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In Memoriam: Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)

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Top Ear is saddened to note the death of esteemed conductor and composer Pierre Boulez on January 5, 2016 at the grand old age of 90.  As the numerous obituaries from various news agencies and orchestras have already mentioned, Continue reading

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Alfred Scholz’s 20th Century Album on DG

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Jeremy Lee writes

Having bashed Max Richter’s abominable Recomposition series on DG, we offer how it really should be done here, in a long-forgotten album of 20th century music conducted by Alfred Scholz on the same label.  Here Alfred Scholz offers us his very own reconstruction of Debussy’s popular La Mer, Continue reading


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A Consideration of Pierre Boulez’s Mahler Cycle

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The discs under consideration in this article (Jeremy’s collection)

Jeremy Lee writes

Pierre Boulez’s cycle of Mahler symphonies for Deutsche Grammophon, starting with the Sixth with the Vienna Philharmonic recorded in 1994 and ending with the Adagio of the Tenth with the Cleveland Orchestra recorded in 2010, has polarized opinion and has been the source of much amazement as well as Continue reading


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Top Ear First Anniversary Special: The Surprise Reviews (Part II): Criminal Mastermind, Brain Surgeon, Avant-garde warrior Pierre Boulez offers dainty delights

Leonard Ip writes

Among Pierre Boulez’s voluminous DG recordings of 20th century works, this Berg and Stravinsky album stands out to the connoisseur as a neglected gem. In collaboration with the ever so versatile Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman (who plays the violin here), clarinetist Michel Arrignon and his own Continue reading


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Very Exciting New Releases in April

Remember our news of the exciting releases in March?  To be very honest, we weren’t THAT excited, especially compared to the releases that will reach your nearest disc shop in April.  Therefore, kindly observe the comparative form of “exciting” that we have used in this news’  title:  “Very Exciting”.

And it is Very Exciting, because Universal’s Virtuoso budget series, whose offerings Continue reading


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Boulez’s Mahler 2: The Viennese Save the Day

Jeremy Lee writes

Let’s get straight to the point.  Pierre Boulez has essentially imposed the same kind of interpretation on both Mahler 2 and 3, and while his Third turned out to be excellent mostly because of his successful realization of the more mundane, earthy context of Mahler’s “Nature” symphony, his Second fails to take off Continue reading


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Exciting new releases in March

Here are some interesting new albums that will be released in March.  Stay tuned to Top Ear because we may review some of these albums in due course.

Marc-André Hamelin’s in-progress cycle of Joseph Haydn’s piano sonatas has gone very well, offering exquisite musicality and fidelity to the score (and needless to say Hamelin’s amazing technique).  In this new spinoff album Continue reading