Born near Ingolstadt in Bavaria, Simon Mayr spent the greater part of his career in Bergamo, a flourishing cultural and economic centre in the early nineteenth century. An important figure in the promotion of Viennese classicism in Italy, he combined, in his own style, the legacy of Vienna with the dramatic and melodic genius of Italy, and held a dominant position in Italian opera before the emergence of Rossini. His oratorio David in spelunca Engaddi (David in the Cave of Engedi), with a Latin text, was written in 1795 for the Ospedale dei Mendicanti in Venice, one of the four great charitable institutions there, known for the musical achievements of its members. The oratorio deals with the conflict between David and Saul, and the refusal of David to harm the Lord’s anointed, in spite of the opportunity offered him.
Mayr had established himself as a highly successful composer by the beginning of the 19th century. Medea in Corinto is one of his best-known operas, based on a libretto by Felice Romani. For decades after its 1813 première at the San Carlo Theatre in Naples, it provided one of the speciality roles for Isabella Colbran and Giuditta Pasta. In this recording, Italian conductor Fabio Luisi gives an intense reading of Mayr’s music and masterfully underlines its deep psychological dimensions, enhancing the drama that unfolds on stage. Luisi, a Grammy Award-winning artist, is also principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and general music director of the Zurich Opera. Michael Spyres and Enea Scala, take the important roles of Jason and Aegeus. The role of Medea is entrusted to the Spanish soprano Davinia Rodriguez, who effortlessly delivers Act I’s demanding cavatina with obbligato violin, usually omitted in most productions.
Recorded on the "Road to Graceland '93" tour at London's Albert Hall. This followed the release of the album The First Day and is considered by many to be superior to its studio counterpart. Originally mixed by Robert Fripp and released in September 1994 it was remixed by David in 2000 and released the following year. The band features Trey Gunn and Michael Brook. Produced, engineered and mixed by David Sylvian at Samachi Sound NH, USA May 2001. New artwork by Shinro Ohtake. Every Colour You Are is now listed in the American way: Every Color You Are. David replaced Darshan with Jean The Birdman, as he believed that this track would fit in better with the rest.
David Chesky, born in Miami in 1956, settled in New York City in the 1970s and now identifies himself as an "urban orchestral composer." His Urban Concertos, of which he has written nearly a dozen, constitute his most substantial output. In the program notes for this recording of three of his concertos, he wrote, "Perhaps one can say my style is neo-impressionist. But I do not live on some quaint idyllic country farm, I live in the city that never sleeps! It is a hard-driving concrete jungle that pulsates around the clock." "Pulsating" is an apt descriptor for Chesky's music, which is notable for its restlessly high energy and rhythmic propulsiveness.