""Rather than make a traditional covers record, I thought it would be much more fun to create a new type of project in which artists communicated with each other and swapped a song for a song, i.e. you do one of mine and I'll do one of yours, hence the title - Scratch My Back - And I'll Scratch Yours." Peter Gabriel
While numerous new wave artists in the early '80s tried to imitate David Bowie, Peter Schilling went a step further. In 1983, Schilling released "Major Tom (Coming Home)," a synth pop retelling of Bowie's 1969 classic "Space Oddity." It became Schilling's first and only entry in the U.S. charts, a song that eventually stigmatized him as a one-hit wonder in America. Schilling was born in Stuttgart, Germany, on January 28, 1956. As a teen, Schilling couldn't decide on whether to be a soccer player or a singer. He chose music and his debut album, Error in the System, appeared in 1983. The single "Major Tom (Coming Home)" wasn't just popular in the U.S., it was a worldwide smash.
Frank Peter Zimmermann offers a fresh and exciting view of the Violin Concerto, less sentimental than some, with swift tempos and a dazzlingly swift finale. He phrasing is sometimes a touch angular, particularly in the first movement, and this usually works well, putting an arresting slant on tunes we feel we've heard a million times before. Only the very opening misfires a bit: yes, it's marked mezzo-forte, but it's also marked "dolce ed espressivo", and Zimmermann's somewhat wiry tone is neither.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma has long been a giant in the classical world, though he has also made a number of recordings with musicians who play other styles. This holiday disc doesn't exclusively stick to traditional Christmas songs, but covers a wide scope of material in a very ambitious manner.