Admirers of Gluck the reformer may be surprised by this thoroughly Baroque, extremely florid opera composed by him in 1765 (three years after Orfeo ed Euridice changed the landscape of opera forever). La corona , Gluck's setting of Metastasio's one-act azione teatrale (the master librettist's own term for a serenata with a plot), was commissioned by Queen Maria Theresa as a name-day gift for the emperor. Though is also styled an azione teatrale , the two operas could hardly be more different. Considering that La corona contains as treacherously difficult a collection of florid arias as can be found in any score of the period, it's hard to credit that it was created specifically to be sung by the three royal princesses; even the most adept prime donne of the period would have struggled to master its score. Due to the sudden death of the emperor, La corona was shelved and never performed in Gluck's lifetime. Atypically for a score of this quality and complexity, the composer mined relatively little of it for future works, with a notable exception in his transformation of the second part of the overture into the love duet in Paride ed Elena .
"Wonderful music conjuring up pastoral England before four wheel drives and second homes. Sound generally very good with wide dynamic range and lush string tone, although the orchestra sounds a little constrained particularly in the Tallis Fantasia, and there is audible background noise in quieter passages. Solo instruments very realistic…" ~sa-cd.net
Robert Palmer was an English singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer. He was known for his distinctive, soulful voice, eclectic mix of musical styles on his albums, combining soul, jazz, rock, pop, reggae, blues, and sartorial acumen. He found success both in his solo career and with the Power Station, and had Top 10 songs in both the UK and the US. Palmer received a number of awards throughout his career, including two Grammy Awards for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, an MTV Video Music Award, and two Brit Award nominations for Best British Male.
After critically-lauded projects with trumpeter Paolo Fresu (Chiaroscuro) and with fellow guitarists Wolfgang Muthspiel and Slava Grigoryan (Travel Guide), Ralph Towner returns to solo guitar for My Foolish Heart. Whether on classical guitar or 12-string guitar Towner’s touch is immediately identifiable. Solo music is an important thread through his rich discography and this new album – recorded at Lugano’s Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in February 2016 and produced by Manfred Eicher – follows in the great tradition of Diary, Solo Concert, Ana, Anthem, and Time Line. It features finely-honed new compositions as well as a pair of tunes (“Shard” and “Rewind”) from the songbook of Oregon, a dedication to the late Paul Bley (“Blue As In Bley”) and a single standard – Victor Young’s “My Foolish Heart” which Towner first came to love in Bill Evans’s interpretation.