The hook for this terrific recording of three of Steve Reich's most attractive works is the use of alternate versions of the several pieces that differ from the original recordings on Nonesuch. This recording has Reich's imprimatur; he enthusiastically recommends the performances in a program note. The most radical departure from the original version is Piano Counterpoint, Vincent Corver's arrangement of Six Pianos for a single live pianist with the other five parts prerecorded. This allows the piece to fit nicely into Reich's "Counterpoint" series, which includes Vermont Counterpoint for flutes and New York Counterpoint for clarinets. Corver also speeds up the tempo so the piece has an even more propulsive aural energy, although in live performance it's hard to beat the visceral excitement of six pianists on-stage. The London Steve Reich Ensemble version of the Triple Quartet, unlike the Kronos Quartet's premiere recording, uses three live quartets, and is one of three performance options that Reich specified in the score, the third being an orchestral version with 36 players. This is the first commercial recording of this version.
Here's Love is an album by American jazz pianist Hank Jones featuring interpretations of music from Meredith Willson's Broadway musical Here's Love recorded in 1963 for the Argo label. The artistry of Milt Hilton on bass, Elvin Jones on drums, and Kenny Burrell on guitar, welded cohesively by the remarkable ingenuity of Hank Jones, makes for many minutes of easy listening.
The Oasis Quartet, founded in 2006, is made up of four saxophones, and on its first release it includes works originally written for that ensemble, as well as a transcription of a string quartet. The transcription, Philip Glass' String Quartet No. 3 ("Mishima"), was in turn arranged from material from the composer's soundtrack to Paul Schrader's 1985 film biography of the Japanese writer and activist, originally written for and performed by the Kronos Quartet.
"Mr. Mojo Risin': The Story of L.A. Woman'" is the story of the making of the Doors' last album with Jim Morrison "L.A. Woman". 2011 is the 40th anniversary of the album's release and this program goes into detail of how the album came about, its recording and what was happening to the band at the time…
The title of the two-disc album, Vivaldi: Vespro a San Marco, implies that the composer wrote a set of pieces comparable to Monteverdi's Vespro della beata Vergine, but the title needs to be interpreted somewhat loosely. The program notes describe the collection of psalms, canticles, motets, and prefatory chants recorded here as an evocation of a service of vespers Vivaldi might have assembled rather than a reconstruction of one he actually ever did. These vespers are distinctly Vivaldian in idiom, but they resemble Monteverdi's in the use of some common texts and in the diversity of musical styles, genres, and performing forces assembled; there is not much of a sense of unity in the traditional sense, but a profusion of delightfully varied musical vignettes, including a cappella chants, solos, ensembles, choruses, and instrumental pieces.