Nigel Kennedy’s repackaged 1986 recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto is an adventure – free, rhapsodic, emphasising the constant flow of song which is the work’s main asset. Perhaps he’s a little over-keen to emphasise what melancholy there is here, nearly bringing the outer movements to a halt with the bitter-sweet dreams of second subjects, but the Canzonetta is a miracle of introspection. All this passes Gil Shaham by. While the young Israeli clearly has a fabulous palette, conjuring a bright, beautiful sheen at the top of the instrument (though unduly spotlit by DG), he rarely uses it discriminatingly enough, and the sense of flexible movement so vital for the Tchaikovsky is missing.
The Hot Club Of San Francisco goes Fab! The venerable Gypsy Swing Combo interprets The Beatles on the gorgeous new album 'John, Paul, George & Django. It was only a matter of time before guitarist Paul Mehling focused his creative mojo on Lennon and McCartney's vast and enduring treasure trove of songs. The founder and guiding spirit of the Hot Club of San Francisco, America's longest running Gypsy swing ensemble, Mehling was first inspired to pick up a guitar when …
The international release The Paul Simon Anthology was a two-CD abridged version of the three-CD box set Paul Simon 1964-1993. For this version, the first two discs of the box set were condensed into a single CD, while the third disc, left untouched, was now the second disc. This accentuated one of the weaknesses of the box set, weighting the selections even more heavily toward Simon's later work. Here, his recordings originally released between 1965 and 1983 (including six Simon and Garfunkel tracks) made up the first disc, and the second disc covered only the period 1986-1993, and really 1986-90, since the only recordings released after 1990 were "Thelma," an outtake from the 1990 album The Rhythm of the Saints and three performances from the 1991 live album Paul Simon's Concert in the Park. While the abridgment seemed to have been made with an eye on the British charts, for the most part eliminating only songs that had not been hits in the U.K. (the exceptions being "America" and "Take Me to the Mardi Gras"), the album still didn't function as a full-fledged greatest hits album, lacking such British chart singles as "Homeward Bound" and "I Am a Rock" (neither of which were on Paul Simon 1964-1993, either).
Violin virtuoso Paul Giger revisits his roots with this, his second solo recording, Alpstein, which features pieces for violin, saxophone, and percussion based on the folk traditions of the Alpstein region of Switzerland. Three pieces here are entitled "Zäuerli" – named after the sad majestic "natur yodel" tradition of the Outer Rhoden region. These are sweeping and majestic with high harmonic bowstrokes. This recording features the saxophone work of Jan Garbarek and the percussion of Pierre Favre. Both add an incredible warmth to the recording on the pieces they are featured on, most notably "Alpsegen" with its soaring sax lines and manic percussion. Also notable is "Chlauseschuppel," featuring the sounds of cowbells specific to that region. Informative booklet included.