With a career spanning more than three decades, composer and multi-instrumentalist Arjen Lucassen has firmly established himself worldwide as driving force in progressive rock. While best known for his rock opera project Ayreon, the multi-talented Dutchman also regularly embarks on musical side projects such as Ambeon, Guilt Machine and Star One. Arjen’s side projects all explore different aspects of his musical personality, with each new release being a creative reaction to the style of its predecessor. Star One is no exception…
Anthony Ventura is the only big-band instrumantalist who could rightly rival the orchestras of Paul Mauriat & James Last. The only reason why many of our contemporaries have not heard of Anthony Ventura & his orchestra is because the albums that were released originally, many years ago, in the vinyl version, are no longer burnt into cds by the big record companies today. Since most people nowadays no longer own a record/vinyl player - it's all cds & more in today's days - these wonderful albums are fast disappearing with the mists of Time. Ventura's music selections are marked by style, romance & sophistication and by his harmonious & nostalgic melodies of very familiar tracks that have trickled down to us through the decades.
Lost in the New Real (also referred to as Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Lost in the New Real) is the second solo studio album by Dutch songwriter, producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen. It is Lucassen's first solo album since Pools of Sorrow, Waves of Joy released 18 years ago under the name Anthony, before he reached fame with his progressive metal/rock opera project Ayreon. He sang lead vocals for the first time since the first album, and played most of the instruments himself including all guitars, bass and keyboards.
On Lost in the New Real, Lucassen does a very good job at creating some wonderful sound textures, by mixing the melodic progressive rock with some guitar metal riffs and adding some excellent keyboard works, a solid drumming and some folk music amidst.
Rameau was almost 50 when he wrote Hippolyte et Aricie and there was little in his life to suggest he was about to embark on a major new career as an opera composer. He was famous for his works on music theory as well as books of harpsichord pieces. The closest he had come to writing dramatic music was composing a few secular cantatas and some popular pieces for the Paris fairs for his friend Alexis Piron. Yet Rameau's eagerness to write an opera is shown by a letter he wrote in October 1727 to Antoine Houdar de La Motte asking for a libretto. It was a strange choice; once famous for providing the texts to such works as André Campra's L'Europe galante (1697) and Marin Marais's Alcyone (1706), Houdar de La Motte had written nothing for the musical stage for almost 20 years. Nothing came of the request and there is no record of any reply, but the fact that Rameau carefully preserved his own letter among his personal papers proves how much the project must have meant to him.