Miklos Rózsa arrived in Hollywood in 1940 after study in Leipzig and a stint in Paris where Arthur Honegger encouraged him to compose music for films. In California he found a strong community of expatriate composers including Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Korngold, and some of the finest instrumental soloists then active, including Heifetz, Rubinstein and Piatigorsky.
Although Jimmy Campbell's 1969 LP Son of Anastasia was his first full-length release, he'd been on the Liverpool rock scene since the mid-'60s as part of the Merseybeat band the Kirkbys, and then the more psychedelic outfit 23rd Turnoff. While Son of Anastasia contained a few songs he'd recorded in released and unreleased versions in the 23rd Turnoff days in 1967, it was a marked change in direction for Campbell, in his style if not his songwriting. For Son of Anastasia is largely a folky, acoustic album, occasionally venturing into orchestrated folk-pop, even if Campbell is more a pop/rock songwriter than a folk one. Campbell's slightly moody yet catchy melodies, as well as his drolly understated lyrics, mark him as perhaps the best '60s Liverpool rock songwriter never to have a chart record; his likably fragile voice can sound like a cross between Robin Gibb and Cat Stevens, with perhaps a pinch of post-'60s Marianne Faithfull scratchiness.
This release by Russian-Finnish pianist Anastasia Injushina and the Hamburger Camerata under Ralf Gothóni doesn't fit into any of the usual pigeonholes, and it thus has a fresh, bracing quality. Injushina plays a modern piano, but she neither gives it a consistent, harpsichord-like sound nor plays the music with the full capabilities of the modern piano in mind. Gothóni likewise his small group of Hamburgers in accompaniments that are neither Baroque nor modern. What this enables the musicians to do is depict with uncommon accuracy the musical commonalities and differences among J.S. Bach and his sons.