Leonard Bernstein - Jean Sibelius: The Symphonies - Remastered Edition collects Bernstein’s complete Sibelius recordings, newly remastered from the original analogue tapes using 24 bit / 96 kHz technology in a 7CD limited original jackets collection.
This stunning and generous collection belongs right at the top of the heap in its respective repertoire. The Debussy is still a comparative rarity in concert if not on disc, a remarkable fact given that it's wholly gorgeous from first note to last. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's excellence as a Debussy pianist already has been acknowledged by just about everyone who has heard him, and needs no further advertisement here. The performance is outstanding, sensitive to every nuance, but also very French in its clear-eyed sensibility and understanding that focused rhythm and supple tempos prevent the music from turning excessively sentimental or blandly pretty. And in Tortelier, Bavouzet has a conductor who seconds him every step of the way. A similar sensibility informs these swift, razor-sharp, and utterly thrilling accounts of the two Ravel concertos. That for the left hand seldom has sounded so exciting, or in its jazzy central march section, so sinister. Listen to the bite that both soloist and orchestra bring to that descending scale theme, and notice the way Bavouzet shapes his cadenza so as to preserve the illusion of multiple parts played by multiple hands–all without slowing down at the tough passages. It's really an amazing performance by any standard. Even the dark opening, often merely murky on other recordings, has shape and urgency, the buildup to the initial entry of the piano creating incredible tension.
With links to Survivor, Alias, Jeff Paris, Carl Dixon, Jonathan Cain and Russ Ballard, for those in the melodic rock know, the announcement on the 7th of July 2013 that singer and songwriter Brett Walker was to release a new solo album was reason to celebrate. However a mere 24 hours later the tragic news was released that Walker had died, turning those shouts of joy, to tears of sadness. On the insistence of Brett's wife, AOR Heaven went ahead with the release, providing the fans of this unsung hero one last opportunity to be captivated by a songwriter capable of being downbeat in an upbeat fashion, while offering lyrics and melodies to tug at the heartstrings and live long in the memory…
Along with its sister recording, Pangaea, Agharta was recorded live in February of 1975 at the Osaka Festival Hall in Japan. Amazingly enough, given that these are arguably Davis' two greatest electric live records, they were recorded the same day. Agharta was performed in the afternoon and Pangaea in the evening. Of the two, Agharta is superior. The band with Davis – saxophonist Sonny Fortune, guitarists Pete Cosey (lead) and Reggie Lucas (rhythm), bassist Michael Henderson, drummer Al Foster, and percussionist James Mtume – was a group who had their roots in the radically streetwise music recorded on 1972's On the Corner, and they are brought to fruition here.