Johann Mattheson gained lasting renown as a music writer with his two main works Die musikalische Ehrenpforte and Der vollkommene Kapellmeister, with the latter representing a foundational writing on cultural politics, musical aesthetics, and compositional practice in the first half of the eighteenth century. Mattheson was also himself a composer and experienced his most productive phase in this capacity during his years as cathedral music director at the Hamburg Cathedral (1715-28). He wrote twenty-four oratorios and other works for the cathedral music until increasing deafness forced him to resign from his post. That Mattheson is not at all known as a composer certainly has to do with the fact that a considerable portion of his compositional oeuvre was regarded as lost until 1998, when some works were rediscovered in a war evacuation depot in Erivan (Yerevan), Armenia. These works include Der liebreiche und geduldige David (The Loving and Patient David) of 1723, one of Mattheson’s last oratorios. It reveals him to us as a dramatically well-versed, highly imaginative musician who more than deserves his personal renaissance. cpo vows to take up his cause!
There is a long tradition of "saxophone battles" in jazz with duos such as Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray or Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane performing together in a kind of sporting joust of abilities, a gentleman's contest for who is the better player. On the 2012 concert album Friendly Fire: Live at Smoke, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander and alto saxophonist Vincent Herring join in this tradition with a swinging, passionate set of standards recorded live at the respected N.Y.C. venue. The album is actually a re-pairing of the duo, who first sparred on 2005's Battle: Live at Smoke. This time around they spar over such numbers as Hank Mobley's "Pat 'N' Chat," McCoy Tyner's "Inception," the standard "You've Changed," as well as Herring's own "Timothy," among others. Backing the saxophonists here are pianist Mike LeDonne, bassist John Webber, and drummer Carl Allen. This is a lively and exciting session of adventurous and old-school straight-ahead jazz.