An attractive and intelligently annotated set, devoted to Fauré’s chamber music with piano; the sole drawback concerns generally astringent sound quality in these 1969/70 recordings. Pianist Jean Hubeau features in all but one of these performances. An uncommonly perceptive, adroit, and lucidly compelling artist, his readings of the large-scale piano quintets, Opp. 89 and 115, are superb. He is partnered by the Quatuor Via Nova, who contribute their own serenely idiomatic account of Fauré’s three-movement string quartet, Op. 121. Hubeau’s impressively understated pianism adds distinction to refined performances of the piano quartets, Opp. 15 and 45, and the particularly fine D minor Trio, Op. 120.
Gold Afternoon Fix should have been a consolidation of the band's increased commercial profile and cachet after "Under the Milky Way," heightened by the welcome reissue of the band's first five albums. Unfortunately, the Church's original choice for producer – John Paul Jones, who likely would have helped oversee a total masterpiece – was rejected, leading to another session with Wachtel. This time the balance between accessibility and art didn't succeed as planned. The end result is an album that's sometimes fantastic, sometimes merely there.
The Motets of Willaert have a mysterious reputation as they were originally performed only in clandestine circles for a few initiates until Alfonso II d’Este had a collection published in 1559 (Musica Nova, Venice). Singer Pur are a world renowned a capella singing group with a large audience and following. They have won many international competitions, and have appeared on numerous TV shows. The ensemble is stylistically diverse performing music from the medieval right up to the avant-garde.
Whether serving as Christian church, Islamic mosque, or secular museum, Hagia Sophia and its saring dome have inspired reverence and awe. For 800 years, it was the largest enclosed building in the world—the Statue of Liberty can fit beneath its dome with room to spare. How has it survived its location on one of the world’s most active seismic faults, which has inflicted a dozen devastating earthquakes since it was built in 537? As Istanbul braces for the next big quake, a team of architects and engineers is urgently investigating Hagia Sophia’s seismic secrets. Follow engineers as they build a massive 8-ton model of the building’s core structure, place it on a motorized shake table, and hit it with a series of simulated quakes, pushing it collapse—a fate that the team is determined to avoid with the real building.