Cristóbal Galán was born in Madrid (Spain) around 1625; nothing is known about his musical education or the early stages of his career. Between 1653 and 1664 he acted as "maestro de capilla" in various churches. From 1664 to 1667 he was director of the choir at Segovia Cathedral, and then he was appointed director of music at the convent of the Descalzas Reales. The queen regent wanted him to become director of music at the royal chapel, but this met strong resistance. It was only in 1680 that he obtained this position. It didn't bring him much luck, as he felt that he wasn't appreciated enough. Payments were also often delayed, mainly because of the bad economic state of Spain in the last decades of the 17th century. Not only Galán, but all musicians suffered from this situation.
James Levine makes Siegfried, sometimes the problem child among the four operas of Wagner's Ring cycle, attractive and interesting. He is aware of the darker side of some of the comic scenes–the seemingly benevolent dwarf Mime carries the weight of Wagner's many prejudices–but manages to keep them uneasy rather than positively sinister thanks to the finally judged performance of Heinz Zednik. Siegfried Jerusalem is admirable as Siegfried, full of boyish enthusiasm during the reforging of the sword, and of authority in his confrontations with the dragon and with Wotan. (The dragon itself is, as so often, an unfortunate compromise between realism and stylisation.) James Morris is extraordinary in Wotan's scenes here, his combination of injured pride and relieved joy when Siegfried demonstrates, by shattering his spear, that Wotan has entirely lost control of events is exemplary.
Release of the Royal Albert Hall concert on October 13th, 2017…
Albert Lee occupies an odd niche in music – British by birth and upbringing, he spent the mid-'60s as a top R&B guitarist, but in the 1970s became one of the top rockabilly guitarists in the world, and no slouch in country music either.