Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Best CDs of 2014... Number 14

What a dolt I am! I forgot one. Not until I was rummaging around in my CDs (after HRH Olive the Pug knocked a few over) did I remember this recording that I planned to add to my list. I can't very well knock one off  the list after publishing it, so I will just do this supplement and add #14 to the list:

Darius Milhaud The Oresteia of Aeschylus: Agamemnon, Les choëphores, Les euménides
University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble, University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, University of  Michigan Choral Union, Kenneth Kiesler, Conductor
Naxos 660349 3 discs

A long time ago, a strange LP of a strange sounding work "Les choëphores" caught my eye. Even though conducted by the New York Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein, it was only available as a "Columbia Special Products" LP and thus really hard to get. My local record store tried and was told it did not exist. It finally made an appearance on CD a few years ago and I picked up a copy, but it soon disappeared from the catalog. I didn't know about the Markevitch version that was on DG occasionally. My curiosity was only partly satisfied, what about the rest of the trilogy? All the years of not being able to get it made me so damn curious about it.. you know what it is like when you can't have something.... it makes it all the more intriguing.

Finally, here it is in all its. Strange, percussive, fascinating, dramatic, violent and in-your-face glory. Great sound, great performances (the Markevitch "Les chöephores" is better than the Bernstein and in some ways better than this performance, if you want to explore them) and great fun. But good grief, NO TEXTS. What a shame, but still a landmark recording.

I should be shot for forgetting this!

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