French piano star Jean Yves Thibaudet is joined by young Chinese violinist Yue Deng for this album of intimate classical music for piano and violin by the celebrated jazz composer/ arranger Claus Ogermann. Grammy Award Winner Claus Ogermann is a musician of rare breadth and versatility who has worked with all the great song stylists including Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz, George Benson, Nelson Riddle, Astrid Gilberto, Michael Brecker and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Well known for recent collaborations with Diana Krall (including the album The Look Of Love), Claus Ogermann has also written works performed by legendary pianists Bill Evans and Glenn Gould, and is the arranger of the classic recording of The Girl From Ipenema. Classical style has always been important to Ogermann, and his compositions include concertos-both classical and jazz- a song cycle (premiered by Brigitte Fasbaender and an orchestral suite commissioned for the American Ballet Theatre. Praised as "one of the most exciting talents before the public today," pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is renowned for his eloquent phrasing, lustrous colors and brilliant technique. His poetic interpretations have won him a following throughout the United States and around the globe, having performed with virtually every major orchestra in the world. Yue Deng is one of today's outstanding Chinese violinists, having trained in China and at New York's Juilliard School.
"Classical Barbra" is a studio album by Barbra Streisand, released in February 1976 but recorded in 1973. The album consists of songs by classical European composers and includes tracks sung in English, French, Occitan, German, Italian and Latin. The music is performed by the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Claus Ogerman. Leonard Bernstein wrote of the album, "Barbra Streisand's natural ability to make music takes her over to the classical field with extraordinary ease. It's clear that she loves these songs. In her sensitive, straightforward, and enormously appealing performance, she has given us a very special musical experience." The album has been certified Gold in the United States for sales of 500,000 on May 5, 1999.
All of a sudden, George Benson became a pop superstar with this album, thanks to its least representative track. Most of Breezin' is a softer-focused variation of Benson's R&B/jazz-flavored CTI work, his guitar as assured and fluid as ever with Claus Ogerman providing the suave orchestral backdrops and his crack then-working band (including Ronnie Foster on keyboards and sparkplug Phil Upchurch on rhythm guitar) pumping up the funk element. Yet it is the sole vocal track (his first in many years), Leon Russell's "This Masquerade" – where George unveiled his new trademark, scatting along with a single-string guitar solo – that reached number ten on the pop singles chart and drove the album all the way to number one on the pop (!) LP chart. The attractive title track also became a minor hit single, although Gabor Szabo's 1971 recording with composer Bobby Womack is even more fetching. In the greater scheme of Benson's career, Breezin' is really not so much a breakthrough as it is a transition album; the guitar is still the core of his identity.