In the dark silence of the sea during World War II, the submarine U.S.S. Tiger Shark prowls on what should be a routine rescue mission. But for the shell-shocked crew, trapped together in the sub's narrow corridors and constricted spaces, this is about to become a journey into the sensory delusions, mental deceptions and runaway fear that lurk just below the surface of the ocean and deep inside the human psyche.
Between 1961 and 1986, Herbert von Karajan made three recordings of the Mozart Requiem for Deutsche Grammophon, with little change in his conception of the piece over the years. This recording, from 1975, is, on balance, the best of them. The approach is Romantic, broad, and sustained, marked by a thoroughly homogenized blend of chorus and orchestra, a remarkable richness of tone, striking power, and an almost marmoreal polish. Karajan viewed the Requiem as idealized church music rather than a confessional statement awash in operatic expressiveness. In this account, the orchestra is paramount, followed in importance by the chorus, then the soloists. Not surprisingly, the singing of the solo quartet sounds somewhat reined-in, especially considering these singers' pedigrees. By contrast, the Vienna Singverein, always Karajan's favorite chorus, sings with a huge dynamic range and great intensity, though with an emotional detachment nonetheless. Perfection, if not passion or poignancy, is the watchword. The Berlin orchestra plays majestically, and the sound is pleasingly vivid.
The Morrigan's music is a lively mixture of traditional Celtic folk with prog rock, sometimes leaning heavily in either direction. Their sound is distinctly original and full of magic vocals, their music made up of warm melodies wrapped up in rich arrangements (sometimes of their own composition, sometimes re-arranged traditional folk songs). Imagine a heavier sounding Steeleye Span and then move them up a notch on the prog scale. The band originated in 1984 when Tom Foad, a guitarist from hard-rock/metal band The Avalanche, was looking for something a little more acoustic. Soon, singer/musician Cathy Alexander joined him, followed by bassist Cliff Eastabrook. However, Foad's commitments to his previous band proved to be too time consuming and so, he was replaced by guitarist/keyboardist Colin Masson (who, by the way, has done all the artwork for the band's albums). In addition to Alexander and Masson who are still with the band after two decades, two out of three excellent full-time musicians who feature on their latest album have since left.
Out of Season is a studio album by Portishead frontwoman Beth Gibbons and former Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb (under the pseudonym Rustin Man). It was released on 28 October 2002 in the United Kingdom and on 7 October 2003 in the United States. Out of Season is largely a folk album with jazz leanings, with Gibbons and Webb drawing more directly on the influences of Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Nick Drake, at which Portishead's work in trip hop only hinted. Out of Season also features contributions from Gibbons' fellow Portishead bandmate Adrian Utley and Webb's former bandmate Lee Harris.