Music News 11/7/2018

THE BEATLES RE-MASTERED

THE BEATLES (THE WHITE ALBUM) AND ESHER DEMOS (Capitol, 3 CDs, $29.98)

Last year, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, producer Giles Martin (son of Beatles producer George Martin) and engineer Sam Okell created a new stereo remix of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. With new technology, the remix brought listeners new levels of sound detail.

Now, Martin and Okell have remixed a very different and fractious album, The Beatles (known as The White Album), which was first issued on November 22, 1968.

The most fascinating part of the package is the bonus disc. The “Esher Demos” are 27 acoustic demos recorded on 4-track tape at George Harrison’s bungalow in Surrey, in May, 1968. The Beatles had just come back from a stay in Rishikesh, India, where they had written many songs (John was especially prolific, contributing 15 songs to the session). The acoustic sessions are relaxed and full of fun; you hear songs that would appear on The Beatles, Abbey Road (“Polythene Pam” and “Mean Mr. Mustard”) and solo Beatles albums (John’s melody to “Child of Nature” eventually became “Jealous Guy”). Then the Beatles went into Abbey Road to record the songs, and the grueling sessions were the beginning of the end.

There is also a deluxe version with 6-CDs and 1 Blu-Ray (Capitol, $179.98)

NEW CLASSICAL

  Image result for Brooklyn Youth Chorus, SILENT VOICES (New Amsterdam

Ian Bostridge & Antonio Pappano, REQUIEM, THE PITY OF WAR (Warner Classics, $17.98) – In commemoration of the centenary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918, tenor Ian Bostridge, accompanied by conductor Antonio Pappano on piano, offers works by George Butterworth, Rudi Stephan, Kurt Weill (Four Walt Whitman Songs), and Gustav Mahler (3 songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn).

DVORAK: PIANO TRIOS NOS 3 &4 “DUMKY” (Ondine, $16.99) – Violinist Christian Tetzlaff, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff, and pianist Lars Vogt

BEETHOVEN: PIANO SONATAS Nos. 30 – 32 (Erato, CD & DVD, $17.98) – Alexandre Tharaud plays the last sonatas, and the CD also includes a bonus 64-minute DVD, Ultimes Sonates/Last Sonatas.

Brooklyn Youth Chorus, SILENT VOICES (New Amsterdam, $13.99) – Composers include Caroline Shaw, Shara Nova, Nico Muhly, and Toshi Reagon.

CALLAS AT THE AVALON & BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

 

Maria by Callas, a new documentary by Tom Volf, opens at the Avalon this Friday, November 9, for one week only. Volf uses archival footage and recordings, photos and personal films to tell Callas’s story in her own words.

In recent years, EMI/Warner Classics has re-mastered Callas’s historical recordings to brilliant effect.

Two introductory compilations are PURE CALLAS (Warner Classics, $9.98) and LIVE & ALIVE (Warner Classics, 2 CDs, $17.98), from live opera recordings. Complete operas are available to special order.

Meanwhile, the biopic BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Hollywood, $13.98) opened in theaters last week, with Rami Malek channeling Freddie Mercury in the story of Queen. The soundtrack is all original Queen songs, including performances at Live Aid in 1985.