The church cantata very quickly came to occupy a privileged place in Bach’s output, but it was in his Leipzig period that he explored new stylistic possibilities for the genre in several cycles. The third of these, mostly scored for relatively small forces, features in these Dialogkantaten three fine examples of the ‘madrigalian’ type: in their arias, recitatives and chorales, the composer deploys a poetry that does not exclude audacity and an eloquence worthy of opera.
Raphael Wressnig was 28 at the time of this recording but is already considered one of Europe's top jazz organists. On this CD, Wressnig plays the usual assortment of blues and soul-jazz grooves but also stretches his instrument by playing some music that borders on the avant-garde, some funk, a second-line New Orleans parade rhythm groove, a soulful country ballad, and even hints of hip-hop. Two songs are performed solely by Wressnig's Organic Trio, a unit that had been together for six years by 2008, featuring the fine guitarist Georg Jantscher and drummer Lukas Knofler. Three numbers add either tenor saxophonist Craig Handy or Christian Bachner, two others have the team of trumpeter Eric Bloom and tenorman Sax Gordon, and the remaining two find percussionist Luis Ribeiro making the group a quartet.
Naxos intend to record Vivaldi’s entire orchestral corpus, and Raphael Wallfisch’s integral four-disc survey of the 27 cello concertos inaugurates this visionary, though plainly Herculean undertaking. Soloist and orchestra employ modern instruments; director Nicholas Kraemer contends that authentic protocols can be ably met by contemporary ensembles and, in articulation, style and ornamentation, these pristine, engaging readings have little to fear from period practitioners. Wallfisch’s pointed, erudite and spirited playing is supported with enlightened restraint by the CLS, directed from either harpsichord or chamber organ by Kraemer, whose sensitive continuo team merits high praise throughout. Without exception, these Concertos adopt an orthodox fast-slow-fast three-movement format. Wallfisch, dutifully observant in matters of textual fidelity, plays outer movements with verve, energy and lucidity, such that high-register passagework, an omnipresent feature of these works, is enunciated with the pin-sharp focus of Canaletto’s images of 18th-century Venice, which adorn the covers of these issues.
This is an archival release designed for the fans, and it should be treated that way. That means while there are certainly interesting variations of familiar songs, rarities, and unexpected delights for fans, it's undeniably for those fans who will realize how these versions differ from the originals, or those who will delight in the subtle stage patter from Townshend. Most of all, it's for the fans who embrace the spiritual side of Townshend, particularly his recordings for his guru, Avatar Meher Baba, since he and Raphael Rudd performed these concerts in his honor, several songs derive from Townshend's independently released albums for him, and these recordings are taken from concerts given in 1979-1980 for a select group of Meher Baba devotees.
French saxophonist Raphael Imbert dangles this tantalizing lure on Bach: Coltrane, which the multi-hornman promotes as the culmination of a research project into the sacred elements of jazz. For the album, a jazz quintet joins the classical Manfred Quartet "to demonstrate the spiritual and musical ties between Bach and Coltrane by following the thread of the Lutheran liturgy that links the Kantor's music, the Negro spiritual, and certain themes written by John Coltrane."
The three Leçons de Ténèbres pour le mercredy (Tenebrae for Wednesday) are the only ones by François Couperin to have survived: 'recitations' destined to accompany the Office of the Tenebrae during one of the nights of Holy Week. Couperin is one of the uncontested masters in this exercise fusing vocal virtuosity and deep religious feeling.