This collection of works for unaccompanied voices is bookended by works by singer Cathy Berberian and composer Luciano Berio, who were once married to each other. John Cage's Story is a movement of his percussion quartet Living Room Music, while Young Turtle Asymmetries is by Cage's pupil Jackson Mac Low and Roger Marsh's Not a Soul But Ourselves is set to a text by James Joyce. Usually done solo, Berberian's Stripsody, with its score consisting solely of cartoons, is sung here by a trio and must be heard to be believed.
Happy birthday, Franz Liszt! The Beethoven Orchestra Bonn under its conductor Stefan Blunier and the pianist Claudius Tanski present orchestral works and piano music by this Austro-Hungarian great, including the overture to Goethe’s Torquato Tasso and the Totentanz of 1849, on the occasion of the two hundredth anniversary of his birth. A finely nuanced extra comes in the form of an orchestration of La lugubre gondola by John Adams.
…I already indicated the excellent qualities of the soloists especially Franziska Hirzel and Birgit Remmert who sing with that important ethereal intensity. Kofman conducts with the ideal tonic and lets the music move along quite magically. The SACD sound comes out trumps on my Sony SACD-11 player and I really have nothing but an unqualified recommendation for this beautiful set.
…The recording allows the performance to glow, and as atmospheric and airy as it is in stereo, listening in surround from the SACD layer immerses you in the ambience in the most satisfying way. If to you Zemlinsky is famous more for his pupils' achievements than his own, then this will be a revelatory experience, and I know already that it's one of my discs of the year.
…The vivid MDG recording is slightly distanced, so the volume needs to be increased considerably for its fine qualities to become evident. Balances between voices and orchestra are excellent, and for those listening in multi-channel the surround speakers have been used to great effect for the off-stage brass, distant bells and chorus in the Act 3 cataclysmic immolation of Irrelohe castle. There is no applause or audience noise but the movement of singers on the stage is clearly defined with very few extraneous sounds being captured by the microphones. This is the latest addition to the Schrecker discography and will be welcomed by all admirers of the composer and can be confidently recommended.
Part of Tacet's "Tube Only" recording series. No transistors were used within the recordig chain.
…The breadth, depth, and height of the sound stage presented by the multi-channel "surround" mix delivers an enormous portion of the experience of a live performance of a splendid orchestra, with splendid soloists in a splendid hall. You really are "surrounded" by the ambient signature of the Atlanta concert hall. Orff's percussive writing, as well as the innovative writing for winds and the large chorus is wonderfully captured with huge impact. I can ask for nothing more!
Kazumi Watanabe is a jazz and jazz fusion guitarist, from Tokyo, Japan. Kazumi learned to play guitar from Sadanori Nakamure, one of Japan's grandmaster guitarists. Kazumi released his first recording in 1971, and quickly became a promising guitarist in his own right. In 1979, he formed an all-star band with some of Japan's leading studio musicians, and recorded the album Kylyn, which is considered a masterpiece in fusion music. During the eighties Watanabe released a considerable number of jazz-rock albums. To Chi Ka (1980), with its funk influences and bright sound, is probably the most famous early title. Some latter albums, such as Mobo Club (1983) and Mobo Splash (1985) display more experimental…
Sweden's preeminent jazz fusion band the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, named after the charismatic and inventive pianist, has been a sensation in Europe since the early '90s, capturing numerous Swedish Grammys (including one for Tuesday Wonderland long before its Stateside release), a French Grammy, and gold and platinum awards in their home country, Germany and France. But they deserve more than this – a medal, actually – for finding a unique blend of melodic jazz, classical, electronica and rock – that has earned them an audience of both older jazz lovers and trendy hip-hop kids. It speaks to the freshness of their vibe that their videos play regularly on MTV Scandinavia and they're the only European jazz band ever to grace the cover of Downbeat.
For 40 years Allan Taylor has been considered as the consummate performer, a writer of literary gracefulness whose troubadour chronicles encapsulate the realism of otherwise unsung heroes, otherwise uncharted lives. His songs are written from a lifetime of travelling; always the observer passing through, each song is a vignette of life, like a story told over a drink in a bar. Each has an integrity that tells you it comes from something real; characters come to life like people you know and places become as familiar as if you had been there. Allan Taylor writes about this record: "What you hear on this SACD is the product of great technical and artistic expertise on the part of Stockfisch Records…