviatoslav Richter, David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Alexis Weissenberg, Maurice André and James Galway.
In France, where jazz enjoyed a greater influence on classical composers than perhaps anywhere else, there was a regular explosion of trumpet works during the 20th century (‘but, my dear fellow, Louis Armstrong is doing wonders in the top register. Why should this be impossible for a classical player?!’ André Jolivet).
The accompaniment on all four concertos is provided by the Berlin Philharmonic and Herbert von Karajan and, as one can imagine, it is idiomatic and brilliant. Fans of Maurice André should rejoice to have all of these recordings available on one disc and if you've never heard André before, it's high time you did.