Cristóbal Galán was born in Madrid (Spain) around 1625; nothing is known about his musical education or the early stages of his career. Between 1653 and 1664 he acted as "maestro de capilla" in various churches. From 1664 to 1667 he was director of the choir at Segovia Cathedral, and then he was appointed director of music at the convent of the Descalzas Reales. The queen regent wanted him to become director of music at the royal chapel, but this met strong resistance. It was only in 1680 that he obtained this position. It didn't bring him much luck, as he felt that he wasn't appreciated enough. Payments were also often delayed, mainly because of the bad economic state of Spain in the last decades of the 17th century. Not only Galán, but all musicians suffered from this situation.
Giovanni Simone Mayr‘s „Medea in Corinto“ is „the most absolutely amazing opera discovery in decades“ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). A triumph for the Bavarian State Opera, the work was staged with a roster of top vocalists headed by Nadja Michael and Ramon Vargas in a production crafted by one of the leading directors of our time, Hans Neuenfels, and with a musical director in demand all over the world, Ivor Bolton. Born near Ingolstadt, Germany, in 1763, Mayr moved to Italy around 1787 and became one of the most important composers of Italian opera between Mozart and Rossini. He also taught many reputable composers, such as Donizetti. Written at the dawn of romanticism and the bel canto era, his main works unite stylistic characteristics of Viennese classicism with Italian melodic exuberance. „Medea in Corinto“ was premiered in Naples in 1813.
Mayr had already earned esteem in Venice for his church music when, in 1802, he assumed the post of maestro di cappella at the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo. With a modest orchestra at his disposal he soon composed a Miserere in G minor, in which solo orchestral instruments often carry on a dialogue with the vocal soloists in a succession of powerful, descriptive and beautiful arias and choruses. The Litaniae Lauretanae, cast in three parts, features wide leaping figures and sighing melodies. Conductor Franz Hauk has been responsible for re-establishing the music of Johann Simon Mayr, one of the most significant operatic and vocal composers resident in Italy before the rise of Rossini.
Born near Ingolstadt in Bavaria, Simon Mayr spent the greater part of his career in Bergamo, a flourishing cultural and economic centre in the early nineteenth century. An important figure in the promotion of Viennese classicism in Italy, he combined, in his own style, the legacy of Vienna with the dramatic and melodic genius of Italy, and held a dominant position in Italian opera before the emergence of Rossini. His oratorio David in spelunca Engaddi (David in the Cave of Engedi), with a Latin text, was written in 1795 for the Ospedale dei Mendicanti in Venice, one of the four great charitable institutions there, known for the musical achievements of its members. The oratorio deals with the conflict between David and Saul, and the refusal of David to harm the Lord’s anointed, in spite of the opportunity offered him.
While this is not nearly as essential as some other Stax wax, it has a loose, raffish appeal and never falls into the murk of a boring super-session chopsfest. These guys were simply havin' fun with some standard soul/R&B covers (e.g. "What'd I Say," "Baby What You Want Me To Do") and some wide-open originals, kickin' back with some serious riffin'. Cropper proffers his usual intense, simplistic soloing, while King swoops and dives in a stringbending fury. The added plus is the silky smooth near-falsetto of Pop Staples, whose vocal on "Tupelo" is suitably eerie…