Margaret Graham

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Margaret Graham, J. Gordon Holt  |  Sep 05, 2017  |  First Published: Oct 01, 1978  |  5 comments
Bill Berry and His Ellington All-Stars: For Duke
Works by Duke Ellington
Bill Berry, cornet; Ray Brown, bass; Frankie Capp, drums; Scott Hamilton, tenor sax; Nat Pierce, piano; Marshal Royal, alto sax; Britt Woodman, trombone.
M&K Real-Time RT-101 (direct-to-disc LP).

This is to-date the best direct-to-disc recording I have heard. For once I can't complain about the high end being shrill or hard. The balances are excellent and the performances superior, with each member of the group getting his chance to show off. Marshal Royal's saxophone solos must be heard to be believed, Everyone present is obviously having a good time making music, which is the way it always ought to be but often isn't.

Margaret Graham  |  Aug 30, 2017  |  First Published: Oct 01, 1979  |  0 comments
Michael Newman—Classical Guitarist
Sheffield Lab 10 (LP). Lincoln Mayorga, prod.; Doug Sax, eng., prod.

Mr. Newman's program comprises Bach's "Chaconne" from the Violin Partita No.2 in d, Albeniz's Torre Bermeja, Turina's Fandanquillo, and Eduardo Sainz de la Maza's Campanas del Alba. This is simply gorgeous. The most perfect guitar recording to date. BUY IT!!!!Margaret Graham

Margaret Graham, J. Gordon Holt  |  Aug 29, 2017  |  First Published: Oct 01, 1979  |  1 comments
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture (Op.49), Capriccio Italien (Op.45 ), "Cossack Dance" from Mazeppa (LP), plus Marche slav, Op.31, Polonaise and Waltz from Eugene Onegin , Op.24, Festival Coronation March (CD).
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Kiev Symphony Chorus; Children's Choir of Greater Cincinnati, Erich Kunzel cond.
Telarc Digital DG-10041 (LP, CD-80041 (CD). 1979 (LP), 1984 (CD). Edited at Soundstream, Inc. Robert Woods, prod.; Jack Renner, eng. DAA (LP), DDD (CD). TT: 35:19 (LP), 60:23 (CD).

I must say I'm getting a bit bored with the 1812 Overture, but as long as there are audiophiles, it will be recorded due to the stringent demands it can make upon one's playback system. This version produced by Telarc is going to be hard to beat. The cannon fire is unbelievable.

Margaret Graham  |  Aug 01, 2017  |  First Published: Oct 01, 1980  |  2 comments
Lincoln Hayorga and Amanda McBroom: Growing Up In Hollywood Town
Lincoln Hayorga and Amanda McBroom
Sheffield LAB-13 (LP).

This is a gorgeous recording. And would you believe, it's multi-miked? Sheffield's first since 1975, according to the notes. Ms. McBroom has that purity of intonation that once distinguished Julie Andrews' voice. This, plus a predominantly-string backup orchestra delivers a rich, warm sound. Each of the songs here is a gem in its own right, and the collaboration of McBroom and Mayorga creates moments here that are magical. My favorite is the song entitled "Amanda," with its frontier flavor and unadorned lyrics, followed by Mayorga's'waltz, "Wistful Lady."

Margaret Graham  |  Jun 16, 2015  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1982  |  0 comments
682rotm250.jpgMichael Murray: Encores à la Française Works by Couperin, Dupré, Gigout, Franck, Widor, J.S. Bach, Vierne, Lemmens
Organ at Symphony Hall, Boston
Telarc Digital DG10069 (LP), 80104 (CD, released in 1990). Robert Woods, prod., Elaine Martone, assistant prod., Jack Renner, eng. TT: 65:46 (CD).

This is another winner. Michael Murray's superior performances are or should be well known to all by this time. This recording of Encores in the French style covers a wide gamut of registration and mood, ranging from the large and full-blown sonorities of Franck's Pièce Héroique, the Toccata from Widor's Organ Symphony 5, and Vierne's Final from the Symphony 1 in d to the light and nimble Scherzo of Eugene Gigout and the technically demanding Musette by Marcel Dupré.

