It is an oft-repeated saw, about life in the heavenly spheres, that the angels revere Bach but listen to Mozart. If they have DVD players, you can bet they're now watching this stunning production of Le Nozze di Figaro ("The Marriage of Figaro"), which comes about as close to Mozartian perfection as one could possibly hope to get. The faultlessly cast youthful performers bubble with infectious energy. Alison Hagley is a sprightly Susanna with a voice as clear as a bell, and brilliantly matched by a 28-year-old Bryn Terfel both acting and sounding in fine form. Hillevi Martinpelto demonstrates why she is one of the world's favourite Mozart singers with her melting tones, richly coloured voice and generous stage presence, and Rodney Gilfry gives a muscular, wonderfully controlled performance as the Count.
Born in Tel Aviv, multi-instrumentalist Koby Israelite has been playing music since the age of nine. Conservatory trained on piano and keyboards, he was drawn to punk and heavy metal as a teenager, switched to drums and then got turned on to Jazz, World Music and the Downtown Scene. For his third Tzadik CD, this tireless and ever creative musical spirit turns his hand to the complex lyricism of Zorn’s complex Book of Angels. Interpreting tunes handpicked by Zorn himself, Koby mixes in everything he knows, including metal, jazz, gypsy and klezmer with stylish flair and great virtuosity. Naked City, Zappa, Taraf de Haidouks and Fantomas all rolled into one, this is an amazing orchestral achievement by an exciting young musical adventurer.
Released for the Christmas market, when the "once a year" brigade comes out and buys a record, the debut album by the teenage quartet All Angels hit the Top Ten in the last week of November 2006. However, the competition for classical crossover albums was strong that year, All Angels competing with chart albums from the Fron Male Voice Choir, Katherine Jenkins, Il Divo, and the very similar-sounding Angelis. The momentum could not be sustained, and All Angels disappeared entirely from the chart even before Christmas week. This album mixed arrangements of classical repertoire, mainly the more popular and well-known end, with soft MOR pop songs.