I was looking for Ginastera’s Hieremiae Prophetae Lamentationes, which was completely new for me; but this is by no means the only work worthwhile on this album. The record is full of surprises.
These soulful Spanish and Argentinean songs arranged by violist Kim Kashkashian and pianist Robert Levin are well suited to their expressive and expansive playing. Most of the songs, ranging from works by Granados, de Falla, and Montsalvatge to early Ginastera, are written in a late romantic to early modern idiom, and many incorporate a strong folk element. The selections include rowdy, rhythmically charged dance-like songs, tender lullabies, and many flavors of love songs, from the exultant to the despairing. In addition to the better-known composers, Argentineans Carlos Guastavino and Carlos López-Buchardo make extraordinarily fine contributions. The choices of repertoire are excellent; each one of these songs is a jewel, and the ordering of the selections artful, including the surprisingly effective repetition of two songs at different points in the program. The transcriptions are inventive and imaginative, with the vocal lines idiomatically adapted for the viola's expressive capabilities.
In 2011 DG released a spectacular 10-CD anthology on Archiv Produktion with Ensemble Plus Ultra (EPU), “the finest British early music singers” (Early Music Today), commemorating the 400th anniversary of Tomas de Victoria’s death. This box sold about 6.100 units worldwide and won a Gramophone award. Now the award winning ensemble is back with a major recording project to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco in 2014 – composers including Cristobal de Morales, Alonso Lobo and Alonso de Tejeda were prolific in Toledo during the 37 years El Greco lived and worked there, and much of this music certainly inspired his painting.
Julian Bream was born in London and brought up in a musical environment. His father played jazz guitar and the young Bream was impressed by hearing the playing of Django Reinhardt.
Bream began his lifelong association with the guitar by strumming along on a small gut-string Spanish guitar at a very young age to dance music on the radio. The president of the Philharmonic Society of Guitars, Dr Boris Perott, gave Bream lessons, while Bream's father became the society librarian, giving Bream access to a large collection of rare music.
Featuring previously unreleased music from a wide range of contemporary stars, "THE SHACK: MUSIC FROM AND INSPIRED BY THE ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE" includes a collaboration from multi-GRAMMY® Award-winning singer/songwriter Kelly Clarkson & GRAMMY®-nominated soul artist Aloe Blacc; as well as offerings from CMA and ACM-winning solo country artist Dierks Bentley; multi-platinum country artist Lady Antebellum; 2x GRAMMY® Award-winners for KING & COUNTRY; 6x chart-topping country artist Brett Eldredge; and GRAMMY®-nominated rock band NEEDTOBREATHE (Feat. Lauren Daigle), whose current album debuted at #1 on Billboard's "Top Albums" chart.
In addition, the album also includes new exclusive tracks such as "Heaven Knows" from RIAA platinum worship band Hillsong UNITED and "River of Jordan (Feat. Breyan Isaac)" from GRAMMY®-winning artist Lecrae.
There are some really nice tunes on this soundtrack to the excellent film "Grumpier Old Men". The highlights for me are the songs by Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Harry Belafonte, Doris Day, Nat King Cole and the couple of instrumentals by composer Alan Silvestri. These are the recordings that will remind you of the fun that GOM provided to those fortunate to see legends Lemmon, Matthau, Meredith, Ann-Margaret and Sophia Loren (holy moly) in their last great film together. The only pity is that because the first films soundtrack is not available to buy, that the song from that film "We're Having A Heatwave" is not here. Sound quality is excellent and joyous.