Meis is fifteen, lives in the back of beyond and aspires to a grand and stirring life, but all that happens is the passing of the time, waiting for the next car to run into the front of the house.
“The Extinct Suite” is a reinterpretation of the more ambient and orchestral elements of this last album ‘Tender Extinction’. Not a remix by any means, some familiar passages are woven together with additional pieces to create a suite of instrumentals lasting over 55 minutes as one single track.
Everyone knows Offenbach's famous "Can-can" from the operetta Orpheus in the Underworld, but how many casual listeners have heard it in its original version, as a chorus of demons(!) in Hades? In fact, the version best known is this one, as arranged for the ballet Gaîté Parisienne by the delightful French composer and conductor Manuel Rosenthal. The work has been a staple of the Monte-Carlo ballet for about six decades, and Naxos has assembled the orchestra that knows it best for what amounts to a brand-new, original cast production, led by none other than the 95 years young Rosenthal.
Serena along with Regina Albanez on theorbo and baroque guitar and Pauline Schenk on harpsichord recorded the CD "Udite, amanti" (Listen, dear ones!). The CD is an anthology of early Baroque songs by composers such as Monteverdi, Merula, Strozzi, Caccini and Lambert. Inja Botden accompanies three songs along on baroque cello and guest tenor Georgi Sztojanov will sing two duets with Serena.
If you've ever heard the Berlin guitarist Arne Jansen, you'll know how difficult it is to forget his special sound. That passionate rummaging around in the warm diversity of the electric guitar, where bashful understatement mixes with playful sensuality. The humaneness become sound that always searches for what is special in the commonplace, exudes serenity and yet never itself comes to rest because its quest never ceases.
Dutch violinist Janine Jansen has made some unorthodox recordings (check out her Vivaldi Four Seasons sometime), but here, in a work in which proportion and technique are exquisitely balanced, she plays it straight with impressive results. Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2, composed in 1935 just before his return to the Soviet Union from France, has always been a popular repertory item, but Jansen's reading, ably accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski, has a pearly quality throughout, a kind of bright ease, that comes only at the highest levels of technique.