In many ways, Debussy’s piano music finds its rightful home on the harp. Apart from the distinctive textural and colouristic elements in the writing itself, we have contemporary accounts of Debussy’s piano-playing that refer to his ability to make you forget a piano even had hammers. Of course, this doesn’t allow for dreamy, “impressionistic” interpretations; rather, it makes clarity and precision absolute imperatives – which qualities we find in abundance in this recital by Xavier de Maistre and friends.
Recorded in the Bahamas with the same all-star personnel as 1979's Aux Armes et Cætera, Mauvaises Nouvelles des Etoiles is yet another of Gainsbourg's reggae albums, including all the deficiencies inherent in its predecessor as well as the few positives. The breezy melodies of his prime material from the '60s and '70s are unfortunately missing. Though the sound and production is up to Gainsbourg's usual high standards, the songs are much weaker than expected. With little to anchor it except the players and Gainsbourg's seedy vocal delivery, Mauvaises Nouvelles des Etoiles simply floats away. :)
The Messiaen celebrations come to an overwhelming climax with this superb 32-CD set of his complete works. The limited edition, from Deutsche Grammophon, is a one-of-a kind deluxe edition. The crowning gem of this box set is a performance of the two piano Visions de l'Amen with Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod, recorded in Paris in 1962.
Innovatively fusing traditional ethnic musics with state-of-the-art rhythms, the work of Deep Forest was best typified by their 1993 "Sweet Lullaby," which brought together the contemporary sounds of ambient techno with a haunting traditional lullaby from the Solomon Islands. The project was primarily the work of the French keyboardists and programmers Eric Mouquet and Michael Sanchez; after the latter returned from Africa with boxes of records he'd picked up across the continent, he and Mouquet began sampling the native sounds for use with their atmospheric dance tracks, and with the aid of producer Dan Lacksman, their eponymous debut LP appeared in 1993…