Can't Top This


Released one week before the death of Erich Kunzel, longtime conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, From The Top At The Pops finds the beloved musician in ebullient form. Conducting before a live audience in Cincinnati Music Hall last Oct. 27, Kunzel opens his heart to seven gifted pre-collegiate musicians showcased on National Public Radio's 2008 From The Top concert tour.

Given the artists' youth, the musicianship is extraordinary. Ji-Yong, a 17-year-old pianist, plays the opening allegro movement of Grieg's ever-popular Piano Concerto in A minor with fervor, and 14-year-old violinist Chad Hoopes brings gripping tone to the finale of Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor.

Three works are presented in full. After the orchestra performs the sole new composition on the program, 19-year-old Stephen Feigenbaum's romantic Serenade For Strings (written at age 15), 12-year-old Hilda Huang plays J.S. Bach's entire Piano Concerto No. 5 in F minor. For dessert, 16-year-old cellist Matthew Allen dances his way through David Popper's likeable Hungarian Rhapsodie, Op. 68.

There are two special treats. Departing from the line-up of pianists and string players, 17-year-old tenor saxophonist Corey Dundee plays the allegro from Russell Peck's harmonious The Upward Stream. Most exciting, Caroline Goulding, the gifted 16-year-old violinist whose Telarc debut recital was issued last month, joins pianist and From The Top host Christopher O'Riley in the Allegro from the precocious Mendelssohn's Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings.

Thank you for so much delight, Maestro Kunzel.

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    Feigenbaum: Serenade for Strings

    Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, from From The ...

  • Album Small
    Gershwin: Selections from Porgy and Bess: It ...

    Caroline Goulding, from Caroline Goulding

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