This album is just chock full of great piano, nice laid back vocals, organ, acoustic guitars, violins, mellotron, and solid bass and drums. The remastered mini that I have has decent sound (for 1972) and a nice gatefold with strange artwork. As with PFM the musicianship is very high, the arrangements are handled with great care and there is a nice balance between rock sections and more mellow, contemplative sections. I have read that the lyrics on both of their albums are quite good, though of course I have no way to confirm this personally. The music has a romantic and somewhat wistful sound throughout.
This is a very nice recording of bassoon concertos by the Mozart of Paris, Francois Devienne. Eckart Huebner is a masterful player with a nice sound, good interpretation, great intonation, and brings out the musicality which occasionally lacks or is absent in Devienne recordings. His notes are well written and provide background with thoughts and conjecture concerning each of the concertos and the mysterious 2nd bassoon concerto of Mozart which has been attributed to Devienne.
Música Dispersa joined in Barcelona in 1970, when they recorded their only album, published by Diabolo (reedited in 1979 by Edigsa), in which they developed a really avant-garde music, with hypnotic rhythms, eastern influences, and sensual voices (Selene) producing onomatopeyic sounds that transport you to another dimension. They had a very short life, round to one year. Their main composer was "El Cachas" from Madrid and among the members was a young Jaume Sisa, that was then an institution in the catalan music.
It comes as no surprise that, a year after Rampal's death, James Galway should dedicate a disc to him. After all, Galway has always cited the Frenchman as his true mentor - and it was with Rampal that Galway first spied a golden flute. The recording actually happened over a year before Rampal died but appropriately enough contains concertos by the French Classical composer François Devienne, of whose music Rampal was a noted interpreter.
The Takács Quartet began their exclusive association with Decca in 1988 and the first release was the CD of Haydn String Quartets, op.76 nos.1-3; this was followed by the other three quartets that make up the set: op.76 nos. 4-6. This set of quartets was Haydn's last and was published in 1797 (his projected set of 6 quartets op.77 produced just two works and his op.103 remained a fragment). The second of these discs, containing nos.4-6 of op.76 was particularly warmly received by Gramophone in January 1990.
The Takács Quartet, Hungarian but now resident in the U.S., takes string quartet playing back to its basics here, and does so transcendently (paradoxical as that may sound). You may find the playing a bit neutral at first, with Haydn's more dancelike rhythms rendered straightforwardly, but keep listening: each movement is a carefully polished jewel, with each instrument making up a set of perfectly sharp facets.
Mozart's music for flute always seems to cause a twofold reaction. On the one hand, the music is undeniably beautiful, balanced and just a little more than what could be expected from the "gallant" style. On the other hand, note-writers are at pains to point out that Mozart apparently did not like the flute as an instrument and that in the case of the Flute Quartets, two of the four have not even been proved to be genuine Mozart.
Dmitri Kabalevsky's music can be flippant, dramatic, ruminative or 'functional'; it can also be rhythmically and texturally complex (parts of the Second Quartet presented on this CD), or tuneful and primary-coloured (Third Piano Concerto and The Comedians ballet). And yet Kabalevsky has remained, at least for many Western listeners, something of a musical side-liner, a sort of soft-core Shostakovich whose very amiability vitiates against a more 'serious' reputation.