Krenek’s Karl V is the kind of opera that can be appreciated on several different levels. (…) Remarkably, it’s the earliest large-scale opera to use the 12-note system, though Krenek triumphantly refutes the notion that adherence to this technique inhibits creativity and emotional power. The composer’s widow has claimed that this performance, recorded in connection with the Beethoven Festival in Bonn last year, is by far the finest she has ever heard. With wonderful singing from David Pittman-Jennings as Karl and superb commitment from conductor Marc Soustrot and his fine orchestra, there is little reason to disagree with this verdict.
Lawes's "sets" are actually suites for five or six viols with an organ playing "underneath" them. Each shortish set is broken into even shorter parts: Fantazy, Aire, Paven, etc.–and while the formula remains essentially the same, the textures and harmonies are constantly changing, with dissonances and conversations between and among the various strings giving the works great variety. On these two beautiful CDs (the first devoted to Five parts, the second to Six), Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI play on a pair of violins, four viols, and organ, offering great contrast and flavor and making us aware of just how energetic and fascinating counterpoint can be. The colors the six (or seven) musicians get from their instruments and the interplay among them is fantastic; the playing is superb. Fans of any type of chamber music will want to hear what this underrecorded composer who died too young (43) added to the genre. It's as if he created a new language, one that seems to have been waiting to be heard. A lovely, thoughtful couple of hours of music-making.
apitalizing on the recent popularity of Carlos Santana, Caroline / Cleopatra affiliate Purple Pyramid released Tropical Spirits Part I & II on Leap Day 2000. It is essentially a collection of early Santana tunes and unreleased material. "Acapulco Sunrise", which was slated to appear on Santana's debut disc (1969's Santana) but did not, is included…
The official authorised documentary chronicling one of the most successful British bands in rock history that reunites members Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford for the first time since 1975 to tell their tale from first beginnings, to career highs and lows, with unseen archive material and rare performance footage from across their entire career.