Margaret Graham  |  May 13, 2015  |  First Published: Jul 01, 1982  |  0 comments
Paul Winter: Callings
The Paul Winter Consort: Paul Winter, soprano sax, E-flat contrabass sarrusophone, conch shell; Nancy Rumbel, oboe, English horn, C contrabass sarrusophone, double ocarina; Eugene Friesen, cello; Jim Scott, classical and 12-string guitars; Ted Moore, timpani, surdos, berimbau, caixixi, pao de chuva, ganza, gongs, cymbals, triangles, handbells, whistles; Paul Halley, pipe organ, harpsichord, piano.
Recorded with the 3M Digital System in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City. Paul Winter, prod., Dixon Van Winkle, Chris Brown, engs. Additional recording by Richard Blakin and Mickey Houlihan. CD mastered by Clete Baker.
Living Music Records LMR-1 (LP). DAA. Living Music Records LD0001 (10488 00012-6) (CD). DAD. TT: 49:42.

It is hard for me to be objective about a record such as this. My very being responds to it, not only to the music but to the ideas and feelings behind it. Fortunately for me, this happens to be an excellent recording, with some extraordinary low end on it, so I need not compromise either my critical faculties or my sentiments.

Margaret Graham  |  Apr 02, 2015  |  First Published: Aug 01, 1982  |  0 comments
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No.6 Op.82
James Boyk, piano
Performance Recordings PR-3 (LP). James Boyk, prod., Michael Fraser, eng., Doug Sax, mastering eng.

James Boyk has become something of a phenomenon. Not only is he a Professor of Music (at Cal Tech) who teaches how to listen to reproduced sound and writes articles about sound reproduction (for New West magazine), he is also a virtuosic pianist who produces perfectionist-caliber recordings of his own recitals. This recording, Mr. Boyk's third LP (footnote 1), is of one of Prokofiev's later works, and is a magnificent piano recording. Much credit must be given to both Mr. Boyk and his recording engineer, Michael Fraser. The instrument seems to be right in front of one, with as accurate a sound as any piano reproduction I have heard. It is interesting to note that the recording was made with ribbon mikes (the legendary Coles 4038s, perhaps?) and all-tube electronics "from mike to grooves."

Margaret Graham  |  Mar 10, 2015  |  First Published: Sep 01, 1982  |  4 comments
Schumann: Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op.26
Liszt: Reminiscences de Norma (1841)

Ivan Davis, piano.
Audiofon 2004 (LP, subsequently released on CD as CD 72004) Julian Kreeger, prod., Peter McGrath, eng.

Beethoven: 33 Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op.120. Piano Sonata No.31 in A-Flat, Op.110.
Leonard Shure, piano
Audiofon 2001 (LP, subsequently released on CD as CD 72001) Julian Kreeger, prod., Peter McGrath, eng.

Audiofon is an audiophile record company with a difference. Instead of going for good sound and hoping the performance is satisfactory, Audiofon goes for performing excellence (usually at live performances) and gives it the best recordings possible. The result to date has been several recordings which may prove to be definitive.

Margaret Graham  |  Feb 09, 2015  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1982  |  6 comments
COPLAND: Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, Fanfare for the Common Man
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Louis Lane, cond.
Telarc Digital DG-10078 (LP). Robert Woods, prod., Jack Renner, eng. DAA. TT: 44:11.

I predict that this Fanfare for the Common Man will suffer the same fate as the opening measures of Also Sprach Zarathustra. The impact of the opening brass and tympani is stupendous. Even when I know it is coming, I tend to leap from my chair in surprise. All audiophile copies of this disc will become grey and worn on Band One of Side One.

Audiophile impact aside, please don't neglect the other two works on this disc. Both Rodeo and Appalachian Spring receive excellent interpretations, and they too contain sufficient brass and drum to excite a jaded audiophile.

Margaret Graham  |  Dec 16, 2014  |  First Published: Apr 01, 1983  |  0 comments
Art Pepper: Darn That Dream
Art Pepper, alto sax; Joe Farrell, tenor sax; George Cables, piano; John Dentz, drums; Tony Dumas, acoustic bass.
M&K RealTime Digital RT-309 (LP). Ken Kreisel and John Dentz, prods., Ken Kreisel and Scott Simon, engs. Recorded at The Annex Studio, Hollywood, CA, March 23, 1982. 37:36.

Earl Wild: Works for Piano
Cesar Franck: Prelude, Chorale and Fugue; Gabriel Fauré: Barcarolle No.3 in G Flat, Op.42. Maurice Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit.
Earl Wild, piano.
Audiofon Stereo 207 (LP). Julian H. Kreeger, prod., Peter McGrath, eng.

Darn That Dream should be of great interest to jazz buffs, as it is one of Art Pepper's last recordings, and a superb recording it is. One hardly feels that one is listening to a disc. Close your eyes and you are in the room with the players. For anyone who enjoys jazz, this record is a must.

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