A treasure map is needed to find one’s way through this release. The CDs and DVD, exquisitely encased in a beautiful book – full of facsimiles, photographs and essays as well as vocal texts in innumerable translations – contain performances of some of the most beautifully crafted, deeply spiritual music Charpentier ever wrote. Catherine Cessac, the foremost French authority on Charpentier, writes eloquently on the music and Savall on the impetus for the collection. The repertoire, inspired by the story of the Virgin Mary, is drawn from all periods of Charpentier’s life and reflects the different private and public circumstances of his employment, the musical resources available to him and occasions for which he composed. In several cases more than one performance, each with different personnel, has been included, hence the need for a map.
New version of the Paco de Lucía Integral, 27 CDs his complete work remastered. "Cositas Buenas", his last album, comes as a new in this new Integral. Now in a new economic format. This collection is a unique tour of the work of Paco de Lucia from 1964 to 2004. Fabulous guitar in name and fabulous guitar in sound; along with a carefully selected repertoire, which shows off a refined panorama of the Flamenco toque offering an intelligent variety of genres for this his first full length album as a solo artist. The titles of the tracks selected show his great connection to the land, offering us a selection of the fundamental styles of the Flamenco geography: ‘Triana’, ‘Cádiz’, ‘Punta Umbría’, ‘Jerez’, ‘La Unión’, ‘La Caleta’ and ‘El Tajo’.
Cecilia Bartoli continues her Maria Malibran homage with one of the historic mezzo’s most famous roles. The two leading bel canto super stars of today, Cecilia Bartoli and Juan Diego Florez join forces for the first time in the most complete and authentic recording of Bellini's La sonnambula. He is all vocal fireworks and liquid tone, she luxurious of voice, dramatically intense. It is the first ever recording with a 'mezzo-soprano' in the lead role, and the first ever recording with a period instrument orchestra… Many of the cadenzas sung by Cecilia Bartoli are those used by the great 19th Century interpreter of the role, Maria Malibran.
Jordi Savall has brought us yet another treasure on his own Alia Vox label, this time a mixed bag of music by Reformation Era composers and a handful of slightly earlier works. It’s all taken from a concert program Savall gave last year under the aegis of “greatest hits of the court of Charles V”. The composers presented are mostly court musicians for that Holy Roman Emperor, but Josquin and Heinrich Isaac also are included, the latter as a nod to Charles’ grandfather, Maximilian I, who was responsible for getting Charles the crown. Savall combines his first-rate instrumental ensemble, updated to Hespèrion XXI, with his own vocal group, La Capella Reial de Catalunya. The results are captivating. Savall’s musicians are tops in the field, and their collective talents, constantly on display in this varied program, are simply a joy to hear.