Manfred Barbarini Lupus (ca 1560) was a popular composer during the mediaeval and Renaissance periods. The St. Gallen Monastery, for whom these works were composed, was one of the most influential in Europe at that time. Performing these works is the Ensemble Ordo Virtutum. The ensemble was founded by musicologist Professor Dr. Stefen Johannes Morent, and specializes in mediaeval music.
Paranoid was not only Black Sabbath’s most popular record (it was a number one smash in the U.K., and “Paranoid” and “Iron Man” both scraped the U.S. charts despite virtually nonexistent radio play), it also stands as one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time. Paranoid refined Black Sabbath’s signature sound — crushingly loud, minor-key dirges loosely based on heavy blues-rock — and applied it to a newly consistent set of songs with utterly memorable riffs, most of which now rank as all-time metal classics. Where the extended, multi-sectioned songs on the debut sometimes felt like aimless jams, their counterparts on Paranoid have been given focus and direction, lending an epic drama to now-standards like “War Pigs” and “Iron Man” (which sports one of the most immediately identifiable riffs in metal history).
Avishai Cohen impressed a lot of listeners with his soulful contributions to Mark Turner’s Lathe of Heaven album in 2014. Now the charismatic Tel Aviv-born trumpeter has his ECM leader debut in a programme of expansive and impressionistic compositions for jazz quartet (trumpet, piano, bass, drums), augmented by tenor saxophone on a few pieces. Into The Silence is dedicated to the memory of Avishai’s father David, reflecting upon the last days of his life with grace and restraint. Avishai’s tender muted trumpet sets the emotional tone of the music in the album’s opening moments and his gifted cast of musicians explore its implications. Israeli pianist Yonathan Avishai has played with Cohen in many settings and solos creatively inside the trumpeter’s haunting compositions, sometimes illuminating them with the phraseology of the blues.
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Manfred is a hermaphrodite – at least, as far as the music is concerned. For although the work (dating from 1885) was indeed dubbed by its creator as a symphony, it still did not receive a number alongside Tchaikovsky’s further six contributions to the category. And thus it was – and has still to some extent remained – “draped” over a stool, as it were: isolated in Tchaikovsky’s oeuvre somewhere between the categories of the symphony and the symphonic poem. Nevertheless, Manfred is definitely based on a literary programme. And what a programme – the eponymous dramatic poem written by the “dark romantic” poet, Lord Byron. Tchaikovsky devoted himself to this and to its eponymous hero with zeal, and seemed to even somewhat transform himself into Manfred during the intensive period of work. After all, he was also suffering from inner torment.
John Dowland’s Lachrimae Pavans is considered one of the greatest works in the canon of English chamber music. Based upon his famous song “Flow My Teares”, the seven pavans – "Seaven Teares", as Dowland called them – present an extraordinary exploration of the contrapuntal and harmonic possibilities offered by the theme. In this remarkable recording, baroque violinist John Holloway creates a concert programme around the lachrimae Pavans. Threaded between Dowland’s masterpieces are works of other major composers of his era – Henry Purcell, William Lawes, John Jenkins, Thomas Morley and Matthew Locke. In bringing together these works of strongly contrasting colour and character Holloway and company give us a vivid sense of the great flowering of consort music which took place in England in the 17th century.
Recorded in churches in Tallinn as well as the Estonian Concert Hall, the five compositions heard on “Arboles lloran por lluvia” (Trees cry for rain) give deeper insight into the unique sound-world of Helena Tulve, into music which is nourished by both contemporary and ancient currents. Tulve draws upon a wide-range of inspirational sources.