It comes as no surprise that, a year after Rampal's death, James Galway should dedicate a disc to him. After all, Galway has always cited the Frenchman as his true mentor - and it was with Rampal that Galway first spied a golden flute. The recording actually happened over a year before Rampal died but appropriately enough contains concertos by the French Classical composer François Devienne, of whose music Rampal was a noted interpreter.
With Perpetuum, Dutch pianist Edwin Berg and his band mates enter an increasingly crowded field: to wit, piano trios that seem, consciously or otherwise, to worship at the shrine of Brad Mehldau. Any number of new-ish pianists on the scene have released records ranging in quality from good to excellent—Aaron Goldberg's Worlds (Sunnyside, 2006); Florian Weber's Minsarah (Justin Time, 2006); Florian Ross's Big Fish & Small Pond (Intuition, 2007); John Chin's Blackout Conception (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2008)—in this Mehldauvian vein.
Twenty years after his work on the soundtrack of Jacques Rivette's movie Jeanne la Pucelle, Jordi Savall returns to this powerful subject matter and presents a new set dedicated to the mother figure of the struggle for French independence. The music on Joan of Arc - Battles and Prisons provides the perfect atmosphere for Savall's fresh look this historical icon. Alongside works by composers from the time of Joan of Arc (Guillaume Dufay, Josquin Desprez, Johannes Vincenet, Johannes Cornago, etc.), the set also features compositions and arrangements by Jordi Savall. The biographical program of the set is further illustrated through spoken dialogue. The accompanying 500 page, six language hardbound book is richly illustrated and provides historical perspective as well as texts and translations. The result is an amazingly vivid portrait of a troubled time.