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For those uninitiated into the world of Baroque or harpsichord music, be forewarned: this budget-priced trio of CDs from Archiv is a hefty amount of Bach on the harpsichord. These are reissues of recordings of Bach's greatest keyboard works made in the early '80s by Trevor Pinnock. While you may be able to listen to nearly four straight hours of Bach, some may find it hard to listen to the harpsichord for that long.
The wind quintet made up of the principal players of the Danish National Symphony are fairly well-known from their earlier recordings. And Ralf Gothóni, who joins them for Poulenc's Sextet for Piano and Winds, is a strikingly sensitive pianist, particularly in chamber settings. The program itself is very strong; it comprises basically the core of 20th-century French wind quintet literature: the Poulenc Sextet, Ibert's 'Trois Pièces brèves,' Françaix's First Wind Quintet, and Milhaud's 'Le Cheminée du roi René.'
Recorded between 1972 and 1976, The Golden Age of French Organ Music is one of the most comprehensive anthologies ever dedicated to the instrument. On it Andre Isoir surveys music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a period in which the French organ school matured in the service of the Roman Catholic Church.
Great thriller soundtracks back to back on one CD – the soundtracks for both French Connection films, both handled by funky jazzman Don Ellis – plus the even rarer score for the later Popeye Doyle film, by Brad Fiedel – packaged here with other rare bonus tracks too! The music by Don Ellis is really incredible – a real cut above other 70s cop and action soundtracks, with a dark edge that shows that Ellis had been listening to some of the hipper European soundtrack composers of the time, but was still also cool enough to kick in with a badass kind of groove whenever he could! The instrumentation on the tunes is very odd – familiar, yet askew – as trumpet, guitar, and keyboard bits come off with some very weird effects. The sound of Popeye Doyle is a bit different – given that the film was an 80s TV addition to the French Connection narrative – with Ed O'Neil in the lead role that was previously handled by Gene Hackman. But Brad Fiedel's score is still pretty nice – definitely more 80s in its instrumentation, but handled with a mode that echoes the Ellis years, with the flavor of a decade later. This 2CD package has way more material than the previous issue – with a total of 48 tracks from the first two films – and 29 more from Popeye Doyle – a whopping 77 tracks in all, with some great notes too!