Graham Johnson’s complete Schubert and Schumann songs series for Hyperion are landmarks in the history of recorded music. Now this indefatigable performer and scholar turns to the songs and vocal works of Brahms. Each disc of this Hyperion edition takes a journey through Brahms’s career. The songs are not quite presented in chronological order but they do appear here in the order that the songs were presented to the world. Each recital represents a different journey through the repertoire (and thus through Brahms’s life). In a number of these Hyperion recitals an opus number will be presented in its entirety (in the case of this disc, Op 48). The folksongs of 1894 will be shared between all the singers in the series.
Following the iconic series of the complete songs of Schubert and Schumann, Graham Johnson’s latest enterprise traverses the complete songs of Brahms. He is joined here on Volume 2 by the wonderful Christine Schäfer, whose contribution to the Schumann song series won a prestigious Gramophone Award.
William Bolcom’s ambitious setting of William Blake’s complete Songs of Innocence and Experience for soloists, multiple choral forces, and orchestra occupied the composer on and off, beginning as far back as the late 1950s, with most of the work completed between 1973-74 and 1979-82. The composer’s renowned eclectic bent makes itself felt in the work’s nearly two-and-one-half-hour length. Musical eras, styles, and performance practices leapfrog back and forth in unpredictable progressions, keeping the listener in a constant state of suspense ……Jed Distler@ClassicsToday.com
Japanese edition of his follow up album to the 8+ million selling 'Play' includes a bonus 3 track (3 inch) CD which features an exclusive Cornelius remix of his first single, 'We're All Made Of Stars' which is not planned to be commercially available anywhere else. The bonus CD also includes 2 non-LP tracks, 'Soul To Love' & 'We Are All Made Of Stars (Slo-Synth Version)'.
Duke Robillard pays homage to T-Bone Walker with this collection of swing, big band and blues songs. The bubbly and bouncy "Lonesome Woman Blues" has a be-bop Count Basie feeling as his supporting players are given brief solos to shine, particularly the horn section. There is far more substance and style to this approach than a rehashed run-through à la Brian Setzer. This fluidity continues, albeit a bit slower in tempo with the swinging "T-Bone Shuffle" which carries the same head-bobbing groove. Here the horns lead the way but Robillard makes his presence felt on guitar near the homestretch, and throughout the stellar "Pony Tail." The barroom blues and drum brushes on "Love Is a Gamble" takes things down to a creepy crawl, bringing to mind Dr. John or Delbert McClinton. An early favorite has to be the rousing and toe-tapping "Alimony Blues," an indication that Robillard wants to pay tribute in the right way by nailing each song beautifully.