Pan flutist Leo Rojas (full name: Juan Leonardo Santillia Rojas) was born in Ecuador in 1984 and is best known for winning the 2011 season of the German casting show Das Supertalent. Rojas moved to Spain in 2000 and then to Germany, living in Berlin with his Polish wife; he often performed as a street musician until a passer-by informed him about the casting show. He became a contestant in the show's fifth season, succeeding to the semi-finals with his rendition of "El Condór Pasa" (best known in a 1970 version by Simon & Garfunkel) and then winning the show with a cover of "Einsamer Hirte," a hit song written by James Last and performed by Gheorghe Zamfir in 1977. Rojas' version of "Einsamer Hirte" was released as a single shortly after the show's finale (reaching number 48 on the singles charts), followed by his first full-length album, Spirit of the Hawk.
The legendary Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi was born 300 years ago, in 1710. To mark the anniversary, Naïve re-issues three renowned recordings to feature his choral music, in a specially-priced box set, headed by the Gramophone award-winning version of his Stabat Mater by Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano, considered one of the best ever recorded…
Also featured in the bargain “3 for the price of 1” set are other short pieces by Pergolesi, plus more by Alessandro Scarlatti and Leonardo Leo.
Claude D'Anna's film of Verdi's Macbeth is a gloomy affair, stressing the descent into madness of the principal villains. It's acted by the singers of the Decca recording of the opera (with two substitutions of actors standing in for singers) and the lip-synching is generally unobtrusive. The musical performance is superb, conducted by Riccardo Chailly with admirable fire, and sung by some of the leading lights of the opera stages of the 1980s.