This CD includes 17 de Seixas sonatas, of which 10 are in the single movement form favored by Scarlatti. There are nine sonatas with two movements and one sonata with three movements. The movements tend to be brief as compared to Soler's multi-movement sonatas. The multi-movement works usually include an allegro and dance movements such as a gigue or minuet. The sonatas are mostly short. They range in time on this CD from 1:15 for the sonata no 45 in G major to 9:37 for the single movement sonata no. 16 in c minor. The works do not follow Kastner's ordering on the CD. The CD opens with five single movement works, and the remainder of the disk includes multi-movement works interspersed with single movement compositions. The initial work in Kastner's ordering, a short, sprightly single movement sonata in C major appears late in the CD. Of the sonatas 12 are in the major key and 5 in the minor.
A student and younger contemporary of Domenico Scarlatti on the Iberian peninsula, Portuguese composer Carlos de Seixas (1704-1742) wrote harpsichord sonatas in much the same vein as his teacher. Since precise dates for the compositions of either composer are hard to come by, it is even possible that the student might have influenced the teacher in some ways. His sonatas here don't harness the differentiation of texture to the new possibilities of harmonic rhythm in quite the precise ways that Scarlatti's do, and the multimovement structure of many of the sonatas makes them a little diffuse as compared with Scarlatti's.
The quintet on this CD (baritonist Hamiet Bluiett, pianist Don Pullen, bassist Fred Hopkins, drummer Idris Muhammad, and Chief Bay on African percussion) was only together for a week, but three CDs resulted from their engagement at the Carlos I club in New York; Mulgrew Miller is in Pullen's place on one of the two other discs. This is a particularly intriguing setting for the great baritonist Bluiett, for even though he is an avant-gardist, he is heard here playing such numbers as "I'll Close My Eyes" (which becomes so romantic at one point that it seems satirical), "Autumn Leaves," and Bluiett's blues "John."
The hauntingly beautiful voice of countertenor Carlos Mena is featured here on the Mirare début of the Disfonik Orchestra. The group’s music blends jazz and classical with other influences to produce a sound that is both unique and captivating. Under the Shadow includes a selection of some of the most beautiful works in the classical repertoire, delicately arranged for jazz band.