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Saturday Afternoon Classical for 4/25/2009

This week we'll hear another Mozart Piano Concerto played by Leon Fleisher in his first concerto recordings in more than 4 decades. Also, Beethoven's 1st Symphony, and the rarely-heard Symphony No.2 by Giuseppe Martucci. Our regular feature of "live" Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra recordings continues with Debussy's Images for Orchestra.


Our Saturday-afternoon selection of new and recent CD releases.

HOUR ONE (1-2pm)

MOZART: Piano Concerto No.23 in A, K.488, played by Leon Fleisher with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra; another selection from Fleisher's first concerto album in more than 40 years (Sony Classical 88697-43505-2).

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.1 in C, op.21, from the newest entry in conductor Paavo Järvi's continuing Beethoven-symphony cycle with the Deutsches Kammerphilharmonie of Bremen (RCA Red Seal 88697-33835-2).

HOUR TWO (2-3pm)

JOHN JENKINS (1592-1678) was one of the most important English composers of his era, spanning the end of the Elizabethan era and the Restoration. German label Phoenix Edition has released a CD of Jenkins' "Fantasy Suites" for violin and viola da gamba, played by members of the Hamburg Ratsmusik ensemble. This Saturday we hear one of Jenkin's Suites in A major for solo viola da gamba played by the ensemble's director Simone Eckert. (Phoenix Edition 141)

GIUSEPPE MARTUCCI (1856-1909) was that rarity, a late 19th-century Italian composer who wrote symphonic and instrumental music rather than opera! His greatest orchestral work is probably the Symphony No.2 in F, op.81, a piece long championed by Arturo Toscanini but neglected since his death in 1957. This new Naxos CD (8.570930) is played by the Rome Symphony Orchestra with Francesco La Vecchia conducting.

HOUR THREE (3-4pm)

Another selection from the 14-disc Radio Netherlands box set Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Live: The Radio Recordings, Vol.5 (1980-1990) (RCO 08005). Antal Dorati directs the orchestra in a 1987 concert performance of DEBUSSY's Images pour orchestre.

We heard the young violinist from the former Soviet state of Georgia, Lisa Batiashvili, in a thrilling Beethoven Violin Concerto about a month ago (Sony Classical 88697-33400-2). From that same CD she performs music by her compatriot SULKHAN TSINTSADZE (1925-1991): a charming set of Miniatures, originally for string quartet and arranged for violin soloist and chamber orchestra. Lisa Batiashvili plays and conducts the Georgian Chamber Orchestra.