It's a damn shame that Leucocyte is the final studio album by the Esbjörn Svensson Trio. Svensson died in a tragic diving accident in June of 2008, shortly after this set was finished. More than any other recording issued by this excellent band, Leucocyte captures the art of music making at the moment of conception; it was recorded as live-in-the-studio improvisation over two days in an Australian studio. It was completely finished, post-production and all, with a release date before Svensson's death. The words "post-production" mean plenty when it comes to E.S.T.'s music. The trio often recorded and added sonic effects to their structured, composed pieces. It underscored their hip sophistication and accessibility. It made them a hit with both jazz fans and younger audiences who listen to Radiohead, Sigur Rós, and even heavy metal more than jazz.
The Sanskrit word tīrtha (THEER-tha) literally means a ford, or a shallow place in a river that can be easily crossed over. Within a spiritual context, tirtha denotes a holy place near a body of water - somewhere where everyday struggles fall away, and where one passes easily into a deeper and more profound state of being. Aptly, Tirtha is now also the name of a phenomenal trio featuring three powerhouse musicians who at once honor and traverse the streams of tradition. It is also the name of their exciting new album on ACT. Individually, Indian-American pianist-composer Vijay Iyer, Chennai (formerly Madras)-born guitarist-composer Prasanna, and Hyderabad native and tabla player Nitin Mitta are already highly accomplished artists who shift easily among multiple musical languages.
The box contains a perfect overview of VIVARTE’s legendary catalogue of ancient music ranging from Vivaldi to Brahms. Most of the recordings received critical acclaim all over the world, many of them won prestigious awards and many are reference recordings.
This 2008 live recording with the London Symphony Orchestra is Valery Gergiev's 2nd complete recording of Prokofiev's ballet Romeo & Juliet, the 1st being a 1991 Philips release with the Kirov Orchestra. This performance, like his 1st, is notable for its refinement & lyricism. It's perhaps surprising that Gergiev, known for the wildness & ferocity of his performances of other Prokofiev works, like The Fiery Angel, shows such restraint here. Gergiev clearly understands the ballet as a work in which Prokofiev, writing originally for the Bolshoi, a theater known for its conservatism (although that production was canceled), tailored his score to follow in the tradition of the 3 great Tchaikovsky ballets.
Most of the familiar orchestral versions of Richard Wagner’s operatic music were arranged either by him or his followers in the 19th century, so the Overture & Venusberg Music from Tannhäuser & the Prelude to Act III from Lohengrin have long been performed in these special concert formats. But the main work of this SACD is the 1993 suite arranged by Henk de Vlieger, Parsifal, an Orchestral Quest, which is a fresh adaptation of the key moments from Wagner’s final music drama. The work was commissioned by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, after de Vlieger, the ensemble’s percussionist, had successfully arranged music from Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen into a similar orchestral vehicle for them. Parsifal, an Orchestral Quest was premiered on RCA in 1997 by Edo de Waart, & Neeme Järvi leads the 2nd recorded performance on this 2010 release on Chandos.
“I do not know precisely what is my destination: however, I do know that 1 evening, after for the 1st time hearing a symphony by Beethoven, I became feverish & ill. As soon as I recovered, I became a musician.” Thus Richard Wagner described the enormous impression that Beethoven’s music had made on him in his novelette Eine Pilgerfahrt zu Beethoven (a pilgrimage to Beethoven). Although it is difficult to separate fact & fiction in this novelette, Beethoven’s music did indeed exert a major influence on the life of the young composer. Wagner was 17 years old when he 1st heard Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, a work which was to play a central role during his entire life, & which he was, for instance, to conduct in 1846 at the opening of the Festival Theatre in Bayreuth.
As a title, Super Rare Disco was a stretch when this disc was released in 1997, and since then, it has only become more of a stretch. While there are no possible cases against Lyn Collins' "Rock Me Again and Again," Eddie Kendricks' "Date With the Rain," First Choice's "The Player," and the Jimmy Castor Bunch's "It's Just Begin" as dynamite disco singles, none of them have been particularly hard to locate since the mid-'90s. One case where the Robbins label deserves some thanks is the inclusion Four Below Zero's "My Baby's Got E.S.P.," a classic underground single helmed by Patrick Adams (who was also responsible for Inner Life's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," Musique's "In the Bush," Black Ivory's "Mainline," and about 50 other beloved dancefloor singles). No matter what, this is a fine disco compilation for those who want to dig beneath the surface of ubiquitous chart-toppers.
Propaganda vocalist and latter day solo artist Claudia Brücken (A Secret Wish, Love: and a million other things…) teamed up in 1987 with electronic pioneer Thomas Leer (The Bridge, The Scale of Ten) to create Act: a one-off pop cabaret par excellence. Music so cutting edge, the sessions were documented by Tomorrow's World. And songs that crossed the chasm from mid-Eighties acts of sophistication to late-Eighties acts of dancefloor hedonism. Artwork includes previously unseen photographs of the duo by Patrick Lichfield.
Styx was one of the titans of the hugely popular AOR movement – along with Boston, Foreigner, Journey, and REO Speedwagon – embraced by the U.S. mainstream in the late '70s and early '80s. The end of the Chicago-based band's peak period coincided with one of the most ambitious and notorious projects of the time, the 1983 concept album Kilroy Was Here…