Being asked to describe his own music, Christian Löffler states that he tries to combine melancholy with euphoria. „All my music is connected by a gloomy spirit, which is minted by a warm sincerity. I try to merge all kinds of different acoustic colors to obtain this feeling in my music.” 'Mare' is his second studio album and follows in a similar vein to his self-released debut, 2012's 'A Forest'. However a key difference is that while his first album was heavily sample-based, 'Mare' is much more organic, in which nearly every sound and every instrument is self-recorded. Many of the album's ideas are based on field-recordings taken from the surroundings.
Midem Classique Award winner Christian Zacharias continues his survey of Mozart Piano Concertos as both performer & conductor. Featuring arguably 1 of the most famous, the A Major. MDG’s complete recording of Mozart’s piano compositions with Christian Zacharias in the double role as pianist & conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra continues with KV 488, certainly the most-performed piano concerto by the great Salzburg composer, complemented here by KV 246 & KV 175, Mozart’s very 1st piano concerto.
This volume in the series seems to have taken a step up, with playing which previously might have been a little cosy now edgier & with more contrast in light & shade. The overall ensemble is excellent, & these are very good Mozart concerto interpretations indeed. Sound quality is up to MDG’s usual high standard, with a well-scaled ambience in Mch, & the 2+2+2 channel setup with height channels works fine in my 5.1 setup, despite my not reassigning the centre & sub speaker.
In this 3rd volume, Zacharias’ Mozart becomes essential, if not quintessential, in a universe for piano & concerto that is fascinating. The Concerto for Piano & Orchestra #17 in G major KV 453 dates from 1784, & inspired the musician Alfred Einstein to say: “In a friendly key are hidden many mysterious smiles & painful wounds – words cannot be found to describe the permanent irisation of feelings in the 1st movement, the passionate interiority of the 2nd.”
Will listeners raised on virtuoso performances of Mozart’s piano concertos be able to make room in the hearts for Christian Zacharias’ recordings with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne? It depends on how willing they are to forego the pleasures of virtuosity for the pleasures music-making. This is not to say that Zacharias isn’t a virtuoso pianist. As his 20 years of recordings make very clear, he has talents & abilities far beyond those of most mortal pianists.
Not just because this disk is the only 1 in the series without a review on this site, but also because it concerns a re-issue in SACD format, I thought it might be useful to share my views with the Super Audio community. To start with the end: My verdict is a wholehearted positive 1 in both artistic & technical sense.
If Badfinger's debut album Magic Christian Music sounds patchy, there's a reason why: It was assembled from three different sources. Although the title suggests that the record is a soundtrack to The Magic Christian it isn't. It's a hodgepodge, containing the group's three contributions to the film, six highlights from the band's pre-Badfinger album Maybe Tomorrow (released when they were known as the Iveys), an alternate take from Maybe Tomorrow, and four new songs…