Mozart's The Impresario is the one-act singspiel about squabbling sopranos whose trifling nature leads audiences to assume it must be an early work. In fact, it's a mature score, written alongside The Marriage of Figaro.There is, alas, no evidence that Mozart put anything in the way of The Beneficent Dervish, and it shows in a score that offers not too much beyond period charm. But it's of interest as one of the musical pantomimes devised by Schikaneder just before The Magic Flute (another was The Philosopher's Stone, to which Mozart almost certainly did contribute). And dramatically, if not musically, it has so much in common with Flute that it almost qualifies as a preliminary sketch. This is the premiere recording, and it's neatly put together by Boston Baroque, one of the most respected ensembles of its kind in North America.
A dedication to the all night-blues and boogie sessions of 1930s´ Kansas City!Singer Big Joe Duskin belts out spontaneous blues and boogie lyrics in the best Big Joe Turner-tradition, accompanied by Axel Zwingenberger`s rolling pianistics. Axel and jump blues icon Jay McShann hold swinging two-piano-conversations, complimented by some of Jay´s unique vocals. Classic blues pianist Sammy Price provides bluesy counterpoints in piano duets with Axel. Last but not least, two driving Zwingenberger soli: let´s jam the boogie!
IonartsThe reviewer also had this to say: "Beautiful? Nay. Unless you have a mildly strange sense of what beauty is." But then who would have thought the definition of beauty is a question better left in the eye of the beholder? Can we forget about the value judgment for once and just enjoy the damn music?!
For less erudite or less theoretically inclined ears, what remains is a jumble of sound, an intellectual challenge. And yet, I cannot but enjoy the music utterly. Of course, the enjoyment is not quite the same as when listening to a middle Beethoven sonata, or even a late one, but anyone who knows what it takes to learn to like Beethoven's String Quartets, a work just as austere as Boulez's Sonatas are (seemingly) erratic, is on his way to find entertainment, solace, pleasure in these keyboard paintings. If looking at Barnett Newman's work can fill you with an inexplicable sense of awe, you will likely enjoy these works so engagingly and convincingly told by Boulez's hand-picked pianist Paavali Jumppanen. I remember listening to Debussy preludes for the first couple of times with similar enjoyable incomprehension. Not the music counted then, but the faintly grasped, hardly understood pictures it evoked.