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2021 Listening Project - Mar 2

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Ballade for Piano and Orchestra
Michael Korstick, piano
SWR Rundfunkorchester Kaiserslautern
Alun Francis, conductor

As with the Milhaud Etudes, this is more modernist (and less melodic) than I prefer, but I still thought this was OK.

Orchestral Suite No. 3
The English Concert
Trevor Pinnock

Here's what I though immediately upon listening. The Ouverture was immediately familiar to me, The Air just incredibly pretty, and the Gavotte was another familiar tune. The last two movements were nice as well.

Then two days later, I was listening to "Bach and Handlel: Transcriptions for Piano" performed by Roberto Cominati, streamed from Spotify just as background" while working. I heard a very pretty, and very familiar, tune and looked at what it was from. It was "Orchestral Suite No. 3, 2. Air 'Air on a G String'". So *that's* that "Air on a G String" is! The name was familiar to me, because I have a clear memory of playing some (vastly) simplified version of the tune as young violin player. Until now, I don't think that I know where this Air came from.

Like the first two Orchestral Suites, I like these, but for me they aren't really in the same leage as the Brandenburg Concertos.

Ballade No. 1
Arthur Rubinstein, piano, 1959

Whoa. I enjoyed the Pollini Nocturnes, but this piece is on another level. Really spectacular. Maybe now I'm starting to understand what the big deal is about Chopin. Listened to it twice, played it for my wife the next day, and will probably listen to it again tonight (two days later).

Is it the piece that I love, or Rubinstein's performance? I don't know, and I don't care ;-) I'll have to get some other recordings of this music some day to find out!