I believe this is the only note-complete performance of this opera, and furthermore, the only one that is sung in all of the original keys (in almost every other recording "Casta diva" and the duets are transposed down). It is a spectacular example of bel canto. Recorded in 1964, Joan Sutherland was at her peak, exhibiting fearless, beautiful singing, thoroughly accurate in fiorature and breath control, and, for Sutherland, dramatically telling. Her usually dreadful diction is somewhat better than elsewhere, and she presents Norma's unhappiness and acceptance of her fate honestly. She's not as good when she must express anger, but she tries very hard, and in the face of such gorgeous singing, one barely minds. Of course she never comes near Callas in psychological depth, but why bother bringing that up? –Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com.
Roberto Devereux, the last and probably the greatest opera Gaetano Donizetti composed for the San Carlo Opera House in Naples, is based on the intense, tangled relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex, who was beheaded for treason in 1601. The role of the queen is one of the strongest in the bel canto soprano repertoire. In this video (essentially a New York City Opera production transplanted to the Filene Center at Wolf Trap performing arts center outside Washington, D.C.), Beverly Sills gives one of the great performances of her career. She had been singing the role in New York for several years, to great critical acclaim, and had made it her own, though her voice was beginning to lose some of its freshness when this performance was filmed in 1974…–Joe McLellan
Though he may not be a piano superstar, Bruce Brubaker is clearly a musician to watch. On this recording of solo piano works by Philip Glass and John Cage, Brubaker somehow shifts between these two very different modernist composers to create a seamless disc of mesmerizing keyboard music. While Glass's own playing is often precise and austere, Brubaker is a different beast altogether. With him, we get a hint of Impressionism and a sense of contemplation with each note. The five parts of Metamorphosis are given shades of melancholy, along with frenzy; on the expansive "Mad Rush," Brubaker goes wild where he has to, but always returns to the piece's calming, sweet center. The piano music of John Cage is limited to just two cuts–"A Room" and "Dream"–but they, too, are hauntingly beautiful (especially the latter, longer piece). For anyone who has grown tired of Philip Glass's recent electronic keyboard forays or the ubiquitous prepared-piano CDs of John Cage, Glass Cage will sound like a fresh and sublime homecoming to two musical mavericks. Recommended.
Everybody Jam! is the second album by Scatman John. The album continues along the thematic lines of the first album but with an evolved sound, and cemented his popularity in Japan, released there with five bonus tracks. The album released two international singles: the title track tribute to Louis Armstrong and "Let It Go", all of which were successful. Additionally, the Japanese bonus tracks "Pripri Scat" and "Su Su Su Super Ki Re i" charted successfully there as single releases…