When Henry Madin’s Te Deum for the victories of Louis XV was performed in the Chapelle Royale at Versailles in 2015, it was the first time it had been performed since its premiere in the eighteenth century. Reviving this work for the modern day is Stradivaria, the Baroque ensemble of Nantes, and Les Cris de Paris, the latter two conducted by Daniel Cuiller and Geoffroy Jourdain, respectively. Along with Te Deum, this album also features Madin’s Diligam te, Domine, a grand motet for large chorus.
Major label release, a name producer, noted session men, this album couldn't lose, right? Well, not quite. Although time has caught up with Murder of Crows, sometimes Joe Henry gets lost amidst all the busy work and fancy arranging of his songs. True, there are some great songs here, notably "Six Feet in the Country," "Here and Gone" and "Step Across the Mountain" which will remind one a lot of Counting Crows. Here is a glimpse at a young songwriter being pushed too quickly to come up with the goods. Sometimes, the waiting is the hardest part…
Intellectually concentrated, emotionally intense, technically difficult, and spiritually sublime, Henry Purcell's Fantasias for the Viols are exactly the sort of music that Jordi Savall was born to play and play superbly. And with his group Hesperion XX, they play them as superbly Savall does. The depth of tone of the instruments, the brilliance of the technique, the rigor of the interpretations, the soulfulness of the understanding, and the transcendence of compassion are nonpareil and the performances achieve a level unmatched by any other.
Songwriter Joe Henry has recorded five albums in the 21st century; he’s also become a Grammy-winning producer. These more recent records (of 12) offer a mature view of an artist at his most musically ambitious and lyrically cagey. Reverie, as its title implies, contains 14 songs that seemingly center on the concept of time: the random glinting of memory as it perceives love, loss, spirituality, history, and culture refracted through the gaze of the human heart. Musically, it feels like the loosest album Henry’s ever recorded; its production techniques are organic, live sessions were cut in his home studio with the windows open, allowing the sounds of everyday life–barking dogs, mothers calling children, cars and trucks– to pour through, making them part and parcel of the album's fabric. Henry's lyrics and melodies do, however, contrarily reveal an exacting craftsman. He and his guitar are accompanied by longtime associates, drummer Jay Bellerose, pianist Keefus Ciancia, and bassist David Piltch, with cameos by Patrick Warren, Marc Ribot, Jean McLain, and Lisa Hannigan. His lyrics – scattershot, mercurial expressions of memory – are caught in exacting rhymes that reflect on the power, delight, and torment of desire (he admits as much at the end of his liner essay). The musical forms are more rhythmically inventive and slippery; they serve his ephemeral, evocative lyrics by opening them up to time’s uncageable nature.
Henry Jackman has taken over scoring duties on the upcoming fantasy adventure Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The film is directed by Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher, Orange County) and stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Bobby Cannavale and Nick Jonas. The movie follows four high school kids who are transported into an adventure video game and must survive from its challenges. Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers (Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Lego Batman Movie) and Scott Rosenberg (High Fidelity) & Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) wrote the screenplay based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg. Matt Tolmach (The Amazing Spider-Man) and William Teitler (The Polar Express) are producing the project. James Newton Howard was originally attached to score the film before the movie’s release date was pushed back half a year. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will be released on December 20, 2017 by Sony Pictures.
As modern big-band leaders go, Quincy Jones in the '60s would be first choice for many composers who wrote for a television series or the cinema. Though not the original themes, Jones was quite able to produce a full album featuring Henry Mancini's famous songs from movies and the small screen. This collection of the familiar and obscure Mancini done in 1964, preceded famed epic scores written by Jones from films The Pawnbroker and The Deadly Affair. It comprises several well-known hit tunes and a smattering of cuts not easily identifiable as the hummable and memorable Mancini classics…
Originally conceived as a play with musical accompaniment, Henry Purcell's 1691 King Arthur endures on the strength of its adventurous harmonies and appealing orchestration. Laying aside the Camelot legends, poet John Dryden framed the tale as the Christian King Arthur defending England against the pagan Saxons, and added colorful visitations by Greek and Norse deities to the plot.