The town of Palermo was illuminated and Claudio Abbado revealed his strong Sicilian roots. Viewers of this concert, broadcasted on TV all across Europe, were inspired to see the maestro so relaxed, gesticulating so emphatically.
As a life-long fan of Williams' film music, I have only recently discovered his more "serious" pieces. Like many versatile composers before him (think Korngold, Waxman, etc.), Williams is able to function in both worlds, writing rousing, effective scores and introspective, yet extremely dynamic works for concerto and orchestra.
The modern popularity of Baroque music is a striking contrast to its original reception. Vivaldi's 'The Four Seasons,' written in 1725, was hardly noticed by music critics until it was revived in the early 1920s. Today it is one of the most recognized compositions of all time. Each mellifluent movement has worked its way into our common cultural language.
This disc, which features a CD-ROM encoding of a video for the "Winter" movement (both Macintosh- and PC-compatible), is a 1993 recording of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. This talented young group is bringing new popularity to its music through nontraditional means. The "Winter" video, which received its broadcast premier on The Weather Channel, gained the attention of a new audience.