Dobrin Classical

Conduct Mahler, or listen to him on a retro LP

Bravo Gustavo! or

The Planets. Smart orchestras are doing it for themselves in all formats, and here the London Philharmonic has just released the Holst standard on its own label. Conductor Vladimir Jurowski melds his band's sound to an astonishing range - lean and mean, and ultimately terrifying, in the bellicose "Mars," and sensuous to an impressionist degree elsewhere. It's hard to think of any previous reading of a warhorse that has so completely eclipsed the dull routine of accepted norms. ($10.98 as a CD, $6.94 download)

Bravo Gustavo! Be the conductor: Download this free app from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and music director Gustavo Dudamel, and, with cell phone in hand, take the Philharmonic for a spin in Mahler's Symphony

No. 1. ( or


Dancing under the gallows. Forget the shopping, the gift wrap, the cards. Watch this 12-minute clip, compose a salutation, and e-mail it with a link to everyone on your list. It's a trailer for a documentary in progress about Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer, who plays the piano every day. Of being in Theresienstadt, where she gave more than a hundred concerts, she says: "Where we can play, it can't be so terrible - the music, the music!" Being a pianist saved her life there, and continues to sustain her. "I feel that this is the only thing that helps me to have hope - it is a religion, actually. Music is . . . is God." ( user/AliceTheFilm)


Music, Philadelphia & Eakins. Short pieces of Scott Joplin, Amy Beach, Francis Johnson, Charles Ives, Arthur Foote, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and others have been brought together as the soundtrack to the times of Thomas Eakins in a 70-minute, $9.95 compilation CD. (Philadelphia Museum of Art,


Mahler on vinyl. Everything old is new again. The San Francisco Symphony is assembling its Mahler cycle on retro LPs - all the symphonies on 22 slabs of virgin vinyl, with a 45 rpm of the Rückert- Lieder performed by

Susan Graham and Michael Tilson Thomas as pianist. Nostalgia doesn't come cheap ($699) and it

doesn't come soon (April), but reservations are

being taken now. (