A classical music lover's guide to Record Store Day 2016
With sales of vinyl continuing to climb year after year, Record Store Day is quickly evolving from niche market event to a music celebration for the masses. Many major artists and labels now fully act on the day for sales, and produce limited editions to capitalize on collector interest. This year, there are a decent number of film scores and classical records being released for the occasion.
Aldo Ciccolini: Satie
This special reissue of the album brings the Italian-born pianist back to us just a year after his passing. Ciccolini was the preeminent interpreter of Satie, a great champion for the French composer.
This famed film score from John Powell is being released on vinyl for the first time with a green design intended to mimic the eye of Toothless. (Varese Sarabande is making a special push this year by additionally putting out special releases of John Wick and Dark Shadows, marking the 50th anniversary of the show's original release with its Billboard Top 20 score.) If you know the film, you know how terrific the score is.
It's hard to imagine Darren Aronofsky's films without the work of Clint Mansell, but this score in particular — which features the Kronos Quartet — is probably the greatest representation of what their collaboration can achieve. It's a hallmark of Mansell's skills as a composer for more experimental cinema as well as more traditional Hollywood productions, and Nonesuch records has pulled out the stops for this vinyl reissue with incredible artwork and two tracks not previously released.
Top-selling collective Vitamin String Quartet have made waves performing impressive string renditions of modern and classic rock songs. For this year's Record Store Day they're tackling Daft Punk's Random Access Memories. By taking a modern classic album and giving it classical orchestration, one can only imagine what new elements the quartet have brought to this Grammy-winner.
This is a special-release 7" that features, according to Record Store Day's website, an "amazing master tape discovery of a misplaced 1973 Jean-Claude Vannier single, including previously unheard instrumentation and alternative arrangements from the first days of the sessions for his album L'Enfant Assasin des Mouches, recorded a few months after Vannier's seminal work on Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson (1971)." Being able to hear something unknown from so long ago is a treat any time, but this in particular is a real gem.
The original score to this classic film is lost, with only a reconstitution of it as played in 1922 available. This special 7" features three pieces from this reconstitution performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Nic Raine in 1997.
The biggest film of last year would not sit out this Record Store Day, which will see the release of a 10" picture disc featuring "March of the Resistance" and "Rey's Theme." Probably one of the biggest money/promo grabs of the day, these will still probably sell quickly to fans whose appetite for Star Wars merchandise can seemingly never be appeased (unless, that is, we're talking about prequel merch).
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