Electronic legends and like-minded drone masters Alio Die (born Stefano Musso) and Mathias Grassow conspired to create one of 2003's finest ambient releases. Expanding Horizons, a double-CD set, features deep drones, smooth samples, gentle rhythms, and subtle melodies. Die recorded his basic tracks in '99. Grassow added his touches and arranged and mixed the final master in '01 and '02. Klaus Wiese (singing bowls, zither, Indian strings) and Carsten Agthe (percussion) added their expertise as well. So, these discs feature three of the greatest drone artists ever - Grassow, Die and Wiese…
This new version by the greatly-gifted young Hungarian pianist Zoltan Kocsis, again vindicates the contention that The Art of Fugue makes its best effect as a keyboard work, even if on a modern piano. For Kocsis Bach's intellectual and technical demands seem to pose no problems: his exposition of the polyphonic conversation, whether, two, three or four participants are involved, is always admirably lucid and enables each voice to have its say. This is no doubt helped by the rather dry quality of the Hungaroton/ Philips recording on LP (the CD is appreciably fuller and brighter), and by Kocsis's very discreet use of the sustaining pedal.
Žalvarinis – it’s a band of four young musicians (drums, bass guitar, acoustic, electric guitars) and three singers. Various interpretations of ancient Lithuanian folk songs, which are performed, sound new and unusual. It unites different styles of music: from light rock till metal with blues, jazz elements. The lyrics for band's songs are usually taken from the folklore of Lithuanian people and are sung in their original Lithuanian language. Žalvarinis' music frequently features singing technique of traditional Lithuanian sutartinė (a form of glee), usually sung by band's three female singers - examples of sutartinė can be heard in tracks Ailiom susėdom and Dijūta. Authentic pronunciation as well as ancient words and their forms in folk songs are also usually preserved by the band. As a legacy of Kūlgrinda, the band also features few folk-songs of Old Prussians.
On this CD:
Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
with New Bach Collegium Musicum Leipzig
Conducted by Max Pommer
This performance has introduced me to Die Kunst Der Fuge, and I have not yet heard other recordings. Words cannot describe what I felt while first listening to this Heavenly music. It is at once sublime and monumental, personal and universal, melancholic and ecstatic. This work shows the master at his finest. Indeed music as a pure art form has its apotheosis in this work. I believe nothing can surpass its beauty and mastery. Again words cannot describe it, so all I can say is listen