Where do they find this stuff? Once again, Pristine Classical (based in rural France) has come up with a superb live Philadelphia Orchestra recording, this time a 1961 concert by Romanian conductor Constantin Silvestri, who is not often associated with the United States, much less Philadelphia. The repertoire is Tchaikovsky's great problem child, the Manfred Symphony, considered a significant work in some circles and a white elephant in others. The piece was a specialty of Silvestri, and thanks to the sonic weight of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he makes an extremely strong case for the symphony's musical rhetoric. And, oh, yes, some of the tunes aren't bad, either. Available for download at
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- David Patrick Stearns
Not your usual Rubinstein. It's not Arthur the pianist, but Anton Rubinstein the pianist/composer who receives an infrequent hearing in Philadelphia with performances of his opera The Demon at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10, 13, and 15 at the Academy of Vocal Arts. Although produced in Philadelphia in the 1920s - and at the Forrest Theater, oddly enough - the 1875 opera is still commonly heard in Russia and is said to have influenced Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky. This concert performance is led by Ghenady Meirson, the Odessa-born Russian repertoire coach at the Curtis Institute of Music. General admission tickets are $45. Information: 215-735-1685 or www.avaopera.org - D.P.S.