Soprano sorceress Isabel Bayrakdarian, acclaimed internationally for her glittering accomplishments on both stage and screen, presents – in this hypnotically alluring album of Armenian sacred music – a more spiritual aspect of her multifaceted musical persona…
Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional is the seventh full-length studio album by American rock band The Dear Hunter. It was released on September 9, 2016 via Cave and Canary Goods and Equal Vision Records. The album is the fifth installment in a six-part series. It follows the conclusion of Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise, in which the story's main character is confronted by his nemesis and forced into blackmail.
A beautifully-recorded album from master violinist Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata, Baltica, spanning a wide range of music, all of it broached with conviction. Hungarian composer and pianist Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer from the Serbian province of Vojvodina has written eight hymns in commemoration of the film director Andrei Tarkovsky, an artist he has called a homo moralis whose remarkable visions cast a small but significant light on the tragic world of the previous century. Georgian composer Giya Kancheli contributes a silent prayer for two of his most important musical associates: the cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich and the violinist Gidon Kremer.
This 2014 Hyperion collection of 22 hymns sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey is a straightforward presentation of familiar versions for choir and organ. For the most part, the arrangements are conventional four-part settings, with occasional interpolations of seldom-heard harmonizations and descants, and the performances by the men and boys are appropriately reverent and joyous. The majority of selections are hymns of praise, including Praise, my soul, the king of heaven; Thine be the glory; and Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, though Drop, drop slow tears; I bind unto myself today; and Let all mortal flesh keep silence bring a more somber and penitential mood to the program. The recordings were made in late 2012 and early 2013 in Westminster Abbey, so the sound of the album is typically resonant and spacious, and the choir has a well-blended tone, though the trade-off for the glorious acoustics is a loss of clarity in some of the words.
Here we have simplicity itself: a series of piano transcriptions of some solemn, now-dark, now-affirmative religious hymns by one G.I. Gurdjieff, with none of the usual flourishes and heady flights usually associated with Keith Jarrett's solo records. Jarrett assumes the proper devotional position, playing with a steady tread but always with attention to dynamic extremes, producing a gorgeously rich piano tone with plenty of bass. The whole record has a serene dignity, even at its loudest levels, that gets to you, and that should be enough for the devout Jarrett following. As for others…well, it's definitely not a top ten choice for a basic Keith collection.