Rick Wakeman's return to YES in June of 2002 coincided with the completion of the recording of "Out There", his first progressive rock album with his own band for 26 years. In true Wakeman tradition, "Out There" is a musical concept continued from where he left off in 1976 with his quest for the origins of all music with "No Earthly Connection" which sold in excess of five million copies worldwide…
Rick Wakeman spent much of the '80s and '90s recording instrumental albums that veered toward either classical or ambient, so 2003's Out There comes as a bit of a shock: it's an honest to goodness revival of the full-throttle prog rock Wakeman pursued on his solo albums in the '70s. A large part of this is due to his decision to form a full-fledged supporting rock band. Called the New English Rock Ensemble, they're a quintet led by Wakeman and featuring Damian Wilson on vocals, Ant Glynne on guitar, Lee Pomeroy on bass, and Tony Fernandez on drums and percussion. They're a powerful and skilled outfit, able to follow Wakeman's shifting tempos and moods with dexterity without ever losing sight of their forceful rhythmic core, which keeps this rock, not new age. Wilson is a similarly versatile vocalist, as convincing on the surging "Out There" as he is on the contemplative "To Be with You."
Rebelling against the increasingly formulaic operas of the time, Christoph Willibald Gluck's "reformist" opera Alceste (1767) was a successful attempt to return to a purer form of musical drama. It is highly appropriate that this 1999 production of the revised 1776 Paris version should be conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, with the English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir, the same forces responsible for many fine Bach performances equally emphasizing character and text. In setting the tragic story of the profound love between Queen Alceste and her husband King Admète, Gluck provided a score of austere, rending beauty.
English Electric Part One is the seventh studio album by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. It was released on 3 September 2012, by English Electric Recordings and GEP. English Electric Part One and English Electric Part Two were originally released as separate albums in 2012 and 2013. English Electric Part Two received a nomination for Best Album in the 2013 Progressive Music Awards and the band went on to win the Breakthrough Artist award.
The versatility of the suite form proved well suited to Johann Sebastian Bach in his instrumental works, and the English Suites are no exception. These are distinct from Bach’s other suites with their quasi-improvisatory opening Preludes, and further movements encompassing a wide range of moods and styles from lively dances to the pensive intensity of the slow Sarabandes. The Montenegrin Guitar Duo’s fresh and historically informed performances of these works have been acclaimed as “simply ravishing” (American Record Guide). The Montenegrin Guitar Duo is frequently invited to venues such as the Philharmonia Hall in Saint Petersburg, Manuel de Falla Hall in Madrid, and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. International festivals regularly engage the duo to give recitals, deliver lectures and masterclasses, and adjudicate major competitions. In 2013 their debut album was released by the Montenegrin Music Centre, featuring works by Domeniconi, Piazzolla and Bogdanovic. The first of their two volumes of Bach’s English Suites was released in 2015 and received excellent reviews.
English Boy Wonders is the second studio album by the English progressive rock band, Big Big Train. It was released in 1997 by Giant Electric Pea. In February 2008, it was announced on Big Big Train's BlogSpot that English Boy Wonders was going to be re-recorded and partially re-mixed. It was re-released on the band's new record label, English Electric, on 1 December 2008. The re-release adds one track and changes the running order. Big Big Train are an English progressive rock band formed in Bournemouth in 1990. Until 2009, the band were mostly as a studio project band headed by Gregory Spawton and Andy Poole with changing line-ups and guest musicians. They have released eleven studio albums and three EPs.