This CD includes 17 de Seixas sonatas, of which 10 are in the single movement form favored by Scarlatti. There are nine sonatas with two movements and one sonata with three movements. The movements tend to be brief as compared to Soler's multi-movement sonatas. The multi-movement works usually include an allegro and dance movements such as a gigue or minuet. The sonatas are mostly short. They range in time on this CD from 1:15 for the sonata no 45 in G major to 9:37 for the single movement sonata no. 16 in c minor. The works do not follow Kastner's ordering on the CD. The CD opens with five single movement works, and the remainder of the disk includes multi-movement works interspersed with single movement compositions. The initial work in Kastner's ordering, a short, sprightly single movement sonata in C major appears late in the CD. Of the sonatas 12 are in the major key and 5 in the minor.
A student and younger contemporary of Domenico Scarlatti on the Iberian peninsula, Portuguese composer Carlos de Seixas (1704-1742) wrote harpsichord sonatas in much the same vein as his teacher. Since precise dates for the compositions of either composer are hard to come by, it is even possible that the student might have influenced the teacher in some ways. His sonatas here don't harness the differentiation of texture to the new possibilities of harmonic rhythm in quite the precise ways that Scarlatti's do, and the multimovement structure of many of the sonatas makes them a little diffuse as compared with Scarlatti's.
The quintet on this CD (baritonist Hamiet Bluiett, pianist Don Pullen, bassist Fred Hopkins, drummer Idris Muhammad, and Chief Bay on African percussion) was only together for a week, but three CDs resulted from their engagement at the Carlos I club in New York; Mulgrew Miller is in Pullen's place on one of the two other discs. This is a particularly intriguing setting for the great baritonist Bluiett, for even though he is an avant-gardist, he is heard here playing such numbers as "I'll Close My Eyes" (which becomes so romantic at one point that it seems satirical), "Autumn Leaves," and Bluiett's blues "John."
Jordi Savall has brought us yet another treasure on his own Alia Vox label, this time a mixed bag of music by Reformation Era composers and a handful of slightly earlier works. It’s all taken from a concert program Savall gave last year under the aegis of “greatest hits of the court of Charles V”. The composers presented are mostly court musicians for that Holy Roman Emperor, but Josquin and Heinrich Isaac also are included, the latter as a nod to Charles’ grandfather, Maximilian I, who was responsible for getting Charles the crown. Savall combines his first-rate instrumental ensemble, updated to Hespèrion XXI, with his own vocal group, La Capella Reial de Catalunya. The results are captivating. Savall’s musicians are tops in the field, and their collective talents, constantly on display in this varied program, are simply a joy to hear.
Performances from Pamela Coburn, Brigitte Fassbaender, Janet Perry, Eberhard Wachter, the Choir und Ballet der Bayerischen Staatsoper, and the Bayerisches Staatsorchester. Rosalinde, wife of Eisenstein, is having an affair with Alfred. Eisenstein is due to begin a prison sentence the next morning, and the prison governor, Frank, is expected to collect him at any moment. However, Eisenstein allows himself to be talked into attending a fancy dress ball by Dr Falke, and when Frank arrives to find Alfred with Rosalinde, he assumes him to be Eisenstein and carts him off to prison.
This film of Kenneth MacMillan's hugely-popular ballet Manon is the perfect twin to his classic Romeo & Juliet, released on September 29th, 2009. Once again, the romantic male lead is taken by the charismatic Carlos Acosta, and once again his beautiful partner is Tamara Rojo. Prévost's famous tale is set to the sensual music of Massenet and the Royal Ballet's staging is played out against the sumptuous set and costume designs of Nicholas Georgiadis. Manon is the third DVD release from Decca's new exclusive artist, Carlo Acosta. The Cuban superstar builds on his stunning Spartacus and romantic Romeo & Juliet performances as the ardent young lover, Des Grieux, in MacMillan's classic version of the tragedy. This high-definition film of Manon is one of the most popular ballets in the Royal Ballet's repertory, having received over 200 performances since its premiere in 1974. The DVD also includes an extensive (40 min) and fascinating documentary film, `Dancing Manon', featuring interviews with Carlos Acosta, Tamara Rojo, Monica Mason (Director of the Royal Ballet) and Ross MacGibbon (TV Director).
Marius Petipa's exotic ballet, set in legendary India, is a story of love, death and vengeful judgement. Natalia Makarova's sumptuous recreation of Petipa's choreography, with atmospheric sets by Pier Luigi Samaritini and beautiful costumes by Yolanda Sonnabend, stars Tamara Rojo as the Bayadère (temple dancer) Nikiya, Carlos Acosta as Solor, and Marianela Nuñez as Gamzatti whose alluring presence challenges Solor's love for Nikiya.