Steve Vai's first album for Sony/Legacy is Stillness in Motion, a double-live set – it's available as a two-CD/two-DVD package – that captures the guitarist's October 12, 2012 concert at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. This is, for want of a better word, something of an extravaganza: 22 tracks over the course of 130 minutes, Vai dipping into nearly every phase of his career. He's as precise on-stage as he is in the studio, which may mean Stillness in Motion lacks the kinetic energy that is the hallmark of so many great live albums. What it has instead is fluidity: Vai and his backing band may specialize in pyrotechnics, but there's a grace to the playing on even the frenetic numbers, and that lyricism may be eye-opening to skeptics. To the converted, it is certainly a good reason to dive into this generous live set.
Kathleen Battle and Placido Domingo delight the listener from start to finish in this complilation. Most notable are the duets from La Traviata and The Merry Widow. In my experience of soprano/tenor performances, one voice usually is stronger or more powerful than the other, thus disappointing to that listener who is seeking a perfect blending of voices. Ms. Battle and Mr. Domingo achieve that perfect blend on each duet on this CD. Their solo performances are equally outstanding. It is no wonder they are in such demand with audiences in Japan where this CD was recorded live, as well as throughout the world.