Concerto for Orchestra by Lutoslawski (CD 5201):
When you hear “Concerto for Orchestra,” most people think of the one by Bartok. Personally, this one by Lutoslawski is my favorite although I still love the one by Bartok. The melody in the lower strings at the beginning reminds me of the opening of Resurrection Symphony (#2) by Mahler a bit. This piece should be played more often! If you have not heard it already, you must. Really cool piece.
Michael Torke’s Color Music (CD 1373):
You want to hear colors in music? Torke’s got the colors. When I was in graduate school, I had a chance to play Ecstatic Orange which is on this CD. The piece sounded very NEW to me at that time, and I wasn’t sure what to think of it, but as you listen to it, it becomes addictive. There are some minimalistic elements, but nothing like Steve Reich or Philip Glass. You will definitely hear colors or colours or however you want to spell it.
Janacek, Hindemith, Prokofiev (CD 5620):
Janacek is one of my favorite composers. Sinfonietta may be played almost too often, but it is still one of my faves. The bestselling “1Q84” by Hikaru Murakami mentions this piece at the beginning of the book. There are a lot of good and exciting parts for brass and percussion. What more can you ask for?
Abbey Road by Beatles (CD 5122):
Among the many albums the Beatles released, this album has two of my favorite songs: Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and Octopus’s Garden. It is almost not right to say that the song makes me happy because Maxwell is killing people in the song. I wonder why the song sounds so happy… About Octopus’s Garden, who doesn’t want to visit an Octopus’s Garden?