If you're looking for a recording of Locatelli's complete Opus 8 Violin Sonatas, look no further. These 1994 recordings by the aptly named Locatelli Trio are not only superbly played and beautifully recorded, they have the singular virtue of being the only available recordings of the works. That's alright: with violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch at the helm, they are uniformly first-rate performances. Wallfisch is herself a superior period instrument player who balances the virtuoso demands of the music with its undeniable melodic charm and harmonic invention, and she leads cellist Richard Tunnicliffe and harpsichordist Paul Nicholson in performances that amaze as well as delight the listener. Furthermore, when the trio becomes a quartet with the addition of violinist Rachel Isserlis for the final four sonatas for two violins and continuo, the best gets even better through the brilliant interplay of two skilled soloists. For lovers of virtuoso violin music of the Italian High Baroque, this is as good as it gets. Hyperion's sound is crisp but warm, detailed but deep.
The music on this recording demonstrates how composers in Germany, Italy, Austria and England responded to the challenges of writing for violin senza basso. Music for violin senza basso had a distinguished history before Bach and was widely cultivated by his contemporaries. Violinistic virtuosity was extraordinarily experimental in the late seventeenth century, with novelties in the tuning of the strings (scordaura), bowing techniques, chordal playing and contrapuntal textures (with the development of sophisticated double-, triple- and quadruple-stopping techniques) and playing in high positions. This disc of solo violin music is a real mixture of some of Rachel’s favourite pieces.
At long last! World premiere release of oft-requested James Newton Howard score to Joel Schumacher's Falling Down. Dark, violent urban thriller stars Michael Douglas as tragic protagonist on rampage, heading inexorably towards final showdown with retiring cop Robert DuVall. As confrontations grow in intensity, Douglas becomes increasingly unhinged. Howard follows in tow, with initially sparse score growing increasingly dense, clustered as film progresses. Dark ideas, intense action all have their say. Highlights are many, including riveting chase cues, pulsating conflict music, but one standout motif deserves spotlight: Howard writes moving minor-key trumpet solo that plays just once during "not economically viable" scene ("Miracle Mile"), then disappears completely until conclusion ("Falling Down"), where composer now brings film and score together in brilliant, powerful fashion. Sensational writing!