The selections on this album of music by Estonian "holy minimalist" Arvo Pärt come from different phases of his career. One, the Solfeggio, dates from 1963, before Pärt abandoned serialism for his minimalist experiments; it was revised and simplified a good deal in 2008, however. The centerpiece (and finale), the Stabat Mater, was composed in 1985, and several of the shorter pieces date from the 2000s. The repertoire is divided between sacred choral pieces and short secular pieces of various kinds, all culminating in the giant, hypnotic, and virtually symmetrical Stabat Mater.
"These performances are notable for the blending of piano and strings into impeccably balanced textures. It’s an approach that’s better suited to the subtle Piano Quartet, a masterwork that owes much to classical models, than to the Piano Quintet. (…) These highly recommendable performances (…) join many other polished, modern accounts such as Takács/Hamelin and Mandelring/Le Guay that have been praised in these pages…" ~Fanfare
Pour ce 9ème album, le saxophoniste français Sylvain Beuf réunit autour de onze nouveaux titres originaux, et pour la première fois dans une formation «électrique» : le guitariste Manu Codjia, le bassiste Philippe Bussonnet et le batteur Julien Charlet. Un quartet de choc auquel se sont adjoints pour l'occasion les trompettistes Nicolas Folmer et Alex Tassel ainsi que le percussionniste ivoirien Thomas Guei.
Since 1996, during the height of the Provençal summer, the beautiful, historic city of Arles has hosted the Festival Les Suds - a joyous musical alchemy that combines singing, music and dance and both explores and redefines the cultural heart of southern Europe (and beyond). Over the course of a week, music from around the world resounds like a universal language. This deluxe, greatest hits package from World Village features highlights recorded over the festival's last decade.
The sixth volume in Matthias Goerne's survey of Franz Schubert's lieder includes the posthumous collection Schwanengesang, which contains some of the loveliest and most disturbing songs Schubert ever composed. One problem in performing this ambiguous work of Schubert's last year lies in its alternation of sweet, lyrical songs with those of a much darker and even frightening character, and it's left to the singer and the pianist to balance the moods and to make the contrasts of expression as subtle as possible. Goerne and his accompanist Christoph Eschenbach meet the challenge by carefully shading the songs with a tempering of expressions that admits sorrow in the midst of joy and hope in the depths of despair.
Launched ten years ago by the saxo player Pierre Bertrand and the trumpeteer Nicolas Folmer, the Paris Jazz Big Band is extremely famous on the French Jazz scene with many awards like the Victoires du Jazz and Django d’Or. It has been mostly recognized for its creative repertoire and the orchestra has performed with prestigious singers like Diana Krall; Johnny Griffin, Richard Galliano or Michel Legrand. The aim of this new repertoire « Source(s) » was to follow the tracks of culture an d music from Africa, South Mediterranea and Latin America.
… Portions of the music included may remind listeners of very early classical music such as Gregorian chant, whereas other pieces will certainly cause an astonished reaction as they sound unlike any other music recorded. Some is sparse, floating, the melodic ideas developing very slowly. A few of the old-world Greek percussion instruments wind up sounding quite a bit like new-world electronic music.
…The performances are fine and the digipack is an elegant presentation. The composer, so highly regarded in his own time, deserves more for his anniversary, but this will suffice for now. More than sufficient, it is a delightful hour and a quarter of music.
Stephen Layton and Polyphony have a long and fruitful relationship with the music of Arvo Pärt. Their recording of Triodion and other choral works (CDA67375) won a Gramophone Award and became a cult classic. The extraordinary purity of Polyphony’s singing is the perfect vehicle for music of such clean, elemental simplicity, such cathartic calm. This third Pärt album from Stephen Layton and Polyphony reaches right back, intriguingly, to the composer’s youthful modernist phase and spans nearly five decades—from 1963 to 2012—in the process. As with the album Triodion, it reflects an increasingly broad spread of languages and sources in Pärt’s chosen texts. Latin, German and English are joined here by Church Slavonic and Spanish. A range of biblical texts are set alongside ancient prayers.