Michael Nyman's 8 Lust Songs comes with a Parental Advisory warning for explicit content, but the songs are in Italian, so only a small number of Italian speakers in the English-speaking world will have the opportunity to be offended (unless, of course, you read the translations in the booklet). Nyman describes the settings of these explicit sixteenth century poems by Pietro Aretino – essentially bedroom dialogues between lovers – as a natural progression in his work, which, since his days as a student, has frequently been concerned with sex.
Angel Band is yet another fascinating left turn, an acoustic record comprised of country-gospel songs like "We Shall Rise, " "If I Be Lifted Up" and "Someday My Ship Will Sail, " performed with great subtlety and nuance…
Spanish composer and musician Angel Ontalva is perhaps best known as a central member of the Spanish band October Equus, but he has been involved in multiple side projects and collaborative productions in the last few years as well, in addition to establishing a solo career.
You may remember a film from the early 1970s called Henry VIII & his Six Wives, starring Keith Mitchell, Donald Pleasance, and Charlotte Rampling; it was notable for its score, which not only featured authentic music of the period (nearly unheard-of at the time), but also was, according to David Munrow, “the first historical film in which the music has been scored entirely for historical instruments.” Munrow also added a few numbers of his own to satisfy the needs of the movie, patterned after 16th-century style and form. Although these days such attention to authenticity is common, even expected, Munrow was one of the pioneers in bringing musicological research and the more immediate practicalities of really old, original instruments and stylistic practice to the level of popular culture. Of course, also in these early days was planted the impression that period instruments must necessarily be somewhat clunky and (to varying degrees) not quite ideally in tune–and in some cases, just plain annoyingly squawky and prone to obnoxious buzzing noises. While this generally fine issue from Testament offers many reminders of those times, when musicians were still finding their way in unfamiliar territory (and often using very user-unfriendly instruments), this release will prove mostly a delight for early music fans–and will be a real treat for those who own the original LPs from which these tracks were drawn.