Quadrivium was composed in 1969 and marks the beginning of Maderna’s final creative period, during which he wrote impressive and headstrong works for large symphonic forces. Aura was commissioned for the 80th anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was premiered in 1972. Amanda was written in 1966 and is uninhibited, cheerful and lyrical.
Whenever he was asked to name his own personal favorite within his long and distinguished oeuvre, Jerry Goldsmith inevitably cited his work on 1977's obscure Ernest Hemingway adaptation Islands in the Stream. A lush, often melancholy score evoking both the serenity and the treachery of the sea, it is undoubtedly Goldsmith's most intimate effort, eschewing the larger-than-life drama and suspense of his best-known soundtracks. Islands in the Stream is above all a showcase for the composer's consummate ability to vividly communicate both the physical and emotional landscape in such simple yet precise strokes – employing little but a lone French horn, Goldsmith's main theme captures the immense loneliness and solitude of George C. Scott's protagonist, while gentle woodwinds suggest the ocean waves lapping the shore of his island home.
There's a cool aggression to 1983's "Rebel Yell," Billy Idol's second album that is equal parts new-wave, metal, punk, and pop. Although his debut was a hit and remains a classic, it was "Rebel Yell" that is his masterpiece. The album reunited Billy with the hit-making team of producer, Keith Forsey and the atmospheric guitarwork of Stevie Stevens that can only be called rock & roll nirvana. The album reached #6 on Billboard's Top 200 propelled by four hit singles including, "Rebel Yell," the eloquently gorgeous "Eyes Without a Face" with the haunting female backup singing of Perri Lister, and "Flesh for Fantasy" all of which were hit music videos. With a permanently snarled upper lip and the perfect matinee-idol blond hair, Billy Idol made punk rock palatable for MTV and the masses.
Years before J.S. Bach paved the way toward what is now largely considered the height of the German Baroque, Dietrich Buxtehude was hard at work in northern Germany on his own individual union of the Italian and French Baroque styles. His Op. 1 is a sumptuous, dynamic set of seven sonatas scored for violin, gamba, and continuo (played here by cello and harpsichord). Unlike composers both before and after him, Buxtehude was far from formulaic when it came to the organization of his sonatas, each one having its own unique combination and sequence of movements.