Happy is the composer who has an advocate as passionate and talented as Leonard Bernstein. These Copland performances have been the preferred versions since they were first issued--better even than the composer's own, later recordings. Originally they were spread over two discs, but thanks to the extended playing time of the compact disc, you can now get all three great Copland ballets together, along with the ever popular Fanfare for the Common Man. Bernstein brings to this music the right sharpness of rhythm but also a typically open-hearted warmth. He coaxes a virtuoso response from the New York Philharmonic, which knows this music as well (or better) than anyone. Self- recommending. --David Hurwitz
Filmed on November 29, 2002 before a sold-out audience at Royal Albert Hall in London, "The Concert For George" is a beautifully filmed, joyous celebration of some of the most significant music of the 20th Century. Friends including Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Ravi & Anoushka Shankar, the cast of Monty Python and other artists who worked with George Harrison throughout his lifetime, present his music in a special concert to commemorate the first anniversary of his passing. This 2 DVD set includes the full 2 hour & 40 minute concert and the 1 hour 40 minute documentary filmed in high definition by David Leland ("Band Of Brothers") featuring concert footage and interviews with the artists about George's life and music. Documentary produced by Ray Cooper, Olivia Harrison and Jon Kamen.
Exceptionally moving but not the least bit sentimental, Concert for George is a splendid tribute to the late George Harrison, whose contributions to the Beatles were so often hidden in the long shadows of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. A year to the day after Harrison's November 29, 2001 death, Eric Clapton assembled some musicians--people who had played with Harrison and known him intimately, including McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Tom Petty--to perform his music at London's Royal Albert Hall. They take on not just the predictable ("My Sweet Lord" and "Something," beautifully sung by Billy Preston and Sir Paul, respectively), but also lesser-known fare like "Old Brown Shoe" and "Beware of Darkness," all to superbly empathetic effect. But the tune most likely to make you misty-eyed is "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," which brings together three of the five musicians who played on the original recording: Ringo on drums, Clapton replicating his own classic solo, and McCartney playing piano and harmonizing with Clapton's lead vocal. Concert for George enjoyed a brief theatrical release, but even those who caught it on the big screen will delight in this two-disc DVD edition. Disc 1 features the complete concert (sans interview and rehearsal footage, but with a few additional songs and in the original running order), while disc 2 contains the theatrical version and some additional backstage and photo material. All in all, a beautiful piece of work. Wish you were here, George--but man, what a way to be missed. --Sam Graham
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To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Fleetwood Mac's landmark Rumours album, the classic Fleetwood Mac lineup - Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie and Stevie Nicks - have reunited for an MTV special, a national tour and this extraordinary new album. Drawn from three intimate performances on a Hollywood soundstage, The Dance features superb new versions of classic Fleetwood Mac material, as well as several new songs! Certified at 5 million units by the RIAA. (3/00)
Fleetwood Mac's 1997 reunion could have been the kind of event that works on video--great concert, after all--but ends up not paying off in repeated listenings on CD. But The Dance, while concentrating on the group's '70s and '80s triumphs, finds the Mac energy running high and impassioned. New songs like "Temporary One" and "Bleed to Love Her" are fine additions to the canon, while "Everywhere" and "Say You Love Me" both breeze along the way you remember them and manage a reinvention in the live setting. The dark side of the vision is accounted for with Lindsey Buckingham's crazed solo "Big Love," but best of all is "Silver Springs," wherein Stevie Nicks tears the roof off the sucker and sets fire to the rubble. --Rickey Wright
The high wire act, the dog and pony show and the ringmaster himself! For all the performers in a circus, music is a part of the act, whether it accompanies capering clowns or feats of derring-do, and this CD takes you all the way through a three-ring extravaganza with traditional and original music performed by the Great American Main Street Band, from Entry of the Gladiators to the closing Barnum & Bailey's Favorite .