On her debut solo album, English-born actress cum chanteuse Jane Birkin asserted her role as a scandalous androgyne courtesy of the songs of Serge Gainsbourg and arranger Jean-Claude Vannier (who co-wrote some numbers with Gainsbourg). Birkin allowed her image to be molded by the willfully scandalous Gainsbourg, who understood her persona entirely and helped to create an image of her as woman in a young boy's body -- one that Birkin claims she held all along but only Gainsbourg understood. That woman played roles both innocent and decadent; she was celebrated in film, but in the U.S., her thin voice resembled a choirboy's and underscored her physical presence.
Belgium 2CD compilation album in style Trip Hop, Future Jazz, Downtempo, Ambient, Deep House .
"Despite the public context – the story is played out against the backdrop of the Olympic Games – this is a drama which focuses on the personal predicaments of the principal characters, each of whom faces an interesting conflict between head and heart somewhere along the line. This is more apparent from Metastasio's words than from Vivaldi's music, to be honest, but that isn't to say that the composer has been unresponsive. The most effective and intimate moments occur in the recitatives, which are fluidly conversational and full of realistic interruptions, questions and exclamations, all of which Vivaldi handles with considerable dramatic skill. Rinaldo Alessandrini's direction is typically unfussy and to the point, ever alert to the music's dramatic intent but without imposing himself on it unduly. The finest vocal performances come from Sara Mingardo, Roberta Invernizzi and Sonia Prina, but in truth no one is a weak link. The recitatives are effectively done, the arias thrown off with dash and aplomb, and everyone sounds as if they believe in the work.” (The Gramophone)
No fan of classic funk (or of the "rare groove" school of dance music) will be able to look at this album without starting to drool – the period-piece cover art; the Jimmy Walker hats and bell-bottoms; and the presence of such magic names as Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Bobby Byrd and Clyde Stubblefield (not to mention the insanely funky bassist Bootsie Collins who is better known as a charter member of Parliament/Funkadelic but is also a J.B.'s alumnus) – all of it will lead the perceptive groovehound to anticipate an hour or so of irresistibly booty-shaking funk. And that's exactly what you get: no frills, no synthesizers, basically no acknowledgement of change in the pop music world. From the greasy "Do the Doo" to the CD bonus track, "Mistakes and All," which ends the program, Bring the Funk on Down delivers almost nothing but hardcore, horn-heavy old-school funk (with a couple of brief and uninspiring excursions into ballad territory another James Brown tradition). Highlights include the slowly simmering title track and the archetypal "Born to Groove" but the album is really pretty consistent. The only downside is the absence of Maceo Parker who plays only on the final track. Highly recommended.
Colin Davis’s 1969 recording remains a landmark event, the first time this grand opera of Meyerbeerian length, spectacular éclat and Wagnerian artistic ambition had found its way complete onto LP. It effectively changed views about Berlioz the opera composer and orchestral genius and has for many remained the yardstick by which all later performances have been judged. Although studio recorded, it was based on the Covent Garden casting of the day – Jon Vickers’s heroic Aeneas and Josephine Veasey’s voluptuous Dido – with a couple of Frenchmen to boost the ranks of lesser Trojans and Carthaginians…
David Leisner is on extraordinarily versatile musician with a multifaceted career as electrifying performing artist, a distinguished composer, and a master teacher. Regarded as one of America’s leading classical guitarists, his superb musicianship and provocative programming have been applauded by critics and audiences around the world.