Naxos' triumphant march through Poulenc's complete chamber music continues with this latest release containing, among a host of smaller items, a smashing performance of the magnificent Sonata for Two Pianos, one of the composer's greatest large works in any medium. Alexandre Tharaud and Francis Chaplin play beautifully…hypnotically seductive in the slow introduction and third movement, while the faster music has the right rhythmic skittishness and crisp articulation. The other outstanding performance here is the Sonata for horn, trumpet, and trombone. This awkward but charming piece has seldom sounded better balanced and more natural (not to mention in tune), and it's very well recorded in a warm acoustic. The other pieces are trifles, but no less enjoyable for that. Another winner.
Even though it relies heavily on film scorer John Barry's by-now formulaic (if no less effective) methodology of fusing his distinctively luxuriant string arrangements with the music of whatever time or locale the score sets out to evoke (in this case, largely the Hollywood of the 1910s and '20s), the composer triumphed once again, garnering his second Academy Award nomination of the 1990s. Perhaps because of the years he spent dues-paying with English pop and jazz combos, Barry gets inside this period jazz and ragtime with both enthusiasm and, more importantly, taste, recalling similar effective efforts on Francis Coppola's The Cotton Club.
As the singer of Keane, Tom Chaplin will be a familiar voice to many, especially as the band's debut album reportedly sold over 5.5 million units. His first solo release sees him step out of the song writing shadow of Tim Rice-Oxley, while the shows announced in support of this record are already sold out…
This release compiles all of Rudy Braff’s recordings for the Bethlehem label for the first time ever on a single set. While the original EP and LP editions had incomplete sessions or combined tunes from different dates, the music is presented here with the complete sessions in chronological order a version of “You Can Depend on Me” and an entire quintet sessions fronted by Braff and Bud Freeman appear here for the first time ever on CD. The album The Rudy Braff Special (Vanguard VRS8504), from the same period, has been added as a bonus in its entirety.