George Frideric Handel (1685 - 1759): Susanna. Oratorio. First performed 1749. Complete version including all the music that Handel later deleted. Performed by Lorraine Hunt and Jill Feldman, soprano, Drew Minter, countertenor, Jeffrey Thomas, tenor, David Thomas and William Parker, bass; the U.C. Berkely Chamber Choir; the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco, conducted by Nicholas McGegan. Recorded live in September, 1989, at the Hertz Hall at the University of California.
These were the six quartets that caused Haydn to tell Mozart's father that his son was the finest composer in the world–and Haydn wasn't just saying that because Mozart dedicated the pieces to him. In richness of invention, density of thought, length, and melodic appeal, these pieces set new standards for the medium. However, they are not easy pieces to play or to listen to, and the Juilliard Quartet's lean, emphatic approach works very well in clarifying the busy textures and maximizing the music's dramatic impact. And at budget price, this three-disc set belongs in every string-quartet lover's collection. – David Hurwitz
A Special Part of Me is an album by American pop singer Johnny Mathis that was released in January 1984 by Columbia Records. It made its first appearance on Billboard magazine's Top LP's & Tapes chart in the issue dated March 10, 1984, and remained there for 19 weeks, peaking at number 157. It also made it to number 45 during a three-week run on the UK album chart that began on September 15 of that year.
Little Feat were on Warner Bros Records from 1971's Little Feat through 1990's Representing the Mambo, but for a full decade of those 20 years, the band was inactive. …these albums have the songs and sensibility that built their legacy, which does include their remarkably successful return in 1988. All the albums are presented as mini-LPs and the set is affordable, making this a very appealing bargain for all kinds of Feat fanatics.
Though the sudden embrace of the trappings of goth culture via Anne Rice was a bit odd, given Napolitano's long-standing fascination with both Catholic and Mexican imagery (and the elements of sex and death prevalent in both) it wasn't too strange. Her songwriting and singing focus remains much more roots-oriented, as the opening strut/stroll of "Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)" makes clear. Not that she and the band can't kick out the jams as well – immediately following that is "The Sky Is a Poisonous Garden," a punk-speed thrash with deliciously decadent imagery to boot. The most well known song was "Joey," which actually got some top 40 airplay; while it has a certain catchiness to it, ultimately it comes off as a less successful Heart song from the same era, which is saying something.
As unfathomable as it seems from the distance of over 40 years, for a few months, Gerry & the Pacemakers were the Beatles' nearest competitors in Britain. Managed (like the Beatles) by Brian Epstein, Gerry Marsden and his band burst out of the gate with three consecutive number one U.K. hits in 1963, "How Do You Do It," "I Like It," and "You'll Never Walk Alone." If the Beatles defined Merseybeat at its best in early 1963, Gerry & the Pacemakers defined the form at its most innocuous, performing bouncy, catchy, and utterly lightweight tunes driven by rhythm guitar and Marsden's chipper vocals…
The Magician's Birthday is the fifth album by British rock band Uriah Heep, released in 1972 by Bronze Records in the UK and Mercury Records in the US. The concept was "based loosely on a short story" written by Ken Hensley in June and July 1972. The Magician's Birthday was certified Gold on 22 January 1973.
It was an eminently sensible decision to couple Zimerman's previously separate Chopin concertos on a single CD. The Ax/Ormandy/RCA disc is the only rival as a coupling, so let me say at once that in different moods I would be equally happy with either. The main difference, I think, is the actual sound. From DG we get a closer, riper sonority, with Zimerman's piano much more forwardly placed. Both orchestra and piano are more distanced on the RCA recording, especially Ax's piano. This, together with Ax's lighter, more translucent semiquaver figuration (and sometimes his greater willingness to stand back and merely accompany—as in certain episodes in the F minor Concerto's finale) often conjures up visions of Chopin himself at the keyboard, and we know he was often criticized for insufficiently strong projection.
Discovery Records, just before its demise, did a great and wondrous thing by putting out four, count them, four Art of Noise CDs in one fell swoop. Art of Noise began in the mid-'80s and is now a touchstone to which all electronic music should be compared. While compiling their own collections, Discovery Records was able to take advantage of a excellent compendium ready for reissue. Ambient Collection had long been a jewel in many vinyl collections. These Art of Noise catalog remixes by Youth, bassist for Killing Joke, remain a classic of compositional ambient electronica. One of the themes to this ambient opus is explicitly stated in "Robinson Crusoe" and hinted at elsewhere. Art of Noise's Anne Dudley had mentioned just before the original 1990 release on a GLR Radio U.K. program that French composer Robert Mellin's main theme for "Robinson Crusoe" recalled here was one of her Top Ten favorite pop songs.
The Minneapolis School of Funk-Rock-Pop – which gave us Prince, the Time and Ta Mara & the Seen, among others – provided some of the most exciting music of the 1980s. But sadly, most of the Prince clones plaguing that decade hadn't even a fraction of those artists' inventiveness or passion. One band, however, that used Prince and the Time's influence to its artistic advantage was Augusta, Georgia's obscure Le Klass – which makes its love of the Minneapolis Sound obvious on School of Cool without becoming clones or slavish imitators.