My best would have to be two recordings I found that proved to be a
revelatory experience. On the drive home from performing in Micanopy
one Sunday I happened to come in on a piece I'd never heard before. It
seemed like a concerto for orchestra and had some really engaging music.
I listened to the end and it was Osmo Vanska conducting the Minnesota
Orchestra in Aho's Symphony #2 (Insect Symphony). I immediately got on
line and ordered a copy (BIS 936) and reveled in the experience again.
I am not going to attempt to put into words what I hear when I listen
to this music but anything with a movement titled "The Dung Beetles
(Grief over the Stolen Ball of Dun) has got to be heard.
Next was one I hesiatated over before ordering. It is Glenn Gould and
Leonard Bernstein in Gould's interpretation of Brahms' Piano Concerto
#1 SONY 7464-60675). It was controversial mainly because of the slowness
of the first movement (almost half an hour) but what an ear-opener! It
is more brooding and Romantic than any other performance I have listened
to. The sound is also very good.
As for the controversial pre-concert comments by the conductor, they
don't seem as negative as the press they got.
The Intellectual Hobo.