This 2004 remastered Rudy Van Gelder edition of Donald Byrd's At the Half Note Cafe (the original double-disc version was only issued for the first time in 2000) appears to add one extra track – "Theme (Pure D. Funk)," which clocks in at 1:51 and is also on the second volume in its full form, and a slightly shorter version of "Cecille." Here it clocks it at 12:52; on the 2000 issue it was 14:46. The sequence has also been altered slightly. The real deal is that, while this is the live date showcasing the Byrd quintet with Pepper Adams (and with Duke Pearson, Lex Humphries, and Laymon Jackson in the rhythm section), there is little here to make this worth purchasing yet again if you have the previous set.
At the heart of Beethoven’s life’s statement as a composer lies the cycle of sixteen string quartets, which, to this day, has retained a special status and reverence. Since 2012, the Elias String Quartet has been immersed in its Beethoven Project, performing all Beethoven’s string quartets at venues throughout the UK. In this live recording, the ensemble captures both the intimacy and grandeur of the works. With an ever-expanding recording catalogue that has been met with widespread critical acclaim, the quartet is delighted to release this disc, the first volume of its complete Beethoven cycle to be recorded live at Wigmore Hall over the coming Seasons.
The emotional content, lyricism and direct appeal of Gavin Bryars’s music are unique, reflecting a contemporary composer’s absorption and transformation of several centuries of musical craftsmanship in order to reflect his, and our, own epoch. Originally written for harpsichord, After Handel’s Vesper is a strong illustration of Bryars’s post-minimal interests in early music repertoire. Ramble on Cortona, derived from 13th-century music, makes expressive use of the piano’s resonant qualities, while in the highly-coloured, almost impressionistic The Solway Canal, landscapes pass by as if in a dream.