With a career spanning more than five decades, Thomas Beecham was one of the most important and influential conductors in England during the first half of the 20th century. He had a tendency, when dissatisfied with the musical scene in a given locale, to just form a new orchestra. As such, Beecham was responsible for the founding of both the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Beecham also had a penchant for unearthing little-known compositions, or performing less common versions of works. This EMI reissue features one of his favorite works, Grieg's incidental music to Peer Gynt. Most listeners are no doubt familiar with one or both of the orchestra suites Grieg extracted from the 23 total numbers, but Beecham presents listeners with much more. In addition to the 10 selections from the two suites, Beecham includes two additional movements and includes the little-heard choral parts from "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and "Arabian Dance" as well as the solo soprano parts from "Solveig's Song" and "Solveig's Lullaby".
Vertical and layered in form, “Strata” is austere and powerful music with a clearly Northern sensibility. The textures swirl and surge restlessly, building tension with harsh, emphatic brass chords set against high winds. There is an instense staccato outburst halfway through – with malign, mach-like drumming passages – evincing the composer’s rock influenes. Near the end, Tüür uses a pastoral motif from an Estonian (“Setu”) folksong, as the music slows down and coalesces in a shimmering coda and a sense of infinity in its long slow fade to silence. Performances by the Nordic Symphony Orchestra under Anu Tali are bracing, powerful, and very well recorded.
"…He was one of the founders of the Soviet genre called "author song" (авторская песня, avtorskaya pesnya), or "guitar song", and the author of about 200 songs, set to his own poetry. His songs are a mixture of Russian poetic and folksong traditions and the French chansonnier style represented by such contemporaries of Okudzhava as Georges Brassens. Though his songs were never overtly political (in contrast to those of some of his fellow bards), the freshness and independence of Okudzhava's artistic voice presented a subtle challenge to Soviet cultural authorities, who were thus hesitant for many years to give official recognition to Okudzhava…"
The new CD Umoya (titled from the Zulu word for life force), features rising star Samuel Eagles on sax and is one of the first wave of releases on the new jazz imprint from prestigious classical label Odradek Records. On this album, Clouts’ African inspirations extend beyond Cape jazz to Gnawa music and Afrobeat, and further to pan-European folksong, soul-jazz and even drum ‘n’ bass. Joined by saxophonist Samuel Eagles, bassist Alex Keen and Yamaha Jazz Scholarship-winning drummer Dave Ingamells, he brings his musical journey alive with superb musicianship and infectious vigour…
The Temple of Apollo at Delphi is the best-known excerpt from Taneyev’s only opera, Oresteia, the mammoth overture to which has all the force of a Romantic symphonic poem. His Overture on a Russian Theme is based on the same folksong that Rimsky-Korsakov used in his own Fantasy on Russian Themes while the shorter works demonstrate in various ways Taneyev’s scrupulous craftsmanship.