Vivaldi's sacred music is not so famous as that of his contemporaries Bach and Handel, so this is a bargain opportunity to catch up. You might think Vivaldi's playful, virtuoso Italianate character and Catholic context would produce radically different music, but in George Guest's urgent readings, the mixture of restrainedly exultant choruses and austerely beautiful arias are near-identical to Bach.
Italian ensemble Alter Ego have made their name playing the post-minimalism of composers as diverse as Louis Andriessen, David Lang and Frederic Rzewski. Now they turn their attention to pre-, or perhaps more accurately, prototype minimalism in this fine two-disc survey of early Philip Glass. Rejecting the seamless cross-stitching and salamander slither of Glass’s own ensemble, Alter Ego opt for a brassier and more strident approach. This strategy proposes a subtly alternative view about which the composer obviously approves – Orange Mountain Music is his own label.
"Dance" is an extraordinary epic composition from one of the most revolutionary composers of the late 20th century to the present, Philip Glass. From the mid 1960's onwards, Glass has revolutionized a form of composition that has become known as 'minimalism' (although Glass himself denies being a composer of minimal music). Several of Glass's works have gone on to be standards of modern Classical music.