Presto Ballet is a progressive rock band founded by Metal Church guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof. Their sound is highly reminiscent of 1970s prog rock, as the band was founded chiefly as a tribute to classic progressive bands such as Yes, Kansas, Genesis and Deep Purple. Their debut album Peace among the Ruins, was released in 2005 to general praise and considerable press. Critics consistently commented on the album's warm and organic sound, a feeling created through the use of analogue recorders and vintage instruments.
If you love 70's styled prog with tons of vintage keyboards, crunchy riffs, and memorable melodies, you need to get your hands on this one.
As well as recording for, and eventually publicly falling out with, Deutsche Grammophon, John Eliot Gardiner made a series of recordings for Erato, which Warner Classics are now bundling together at bargain price. Pairing the opera Tamerlano with the joyously exuberant choral setting of Milton (with a disc of ballet music from the operas too) makes no obvious sense, except that both rank among Gardiner's finest Handel performances; and his versions of each (L'Allegro from 1981, Tamerlano from five years later) arguably remain the most recommendable in the current catalogue. The cast in Tamerlano is led by a pair of outstanding counter tenors, Derek Ragin and Michael Chance, then both at the start of their careers, with tenor Nigel Robson as Bajazet, while the soloists in L'Allegro include Marie McLaughlin, Jennifer Smith and Martyn Hill; dramatic energy and vitality course through both performances.(Andrew Clements)
Regarded as one of the most brilliant composers of her generation, Cindy McTee demonstrates her prodigious skills at orchestral writing in this 2013 Naxos release, recorded by Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.For the perpetual motion piece Circuits (1990), McTee uses timbres in a dynamic way, keeping tone colors cycling in constant rotation, almost in synchronization with the changes of rhythmic cells
Glorious music brilliantly played and vividly recorded, this recording of suites from three of Jean-Philippe Rameau's operas by Roy Goodman and the European Union Baroque Orchestra is as fine a disc of French Baroque orchestral music as has ever been issued. The wit and élan that Goodman and his Orchestra bring to Rameau is infectious. The listener finds himself smiling at Pigmalion's Les différence caractéres de la danse and laughing at Platée's Air pour des fous gais et de fous trietes.
Beequeen is a duo from Nijmegen, Netherlands, formed by Frans de Waard and Freek Kinkelaar. They have been making music together since 1988. This is a reissue of an album that was originally released in a limited run on the now-defunct Isomorphic Records in 1996. For this edition, a previously unreleased 13-minute bonus track from the original sessions has been appended to the album. Music For the Head Ballet is possibly Beequeen's most ambient work to date: a series of quietly abstract, lengthy organ drones that amass slowly over time, gradually revealing their denseness and complexity.