Ochre is the work of Newcastle, UK-based artist, Christopher S. Leary. He has been crafting utopian, melancholic music since 2001, and has released albums on Toytronic, Benbecula Records, and Village Green. Stylistically, his music is often highly melodic, described by NME as being "full of shimmering electronics, crunchy, crispy beats and sweeping melancholic melodies that recall classic electronic stars such as Boards Of Canada,” with “analogue tones and glitchy beats - snatches of classical orchestration are peppered throughout, helping to create rich cinematic soundscapes".
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Russian composer and pianist. He is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century.
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is a cultural ambassador for Israel, and is regarded as one of the best orchestras in the world. Recorded in the Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv in March 2010, this concert sees the Israel Philharmonic conducted in this all-Beethoven programme by the eminent conductor and violinist Itzhak Perlman. After the Egmont Overture, Perlman and the orchestra are joined by the Perlman/Schmidt/Bailey Trio for the beautiful ‘Triple’ Concerto. The programme concludes with the rousing and evocative ‘Pastoral’ Symphony.
Caterina Cornaro was written in the extremely productive last period of Donizetti's life (between Don Pasquale and Linda di Chamounix) and was the last of his operas to be premiered in the composer’s lifetime. Like every other work of this period, it is intensely original, in this case being unusually dark in both subject matter and general musical tone. This is the only opera of Donizetti’s later period not to have had a quality modern recording.
With so many fine-to-great Messiah’s already available, who stands to benefit from this lackluster, hardly serviceable offering? William Boughton’s conducting is pedestrian at best–the performance lumbers along politely, ignoring every one of Handel’s many opportunities to soar. This is especially excruciating in the choruses: rarely have “And he shall purify”, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates”, and “Let all the angels of God worship him” not to mention “Hallelujah” advanced with such leaden, dispassionate propriety.
Saint-Saëns’s mature creative genius shines throughout these last two piano concertos, looking back over a glorious musical ancestry while at the same time opening the door to new worlds. The Fourth Piano Concerto is prescient of both his great Organ Symphony and the concertos of Rachmaninov, revealing Saint-Saëns at his most inspired and innovative. The Fifth was composed in the Egyptian temple town of Luxor, and displays a rich tapestry of exotic cultural influences from Javanese, Spanish and Middle Eastern music, as well as portrayals of chirping Nile crickets and croaking frogs, and the composer’s representation of ‘the joy of a sea crossing’.
Soprano Greta Bradman has selected a touching programme of pieces that root her to her family, from “O Waly, Waly” and “Songs My Mother Taught Me” that transport her to the farm where she grew up, to memories of her grandmother through “The Last Rose of Summer”. “Every Day Is A Rainbow Day For Me”, written by Greta’s grandfather, the great cricketer Don Bradman, for his wife, is a particularly charming moment, and performed in a magical arrangement. A joyful album from start to finish.
This album is the second release in the Naxos Czech Music Masters from Vienna series, and features the world premiere recording of Kozeluch’s magnificent coronation cantata. The coronation of Leopold II in Prague in 1791 came at a difficult time for European monarchs, although Leopold himself enjoyed a reputation as an enlightened ruler. Two musical works were commissioned for the occasion: Mozart’s opera ‘La clemenza di Tito’ and Kozeluch’s cantata ‘Heil dem Monarchen.’ The cantata, by turns celebratory, serene and darkly dramatic, was well-received and enhanced Kozeluch’s reputation in royal circles. It almost certainly played a part in his appointment in 1792 to the court of Leopold’s son and successor, the last Holy Roman Emperor Franz II.