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Three of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra's best performances in recent years are now available on LP records, Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, Piston's Third, and Bach's Triple Concerto, all highlights of Russell Stanger's first season as conductor of the orchestra, deserve--and have received--top-notch recordings of professional calibre.
Those who heard last season's opening concert will remember the orchestra's electrifying performance of the Shostakovich masterpiece, and the recently-released recording belongs in every library of modern music. The only notceable difference between this and the standard Shostakovich version lies in the string playing, which is a bit shaky (especially in the first movement.'
Now, the Pierian Sodality has released another new disc, consisting of music from last year's third concert. Walter Piston's Pulitzer Prize-winning Third Symphony is one of those contemporary works which cannot be fully appreciated on first hearing, and this record (pressed by Columbia) should help make the piece accessible to all.
On the reverse side is Bach's seldom-performed Concerto for flute, violin, and piano. The best thing in this performance is Martin Boykan's delicate piano-playing, but poor microphone placement makes it impossible to hear all of the notes. The surfaces, except for a few minor scratches, are quite good, and both records may be obtained through the Orchestra.
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