Inspired by a UK bankcard ad and daring to encroach on the shadow of the Austin Powers franchise, this Bond film satire may well end up as The Spoof That Got Left in the Cold. But in perfect contrast to star Rowan Atkinson's broad physical humor, composer Edward Shearmur delivers a deliciously deadpan musical score that skewers the 007 canon from twangy-guitar main theme to romantic Euro interludes and action-packed chases. Anchored by Robbie Williams' suitably earnest mock Bond-song "A Man For All Seasons" and seasoned with evocative tracks of Moloko's electronica and the suitably named Bond's classics-meets-worldbeat sensibilities, Shearmur's score brings it all to a satisfying conclusion on "Agent No. 1," where the former Pink Floyd/Shakespeare's Sister sideman showcases his own considerable synth and keyboard skills.
The Franco-Flemish composer, Johannes Ockeghem, sang at Antwerp at the Bourbon court before joining the French royal chapel in 1451. Ockeghem spent most of his professional life at the French chapel and his output was quite prolific. He composed 14 settings of the Mass, including one of the earliest polyphonic versions of the Requiem. Ockeghem also composed numerous motets and secular songs. He was one of the most original voices in early Renaissance polyphony and his music dazzles with its ingenuity and beauty.
'Piano Stylings of the Great Standards' is a series of books created for the pianist who longs to play the best-loved and most important songs of the popular genre in very special and elegant musical settings. The arrangements are represented in varying styles, written and influenced by the many great pianists who, over the years, have helped to shape popular piano performance…
Animals, and our ever-changing relationships with them, have left an indelible mark on human history. From the dawn of our existence, animals and humans have been constantly redefining their relationships with one another, and entire civilizations have risen and fallen upon this curious bond we share with our fellow fauna.
Elgar’s Violin Concerto has a certain mystique about it independent of the knee-jerk obeisance it has received in the British press. It probably is the longest and most difficult of all Romantic violin concertos, requiring not just great technical facility but great concentration from the soloist and a real partnership of equals with the orchestra. And like all of Elgar’s large orchestral works, it is extremely episodic in construction and liable to fall apart if not handled with a compelling sense of the long line. In reviewing the score while listening to this excellent performance, I was struck by just how fussy Elgar’s indications often are: the constant accelerandos and ritards, and the minute (and impractical) dynamic indications that ask more questions than they sometimes answer. No version, least of all the composer’s own, even attempts to realize them all: it would be impossible without italicizing and sectionalizing the work to death.