BIS present a disc of works by the Japanese composer Mari Takano, composed between 2003 and 2009. The four duos and trios that share the title LigAlien are all results of the idea of what would it be like to implant ‘alien’ music into one of Ligeti’s works. Interspersing the four 'LigAliens' are two solo pieces, Jungibility for piano and Full Moon for violin and electronics, which also embrace a wealth of ideas both musical and otherwise from Duke Ellington, Omar Sosa and Stockhausen (Jungibility) and Björk, Pina Bausch and Miles Davis (Full Moon).
Soprano Greta Bradman has selected a touching programme of pieces that root her to her family, from “O Waly, Waly” and “Songs My Mother Taught Me” that transport her to the farm where she grew up, to memories of her grandmother through “The Last Rose of Summer”. “Every Day Is A Rainbow Day For Me”, written by Greta’s grandfather, the great cricketer Don Bradman, for his wife, is a particularly charming moment, and performed in a magical arrangement. A joyful album from start to finish.
This re-issue of early Medieval vocal music from Finland includes a unique reconstruction of 14th and 15th century Gregorian music that was performed in Finland in the memory of St. Henry, Finland’s Patron Saint. Liturgical literature dealing with St. Henry is abundant and the music in this collection consists of extracts from masses and offices to St. Henry. Liturgical legend and oral tradition provide a colorful account of the English clergyman’s mission to Finland where he was killed on January 20th, 1156.
The answer to the question what would post-Oistrakh Soviet Mozart sound like? is Vladimir Spivakov. The answer to the question what does Spivakov's Mozart sound like? is lightly, lively, elegant, and, every once in a while, extremely intense. In these recordings from the late '70s and early '80s of Mozart's violin concertos and Sinfonia Concertante with the English Chamber Orchestra and violist Yuri Bashmet, Spivakov plays and conducts with graceful artistry, consummate virtuosity, and deep humanity. In opening Allegros, Spivakov is airborne in the zephyrs of spring. In the closing Rondos, Spivakov is dancing in the ballrooms of Europe. But sometimes, especially in the central Andantes, Spivakov can sing with an intimacy and intensity that reveal a more profound Mozart, a Mozart touched not only by eternity but by mortality. In the central Andante of the Sinfonia Concertante with the soulful Yuri Bashmet, Spivakov proves he is not only the best of the post-Oistrakh Soviet violinists, but also one of the most moving violinists of the past 30 years.(James Leonard)