No one except psychedelic Renaissance man Alexander "Skip" Spence could have created an album such as Oar. Alternately heralded as a "soundtrack to schizophrenia" and a "visionary solo effort," Oar became delegated to cut out and bargain bins shortly after its release in the spring of 1969. However those who did hear it were instantly drawn into Spence's inimitable sonic surrealism. As his illustrious past in the Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Moby Grape would suggest, this album is a pastiche of folk and rock. In reality, however, while these original compositions may draw from those genres, each song has the individuality of a fingerprint. As a solo recording, Oar is paramount as Spence performed and produced every sound on the album himself at Columbia Records studios in Nashville in the space of less than two weeks.
According to classical music specialists, a good performance of Scheherazade requires a top notch orchestra, great conducting, and outstanding individual performance, as well as timing since there is a definite storyline to follow. Flaws on any orchestral department, will be "merciless exposed" along the score. The Chicago Symphony, to many, the most european sounding of all american orchestras, meets all these requirements, as does Ozawa, who knows this score well. It was my first recording of the work and I always go back to it, since has a perfectly well chosen tempo, the solo violin is sweet and umpretentious, and the sound although not as dramatic as others, offers a very "symphonic" account, which always satisfies. The coupling of Borodin is more than adequate and great music too.
The history of ideas provides an important means of understanding and reinterpreting the literature of the past; and in this study Dr. Calder demonstrates the illumination that this informed approach brings to the comedies of Molière. …
Grammy® Award-winner Gloria Cheng brings an exquisite array of touch to this programme which couples the first mature works of Olivier Messiaen with the darkly radiant music of Kaija Saariaho. The Calder Quartet joins Ms. Cheng for Saariaho's 2003 trio 'Je sens un deuxième coeur' and Messiaen's 'Pièce pour piano et quatuor à cordes'. Saariaho attended this first recording of her ‘Ballade’ and ‘Prelude’.