Christophe Rousset's collection of overtures to 17 of Rameau's operas and opéra-ballets, played by his original instrument ensemble Les Talens Lyriques, won a 1998 Gramophone award for best Baroque non-vocal CD, and it's easy to hear why this outstanding performance was recognized. The ensemble plays with unflagging liveliness and brilliant, clean tone. The rhythmic vitality Rousset coaxes from his players is toe-tappingly engaging; at the same time, he maintains a fluidity that avoids metronomic rigidity. The tempos he takes sometimes have a breathtaking fleetness that leaves the listener marveling at the players' virtuosity. The overtures are mostly brief, usually four or five minutes long, but they each contain a world of volatility and drama. Many of them are wonderfully eccentric, with startling juxtapositions and exotic orchestral combinations that keep them from ever settling into any kind of easy predictability.
It is now some 12 years since William Christie made an excellent disc of Pancrace Royer's only published collection of harpsichord pieces (1746); and it was reissued recently on CD. Royer was a more prominent figure in French musical life than the comparative unfamiliarity of his name nowadays would suggest. He was an imaginative director of the Concert Spirituel, leader for several years of the Opéra orchestra, and a successful composer for the stage, as well. His ballet-héroIque, Zalde (1739) was especially popular and was still being performed in the 1760s. La Chasse do Zaide is the composer's own harpsichord arrangement of a "symphonie" in the opera and, in this new recital, Christophe Rousset appends it to the pieces of the 1746 publication. That, too, incidently contains a number of transcriptions by the composer of pieces from earlier stage works.
After a much celebrated appearance by Adam Baldych at the 2011 Berlin Jazzfest, critic Ulrich Olshausen raved in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper: "He has, without doubt, the greatest technique of any jazz violinist alive today. We can expect everything of him". High praise for a musician of just 26 years of age, and at the same time only fitting for a man who has been considered a prodigy in his native Poland for many years already. He discovered the violin at the age of 11, and jazz at 13; the music gave him the freedom of expression he was looking for, and at 16 he started his international career. After completing his jazz studies at the Katowice Academy with distinction, he was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Marshalling orchestral and choral forces under the direction of Tonu Kaljuste, this new Arvo Part album, produced by Manfred Eicher and realized, like all Part’s ECM discs, with the composer’s participation, is a major event. Sacred music predominates, by turns monumentally powerful and tenderly fragile.
The Very Best of Adam And The Ants is a greatest hits compilation album. It includes songs from Adam and the Ants & Adam Ant's solo works, with all their hits and pop faves, like "Stand & Deliver", "Dog Eat Dog", "Prince Charming", "Goody Two Shoes", "Puss N Boots", "Friend Or Foe" and many more. 22 tracks.