Best known for co-founding soft rock hitmakers Bread, singer/songwriter James Griffin also won an Academy Award for co-authoring 1970's smash "For All We Know".
Stanley Kubrick made his own musical choices for his films, many of them existing pieces that were forever redefined by their use. (Remember "Thus Spake Zarathustra" in 2001: A Space Odyssey?) For his final work, Eyes Wide Shut, he employed composer Jocelyn Pook to compose some evocative string-filled music (including one track, "Masked Ball," eerily featuring backwards vocals), but his score also included works by Liszt and Shostakovich, syrupy versions of "When I Fall in Love," "If I Had You," and "Strangers in the Night," a jazzy rendition of "Blame It on My Youth" by Brad Mehldau, Chris Isaak's cross between John Lee Hooker and Roy Orbison on his 1995 song "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing," and, opening and closing the disc, a simple but intense solo piano piece by Gyogy Ligeti, whose work also had been used in 2001 and another Kubrick film, The Shining. The result was an eclectic soundtrack album that primarily was of interest to fans of the film who were in need of an aural souvenir.
This disc of Mozart's opera arias manages to capture the perfection of Kathleen Battle's first disc of Mozart concert arias conducted under Previn. We are accorded the opportunity and privilege to hear Ms. Battle essay characters that she never did in the opera house, Constanze, Cherubino, and the Countess among them. In "Porgi amor," the CD's opening track, she negotiates the long passages of the Countess' aria with seeming ease. Hers is a smaller voice than we are used to hearing in the role but this is unimportant as her vocal acting is superb, bringing the heartache housed in the libretto fully to life…By M. Bish
Based very loosely around the motif of literary genres (science fiction, fantasy, classics, etc.), XII shows Barclay James Harvest following many other progressive bands in the late '70s with slicker production and simplified song structures…
The songs that Kathleen Battle chooses for her recital mostly eschew deep drama for sheer lyricism. If you want an album that explores the lyric impulse in Schubert songs, then, this is certainly for you. Battle sings these pieces with unfailingly beautiful vocal production, plus a winning charm and insouciance that border on the–well, girlish, one wants to say, if that isn't entirely politically incorrect. Her voice is a beautiful instrument, no doubt about it…By M. C. Passarella