Shih’s (b. 1950) music seeks to express intense psychological states, often beginning in despair or distress, but offering at least some hope of progress toward light and redemption. The substantial orchestral pieces, Crossing the River and Separation, consist of organically evolving soundscapes, punctuated by tolling or thundering percussion effects, with, as one commentator has written ‘almost complete abandonment of melody and measure’ and indeed a considerable degree of license afforded to the performers in matters of pitch and ensemble. Harsh dissonances, clusters and extended techniques abound, and the results are undeniably impressive, especially the massed textures of Separation, with its organ clusters and 1960s-Penderecki sonorism.
This 53-CD set is more than the sum of its parts. While not all the performances and recordings are top-notch, the overall quality is very high and as a historical overview of a label known for its sonic as well as musical merits, it's full of treasures. The Mercury sound at its best is vivid and still sounds remarkable and many of these recordings - such as the marches, show tunes and orchestral showpieces conducted by Frederic Fennell - demonstrate this amply. But it's not all lollipops by any means.
Charlie Parker was a legendary Grammy Award–winning jazz saxophonist who, with Dizzy Gillespie, invented the musical style called bop or bebop. Charlie Parker was born on August 29, 1920, in Kansas City, Kansas. From 1935 to 1939, he played the Missouri nightclub scene with local jazz and blues bands. In 1945 he led his own group while performing with Dizzy Gillespie on the side. Together they invented bebop. In 1949, Parker made his European debut, giving his last performance several years later. He died a week later on March 12, 1955, in New York City.
Beautiful, orchestral music performed by one of the best teams, gathered under the guidance of an outstanding arranger and conductor Jean Paul de la Tour. Magnificent execution of beautiful music.
Nino Rota (1911-79) is best known for his many film scores. That doesn't mean that he couldn't write great music for other purposes, as this highly interesting program demonstrates. His idiom is conservative harmonically but highly imaginative, full of melody and mood. All three of these pieces have been recorded before. If you don't have them yet, these performances are done with conviction. Bronzi is a good conductor as well as a fine cellist; and his reading of the Concerto for Strings is intense and well balanced ………Fanfare, Raymond Tuttle, Nov/Dec 2009