The reign of Louis XIV. extended over seventy years, and in so long a period it largely modified the institutions and the power of France. Her European position was far more commanding at the close of the seventeenth century than at its beginning.
oseph and his Brethren, the latest in The King's Consort's mammoth series of recordings of the grand oratorios of Handel, tells the story of Joseph, sold into slavery by his perfidious brothers, winning acceptance at the court of Pharaoh in Egypt by his interpretation of the dreams foretelling seven years of plenty, and seven of famine. His brothers come from drought-ridden Israel to beg for food, and are eventually reunited with Joseph. The work is characteristically full of melodic invention and drama, culminating in the scene between Joseph and his youngest—and innocent—brother Benjamin (here sung by the stunning treble Connor Burrowes) in which Joseph is emotionally overcome and admits his true identity. No wonder the work was so warmly received at its first performance.
Volume seven in the Classics Benny Goodman chronology presents 22 sides recorded for the Victor label in Hollywood during August 1936 and in New York during October and November of that year. Three big band performances open this compilation; the first two used arrangements written by Fletcher Henderson. Next come four titles excellently rendered by the Benny Goodman trio and quartet with Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa, and vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, who sings wonderfully on "Exactly Like You" and the "Vibraphone Blues"…
Lionel Hampton's series of record dates leading all-star swing bands produced some of the more exciting music of the late '30s. Just on this CD alone, Hampton led groups with musicians drawn from the Duke Ellington, Earl Hines, Cab Calloway, and Benny Goodman big bands, among others. Among the more notable performances are Benny Carter's "I'm in the Mood for Swing," a swing version of Jelly Roll Morton's "Shoe Shiner's Drag," tenor saxophonist Chu Berry having one of his best showcases on "Sweethearts on Parade," and a romp on "Twelfth Street Rag." Through it all, Hampton (whether on vibes, two-fingered piano, drums, or singing) often steals the show.