by Walter Simmons
If I could only pick one recording for the Want List, the Barber disc (reviewed in 15:6) would be it: great performances of two of Barber’s greatest works. I selected the Mercury reissue (reviewed in 15:2 because the Concerti Grossi are two of Bloch’s most lovable pieces, the performances are superb, and the sound is stunning. The third installment of Gerard Schwarz’s Hanson survey (reviewed in 15:3) matches the standard set by its predecessors (each of which appeared on my Want Lists). The Fourth Symphony and the Merry Mount suite are among Hanson’s best music. The two cassettes of Persichetti piano music are worth writing away for (reviewed in 15:3; mailing address given): seventeen pieces not available elsewhere by America’s greatest keyboard composer. I selected the Schuman disc (reviewed in 16:1) because of the fine performance of Judith, perhaps the composer’s greatest work.
BARBER: The Lovers; Prayers of Kierkegaard. Schenck/Chicago Symphony Chorus and Orchestra. KOCH INTERNATIONAL 3-7125-2H1)
BLOCH: Concerti Grossi Nos. 1 and 2; Schelomo. Hanson/Eastman-Rochester Orchestra. (MERCURY LIVING PRESENCE 432 718-2)
HANSON: Symphony No. 4; Lament for Beowulf; Merry Mount Suite; Pastorale; Serenade. Schwarz/Seattle Symphony/NY Chamber Symphony. (DELOS DE-3105)
PERSICHETTI: Piano Music. Patterson. (EDUCO 3235/3236 [two cassettes))
SCHUMAN: Judith; Symphony No. 5; New England Triptych; Variations on “America”. Schwarz/Seattle Symphony. DELOS DE-3115)