This disc strikes me as an ideal introduction to the music of Turkey’s greatest composer. Ahmed Adnan Saygun’s style might be described as “Szymanowski with a primal rhythmic feel.” If you love the composer’s First Violin Concerto then you will find here a very similar exoticism, nocturnal atmosphere, and love of voluptuous textures. The harmonic style is intensely chromatic, but also highly melodic. Like Bartók in his last period, Saygun’s handling of tonality mellowed toward the end of his life, which makes the Cello Concerto more consonant than the Viola Concerto, but both works are absolutely gorgeous and masterpieces of their kind. It’s positively criminal that no one plays these pieces regularly in concert. The performances here are excellent. Tim Hugh is a well-known cellist, and he pours on the tone with all of the rhapsodic abandon that Saygun requires. Mirjam Tschopp also is a superb violist, with a big, beefy tone that never gets swamped by the intricate orchestration. It’s also very rewarding to hear a Turkish orchestra in this music–and to find that it plays beautifully under Howard Griffiths.
“there are several reasons to shout about it…there's Shelley himself: a pianist whose quiet musicality and unobtrusive virtuosity shine through everything he touches…Throughout the set, there's a humanity to Shelley's music-making; it's particularly affecting in the B-flat Concerto, which he imbues with warmth as well as wit…this is a major new cycle, an important addition not only to the catalogue but also to Shelley's exceptionally fine discography.”
On Blue Day, veteran soul and gospel singer Howard Tate lays down a set so utterly crackling with energy, vitality, and sheer grit one could be forgiven for forgetting that, at the turn of this century, he hadn't recorded in nearly 30 years and had been virtually forgotten and left for dead – a victim of his own excesses. Tate was quite literally rediscovered by his former producer Jerry Ragovoy and brought back into the recording studio to work his vocal magic on tracks written for him by a stellar cast of songwriters in 2003. In 2006, he recorded A Portrait of Howard backed by the Carla Bley Band as well as a host of guests including Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen band vocalist Perla Batalla, and cellist Jane Scarpantoni. But Blue Day leaves that record in the dust, quite literally. At the age of 70, Tate is in absolutely top form as a singer and song interpreter…..
One to One is the third album by British pop musician Howard Jones, released in October 1986. The CD release also contains the single version of "No One Is to Blame" (a song featured on his previous album) with Phil Collins on backing vocals and drums. The album contained the hits "You Know I Love You…Don't You?" (US top twenty) and "All I Want" (top 40 in many European countries).
Though held in high regard by many of his colleagues as being worthy of a pedestal next to Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven in the pantheon of Western music’s great composers, Ludwig (Louis) Spohr (1784–1859), along with Christoph Read more Le nozze di Figaro and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde were composed during Spohr’s lifetime. Eight years younger than Rossini and 13 years Schubert’s junior, Spohr wrote music that is Janus-like, specifically it looks to the formalism and clarity of the Classicists and at the same time sows the seeds of Romanticism via its harmonic and structural experimentation.
In his long life, Louis Spohr found himself to be a contemporary of Ludwig van Beethoven, Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, and Richard Wagner, yet in spite of living in the turbulent first half-century of the Romantic era, he continued to emulate the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and stayed rather close to the practices and expressions of the late Classical era.
Even though Louis Spohr lived well into the Romantic era, and was a contemporary of such cutting-edge figures as Beethoven, Berlioz, Paganini, Liszt, and Wagner, his music stayed remarkably Classical in form and substance, and sounded conservative in style, even late in his career. It shouldn't be surprising to find that his Symphony No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 20 (1811), would sound a lot like Mozart's Symphony No. 39 in E flat major, K. 543; or that the Symphony No. 2 in D minor, Op. 49 (1820), while somewhat more advanced and original in symphonic development, would sound no more radical than Weber, and even evoke Haydn in its droll Finale.