Alessandro Scarlatti was born in Naples in 1660 and worked mainly in the city of his birth and in Rome. As fate would have it, Scarlatti, who in his time was famous more as an opera composer, is highly esteemed today as a master of sacred music. Although his sacred repertoire plays a relatively minor role in his oeuvre, he nevertheless composed sacred music throughout his life, even when he was not in the employ of ecclesiastical institutions. It is only gradually that recordings are now beginning to draw attention to the great variety of his sacred oeuvre. His liturgical compositions display a wide stylistic breadth ranging from stile antico to very modern works departing from the traditions of his times.
Complete Collection is a six-disc, U.K.-only set celebrating the breadth and depth of Lisa Stansfield's extensive and impressive career. It includes her five studio albums – Affection; Real Love; So Natural; Lisa Stansfield; and Face Up – as well as an exclusive sixth disc, with recordings from a 1992 Wembley date, club mixes (including a great Massive Attack version of "Live Together"), B-sides, and three songs from Stansfield's Blue Zone days. Not enough? Each studio album is augmented with at least two bonus tracks. Complete Collection is definitely the most comprehensive Lisa Stansfield retrospective; it borders on overkill. But since it's only available in the U.K. – and is also quite pricey – the single-disc Biography is perfectly acceptable for the casual Stansfield fan.
Having sold over 13 million albums, Lisa Stansfield can lay claim to being the UK's top female vocalist of the last 15 years. Biography, this 17-track compilation, would certainly back up her argument. Including her breakthrough as featured vocalist on Coldcut's "People Hold On", it also contains her debut proper ("This is the Right Time") and a string of absurdly memorable hits, such as "Change", "All Woman", "Never", "Never Gonna Give You Up" and her first Number One, "All Around the World".
The cast list is a dream come true. The diversity of the players and pieces is what makes this album special to me. The album structure could be labelled Prog before there was Prog. Split this into the written piece "Hair in a G-String" (about 46 minutes) & "Songs not in G" (About 36 minutes) and you'd have a prog album and a melodic rock album I guess. We didn't do that. We mixed it up. See it as musical interludes between the main action.
This ex-Dead Can Dance member imparts her own mixture of the ethereal, the worldly, the emotionally abstract, and the purely beautiful to all of her projects. She's been universally recognized and acclaimed for her body of work: she received a Golden Globe and was Oscar-nominated for the "Gladiator" soundtrack. She has also worked on such high profile movies as "Ali" and "The Insider". This release is a soundtrack for the New Zealand indie film "Whale Rider", already the biggest grossing film in New Zealand ever. Gerrard's music, combined with the motion picture, provides an experience of profound power and spiritual enlightenment.