This long-deleted Essential Classics reissue (available again courtesy of Arkivmusic.com’s on-demand reprint program) comprises the first CD remastering of two separate Bach piano releases. One disc features Rosalyn Tureck’s Bach Album, an early-1981 digital production made up mostly of short pieces, plus the Aria and Variations in Italian Style. The close-up yet warm sonics capture the full measure of Tureck’s technical specificity, subtle use of color, and micromanaged dynamics. Notice her absolute linear control in the F minor suite’s Prelude (first sound clip), or how her seemingly over-detached articulations (the seventh Italian variation) always maintain a lilting presence.
"Beautiful Noise" is the third album by Neil Diamond on Columbia Records (tenth studio album overall), released in 1976. "Dry Your Eyes" was performed with The Band at their farewell show and is featured in Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz. Beautiful Noise marked a radical departure in production, style, arrangements and compositional diversity for Diamond. It was billed at the time of its release as something of a "comeback" album for the artist, and did mark a new and highly productive phase of his recording and touring career.
"Tap Root Manuscript" is the sixth studio album by Neil Diamond, released in 1970. It was one of the most experimental albums he ever recorded, featuring prominent African sounds and instruments. The album ended up being a commercial success, with a string of top 40 hits. This album predates many Western artists' interest in world music by more than a decade, from Peter Gabriel's 1980's solo albums, to My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (David Byrne with Brian Eno) in 1981, to the Graceland album recorded by Paul Simon in 1986. It was one of the most novel experimental recording projects of its time, and the Uni label initially was not sure whether it would be commercially viable.
Nashville-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Meg Myers makes her full-length debut with 2015's Sorry. The album comes on the heels of her two well-received EPs, 2013's Daughter in the Choir and 2014's Make a Shadow. As with those releases, Sorry once again finds Myers collaborating with longtime producer Dr. Rosen Rosen. Together, they craft moody, electronic-tinged rock anthems centered on Myers' yearning, passionate vocals. While Myers' distinctive brand of dark pop fits nicely next to contemporaries like Lorde and Florence + the Machine, Sorry also brings to mind the work of alternative rock-era icons like Sinéad O'Connor and Garbage. Included on Sorry is the urgent '90s grunge-influenced single "Lemon Eyes".
…I found this recording improved in power and nuance on each repeated hearing. With sets of the nocturnes available from such great figures as Rubinstein and Arrau, it may seem presumptuous to recommend a set by someone with the comparatively low profile of François Chaplin. Yet I think I honestly can say that I rarely have enjoyed these pieces so much, while the sound engineering is something to rejoice in. Clearly we need to hear more from François Chaplin, so compelling is his artistry.