Finally bored with ambient music, a genre he pioneered in the 1970s, pop polymath Brian Eno emerged with Another Day on Earth, his first solo recording of "conventional" songs since Another Green World. From the rhythm track of opening song "This," the sound is unmistakable. A quirky hook covered in layers of atmosphere and a bouncy loop, it's a smart little tune with additional guitars by Leo Abrahams. Lyrically, Eno's process is poetic, employing not only his own strategies, but a computer generating words as well…
Donovan's last truly great album of the 1960s, 1968's BARABAJAGAL shows interesting artistic growth at least as marked as his transformation from folk troubadour to daffy hippie-pop guru. The title track and "Trudi" feature the Rod Stewart-era Jeff Beck Group as Donovan's backing band; consequently both these songs have a surprising amount of sonic heft to them…
Formed in 2001, New York band MIND SKY released their debut album, "Timewise" in April 2005. This six-piece, boasting two keyboard players, are very much at the cutting edge of modern Symphonic Prog rock, citing GENESIS, YES and the FLOWER KINGS as influences. That's not to say that they dont have their own original sound and certainly one can here some jazz-rock floating into the mix on their magnificent debut album. At the time of "Timewise's" release the band consisted of: Mike Caputo (guitar), Herb Renke (bass), Jon Tucker (keyboards), Keith Welch (drums),Justin Yates (keyboards), Chris Meeker (chapman stick), & Josh Gleason (vocals).Josh Gleeson was guest vocalist and isnt a permanent member of the band.
This Scriabin set is one of the finer offerings in Universal's Trio series. Vladimir Ashkenazy's crisp phrasing and lean orchestral sonorities contrast markedly with the lush appointments of Riccardo Muti's cycle, which relies heavily on the voluptuous sound of the Philadelphia Orchestra to make its effect. In this regard Muti scores over Ashkenazy in the First symphony, where the Russian conductor's crisp, no-nonsense approach sounds comparatively restrained (especially the highly emotive second movement). But the tables turn in Symphony No. 2. Here Ashkenazy's clarity and focus give much needed shape and rhythmic definition to this music, which tends to meander in Muti's hands. The finale is a perfect example: muscle with Ashkenazy; mush with Muti.
These discs in the Trio Series present some of the best orchestral music by Jean Sibelius, including "Lemminkäinen suite", "Night Ride and Sunrise", "Pohjola's Daughter," "En Saga," "The Oceanides," and "Tapiola". There are other favorites as well including "Valse Triste," and for some people lesser-known masterworks such as "Luonnotar", "Spring Song", "King Christian", and "The Bard". Sibelius emerges in these woks as a modern and tremendous composer who rarely fails when inspired by literature.
The 20th-Century Cello performed by Matt Haimovitz is a great way to wade into the waters of 20-century music. His technique and musicality are inspiring and the 3-CD collection of pieces is extensive and diverse. It is a great value and a great educational tool for aspiring cellists.
This cycle of Nielsen symphonies is a partial crossover from the Bis label, not a remake. The connection with Bis assures that the sonics given to the Gothenburg Sym. will be excellent, and the clarity of the wind playing, the inner detail and clean dynamics are a big plus. Jarvi isn't especially tuned in to the mystery and tragedy of Nielsen's later works. He zips too quickly through the first movement of the Fifth, missing its combination of anguish and chaos. He isn't expansive or joyous enough in Sym. #3, even though the subtitle is 'Espansiva.'