KEEPING SCORE - Stravinsky's Rite of Spring
KEEPING SCORE - Copland and the American Sound
KEEPING SCORE - Beethoven's Eroica
All three of these are outstanding. Keeping Score is the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra's project to make classical music more accessible to everyone of all ages, through television, the internet, radio, DVDs and in the classroom. The national PBS series made its debut in November 2006 to wide acclaim, and rightfully so. The PBS series presents three one-hour documentaries and two live concert programs. Michael Tilson Thomas has a winning way talking about music and does so in an engaging, unpretentious style that should win more friends for "classical" music. Included on all of these DVDs are excerpts from rehearsals and comments by many members of the SFSO. Another part of this project is Keeping Score Radio. MTT Files, a series of eight 60-minute programs hosted by MTT which will air nationally beginning early in 2007 (although with the demise of many public radio classical music stations the audience for this may be limited). There also is a website: http://www.keepingscore.org as well as an education and community engagement program for areas of California. For collectors (and audio buffs) the high point of all these are the DVD issues of the TV programs and live performances listed above. All are beautifully photographed and magnificently recorded in 5.l surround sound. Audio buffs will be delighted for both the musical and sonic quality of these releases.
R.E.B. (December 2006)