Cosmic Baby (aka Harald Blüchel) has always walked a fine line between serious music and entertainment music. On the one hand he has remixed pieces from Sven Väth, Vangelis and Yello, yet on the other hand this classically trained concert pianist has embued his Trance tracks with a completely new dimension that deserves the title of "Techno-art". "An album shouldn't be just a collection of good pieces - it must also have a concept behind it," says Cosmic Baby about his album, "Heaven". The 14 tracks are cleverly ordered in dramaturgical fashion, each taking you away to fantastical tonal worlds all of which could make up the sound-track of a dream. The music wiith a lot of snorkelling and distortion. Sometimes classically overdone, then suddenly set to pronounced drumbeats, a revision of seven years of Cosmic Baby on the one hand and the unmistakable influence of electronic pioneers like Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre on the other.
Japanese release featuring modern eclectic Japanese acts covering the finest that German electronic Pioneers Kraftwerk ever created. Includes Buffalo Daughter doing the legendary 'Autobahn', plus interpretations of 'It's More FunTo Compute' and 'Showroom Dummies'.
Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis is probably best known for the soundtrack to the film 'Zorba the Greek,' but he has produced an extensive body of concert music and includes Olivier Messiaen among his teachers. Much of his work has a political subtext and attempts a synthesis of popular, folk and classical symphonic styles, communicating directly with simple rhythms and a pared-down harmonic vocabulary reminiscent of Carl Orff. The oratorio "axion esti" is a setting of a poem by Nobel Prize winner Odysseus Elytis that refers to events of the Second World War and the subsequent German-Italian occupation of Greece. The nationalist flavor of the piece is underscored by the use of Byzantine church music, Greek folk dances and native instruments such as the bouzouki, in addition to a vocalist cast as a "folk singer." This 1983 Dresden performance, conducted by Theodorakis himself, is sung in German.
Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, completed about the same time as the Eroica Symphony, has suddenly become popular. One reason for its previous lack of popularity was the fact that three soloists cost three times as much as one normally expensive pianist, violinist or cellist. Another reason is that the work seeks to be a popular success, hence the Rondo alla Polacca with which it concludes. The piano part was intended for Beethoven’s patron and pupil, the Archduke Rudolph von Habsburg, and hence is less technically demanding than the composer’s usual pianistic writing, destined for himself. The standard CD (previously LP) of the work was a spectacular performance and recording made by EMI many years ago with David Oistrakh, Rostropovich and Richter with the Berlin Philharmonic under Karajan. It was opulently played with the BPO’s luscious sound, but has little to do with what Beethoven would have heard in 1804. Another choice was the version of Stern, Rose and Serkin (Sony), less lush and not so high-powered as Karajan’s.
Deutsche Grammophon is lucky in that World War II didn't slow classical recordings in Germany as it did in the United States but stimulated them: It was essential for wartime morale. Thus, if you can get past any repugnance related to these recordings' genesis, there's a huge amount to enjoy. There's a disc of lieder by all the prewar greats (Franz Volker, Tiana Lemnitz, Erna Berger, and Heinrich Schlusnus), a disc of Wagner featuring young Hans Hotter, opera and operetta performances by Berger and Helge Roswaenge, and a disc showing how the German singers gave Italian opera a distinctively Nordic but highly communicative edge. The set is crowned by a complete Winterreise that was recorded by Peter Anders in 1945 (and sounds it): the cultivated tenor's anguished performance embodies a Germany facing the abyss. –David Patrick Stearns