Mozart's concert arias are not really generically independent from his operas. They were mostly written for insertion into operas by a singer, often Mozart's girlfriend and then sister-in-law Aloysia Weber, who wanted to display her talents to their best advantage. As such, however, they stand out from other operatic arias as some of the most difficult vocal pieces Mozart composed.
Natalie Clein, whose previous recording of the music of Ernest Bloch was described as ‘inspired’ by The Sunday Times, turns to his three suites for solo cello as part of a recital of works written in the aftermath of the Second World War. The sombre voice of the cello seems especially apposite in music of such deep seriousness, Ligeti’s short sonata providing an energetic and life-affirming finale.
Returning from an extended absence – she hasn't made an album since 2009's Come to Life and hasn't seen a record released in the U.S. since 2001's White Lilies Island, which was the sequel to her 1997 blockbuster Left of the Middle; a long time gone, in other words – Natalie Imbruglia lands upon an interesting concept for her comeback: take 12 songs written by male singer/songwriters and recast them as feminine. For Imbruglia, this means reviving the hazy focus of her global blockbuster "Torn," a feel created with soft, strummed guitars and clear vocals, a sound that suits a middle-aged singer as comfortably as it does a young one, perhaps even a touch better…
Collection includes: 'Everlasting' (1987); 'Good To Be Back' (1989); 'Unforgettable With Love' (1991); 'Take A Look' (1993); 'Holly & Ivy' (1994); 'Stardust' (1996); 'Snowfall On The Sahara' (1999); 'Ask A Woman Who Knows' (2002); 'Leavin' (2006), and 'Still Unforgettable' (2008).
Erstwhile 10,000 Maniacs frontwoman Natalie Merchant continues her highly successful solo career with LIVE IN CONCERT, a show that was recorded at New York's Neil Simon Theater. The set opens, somewhat appropriately, with one of the songs that got Merchant's solo career off to a blazing start, "Wonder." As she usually does in live performance, Merchant plays with the lyrical phrasing of the song to add unexpected melisma and daring tonal gambits. Merchant lends the dark and ephemeral "San Andreas Fault" a lightly sultry quality not found on the studio version. Other familiar favorites include "Beloved Wife," "Carnival," and "Ophelia." Merchant revisits the Maniacs' catalog only once, for a rousing take on "Gun Shy." Two unexpected covers spice the middle of the set: a haunting and powerful reading of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," and a beautiful take on Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush".