Die Zauberflote, Mozart's last opera, performed on this disc by the Metropolitan Opera under the direction of James Levine.
The cast features such stars as Kathleen Battle (Pamina), Fancisco Araiza (Tamino), Manfred Hemm (Papageno), Kurt Moll (Sarasto), and Luciana Serra as the Queen of the Night. Brian Large, who has vast experience with opera, directs this major work. By R. Nicholson
Paisiello (1740-1816) was the master of Italian opera buffo and a significant influence on Mozart. His orchestral writing and musical characterizations are deft and dramatic, and he was the first to introduce ensemble finales into comic operas. Don Chisciotte is an early work, premiered in Naples (where he spent most of his life) in 1769, and it already shows all the skills that made his work popular throughout Europe. The libretto by Lorenzi is based on a 1719 play that deals with the Don's visit to a noble court and the tricks that are played on him there, drawing in material from elsewhere in Cervantes' novel, including his tilt with the windmills. The characters are reduced from aristocrats to middle-class Neapolitans familiar to the opera's audiences, and they are treated with parodistic irony. The music bubbles along merrily, with lots of rapid figurations in conventional formal frames, much secco recitative moving the action along, and while none of the arias is especially memorable, they (especially the ensemble numbers) are consistently graceful and melodious.
"Soundmill Navigator", a Tangerine Dream Classics Edition, contains a vintage live recording from 1976, where the trio Baumann, Froese and Franke performed a concert at the Philharmonics.The almost 42-minute track finds the musicians in good spirits, as the set features lots of mellotron and antique sound textures, which are later on accompanied by some nice sequencing. Halfway, Edgar’s typical guitar soloing is added as well. Music wise, "Soundmill Navigator" the space ambient contains lost of elements and characteristics from their albums "Ricochet" and "Encore".
There are both good and bad points to this CD. Of the latter, the Phillip Morris "Super Band" is confined to background work with - other than a few spots for Plas Johnson's tenor - no soloists being heard from. As an ensemble, the all-star orchestra performs well, but is essentially anonymous. Also, despite the backing, B.B. King does not attempt to play jazz, a wasted opportunity. But, switching to the good points, Live at the Apollo is an excellent example of a strong B.B. King live performance. Somehow he always makes his combination of blues and familiar hits sound fresh. With a liberal amount of space set aside for his guitar solos, B.B. is in top form throughout the well-paced set, which is far superior to most of his overproduced studio sessions for MCA…
Original soundtrack to Luc Besson's 1991 documentary with music from frequent collaborator Eric Serra (Big Blue, La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element).
Eric Serra is an award-winning French film music composer best known for his work with director Luc Besson on international blockbusters such as The Fifth Element (1997). Born on September 9, 1959, in Saint-Mandé, Île-de-France, he began his musical career during the mid- to late '70s as a guitarist and bassist in collaboration with a range of French pop/rock acts…