MOZART 111 combines the best of the Austrian master's music with the best of Deutsche Grammophon's Mozart recordings, bringing together a total of 111 works, while retaining, as far as possible, the original album releases with their cover art. There's enough of everything here to stock a shop, as they say, in performances that have stood the test of time and performances that make you sit up and listen to Mozart afresh the perfect way to discover, rediscover and savor the incomparable genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
For only the second time in her career, jazz pianist and vocalist Diana Krall deviates from her tried, true m.o. of covering easily identifiable jazz standards. On Glad Rag Doll she teams with producer T-Bone Burnett and his stable of studio aces. Here the two-time Grammy winner covers mostly vaudeville and jazz tunes written in the 1920s and '30s, some relatively obscure. Most of the music here is from her father's collection of 78-rpm records. Krall picked 35 tunes from that music library and gave sheet music to Burnett. He didn't reveal his final selections until they got into the studio. Given their origins, these songs remove the sheen of detached cool that is one of Krall's vocal trademarks. Check the speakeasy feel on opener "We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye," with Marc Ribot's airy chords, Jay Bellerose's loose shuffle, and Dennis Crouch's strolling upright bass. Krall's vocal actually seems to express delight in this loose and informal proceeding – though her piano playing is, as usual, tight, top-notch.
«Edgar aimait le pouvoir mais il en détestait les aléas. Il aurait trouvé humiliant de devoir le remettre enjeu à intervalles réguliers devant des électeurs qui n'avaient pas le millième de sa capacité à raisonner. Et il n'admettait pas non plus que les hommes élus par ce troupeau sans éducation ni classe puissent menacer sa position qui devait être stable dans l'intérêt même du pays. Il était devenu à sa façon consul à vie.» …
Hippolyte et Aricie was Rameau's first surviving lyric tragedy and is perhaps his most durable, though you wouldn't know it from the decades we had to wait for a modern recording. Now there are two: this one, conducted by Marc Minkowski, and William Christie's version on Erato. Choosing between the two is tough. Minkowski uses a smaller and probably more authentic orchestra, and with the resulting leaner sound, the performance has more of a quicksilver quality accentuated by Minkowski's penchant for swift tempos. His cast is excellent. The central lovers in the title are beautifully sung by two truly French voices, soprano Véronique Gens and especially the light, slightly nasal tenor of Jean-Paul Fourchécourt. In the pivotal role of the jealous Phèdre, Bernarda Fink is perfectly good but not in the exalted league of Christie's Lorraine Hunt. So there's no clear front-runner, but anyone interested in French Baroque opera must have at least one.–David Patrick Stearns