Five of the discs on this six-CD set are previously released Naxos recordings of a broad variety of works by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. The set offers a generous sampling of works spanning the composer's career, from his polystylistic Collage über BACH (1964) for orchestra to his 2001 Nunc dimittis for a cappella chorus.
The ever-expanding catalogue of Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach on Brilliant Classics (most of it contained in a 30-CD box, 94640), now reaches his music for clarinet, which has received much less attention on record than his orchestral or keyboard works but is no less melodically fertile and formally inventive than his better?known music.
ESP marks the beginning of a revitalization for Miles Davis, as his second classic quintet – saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams – gels, establishing what would become their signature adventurous hard bop. Miles had been moving toward this direction in the two years preceding the release of ESP and he had recorded with everyone outside of Shorter prior to this record, but his addition galvanizes the group, pushing them toward music that was recognizably bop but as adventurous as jazz's avant-garde. Outwardly, this music doesn't take as many risks as Coltrane or Ornette Coleman's recordings of the mid-'60s, but by borrowing some of the same theories – a de-emphasis of composition in favor of sheer improvisation, elastic definitions of tonality – they created a unique sound that came to define the very sound of modern jazz. Certainly, many musicians have returned to this group for inspiration, but their recordings remain fresh, because they exist at this fine dividing line between standard bop and avant.
Harvey's fifth and final album for Arista - another win for the funk-soul-fusion MVP! Given that Harvey worked on some of the best fusion sessions of the 70s, it's more than safe to give him "most valuable player" award - because without his drums, many a record would have faltered! Here, though, Mason's much more in his all-out soul mode - singing, playing, and producing in a smooth blend of jazz and modern soul, still with some funky grit in the mix. It not only benefits greatly from his years as one of the great studio players, but even more so for his triple threat talent as a writer, producer and performer.
Following a stint playing keyboards for Rainbow in the '70s, Californian Tony Carey relocated to Germany, continuing his musical career as a solo artist. He managed to achieve some chart success in the early '80s with songs like "I Won't Be Home Tonight," "A Fine, Fine Day," and "The First Day of Summer." Carey had also formed a creative union with German producer Peter Hauke under the moniker Planet P Project, with Carey handling all of the writing and most of the instrumental duties…
Vasks (b. 1946 in Latvia) is one of the rising stars of the Baltic region. His music has some affinities with that of Part and Tormis, and while Vasks isn't afraid to tap into different stylistic modes, like Schnittke, his music remains mostly tonal and doggedly idealistic. Musica Dolorosa (1983) is a masterpiece, plain and simple. Its combined strings create a sound world similar to Gorecki's famous Symphony 3. The major work here is the Symphony Stimmen (Voices) for string orchestra. It's unimaginably beautiful, full of flirtatious string-borne melodies and shadows of sadness here and there.
På Österåker ("At Österåker") is a live album by country singer Johnny Cash released on Columbia Records in 1973, making it his 43rd overall release. The album features Cash's concert at the Österåker Prison in Sweden held on October 3, 1972. Its predecessors in concept are the more notable At San Quentin and At Folsom Prison. Unlike the aforementioned, På Österåker does not contain any of Cash's most well-known songs; it does, however, include a version of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee". The majority of the songs featured in the original release would remain unique to this concert recording, though Cash would later record a studio version of "City Jail" for his 1977 album.
After rubbing your eyes and maybe even hitting your forehead with the palm of your hand a few times to convince yourself that, yes indeed, in fact a young pianist has chosen to make his concerto recording debut with the Tchaikovsky and Grieg concertos, go ahead and have a listen. Denis Kozhukhin, who took first prize at the 2010 Queen Elisabeth, here partners with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Vassily Sinaisky. Out of repertory that has been celebrated, picked over and just about played to death over the course of almost a century and a half, they create magic.
The popular choral group the Sixteen has never sounded better than on this release, and fans of the ensemble can buy with confidence in acquiring a set of classic English Renaissance pieces with a few modern works for spice. For the unconverted it's a bit less convincing, but it has a strong idea. The album title comes from the conventional name of a prayer of none other than St. Patrick, set in modern English by Arvo Pärt in 2007.