This imaginative staging of Berlioz's dramatic symphony for chorus, soloists and orchestra relies heavily on the moving of massed choirs across a large stage. It has vivid lighting effects–rather too many of them using strobes–and monolithic multi-purpose sets, in particular a revolving glass drum which functions both as cinema screen and rostrum for singers, so that the final ride to Hell, for example, is sung by Mephistopheles and Faust above a cavalcade of projected horses, like the inside of a zoetrope. The three main soloists have voices on a scale that can compete with these flashy production values–White and Kasarova, in particular, sing at a level of intensity that would swamp anything less; the climactic seduction trio has rarely been sung so well or with such an overpoweringly polymorphous eroticism. Cambreling marshals his forces effectively, giving full rein to the work's showstoppers like the "Hungarian March" but not neglecting the subtler less kinetic Gluckian side of Berlioz's vocal writing. (Roz Kaveney)
John Eliot Gardiner conducts his Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique through two concerts of Berlioz compositions. The 'Symphonie Fantastique' is an orchestral tour de force which is central to the repertoire of every major orchestra. It is performed here on original instruments in its original 1830s orchestration in the atmospheric old hall of the Paris Conservatoire where it was first heard. Also included is the first performance of the newly discovered 'Messe Solennelle' with the Monteverdi choir. Written when Berlioz was just 20 years old, it was thought lost until its rediscovery in 1992. The first performance of this large-scale Mass for 150 years was filmed in London's Westminster Cathedral. Gardiner's period-instrument orchestra gives characteristically idiomatic performances of these seminal works (which are also linked thematically, through Berlioz's extensive re-use of material from the Messe).
“Domingo's clarion (though stretched) Aeneas and Norman's passionate Cassandra are most memorable. Troyanos does not match Gardiner's Susan Graham, but Levine is admirably epic and provides the traditional finale.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2007 “A triumph” New York Daily
In June 2016, legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore made his much-anticipated return to rock music as Ritchie Blackmore s Rainbow played three concerts in Europe, two in Germany and one in England. Recordings from the two German shows at Loreley and Bietigheim make up this live album Memories In Rock…
On December 31, 2015, legendary rock icons Mötley Crüe completed their 35-year touring career as a band with a spectacular final concert at Staples Center in their hometown of Los Angeles, CA, just 10 miles from the Sunset Strip where the band's infamous and decadent career first launched…
Weather Report must have been one of the most important Jazz-Rock groups from the 1970s, founded by his two major instrumentalists Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter 40 years ago. Late 1970s Weather Report was at the very height of its success and featured, except Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter, guitar legend Jaco Pastorius and drummer Peter Erskine. In September - October 1978 they toured along Europe and were scheduled for a dozen concerts; the live concert at the Stadthalle in Offenbach was recorded and is now available on a 2cd album and a DVD, which offers this complete concert. A must-have for all Weather Report fans. Keep Swinging loves to point you to this kind of historical concerts.
Career retrospective from Pub Rock’s angriest man Graham Parker, spread over 6 CDs with a DVD featuring a live set at the Brook Southampton from last year’s final tour with the Rumour…LTW’s Ian Canty looks at 40 years of Camberley’s very own Punk Soul brother….. It wasn’t very promising on the face of it. A resentful 25 year old garage pump attendant with a run through the 60s from Mod to Hippy behind him and a headful of dreams about Van Morrison and Dr Feelgood, matched up with what might have been the cream of the Pub Rock scene. But this was after all of their respective bands had singularly failed to make an impact, so together, in 1976, they stood at the doors of the Last Chance saloon. What wasn’t expected was that with their musical power allied to the petrol pump punk’s lyrical smarts and alarming stage presence, they would blow the doors off the hinges. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Graham Parker and the Rumour.