I’m a huge fan of NPR’s First Listen, an online resource at which full albums spanning a wide variety of musical genres are available to stream in their entirety before the commercial release. The quality is what one might expect from streaming, but at least NPR are very good at streaming. I’ve mentioned First Listen in the past, though I more often forget to mention things I’m listening to more casually.
Currently featured on First Listen is yet another recording of Tchaikovsky’s iconic ballet “The Nutcracker”. However, the praise for this recording is high, and it features Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker, whom I have been fortunate enough to see live in Symphony Hall, home to our beloved Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). I haven’t listened to this recording yet but am hoping to soon. It’s not posted when it will expire, but it’s usually around the time of the CD release, which is 25 Oct 2010.
Another interesting looking recording featured is Bob Dylan’s The Whitmark Demos 1962-1964, for which select songs are available through Oct 19.