Thursday, October 11, 2007


I have been making my way through a new stash of cd's - used and new.  One of the disks I finally picked up was the new Golijov/Spano/Atlanta Symphony/Kronos Quartet release on DG - Oceana.

The title work, Oceana, was another Helmuth Rilling Golijov commission, part of a "Cantatas of the Americas" project.  Dawn Upshaw is also featured prominently on the disk with her performance of Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra.  While I generally have liked everything written by Osvaldo Golijov, I am struck by his vocal and choral writing abilities.  Its a medium that really suits him, allowing him to showcase his overlapping influences. 

At the same time I am dazzled by Oceana, I have been completely disappointed by Abbado's dramaless recording of the Mahler's Third Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic.  The work searches for cosmic truth, but this recording seems rather ordinary.  Contrasted with his performance this summer at the Proms of the same piece with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, his Berlin recording is just plain dreary.  Fortunately, I found the disk in the used bin. 

I'll be off to D.C. in a few days.  I am looking forward to catching the Cleveland Orchestra on the 15th.  Mozart, Adams, and Tchaikovsky are on the program.  What could be better?     

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