Issued in 2007 on the 4AD label, THE BEST OF LISA GERRARD collects many of the finest tracks by the former Dead Can Dance vocalist/multi-instrumentalist. While the compilation includes a few tracks by that revered act, most notably the mystical "Yulunga (Spirit Dance)," a song that showcases Gerrard's striking voice, it primarily focuses on her solo work and film compositions, which both draw from music across the globe. On these pieces, Gerrard often collaborates with fellow Australian native Pieter Bourke, as on the passionate "Swans" and the expansive "Sacrifice," the latter from the INSIDER score. Although this anthology is a mere fraction of Gerrard's recorded output, it does serve as an excellent introduction to her impressive catalogue.
Immortal Memory is a collaboration between vocalist Lisa Gerrard and Irish composer Patrick Cassidy. Billed as a cycle of life and death and rebirth, Immortal Memory is better described as an orphaned film score. Cassidy's warm arrangements allow the former Dead Can Dance singer to step out of the dark medieval world that she's called home for nearly 20 years – though there is much of that world within these castle walls – and focus on the simplicity of love, faith, and loss with a grace that's bereft of the icy perfection of her previous work. Gerrard, whose voice has aged like the finest oak, displays an almost supernatural mastery of the material. Her effortless contralto wraps itself around the ten Gaelic, Latin, and Aramaic spirituals like an evening prayer, making each stunning entrance the equivalent of audio comfort food.
What kind of music could be better suited for the Berliner Philharmoniker’s legendary annual Waldbühne concert than Czech music? It’s always passionate and full of verve and sure to lift everyone’s spirits. Only very rarely does a young talent ascend to ‘world stardom’, but one of the few who can be considered an international superstar while still belonging to the new generation of conductors is Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He presents the much-loved Vlatava (Moldau) as well as Dvořák’s Sixth Symphony and Violin Concerto with the wonderful Lisa Batiashvili on the violin.