Classical ear-openers.

Susan Crawford has — in late February — blogged what must have been an ear-opener concerto: Slatkin conducted Mahler’s retouche of Beethoven’s 9th, and before that gave a lecture explaining the various versions of the symphony. I have now finall…

Susan Crawford has — in late February — blogged what must have been an ear-opener concerto: Slatkin conducted Mahler’s retouche of Beethoven’s 9th, and before that gave a lecture explaining the various versions of the symphony. I have now finally got hold of a recording of this particular variant of the 9th: Gerhard Samuel conducting the Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra; the recording is available from Centaur Records.It’s quite an interesting recording that demands more time and concentration — in particular since my mental image of the 9th is dominated by a 1963 Karajan recording of the symphony. But, as usual, the more versions of the music one has listened to, the more interesting it becomes to listen to any and all of them.Speaking of ear-opening interpretations, here are some more (almost random) recommendations: The excellent Rubinstein-Reiner interpretation of Brahms’ first piano concerto (available on CD); Edwin Fischer’s dark cadenzas in Mozart’s D minor piano concerto K 466 (I have not been able to track down a CD version of the HMV record with the Philharmonia orchestra that I have in mind); Furtw舅gler’s version of Schumann’s 4th with the Berlin Philharmonics (in particular the extremely slow beginning of the final movement is fascinating; this recording may be available on CD).