The works on this 2-CD set all come from a single source: a document called "Cancionero de Montecassino" which is believed to contain works composed between 1430 and 1480. Somehow the document has survived down through the centuries; it was almost lost when the Abbey where it was stored was bombed in 1944. Luckily the document survived so that this amazing CD set could be recorded by the - also amazing - Le Capella Reial de Catalunya. This CD is the second in a series entitled "Musicas Reales", the first of which being "Carlos V" containing works mainly from the 16th century. If you enjoyed that one, then "Alfons V el Magnanim" will be a welcome addition to your CD spinner.
Lawes's "sets" are actually suites for five or six viols with an organ playing "underneath" them. Each shortish set is broken into even shorter parts: Fantazy, Aire, Paven, etc.–and while the formula remains essentially the same, the textures and harmonies are constantly changing, with dissonances and conversations between and among the various strings giving the works great variety. On these two beautiful CDs (the first devoted to Five parts, the second to Six), Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI play on a pair of violins, four viols, and organ, offering great contrast and flavor and making us aware of just how energetic and fascinating counterpoint can be. The colors the six (or seven) musicians get from their instruments and the interplay among them is fantastic; the playing is superb. Fans of any type of chamber music will want to hear what this underrecorded composer who died too young (43) added to the genre. It's as if he created a new language, one that seems to have been waiting to be heard. A lovely, thoughtful couple of hours of music-making.
This LP, in my opinion, is the highlight of the Gieco's race. I bought it for the song "Sólo le pido a Dios (I Only Ask Of God)"…
John Cale's 1992 live Fragments of a Rainy Season holds a special place in the hearts of longtime fans. Cale was no stranger to concert sets. Among his most notorious are the snarling Sabotage/Live from CBGB's and 1986's howling Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. Fragments captures Cale completely solo. His iconic singing voice, rainbow variety of melodies, and poetic lyrics are accompanied only by his piano or acoustic guitar. It's easily his most welcoming album, the one that provides a solid introduction as he ranges through his back catalog.
Warren has several recordings as a leader. Warren's first two records are on the M&I label which is based in Japan. The first record is titled "Incredible Jazz Vibes". They're not kidding with the title on this one – as Warren Wolf is a great talent on the vibes, and an artist that we're really beginning to keep an eye on! Wolf's sound is a combination of angular and soulful – so that at one moment he's hitting the vibes with the modern changes of Steve Nelson, but at others he's sweetening things up with some of the warmer touches that Bobby Hutcherson brought to his work in later years. These qualities are brought out even more strongly by the album's well-tuned group that features Mulgrew Miller on piano, Vincente Archer on bass, and Kendrick Scott on drums – especially on the album's most modal numbers. Titles include "Why Is There A Dolphin On Green Street", "Howling Wolf", "Lake Nerraw Flow", "Chan's Song", "Overjoyed", and "I Want More".