Paolo Fresu's Songlines/Night & Blue is a beautiful performance by a musician who does not feel compelled to prove himself with pyrotechnics. Instead, on this two-disc set, the Italian trumpeter prefers speaking his piece with lush melodies and a rich full horn sound, supported by an exceptional quartet. Being an Italian album, it seems appropriate to use a few musical terms. The entire affair, around 140 minutes in length, is taken sostenuto (smoothly), with a pace that slides between adagio (slowly) and andante (walking), but never goes much faster than that. But this down-tempo consistency should not be confused with sloth. Everything here is tightly played, with some real intensity from the musicians; it's just not going to wake the neighbors with frenetic thunder.
Twelve Inch Eighties is the successful 3CD range by Crimson Productions, compiling extended alternate mixes of some of the biggest hit singles of the 80s. Each themed release is housed in a sleek 3CD digipak with abstract imagery representative of early dance label releases. These carefully selected titles across the range bring together the finest eighties pop, dance and disco, amongst other genres, in all their full 12” single glory. Can You Feel It is a collection of some of the biggest 80s dance classics in their full extended 12” form, keeping you on the floor for longer.
Listening to the music on this two-disc set, you may wonder why the chamber works of Swedish Romantic composer Franz Berwald are not more frequently recorded. It can't be because of his themes, which are strong, sweet, and distinctive; or because of his harmonies, which are powerful, rich, and cogent; or because of his forms, which are innovative, inventive, and indestructible. The only possible reason for this music's neglect is that there's only so much room in the world for great music, and unfortunately, Berwald, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Dvorák have apparently already occupied all the space allocated to chamber music of the Romantic period. Still, anyone listening to the music on this two-disc set will have to wonder if there's not enough room for Berwald, too. Scottish pianist Susan Tomes and the English Gaudier Ensemble are wonderfully persuasive advocates for Berwald, performing his music with the same dedication and enthusiasm that other performers bring to the music of his more popular contemporaries.