A conductor who spent most of his career in tiny Luxembourg is hardly a musician one would expect to become well known, but Louis de Froment grew extremely familiar to record collectors thanks to his long association with the Vox label. Born in Toulouse, he studied at the Paris Conservatory, where he won first prize in conducting in 1948. After graduation, Froment conducted one of the French radio orchestras and, from 1950 to 1954, served as music director at the casinos in Cannes, Deauville, and Vichy.
English composer Thomas Tallis witnessed dramatic changes of religion under four monarchs, and his career accordingly represents the development of polyphonic church music in Renaissance England. Along with his student and fellow Roman Catholic, William Byrd, Tallis was one of the earliest composers to publish music under royal patent in England, and his works demonstrated the shifting doctrines and styles of liturgy in the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. This 2017 Obsidian release features one piece with a text by Henry VIII's sixth and last wife, Katherine Parr, which gives the album its title, though the mix of Roman Catholic and Anglican pieces on the program suggests that "songs of Reformation" may be seen as one-sided. In any case, the performances by the vocal ensemble Alamire and the viol consort Fretwork put the emphasis on Tallis and his varied output, rather than on the theological preferences of royalty. The result is a well-balanced portrait of Tallis, and his choral music is given transparent textures and clear diction by the 14-voice choir, which maintains independence of parts while offering an evenly blended tone.
Viola player David Aaron Carpenter brings together works united by their composers’ longing for home. Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, deftly arranged for viola by Carpenter himself, and Bartók’s desolate Viola Concerto are each influenced by Eastern European folk song—both composers lived in the U.S. as they wrote their masterpieces, dreaming of their motherlands. Walton’s sweetly melancholic Viola Concerto has an unsettled feeling, while Alexey Shor, now a U.S. resident, recalls his native Kiev with music of great emotional depth and character. Carpenter’s flawless playing is the perfect vehicle for this rich, varied program.
This thrilling album showcases some of Lang’s most urgent, rhythmically complex music performed by an incredible ensemble lineup: the London Sinfonietta, Crash Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, and more. The title track, “Writing on Water,” sets a scintillating patchwork libretto that pieces together literary descriptions of shipwrecks and drowning in its commemoration of the Battle of Trafalgar. Lang’s Nyman-like vocal music lurches and pitches amid a bustling instrumental accompaniment that combines electric guitar and orchestra. The incessantly exciting “Forced March” is a series of relentless collisions between melody and rhythm, while “Increase” combines complex musical patterns and contrasting moods to hypnotic effect.
The "100 Years of Italian Opera" series released by Opera Rara is unique in the annals of opera recordings. However, this installment is especially exciting as it documents the evolution of Italian opera during the 1820's, the decade when romanticism truly began to come into its own on the operatic stage. Opera Rara has lovingly compiled a variety of arcana written by composers famous and forgotten. Included is everything from overtures to arias, duets, ensembles, and entire scenes.
Over the course of three discs, VOYAGE neatly navigates the long, rich career of David Crosby. Though he's best known as one-third of Woodstock-era folk-rock harmonists Crosby, Stills & Nash, the man with the angelic voice and the walrus moustache boasts a resume whose high points extend well beyond that association. VOYAGE doesn't stint on CSN (and sometimes Y) material, but the journeys into his early days with the Byrds, his solo albums, duo recordings with Graham Nash, and latter-day work with CPR are equally telling. From the mid-'60s Byrds tracks up to the present day, Crosby's knack for close, complex vocal harmonies, unusual jazz-influenced chord structures, and raga-tinged melodic lines serves as a connecting thread. VOYAGE allows listeners to follow Crosby's winding path through disparate eras, stopping off to marvel at the gorgeous sonic scenery along the way.
Ce nouvel ouvrage de J. Gabay s'inscrit dans la continuité de son ouvrage « Merise et UML » dont la 5e édition arrive aujourd'hui à épuisement. L'objectif des auteurs pour ce nouveau titre est triple …