Top 10 Classical Albums, November 2013
by Seth Colter Walls | November 3, 2013
First up on our monthly playlist is a new recording of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2, from soloist Yuja Wang and conductor Gustavo Dudamel (who leads the Simon Bolivar Orchestra). Give the first movement a whirl, and see if you aren't floored by the joint power of these musicians (especially around the 9:44 mark). And that's just the beginning of the best classical music released in recent weeks!
Click play and you'll hear a lot of prime piano works: newly discovered John Cage items, Mitsuko Uchida's take on Schumann's Waldszenen, and Maurizio Pollini continuing his Beethoven cycle. Speaking of Beethoven, experimental composer Alvin Lucier's "Exploration of the House" takes brief bits of a Beethoven overture and puts them through electronic-drone processes (don't be scared). It's all in the attached playlist, along with two new post-minimalist workouts (like "Black Water"), a chunk of Jeremy Denk's new Bach recording, and the return of James Levine to the conductor's chair! Check in with the track list below as you listen, and keep up with who composed which piece in our mix.
Tracks 1-4: Sergey Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No. 2
Tracks 5-13: Robert Schumann, Waldszenen
Track 14: Bruno Maderna, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra
Tracks 15-30: John Cage, 16 Dances for Piano
Track 31: Richard Wagner, Act I Prelude to Lohengrin
Tracks 32-35: Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 11
Track 36: Alvin Lucier, "Exploration of the House"
Tracks 37-52: J.S. Bach, Goldberg Variations (2nd half)
Track 53: Stephen Whittington, "Music for Airport Furniture"
Track 54: Jim Fox, "Black Water"