Maria Szymanowska Piano Duo is formed by two pianist associated with the Academy of Music in Łódź. The guiding thought of the joint activity adopted by the artists is to promote Polish music and works of less known composers, whose pieces are gradually being forgotten. Polish music, to which the present CD including four hands piano music is dedicated, occupies a special place in their output.
The Gossip close Music for Men with a song called "Spare Me from the Mold," but Beth Ditto, Nathan Paine, and Hannah Billie could never be accused of conforming. They were still a relatively underground group when Standing in the Way of Control's passionate mix of punk, soul, and disco became their breakthrough – and they sounded so confident on it, it felt like the mainstream was coming to them rather than vice versa. They've got their own piece of the pop (and pop culture) mainstream now, and Music for Men feels aboveground in the best possible way. Befitting its major-label debut, this is the band's most polished music yet, a balance of Control's ferocity and the sleek remixes of the album's singles, but it's still not slick. Most of Music for Men finds The Gossip sticking to their roots and using their success to get their messages out to as many people as possible. These songs are just as empowering as their earlier work, though they're more subtly defiant.
Mari Kimura (木村 まり Kimura Mari) is a Japanese violinist and composer best known for her use of subharmonics, which, achieved through special bowing techniques, allow pitches below the instrument's normal range. She is credited with "introducing" the use of violin subharmonics, which allow a violinist to play a full octave below the low G on the violin without adjusting the tuning of the instrument. Polytopia is her first CD for the Bridge label, and her first created without collaborators.
Percy Grainger admired the expressive intensity of the wind band and considered it a more suitable medium for the transcription of early music- such as the Bach and Ferrabosco pieces heard here- than the symphony orchestra. In this second volume of his music for wind ensemble there are further examples from the 23 ‘Chosen Gems for Winds,’ full of his unique elastic scoring, as well as two versions of the ‘Irish Tune from County Derry,’ one of his most beloved works, and a world premiere recording of Grainger’s arrangement of his friend Herman Sandby’s lovely ‘Intermezzo.’