Feelings run high about Nigel Kennedy, the bad boy of the violin (he's started using his first name again, if you hadn't heard). On the cover of this collection, he's pictured with red and blue paint on his unshaven face, biting the side of his violin for one reason or another. But Nigel Kennedy's Greatest Hits points to what has really always been the ironic thing about Kennedy – when it comes to the music, he's quite un-outrageous.
TimeScapes was the first 4k movie, featuring stunning time-lapse footage from Tom Lowe, the Astronomy Photographer of the Year. This album is immersive, dramatic, and engaging, without becoming maudlin. Stanford avoids tropes and simple repetition to weave compelling tone poems that evolve and develop - in the best tradition of Heart of Space.
"Solar Echoes" is the name of a double album by an ambient electronic artist named Nigel Stanford, who is a native New Zealander and now lives in New York. Nigel Stanford is the kind of musician that has a deep sense of how precise and well-adjusted things have to be in order to produce an efficient music track. And "Solar Echoes" is a clear-cut demonstration of his attention to detail. This is one of those rare albums that doesn't just include great music but it's actually very moving. It's a cinemascape of electronic genius reminiscent of Jon Hopkins and Eno. The quality of sound engineering on this album is at the highest level and although compositionally the music isn't hugely complicated, it doesn't need to be to transport you into another world. This is one of those rare electronic albums that was written for music's sake rather than for a festival crowd.
Naxos has collected its four volume traversal of the lute music into a handy slipcase. All the volumes are available singly, but you can also buy the four together as a quartet of excellence, presided over by Nigel North, the acknowledged hero of the hour. What follows is a reprise of two volumes already reviewed - volumes 1 and 3 - and a look at volumes 2 and 4.