If you love Shakespeare, and / or Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Berlioz and R. Strauss, you need to have this superb album in your collection. Walker is the most gratifying performer in opera and lieder, for beauty of voice (ravishing, audible silk); technique (perfection), intelligence (never-failing); phrasing (absolutely unsurpassed); and interpretation – Walker does not merely "sell" a song, or act convincingly, she etches her performance on your soul. Just listen to her interpretation of the excerpts from MacBeth, set to music by Joseph Horovitz: Walker is a candidate for best Lady MacBeth. One wonders what she would do with the part as straight drama. If that isn't enough, she caresses the Schumann and the Berlioz, nails the Brahms (no accompaniment – totally exposed voice), and slinks away with the tango "Under the Greenwood Tree."
Following the success of The Dream of Gerontius in 1900 and The Apostles in 1903, the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival commissioned Elgar to produce another large oratorio for the 1906 festival. The Kingdom continues the narrative of the lives of Jesus’ disciples, depicting the community of the early church, Pentecost, and the events of the next few days. Although less frequently performed than The Dream of Gerontius, The Kingdom is considered one of Elgar’s greatest choral works, and deserves to rank alongside it. This re-release of the 1989 recording also features Sursum Corda and Sospiri, two short, reflective instrumental pieces, release honors the legacy of the late English conductor Sir Richard Hickox.
A collection of 25 madrigals from 23 different composers, from the famous to the obscure, make up this Elizabethan curiosity, published in 1601 by Thomas Morley. A musical dedication to Queen Elizabeth 1, The Triumphs of Oriana displays the talents of English songwriters, long-overshadowed by their European counterparts, conjuring up an image of an idealised and mythical England of old.
During the last quarter of the 20th century, and thanks largely to Eric Clapton's remarkable devotion to his memory, Robert Leroy Johnson posthumously became the most celebrated Delta blues musician of the pre-WWII era. Among numerous editions of his complete works and various anthologies that combine his recordings with those of his contemporaries and followers, J.S.P.'s The Road to Robert Johnson and Beyond combines many of his essential performances with those by dozens of other blues artists from Blind Lemon Jefferson and Henry Thomas to Muddy Waters and Elmore James.
A superb collection of more than three hundred miniatures represents almost every noted American miniaturist who painted between 1750 and 1850…