Being that J.S. Bach is arguably the most influential classical composer in history, it's fair to say that his most crucial works ought to form the foundation of every classical-music collection. This 5-CD set (especially at that price) is the place to start, as it brings together Bach's Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-6; Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor; Violin Concerto No. 2 in E; Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Continuo in D Minor; Goldberg Variations (Andras Schiff); Tocatta and Fuge in D Minor; Suite No. 3 in D: Air on the G String/Fugue in G Minor "The Little"; Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C; Concerto for Violin, Oboe and Strings in D Minor , and more!
Among top-tier classical composers, Franz Schubert may well have left the most impressive showing in terms of sheer productivity within his rather limited range of time; though active only about 18 years, Schubert produced some 1,100 works - one does not know when he must have slept; perhaps he didn't. In the budget category, Decca has produced the five-CD set Ultimate Schubert, which contains just 11 works - one one-hundredth of his output - in decent, mostly older, stereo recordings.
Out of Sweden comes new jazz sounds from guitarist Anders Nilsson's group Aorta, a group that glances briefly back at the late '60s and '70s, then forges ahead, showing some possible directions for the music to go if it is to remain vital. Aorta probably won't be doing a week at the Vanguard any time soon, but if there's any music that can even remotely be called jazz and has any chance of capturing the ears of teens and twenty-somethings (the holy grail in music sales), this is it.
Alexander James Harvey was a Scottish rock and blues musician. Although his career spanned almost three decades, he is best remembered as the frontman of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, with whom he built a reputation as an exciting live performer during the era of glam rock in the 1970s. Growing up in Scotland, he turned to music in his late teens and was in a skiffle band by 1955. By 1959, it had evolved into the Alex Harvey Big Soul Band. Harvey took the group to Hamburg, West Germany in the early '60s, there recording his first LP, Alex Harvey and His Soul Band, in the fall of 1963, which did not feature the band. He and his group made their London debut in February 1964, and the same year he recorded The Blues, which essentially was a solo record…