With both sides of their very obscure two non-LP, pre-first-LP 1969 singles (originally issued on the small Dublin label Song), as well as three tracks from a 1971 BBC session, this CD rounds up the most interesting Skid Row recordings not to appear on their albums. That doesn't mean, however, that these tracks are too impressive in their own right. The first of the singles, "New Places, Old Faces"/"Misdemeanour Dream Felicity," are primarily of interest for being the first official release to feature future Thin Lizzy mainstay Phil Lynott (who sings on the A-side, Gary Moore taking the lead on the flip). Lynott was out of the band by the time of the second 45, "Saturday Morning Man"/"Mervyn Aldridge," which like the first single was an unfocused mix of trendy late-'60s folk-rock, blues, and psychedelic influences.
One of the most important missions of the work of the 441 Hz Chamber Choir is performing and promoting contemporary choral music. On a daily basis, the ensemble, under the direction of Anna Wilczewska, carries out a busy concert schedule, performing mainly contemporary music repertoire. This album is a presentation of contemporary choral music originating from countries of the North, mainly from Scandinavia. The album is filled with the diversity of creative inspiration, free references to the folklore, customs and savage northern nature, and originality of the compositional techniques. All this contributes to a broad musical panorama constructed from the works of eleven composers, which, despite this fact, constitutes a coherent, homogeneous whole, which is brilliantly performed by the ensemble.
Let's not waste time: get this for soprano Lucy Crowe's voice, for her performance of "What passion cannot Music raise", for her "The soft complaining flute"–and don't forget the glorious "But oh! What art can teach". Okay–just get this for the magnificent Crowe, whose golden, ringing tone and impeccable, uninhibited technique sets Handel's arias ablaze in vibrant, scintillating glory, relegating any recorded competition to second-class status. (Listen to that long-held, stratospheric note in the final chorus, on the words "The trumpet shall be heard on high"–on high, indeed; it seems like Crowe could have sustained it forever!) To sing Handel requires technical ease and comfort, range and unreserved explicatory ability–and in this, and in her complete habitation of the world of Handelian style Lucy Crowe is unsurpassed.