Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 Op. 60 "Leningrad"
conducted by Toscanini, July 19, 1942. The most contemporary piece Toscanini ever conducted.
Friday evening I listened to a broadcast of a performance I attended in 2006 at Houston Grand Opera of Monteverdi's L'incoronazzione di Poppea. Nero and Poppea, a lot of nasty people doing nasty things and getting away with murder.
Saturday evening I listened to a broadcast performance I attended in 2002 at the Dallas Opera of Beethoven's Fidelio.
Queen's A Day at the Races and some of The Game, but that's really not a very good album, so I cut it short.
Followed with Steely Dan's Everything Must Go and Gaucho.
Then on to some classical...
Holst's The Planets - André Previn and the Royal PO on Telarc. Previn winds up the Double-Bs in this performance so much it occasionally sounds like there's a pipe organ playing. I think sometimes there is.
Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony - Christian Badea and the Royal PO (again) on Telarc, with Michael Murray contributing Pipe Organ from a different continent. My favorite recording of this piece.
Beethoven - Piano Concertos 1 & 2 - Martha Argerich with Giuseppe Sinopoli and the Philharmonia Orchestra on DG.
This was all played on my living room system, instead of the HT. It has ELAC Debut B6.2s and an SVS SB-2000 with a Marantz SR7012. Those Debuts are just beautiful sounding speakers. Remarkable imaging and generally great sound from a real bargain speaker.
A Houston Grand Opera broadcast from 2000 of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore featuring tenor Ramon Vargas and Puerto Rican soprano Ana Maria Martinez (first cousin of a cousin of mine, so as the singer says, we're almost cousins). The soprano's mother and I are from the same town and went to the same school, although she's nine years older than I, but we could reminisce about many things in our town and school.
Ana Maria, a lovely human being, has ruined La boheme and Madama Butterfly for me. I've seen many productions of both operas, but no one, no one has ever sung Mimi or Cio-Cio-San on stage in my experience as movingly or beautifully as she. Her breath control and pianissimos are exquisite and move me to tears.
Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra, World Premiere Live Performance recorded 16 September 1966 from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera, NY. Starring Leontyne Price and Justino Diaz in the title roles, both still with us as I write.