Top Ear


Featured Musician: A Maazel Celebration


The discs under consideration here.

Jeremy Lee writes

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DG’s Big Bernstein Box, Vol. 1

Jeremy Lee writes

I will start this review with a bold statement:  of all the oft-recorded conductors that have ever lived, no-one has had such a high proportion of great musicianship, great playing and great sonics in their discography than Leonard Bernstein on Deutsche Grammophon.  This is particularly remarkable given Continue reading


Jean-Rodolphe Kars’ French Recital

Jeremy Lee writes

Not many people have heard of the pianist Jean-Rodolphe Kars, who incidentally is still alive and well at the age of 67.  An Indian-born pianist of French origin, Kars won fourth place in the 1966 Leeds Piano Competition at the age of 19 and won the Concours de Piano Olivier Messiaen in 1968.  During the late 1960s and early 1970s Continue reading

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Late Giulini and the Concertgebouw in Debussy and Ravel

Jeremy Lee writes

Compared to the Austro-Germanic classics, Giulini’s did not record nearly as much French music, and yet he evidently felt quite sympathetic to the colorful French style, as shown by the fact that he has recorded most of the works featured on this disc more than once.  As with all remakes, Continue reading

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Happy 2013 to our readers!!

From both of us at Top Ear to all of you:  Have a very blessed, fruitful and musical 2013!  To celebrate, here are some brilliantly impressionistic fireworks played by the incomparable Krystian Zimerman.  Top Ear has also gotten hold of Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s newest release of Debussy’s Preludes, and we will review it at our earliest convenience.  Stay tuned!

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Reiner’s Fascinating Respighi and Debussy

Jeremy Lee writes

Ah, Respighi’s Pines of Rome! It was one of the first works I ever came across, having played the last movement in an arrangement for wind band.  I remember vividly how I was fascinated by the then-complex rhythms (which to me is nothing now given that I play stuff like Messiaen), the hypnotizing cor anglais solo which Continue reading