Great AOR / Melodic Rock band from Spain, songs and production are on a top international level. Very catchy stuff in the vein of Firehouse, Frontline, early Jaded Heart and FM.
John Eliot Gardiner is one of the leading conductors in the active authentic performances movement in England, performing Baroque music but also extending his range into later repertoire. He first conducted at the age of 15, and after finishing school he studied at King's College, Cambridge. While still an undergraduate, he conducted the combined Oxford and Cambridge Singers on a 1964 tour of the Middle East and founded the Monteverdi Choir, which has consistently performed on his recordings since.
Here's a collection of Bach pieces where the performances fit together exceptionally well. The basic sound is that of Canada's veteran Baroque ensemble Tafelmusik under violinist and director Jeanne Lamon: smooth, bright, French in its light seductiveness. Sample the almost accentless Rondeau from the Suite in A minor, a violin-and-strings transcription (and according to musicologist Joshua Rifkin a reconstruction of an original version) of the Suite in B minor for orchestra, BWV 1067; you couldn't call it gutsy, but the degree of control and consistency is impressive.
In the "Zorba" ballet suite, Mikis Theodorakis uses almost exclusively well-known popular songs which he composed mainly in the 1960s. Some of them have been incorporated in the work as melodies, some of them as vocal pieces. It took twenty years before the composer became his normal self again; he first had to experience the disillusionment at the end of the 1970s concerning the social progress in Greece in order to be finally able to pick up the musical material, continue the compositional impetus of the 1950s and develop an appreciation for the genre of the opera in the mid-eighties which suits his composer's mentality both as a melodist and as a symphonic composer very well.
Alban Berg wrote twice for string quartet, and both results stand tall in his output. On this Naive disc, a reissue of an earlier Montaigne release, the Arditti Quartet perform these pieces. The lineup of the Ardittis at this time was Irvine Arditti and David Alberman (violin), Levine Andrade (viola) and Rohan de Saram (cello).
RCA put a major push behind Armenian conductor Loris Tjeknavorian in the 1970s and '80s, and this two-disc set, Khachaturian: Gayne (Complete Ballet), restores to the active catalog a highly desirable recording at a price that is entirely reasonable. When it first appeared in 1976, Tjeknavorian's Gayne (Gayane), made with the National Symphony Orchestra, was a mite controversial in that it was marketed as "complete"; Khachaturian fanatics had long sought a complete Gayne, as the suites Khachaturian had prepared from the ballet were common on recordings, but not the work as a whole.