Born in Chelyabinsk in 1973, Lera Auerbach defected from the former Soviet Union to the United States while still in her teens, and she has since garnered much attention as both pianist and composer, notably in her recent work with Gidon Kremer. Written in 1999, Auerbach's 24 Preludes for Violin and Piano amply showcase her stylistic leanings and wide emotional range. Clearly, she's imbibed from the Shostakovich/Schnittke watering hole, as we hear in the frequent sparse textures in extreme registers, petulant dynamic shifts, obsessive pedal points, and caustic, folk-oriented tunes. Auerbach also has figured out what makes Astor Piazzolla tick, and manages to personalize his sultry harmonic idiom. The most interesting moments occur when the composer's original voice pushes her influences out of the way, as in the sudden, unexpected violin cadenza that immediately follows Prelude No. 15's unrelenting dance. This leads to a threnody that gradually dematerializes into a high-register mist, and before you know it, Prelude No. 16 is over. The Postlude and solo violin piece also typify the ease with which Auerbach communicates her ideas. Vadim Gluzman and Angela Yoffe push their collective virtuosity sky-high. Such big playing requires the larger-than-life engineering BIS provides.
's 1983 albums, both released while the singer was with , are combined on this reissue from 's label. , a number six hit produced with , is one of her best albums. It contains two of her bigger hits: the upbeat pop-funk title track and the quiet storm favorite 's once again prominent on , which wasn't nearly as major. Although it reached number 20 on the chart, the material let her down. The most notable number is the ballad
1986's collects the biggest hits and definitive album tracks of her career up to that point, including and For the most part the collection concentrates on the smooth, soulful ballads with which made her name, although there are a few of her more up-tempo tracks, like and for variety's sake. Strangely, the collection doesn't include one of her biggest hits for Arista, opting instead for from that album. Still, despite the collection's brevity, The Best of does give a good, concise idea of the sound and songs that made one of the best urban songstresses of the '70s and '80s.
In the wild, when a wolf knows its time is over, when it knows it is of no more use to its pack, it may sometimes choose to slip away. Dying apart from its family, it stays proud and true to its nature. Humans aren’t so lucky. Luke Warren has spent his life researching wolves. He has written about them, studied their habits intensively, and even lived with them for extended periods of time. In many ways, Luke understands wolf dynamics better than those of his own family. His wife, Georgie, has left him, finally giving up on their lonely marriage. His son, Edward, twenty-four, fled six years ago, leaving behind a shattered relationship with his father.