The story about an ordinary man who once stood before a difficult choice …
Bach’s Goldberg Variations have played a central role in harpsichordist Pierre Hantai’s musical life since his early youth. At 28 he recorded the work for the Opus 111 label (now available on Naïve), a highly acclaimed release that stands among the work’s choice versions. Over the past 11 years Hantai evidently has rethought and refined his interpretation, as revealed in this 2003 remake. There’s greater rhythmic freedom and variety of articulation, plus a more subjective approach to ornaments and agogics, especially in the repeats (he observes all but those in Variation 15, 25, and the Aria Da Capo; the 1992 recording honors all repeats save for Variation 25). Variations previously characterized through Hantai’s seamless legato technique (Nos. 3, 6, 8, 11, 17, and 18, for example) are further enlivened by detaché finger strokes and more inflected phrasings. The latter infuse Variations 7, 10, and 16 with greater resilience and rhythmic verve than their earlier counterparts.
Take equal measures of Gallagher and Kraftwerk, mix in a 15-year supply of blue body paint and shake with a double-shot of modern marketing savvy and you might have something akin to Blue Man Group. This ambitious second album by New York performance artists cum entrepreneurs Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, and Chris Wink expands their central artistic contradiction–mainstreaming the alternative–with a propulsive cocktail of rhythm, irony, self-invented instrumentation, and bona fide song structures that feature turns from guest stars Dave Matthews (the music hall dirge "Sing Along") and Tracy Bonham ("Up to the Roof," and with Rob Swift, "Shadows Pt.2"). The conceit is vaguely reminiscent of the Tubes' tongue-in-cheek ode to '80s corporate rock, "The Completion Backwards Principle," right down to being so convincing the irony often melts away. Fans of their live performances will appreciate its wall-to-wall rhythmic thrust and quirky textures, while aficionados and newcomers alike should welcome its surprising, seductive melodies and mature songwriting.
Randy Brecker is one of the most proficient trumpeters of his generation and brilliantly shows why he has achieved this stature on 34th N Lex. The 11-song paean to his Manhattan, NY, neighborhood is a potent, in-your-face program of hard bop and funky jazz with the likes of his brother, Michael Brecker, on tenor sax; David Sanborn on alto saxophone; Ronnie Cuber on baritone saxophone; and the great trombonist Fred Wesley. The set opens with the free funk and hard bop fusion of horn blasts and honks in different registers, which depict the hustle and bustle of "34th N Lex."
One of James Horner's most hushed works, House of Sand and Fog is an aptly brooding, implosive musical counterpart to Vadim Perleman's adaptation of Andre Dubus III's heartbreaking, and bestselling, novel. Horner captures the aspirations of the Behranis, a family of Irani immigrants, in the score's opening tracks. Pieces such as "An Older Life" and "Waves of the Caspian Sea" are quietly hopeful, string-driven compositions that feel like they're going to blossom into the kind of lush, sentimental pieces for which Horner is renowned – but they never do. Likewise, "'This Is No Longer Your House'" and "Kathy's Night" reflect the seeping frustration of Kathy Nicolo, an alcoholic young woman forced to give up her family's house, which the Behranis buy soon after. The musical themes of Nicolo and the Behranis come together, in a subdued manner on "Parallel Lives, Parallel Loves" and more urgently on "The Shooting, a Payment for Our Sins." But even the score's most dramatic moments are understated, providing more of a backdrop for the film's events than a commentary on them.
This is a wonderful collection of the Labeque sisters spanning approximately 15 years. It includes most of the recordings the sisters made for the Philips label - most discs are previous Philips albums in their entirety. The keyboard aficionados from all over the world know that Katia and Marielle Labeque are the most famous pianistic duo on the international concert stage now.
Welcome to the Videos provides a baker's dozen of Guns 'n' Roses' most explosive and memorable music videos from 1987 to 1993, and what a lesson they provide in the early evolution of visual style on MTV…
Frog Pocket is John Charles Wilson from Ayr (Ayrshire, Scotland). He has been active and prolific within the scottish scene since 1996. Mouthmoth, his own small record label, is surely the best in Scotland for weird and oblique electronic music. Frog Pocket's music is truly personal and innovative, and with the passing of time his unique "broken beats" technique has reached the state of the art. John defines his music as "splatterbeat folk". This description may sound strange but it's probably the most appropriate. The key to most of his tunes is juxtaposition, where gritty complex and fascinating percussive beds are placed against lyrical musical lines. Beautiful guitar melodies and ambient textures fill his tracks and a fiddle also appears each now and then bringing in the joy and sadness of traditional scottish music.