The chamber works on this recording encompass a variety of instrumental groupings and a range of moods from the humour and lightness of the Serenade to the serious magnificence of the Piano Quintet, a five-movement ‘memorial’ developing the tradition of so great a work as Shostakovich’s single-movement work for this combination. The Three Madrigals set a three-language cycle of miniature poems by Francisco Tanzer, poems which themselves encapsulates much that is distinctively Schnittke through their epigrammatic atmosphere of cryptic completeness.
An album of encores once played by someone else, even someone as famous as Mstislav Rostropovich, might seem an overspecialized product, but German cellist Alban Gerhardt had some success with a similar album devoted to Pablo Casals, and is now back for more. Gerhardt does a reasonable impression of Rostropovich's songful style, overlaid with a bit of mysterious and gloomy Russian philosophy. But the really innovative feature of the album is the program, which draws out the breadth of the great Russian's musical interests, even in the seemingly restricted feel of the encore.
In 1980 Sun-Ra fanatic Rick Steiger organised what was to be the "Greatest cultural event going on in America at that time" according to Sun Ra himself. The concert started the day after Christmas and evolved into a 6-day, 11-performance residency that rocked the Detroit Jazz centre to it's boots. These are nine tracks from those sessions, capturing the Arkestra in full flight with some help from local musicians Tani Tabbal, Ali Mora, Jaribu Shahid and Reggie Fields. Pure vibes!!!
Essential: a masterpiece of Prog Rock music
This review is based on the LP version of this album (the CD version if you can find it, apparently has additional songs). The first seven tracks formed side one, and are accoustic: Alan playing the harp and singing, with some additional accompaniment, all of of haunting and beautiful.
Whilst Liszt’s piano music derived from music for plays is a much smaller body of work than his catalogue of operatic pieces, the approach in his methods of composition, elaboration and transcription remains broadly the same. As far as present Liszt scholarship permits one ever to be categorical, this recording contains all of Liszt’s works in this genre.