Chopin's two piano concertos have long been admired more as pianistic vehicles than as integrated works for piano and orchestra. But in his revelatory new recording, Krystian Zimerman suggests otherwise: The opening orchestral tuttis have so much more light, shade, orchestral color, and detail, you wonder if they've been rewritten. Every gesture, every instrumental solo is so specifically characterized that by the time the piano makes a dramatic entrance, the pieces have become operas without words.
This single-CD reissue pairs two blaxploitation soundtracks by different artists: 1975's Cornbread, Earl and Me, composed by Donald Byrd and performed by the Blackbyrds, and 1973's The Dynamite Brothers, composed and performed by Charles Earland. Cornbread, Earl and Me, which featured the movie debut of Larry Fishburne, is serviceable, routine soul-jazz background film music, varying between funk-jazz-rock vamps (such as the Sly Stone-styled instrumental workout "The One-Eye Two-Step"), snazzy jazzy bits for action scenes, and sentimental orchestrated interludes. There are also occasional vocal numbers in a pedestrian mid-'70s soul-jazz-rock mode, such as "The Cornbread Theme."
A documentary on the great pianists of the twentieth century, introduced, written and narrated by David Dubal. Featuring the music of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Clementi, Debussy, Field, Grainger, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Padarewski, Rachmaninov, Schubert, Scriabin and Weber. Featuring musicians Claudio Arrau, Alexander Brailowsky, Van Cliburn, Alfred Cortot, Glenn Gould, Percy Grainger, Myra Hess, Josef Hoffmann, Vladimir Horowitz, Wanda Landowska, Ignacy Paderewski, Artur Rubinstein, and Rudolf Serkin. Bonus: Claudio Arrau Centenary reissued of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra.