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Andrew McGregor with Edward Seckerson and Harriet Smith

Latest recordings with Andrew McGregor, Building a Library on Gershwin's Porgy and Bess from Edward Seckerson, and new releases of chamber music from Harriet Smith.

with Andrew McGregor.

Building a Library: Edward Seckerson listens to and compares recordings of Gershwin's opera, Porgy and Bess.

Porgy and Bess is an opera by George Gershwin. First performed in 1935 it featured a cast of classically trained African-American singers. After a slow start, the work has gradually gained popularity, and it is now one of the more frequently performed operas.

The story tells of Porgy, a disabled black street-beggar and his attempts to rescue Bess from Crown, her violent lover, and Sportin' Life, her drug dealer. Some of the numbers in the opera, such as "Summertime", have become popular, frequently recorded songs. In recent times the trend has been toward productions more faithful to Gershwin's original intentions.

Andrew McGregor talks to Harriet Smith about recent releases of chamber music by Mozart, Schumann, Brahms and Britten.

Andrew chooses an outstanding new release as his Disc of the Week.

2 hours, 44 minutes

Music Played

  • Richard Strauss

    Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 (opening)

    Orchestra: Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Vasily Petrenko.
    • Oslo Philharmonic + Petrenko: Richard Strauss.
    • LAWO.
    • 002.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Goldberg Variations BWV988: Aria; Variations 1 - 4

    Ensemble: Arundo Quartet.
    • BACH Goldberg Variations.
    • Supraphon.
    • 001.
  • Jacques Dutronc

    Il est cinq heures, Paris s'éveille

    Choir: Choeur de l'Armée française. Orchestra: Orchestre de la Garde républicaine. Conductor: Aurore Tillac.
    • PARIS Je t'aime.
    • Erato.
    • 003.
  • Felix Mendelssohn

    Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 40: iii - Finale

    Performer: Kristian Bezuidenhout. Orchestra: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Conductor: Pablo Heras‐Casado.
    • Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 2.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • 007.
  • Dieterich Buxtehude

    Membra Jesu nostri, BuxWV 75: vi - Ad Cor

    Ensemble: Ricercar Consort. Director: Philippe Pierlot.
    • Buxtehude, Membra Jesu nostri.
    • Mirare.
    • 032.
  • Grażyna Bacewicz

    Concert Krakowiak

    Performer: Morta Grigaliunaitè.
    • Bacewicz: Piano Music.
    • Piano Classics.
    • 004.
  • Leopold Mozart

    Missa Solemnis: Crucifixus; Et resurrexit

    Singer: Arianna Vendittelli. Singer: Sophie Rennert. Singer: Patrick Grahl. Singer: Ludwig Mittelhammer. Choir: Das Vokalprojekt. Orchestra: Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie. Conductor: Alessandro De Marchi.
    • Leopold Mozart: Missa Solemnis.
    • Aparte.
    • 10.
  • Ernest Chausson

    Poème de l'amour et de la mer, Op. 19: Interlude; La Mort De L'amour

    Singer: Véronique Gens. Orchestra: Orchestre National de Lille. Conductor: Alexandre Bloch.
    • Chausson: Poème De L'Amour et de la Mer; Symphonie Op.20.
    • Alpha Classics.
    • 2.

Record Review


R. Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 & Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

Vasily Petrenko (conductor)
LAWO Classics LWC1166

J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV988

Arundo Quartet (ensemble)

Supraphon SU4261-2

Paris Je t’aime

Choeur de l’Armée Française (choir)

Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine

Aurore Tillac (conductor)

Warner Classics 0190295484842

Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 40 & Symphony No. 1, Op. 11

Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano)

Freiburg Baroque Orchestra

Pablo Heras-Casado (conductor)!/albums/2515


9.30am – Building a Library – Edward Seckerson on Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess

Composer: George Gershwin

Reviewer: Edward Seckerson

Recommended Recording:

Donnie Ray Albert (Porgy), Clamma Dale (Bess), Wilma Shakesnider (Serena), Carol Brice (Maria), Andrew Smith (Crown), Alexander B. Smalls (Jake), Betty Lane (Clara), Larry Marshall (Sportin’ Life)

Houston Grand Opera
John DeMain (conductor)
RCA RD 82109

Other Recommended Recordings:

Willard White (Porgy), Leona Mitchell (Bess), McHenry Boatwright (Crown), Florence Quivar (Serena), Barbara Hendricks (Clara), Barbara Conrad (Maria), Arthur Thompson (Jake), François Clemmons (Sporting Life)
Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus

Lorin Maazel (conductor)

Decca 414 559-2

Willard White (Porgy), Cynthia Haymon (Bess), Gregg Baker (Crown), Harolyn Blackwell (Clara), Cynthia Clarey (Serena), Marietta Simpson (Maria), Damon Evans (Sportin' Life), Bruce Hubbard (Jake)
London Philharmonic Orchestra

Glyndebourne Chorus

Simon Rattle (conductor)

EMI CDS 49568-2

10.20am – New Releases

Buxtehude: Membra Jesu nostri
Maria Keohane, Hanna Bayodi-Hirt (sopranos)

Carlos Mena (alto)

Jeffrey Thompson (tenor)

Matthias Vieweg (bass)

Ricercar Consort

Philippe Pierlot (direction)

Mirare MIR444

Grażyna Bacewicz: Piano Music

Morta Grigaliūnaitė (piano)

Piano Classics PCL10183

Leopold Mozart: Missa Solemnis

Arianna Vendittelli (soprano)

Sophie Rennert (alto)

Patrick Grahl (tenor)

Ludwig Mittelhammer (bass)

Das Vokalprojekt

Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie

Alessandro De Marchi (conductor)

Aparte AP205

10.49am – New Releases – Harriet Smith’s chamber music

Schumann: Complete Piano Trios

Horszowski Trio


Mozart, Brahms, Mahler

Skride Piano Quartet

Orfeo C946191         

Fauré, Debussy, Szymanowski, Chopin

Bomsori Kim (violin)

Rafal Blechacz (piano)

DG 483 6467

Britten: String Quartets, etc.

Doric Quartet

Chandos CHAN 20124

11.20am – Record of the Week

Chausson: Poème de l’amour et de la mer & Symphonie, Op. 20

Véronique Gens (soprano)

Orchestre National de Lille

Alexandre Bloch (conductor)

Alpha ALPHA441


Browse previous episodes of the Record Review Podcast

Browse previous episodes of the Record Review Podcast

All episodes since 2010, listed alphabetically by composer surname.

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