On Blues Is a Feeling, the late guitarist-vocalist Jesse Thomas delivers straightforward, rural-sounding blues in an intimate, drumless session from 1992 with pianist Jodie Christian and second guitarist John Primer. Thomas was 81 years old at the time of this recording, just three years before his death. And though his voice sounds somewhat frail here-and probably would’ve been overwhelmed by the sound of drums-Primer and Christian provide light, elegant accompaniment that puts Thomas’ soft yet expressive vocals in the foreground. And Thomas proves to be a humorous storyteller on tunes like “Married Woman Blues,” “She Throwed Me Clothes Outdoor” and “Santa Claus.”
The young Swiss cellist Christian Poltéra released three remarkable discs of Swiss modernist music in 2007. First came Othmar Schoeck's concerto and sonata for cello plus four song transcriptions for cello and piano. Then came Arthur Honegger's concerto and sonata for cello plus two sonatines. And last there was this one, Frank Martin's concerto and ballade for cello and 8 Preludes for orchestra.
The first complete recording of the Breitkopf Urtext Edition of the organ concertos of George Frideric Handel. Handel's organ concertos enjoy a wide popularity, they are brilliant concert pieces, in which the organ plays a joyous, "worldly" part. Christian Schmitt is one of the most promising young organists in Germany, having won several international competitions. A welcome debut on Brilliant Classics of the famous Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, who play with great clarity and lively articulation, under the baton of Nicol Matt.
Recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival in 2008, this production stars a host of international stars including Michelle Breedt, Albert Dohmen, Stephen Gould, Hans-Peter Konig, Linda Watson & Eva-Maria Westbroek. Christian Thielemann, one of the most sought-after conductors in the world, takes the baton with the Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra.
Maurizio Pollini's 2011 concert recording of Johannes Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor is an important document because it not only captures his return to playing with the esteemed Staatskapelle Dresden (his first performance with the group since 1986), and his first collaboration with conductor Christian Thielemann, but it presents the very work the pianist played at his Staatskapelle debut in 1976. All of this background is helpful to know, to understand the significance Deutsche Grammophon attaches to this release, even at the risk of offering a CD that runs just over 45 minutes, without any filler for added value.