What a versatile artist Steven Isserlis is. Having made his name as a sympathetic interpreter of a wide variety of romantic and modern music, here he shows he can be just as persuasive in eighteenth-century repertoire. His stylistic awareness is evident in beautiful, elegant phrasing, selective use of vibrato and varied articulation, giving an expressive range that never conflicts with the music’s natural language. In the cello concertos he is helped by an extremely sensitive accompaniment, stressing the chamber musical aspects of Haydn’s pre-London orchestral writing. The soft, intimate sonority at 3'06'' in the first movement of the D major is a typical example. The Adagios are taken at a flowing speed, but Isserlis’s relaxed approach means they never sound hurried. The Allegro molto finale of the C major Concerto, on the other hand, sounds poised rather than the helter-skelter we often hear. In his understanding of the music, Isserlis is a long way ahead of Han-na Chang, whose version places the emphasis on fine, traditional-style cello playing. Mork’s vivacious, imaginative performances characterize the music very strongly, but my preference would be for Isserlis’s and Norrington’s lighter touch and greater refinement.
Roger Waters may not have made an album of new material between 1992 and 2017, but he was very active during that quarter-century. He toured regularly, wrote an opera, reunited Pink Floyd for the 2005 charity concert Live 8, and revived The Wall several times, turning the self-absorbed rock opera into a political piece. Is This the Life We Really Want?, his fourth song cycle, picks up on this thread, functioning as barbed protest music for the age of Brexit and Trump. Waters doesn't disguise his bile – there's a lament for "The Last Refugee" and he spits out "picture a leader with no f****** brains," a clear broadside against Trump – but the album doesn't seethe with rage. With its deliberate tempos, wide soundscapes, operatic guitar solos, and swelling crescendos, it is recognizably a Waters album or, perhaps more accurately…
A reissue of the two-record set, featuring four pieces for computer electronics and voices that amplify to an extreme degree the components and expressive qualities of the voice. "Still," with a text from Samuel Coleridge's The Wanderings of Cain (1798), moves extremely slowly in a "vocal fry" across the aspirate clicks and wind of the performer; "A Merciful Coincidence," on a text from Samuel Beckett's Watt (1953), uses the aggressive-passive inflections of the frog performers croaking, which seems to have intent, if not syntactical "meaning".
Roger Waters - Dark Side Of The Moon World Tour, Live at Estadio Nacional, Santiago de Chile, March 14th, 2007. Pre FM Master!