Composer Claude-Bénigne Balbastre came at the end of the French Baroque keyboard tradition that produced François Couperin and Jean-Philippe Rameau. Composed in 1759, these pieces look back toward the tradition of French harpsichord music, with its individual piece titles designating various members of the French nobility and their individual personalities. Thirty years after Couperin announced the reunification of French and Italian tastes, they show only light influence of Italian style; the clearly diatonic, periodic Allegro tune of "La Laporte," track 16, is the exception. Nor does Balbastre attempt to take after the intellectual density and harmonic complexity of Rameau's keyboard music. Instead his little musical portraits have a mostly pleasant, pastoral mien, with harmonic touches that are unusual and evocative rather than difficult.
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection
A sublime collection of wonderful timeless music to treasure.
Upon seeing the `New Age Collection’ tag on the front cover of Rick Wakeman’s `Country Airs’, I expected to find a disc full of faceless digital synths to backing sounds of nature and stormy rainforests. What a pleasure to find not a single cold machine, instead a stunning collection of solo piano pieces.
This beautifully packaged 4 disc (3CD + DVD) box set comprises of the very best radio and TV performances by Richard and Linda Thompson and Richard Thompson solo recorded for the BBC between January 1974 and 2009. These are the first ever collection of BBC recordings sanctioned by Richard Thompson, the first career retrospective DVD ever released by Richard Thompson and the first ever to feature Linda.
Tommy Smith, the great Scottish saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator, studied classical orchestration in the 1990s, and has played in plenty of challenging jazz/classical settings. But Modern Jacobite is his most ambitious journey yet, centred on an intricately woven three-movement symphonic work inspired by the Jacobite uprisings; it is bookended by a rapturous tenor-sax improvisation on Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, and by Chick Corea’s famous Children’s Songs interleaved with Smith’s own Bairn’s Songs as personal variations on the same theme. The Jacobite pieces embrace violent, cinematic soundscapes for slewing brass and thundering percussion; deep cello themes that segue into pulsating tenor-sax ruminations; Scottish folk dances that become pipe-toned tenor jigs.
The first city of a million was built two thousand years ago. But how did they make Ancient Athens and Rome work without petrol, gas or electricity? Professor Wallace-Hadrill finds out.
Series in which James May explores the intricacies and engineering marvels of various objects by putting them back together again from a pile of hundreds of their component parts.