Much as Donny Osmond stormed the charts in 1989 with the George Michael sound-alike "Soldier of Love," Jennifer Paige and her producer have re-created the same scenario via this collection's first offering, "Crush," a song very reminiscent of early Mariah Carey. It is only hoped that Carey will use this as a reminder of what made her voice so engaging upon her entrance into the pop diva arena. Jennifer unleashes a voice with great development potential that holds its own with a solid pop effort, and splendidly provides her own background vocals on most tracks as well. Definitely one of the brighter pop talents to emerge in quite a while. Standout tracks on this fine debut release include the first single "Crush," "Get to Me," "Somewhere, Someday," and the stellar "Let It Rain".
A beautiful later Blue Note album from vibist Bobby Hutcherson – a set recorded after his famous association with Harold Land, but with a groove that's wonderfully soulful in a whole different way! Bobby plays marimbas instead of vibes this time around, and he's working with his own arrangements for a slightly larger group – one that has some sweet fusion overtones, and these wonderful mellow funk inflections – so that even the mellow cuts have this warmly glowing, ultra-soulful sound that's mighty nice – a bit like some of the work from Gene Harris around the same time.
This Naxos disc is a coupling of two recordings originally issued by Koch. Both the recordings were part of Robert Craft's continuation of the complete Stravinsky edition he had begun on MusicMasters. Craft's second Oedipus Rex is less than entirely compelling. Martyn Hill is a virile Oedipus and Jennifer Lane is a noble Jocasta, but Craft is a bit too restrained in his rhetoric and a tad too reserved in his dramatics.
“During this visit, these young ladies were so obliging as to sing me a Salve regina, lately set by their father, in duo. It is an exquisite composition, full of grace, taste and propriety.” What more could one ask of an antiphon than that which Charles Burney found in an impromptu performance by Hasse’s daughters during a visit to their father in Vienna in 1772? Hasse composed several settings of the Salve regina of which Reinhard Goebel has chosen two for his interesting programme of vocal and instrumental pieces by the composer.
Baroque conductor Johannes Somary directs a distinguished cast led by John Aler, Julianne Baird, countertenor Drew Minter, D’Anna Fortunata, Jennifer Lane, Nathaniel Watson, Raymond Pellerin and the Armor Artis Orchestra. A tale of violent court intrigue civil strife, frustrated love, ambition and suicide.
Every child who ever learnt the recorder or played in a school orchestra will probably know the famous ‘Minuet’ included in the Overture, but they can be forgiven for knowing little else from the work since it is so rarely performed. That its premiere in London in 1737 was a failure had little to do with Handel’s score but more with a growing public indifference to Italian opera. The music, as seasoned Handelians will not need to be told, is of high quality (though not perhaps at once among his most alluring scores), and Antonio Salvis’s libretto, concerned with politics and romance, provides the composer with opportunity for lively duets and evocative ‘simile’ arias. The cast is strong, though not uniformly so, with soprano Julianne Baird in the title role. Her passionate and unusually constructed ‘Chi t’intende?’ (Act III), with its notably elaborate oboe obbligato, and her duet with soprano Jennifer Lane (Demetrio) at the end of Act I are two of the highlights of opera and performance alike, while mezzo D’Anna Fortunato’s ‘Tortorella’ aria (Selene, Act III) is another. Rudolph Palmer sets effective tempi and the Brewer Chamber Orchestra of period instruments (woodwind and strings), though responsive to his direction, is on occasion lacking in tonal warmth. (Nicholas Anderson)