Gabriela Anders got her big break singing a duet with soft jazz giant Michael Franks, and like that new age patriarch, Anders wraps laid-back vocals around even more tranquil rhythms. It's all very calming and proficient and breezy. Wanting, her debut album, mixes bits of her Argentine heritage with late-'70s California jazz, so Brazilian music coasts along with soft and hazy saxophone fills and tapping percussion leads. It all can be very pretty, as the opening "Fire of Love" represents Anders at her most relaxed and relaxing.
…In encountering this record, all doubt and cynicism should removed; what is happening here is that the canon for the acoustic, classical guitar is being rewritten. This music is the sound of passion as interpreted by and spoken for in a new rock & roll language. Initial copies of the CD also come with an enclosed DVD so you can see the magic as well as hear it.
Out of all Italian verismo operas, Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chénier is one of the few of lasting popularity that is still performed regularly on major opera stages worldwide. This 1981 production features a stellar Plácido Domingo in the title role and a classic staging by Otto Schenk, making for one of the finest readings of the opera. Andrea Chénier was an overwhelming success when premiered at La Scala in 1896 and first performed in Vienna in 1926, returning to the stage whenever a truly great tenor was available to tackle the demanding title role. Gabriela Benacková and Piero Cappuccilli lead a strong supporting cast in this tragic love story set during the times of French Revolution.
Bossa Nova is often thought of as a dying genre. Like bebop, some see it as a past stage of evolution. Anders successfully challenges this with her debut album on some classic Jobim tunes among others. While the first Bossa recordings in the 60s gave a sense of innocence with non-virtuoso vocalists such as Jobim and Gilberto, Anders gives the genre a new sensual side that fits in well as an evolution of the genre as a whole. She remains faithful to the melodies, and her prominent vocals are able to be heard through the modern arrangement with a much more uptempo rhythm.