Top Ear


Comprehensive Review: Orff’s Carmina Burana


Jeremy Lee writes

Orff’s You-Know-What:  to many, all you have to do is mention the composer Orff to a casual classical music lover and immediately you will get one of two responses:  Carmina Burana, or O Fortuna.  In fact Carmina Burana (which is, to those of you who don’t know better, Continue reading


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Giulini in Chicago


Jeremy Lee writes

Italian conductor Carlo Maria Giulini and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra had a long-lasting relationship.  Giulini debuted with the orchestra in 1955, became its principal guest conductor from 1969 to 1972, and regularly conducted there until around 1978.  During his time with the orchestra, Continue reading

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Georg Solti and his Supercharged Mahler Symphonies Set

Jeremy Lee writes

Georg Solti’s history of recording Mahler is rather interesting:  from 1964 to 1971 he completed a Mahler cycle for Decca with the London Symphony Orchestra in symphonies 1, 2, 3 and 9, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Symphony No. 4, and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in symphonies 5-8.  In around 1980 however Continue reading


A Consideration of Pierre Boulez’s Mahler Cycle


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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A Great Time with Levine’s Gershwin

Jeremy Lee writes

I think this is my third article on Gershwin, but I’m not bored with this fascinating composer just yet:  there are just so many great, idiomatic recordings of this genius’s music calling for our attention (not that there aren’t any other composers which I would say the same for).  This album by Levine and the Chicagoans is Continue reading


Ein Deutsches Requiem: A comprehensive review

Jeremy Lee writes

After a brief hiatus, here’s Top Ear’s second comprehensive, this time on 12 different recordings of Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, purely a labour of love of Brahms’ music.

Just a few of the recordings reviewed here

The work, whose conception and progress was apparently spurred by the notion of Brahms’ mother’s eminent death as well as a work by Schumann of a similar title, remains to this day one of his finest achievements and testimony of his study in counterpoint, as well as one of the Continue reading