Журналисты и поклонники не случайно называют этот проект Алексея Горшенева «Король и Шут» lights.
Алексей – младший брат фронтмена «Короля и Шута» Михаила «Горшка» Горшенева, да и голоса у братьев похожи. Правда, сам Алексей считает, что между «Кукрыниксами» и «Королем и Шутом» не так уж много общего.
Composed for the Carnival season in Verona in 1735, Bajazet is a ‘pasticcio’ opera based on the familiar story of the eponymous Turkish sultan’s imprisonment at the hands of the Tartar tyrant Tamerlane. As such, it openly uses arias by other composers, including Hasse, Broschi and Giacomelli, as well as re-cycled pieces from Vivaldi’s own operas (L’Olimpiade, Giustino, Farnace, Semiramide and Montezuma among them). But this is no mere patchwork of recycled numbers. All the ‘borrowed’ arias are expertly placed within the dramatic fabric of the work and are held together with richly composed recitatives. What we end up with is the best of the best in terms of Neapolitan-style opera – tuneful, virtuosic and passionate. Virtually every number in this recording is a highlight. What really lifts the recording is the quality of the performances. There are no holes or flaws among the experienced cast. David Daniels makes a fine Tamerlane – slippery and cruel – while Marijana Mijanovic’s Asteria packs a powerful dramatic punch. Top marks too for Vivica Genaux in the technically demanding role of Irene. Ildebrando D’Arcangelo makes a commanding Bajazet, although his tough dignity comes at the loss of some sensitivity.
At this point in music history, it's become a given that the Velvet Underground were one of the most important and innovative rock bands of their era, and that the four albums they released during their lifespan rank with the most challenging and satisfying work in the rock canon…
It's great to see the music of Nino Rota getting so much attention. He was a wonderful composer, and the ballet suite from La strada may be his orchestral masterpiece (just a quick note: the French language title identifies this as a suite from the eponymous film; it is in fact the more familiar arrangement of the later ballet). There are now four competitive recordings of this piece, the least interesting of which is on Chandos with the Teatro Massimo orchestra: not bad, but not as well played or recorded as either Muti's slightly stiff version with the excellent La Scala forces, or Atma's brilliant recent release featuring the Greater Montréal Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin. All of the couplings differ in various ways, though Muti also has the dances from Il gattopardo (The Leopard).
Trumpeter Chris Botti's To Love Again: The Duets picks up where his stellar 2004 release When I Fall in Love leaves off, with more gorgeously lush and heartfelt orchestral jazz via the London Session Orchestra. This time showcasing guest vocalists – as well as a handful of instrumental tracks – Botti takes an even more classicist approach than before and once again brings to mind such iconic jazz albums as Clifford Brown with Strings and Miles Davis' Porgy and Bess. Largely known as a smooth jazz artist with a sweet trumpet tone, it wasn't until When I Fall in Love that Botti dropped the smooth jazz synthesizers and pop-oriented compositions in favor of Gil Evans-style jazz orchestrations and an acoustic backing quartet…
Yukari Ito, aka Nobuko Ito, is a Japanese singer from Tokyo. Daughter of art, has his father as a singing teacher.
Pianist Oscar Peterson is frequently astounding on this solo set. After nearly 20 years of mostly performing with trios, Peterson sounds quite liberated in this setting, throwing in some hot stride, unexpected changes in tempos and keys, and surprises whenever he thinks of them. "Give Me the Simple Life," "Honeysuckle Rose," and the ironically titled "A Little Jazz Exercise" are quite remarkable, yet Peterson also leaves space for some sensitive ballads.