Cesar Franck, Symphony in D Minor (1973, CBS 61356)

I’m writing this while the LP is still on the turntable, and that’s because I already know it’s a keeper. I know nothing about Franck, although I have heard of him which is a start. We might be classical numptys but have generally heard of the main composers!  The only downside now that we’re on side 2 is that it’s a bit crackly, the odd scratch on it. I don’t have the classical music language Continue Reading

Handel – The Gods Go A Begging (1969, World Record Club ST 837)

And so at the third attempt tonight, we get something we actually want to listen to. This is a bit of a compilation job, not just Handel but Mozart and Rossini as well. Conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Actually not half bad – quite listenable, quite stirring in places (in the music, not places in me – it’s not that good). I even recognised a couple of bits – Arrival of Continue Reading

Mahavishnu Orchestra – Birds of Fire (1973, CBS 32280)

Ah, one of the non-classical albums in my dad’s collection. Most of the non-classical stuff is folk (and most of that is already in boxes for disposal), but there are occasional ones you might not expect. The Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix for example – but at least they’re renowned and classic albums. Then we have this – John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra, 70s noodling at it’s worst. I didn’t have high hopes for this – Continue Reading

Richard Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier (1954, Decca LXT 2956 & 2967)

This one had a couple of things going against it, which meant it didn’t even make it onto the turntable tonight.1) We picked out a recording of Der Rosenkavalier yesterday and didn’t feel the need to keep it2) We first thought it was another abridged version of the opera, but no it’s worse than that – it’s discs 2 & 3 of a 4 LP set. Why oh why did my dad have the middle Continue Reading

Mozart Divertimenti KV 113, 137 & 251 – Academy Chamber Ensemble (1986, Philips 420 181-1)

This is the last of tonight’s flurry of activity – a surprisingly pleasant bit of Chamber Orchestra Mozart. I have no idea what a Divertimeno is, but it’s actually been a pleasant listen and this will be a keeper. OK, a quick consult of Wikipedia tells me a Divertimento is a light-hearted piece of music intended to be played at a social occasion. That explains the up-beat nature of it. To my untrained ear, the Continue Reading

Sarah Brightman – The Trees They Grow So High, Britten Folksong Arrangements (1988, EMI EL7495101)

Ah, and so we get to the point where we find something we really don’t like. And it’s not just because it’s Sarah Brightman. Twee shrill sopranos accompanied by just a piano don’t do it for me, even if they are singing Benjamin Britten – albeit only traditional folk songs arranged by him. This one lasted about 30 seconds, sampling a couple of tracks, before it was whipped off. Astonishingly it appears to have sold Continue Reading

Lindsay String Quartet – Haydn Op.64, No.5 (The Lark), Op.42 and and Op.76, No.5 (1988, ASV DCA 637)

Ah, string quartets. Unfortunately not my favourite form of classical – being a know-nothing beginner with a rock background, I tend to prefer the orchestral pieces, which is probably because they’re louder. There is family background to The Lindsays though – my parents were ardent fans and were such regulars at their concerts (in Leicester I think) that they got to know them, to the extent that they played at my dad’s birthday one year! Continue Reading

Richard Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier (highlights) (1971, Decca SET487)

I don’t quite get the “highlights” thing – why not buy the whole opera? It seems a bit strange to only get the singing bits (arias?) – I mean, I don’t decide to buy a Pink Floyd album and buy a version without the long intro to Wish You Were Here, do I? So why aren’t the musical bits a key part of an opera? As for the album, it’s OK – we only listened to Continue Reading

The Art of Paul Tortelier (1984, EMI SLS2700013 3LP set)

This is one we listened to over the Easter weekend, and while even a classical numpty like myself knows Paul Tortelier is a highly regarded cellist, this really didn’t do it for us. All a bit bland I’m afraid – even the Elgar concerto (isn’t that quite a renowned piece?) didn’t do it for us. We listened to the first LP  and gave up. On the bright side, it might be worth over a tenner Continue Reading

Mozart – Serenade for Thirteen Wind Instruments, wind soloists of The Chamber Orchestra of Europe (1985, ASV COE804)

As SWMBO and I have managed to make a bit of a dent in our usual backlog of Nordic Noir (the Virgin box is less than 70% full!), we thought we’d dip into my dad’s classical vinyl – which is, after all, the whole point of this badly neglected blog. This LP was picked completely at random, and we’ve decided to keep it. SWMBO set a timer when she put it on, to see how Continue Reading