Although Korngold’s ‘complete works for violin and piano’ make up a reasonably full disc, it is only fair to point out that the Violin Sonata is the single work that is not an arrangement from one of his other pieces. Yet this Sonata, written at the age of 15 for Carl Flesch and Artur Schnabel no less, is a fine example of his early style, with its echoes of Zemlinsky and early Schoenberg. The young Dutch violinist Sonja van Beek and German pianist Andreas Frölich negotiate its challenges with ease: as in Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata, the pianist has as tough a role as the melody instrument. Much Ado about Nothing is one of several arrangements of a suite of four movements derived from incidental music to Shakespeare’s play written in 1918, performed here with affection and a silken suavity. The remainder of the repertoire is made up of arrangements of Korngold lollipops, hit numbers from his operas, such as the unforgettable ‘Marietta’s Lied’ from Die tote Stadt, arranged by the composer as salon pieces and popularised by Kreisler and his ilk. Here, the almost vocal qualities of van Beek’s tone come into their own. An essential disc for the Korngold addict.
No Prayer for the Dying is the eighth studio album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It marks their first line-up change since 1982; guitarist Adrian Smith left the band during the pre-production phase, unhappy with the musical direction it was taking, and only having contributed to one song, "Hooks in You"…
The law of the honeysuckle of Marie de France founds the French poetic tradition; it is inspired by a Breton lai, just like the Nightingale's Law, which De la Villemarque will collect in its Breton form, Ann Eostik, … eight centuries later. A testimony of the link between Breton tradition and medieval Breton lisa which Marie de France had echoed. Because the Breton lais are close to the gwerziou, these lyrical narrative songs that we still know today in Brittany.
Magnus Lindberg burst onto the contemporary music scene in the 1980s with his early work Kraft (as in "power", and not the American food conglomerate and inventor of Velveeta cheese by-product substance), an avant-garde spectacular that took the "sound mass" procedures of Berio or Xenakis and wedded them to an explosive rhythmic energy. He's broadened his style since then, taking in tonal elements and even the occasional tune, but the rhythmic vitality remains, and his coloristic gifts, his ear for ever new and remarkable instrumental sound combinations, have only increased. Aura is a four-movement symphony as indescribable as it is a joy to hear. Dedicated to the memory of Lutoslawski, the piece shows its composer similarly possessed of a vibrant, communicative personal musical language. Although it plays continuously for about 37 minutes, newcomers to Lindberg's sound creations should start with the finale, a sort of dance that begins with simple tunefulness before finding itself in a sort of riotous minimalist hell. It's hugely fun, as is the entire work.
The first appearance of the work of John Cage on ECM is cause for celebration. This recording goes beyond the artistic-nihilistic gestures and the anarchic-Zen gags to get at the essence of Cage's musical thought. Cage's playfulness can't be - and shouldn't be - muzzled, of course, but here one also experiences the beauty and the sensuality of the compositions, thanks to the input of two musicians who worked closely with the composer: conductor Dennis Russell Davies and pianist Margaret Leng Tan. The album includes a premiere recording of "Seventy-Four" which Cage wrote especially for the American Composers Orchestra.