Mathias Ruegg dirige un orchestre à la longévité étonnante : 25 ans. Le « Vienna Art » a vu défiler tous les solistes européens de ces deux dernières décennies. Cette aventure est le fruit d’un long travail collectif, privilégiant les rencontres et les découvertes. Les différents programmes de l’orchestre sont autant de façons d’honorer la grande histoire du jazz. Une fois encore, le Vienna Art prend un « risque artistique » et propose, avec ce double album, une vision gémellaire et ludique de ce glorieux passé. Pas moins de 80 compositions, thèmes et arrangements sont proposés dans un ordre dispersé.
One has to hand it to the Vienna Art Orchestra; this is one adventurous band of Austrians. On Centenary Journey, recorded live in March ’01 at the Sofiensäle, Vienna, the VAO makes an heroic (and broadly successful) effort to compress a century of ever–shifting Jazz styles into one expansive snapshot. Unlike Ken Burns’ recent (and controversial) television series, Jazz, which was weighted heavily in favor of the music’s early pioneers with the last forty years or so telescoped into one hour–long (or ninety–minute) episode, The VAO’s enterprise leans rather conspicuously in the opposite direction, being evenly divided between Jazz as it developed from 1900 through the ’50s (the first seven selections) and in the years from 1960 to the present (the last seven).
5 April 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Herbert von Karajan, the legendary Austrian-born conductor who achieved a position of musical supremacy as director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra that made him one of the most famous and celebrated conductors of the second half of the twentieth century. While the majority of his symphonic recordings were made for Deutsche Grammophon, von Karajan also recorded for Decca and EMI during the 1950s and 1960s. This set is reissued to mark this momentous anniversary and contains all of his orchestral recordings made with the Vienna Philharmonic for Decca during the late 1950s/early 1960s.
The epic grandeur of Der Rosenkavalier stems not just from its immense length (over three hours) but from the all-too-human complexity of its characters–each of whom is smitten with someone else–and the endless stream of graceful melodies the composer conjures. After the tonality-stretching dissonance of Salome and especially Elektra, Strauss moved onto a different musical path here: the music's sheer gorgeousness has given this most heartbreaking of 20th-century operas its pride of place in the repertory.
It's a pleasure to hear R.L. Burnside's early acoustic blues played the way he learned them in the hill country of Northern Mississippi. Three of these tracks date from 1967 and were recorded in Coldwater, MS by folklorist George Mitchell, while the remaining 16 were recorded in the early '80s by Swingmaster operator Leo Bruin in Groningen, Netherlands. This is Burnside playing solo (and mainly) acoustic country blues with the only addition to his guitar and voice being the harmonica of Red Ramsey on "Rolling and Tumbling."
Upon graduating from The Music Academy in Jerusalem, Sela evolved from classical music and jazz into ethnic music, specializing in unique woodwind instruments of this genre. Sela plays in a variety of classic and ethnic woodwinds including: Classical Clarinet, Turkish Clarinet, Silver Flute, Indian Bamboo Flute, Turkish Zorna, Armanian Duduk, African Flute, Saxophone, Irish Penny Whislte, Middle Eastern Ney Flute. In recent years, Sela has performed and recorded with some of the best international artists including Omar Faruk Tekbilek (Turkey), Ross Daily (Greece), Adel Salameh (France) and the leading international Jewish singer, Avraham Fried (USA). He has also performed with some of the leading Israeli musicians and singers such as Idan Raichel (The Idan Raichel Project), Rita, Etti Ankri, Yair Dalal, Shem Tov Levy, Din Din Aviv.