Baz Luhrmann's garish, flamboyant adaptation of Romeo + Juliet was hyper-kinetic and colorful, boasting a heavy inspiration from the visual style of MTV, so it's only appropriate that the soundtrack was tailored for the alternative nation that MTV fostered. Combining modern rock acts like Garbage, Radiohead, the Cardigans, and the Butthole Surfers with contemporary soul like Des'ree and adult alternative like Gavin Friday, the album is slick, polished, catchy – and surprisingly strong. Though the soul and pop is good, the alternative rock acts on the soundtrack fare the best, with Garbage and Radiohead both contributing excellent B-sides ("Number One Crush" and "Talk Show Host," respectively), with the Cardigans' sleek, sexy lounge-disco number "Lovefool" stealing the show.
It’s hard to imagine how someone whose last album was an opera could out-do themselves, but Rufus Wainwright has achieved just that with Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets, to be released via Deutsche Gramophon on April 22, 400 years after William Shakespeare’s death.
Australian-only two CD set. Carefully selected by compilation producer . Volume 5 brings together more all-time Aussie Classics and rare titles representing the '70s. Features original hit versions. Mastered from the best possible sources with many titles remastered from the original studio tapes for this release. Contains over 40 chart hits. Including , (with their other hit), , , and CD debuts for , , , through to progressive rock classics from and . Also featured is Number 96's with her smash 1973 hit and 's hit cover of a song.
This is a superb disc. There have been distinguished collections of Smetana’s symphonic poems (notably a vintage Kubelík disc) but none quite to compare with this in excitement, richness of detail and, in the case of Wallenstein’s Camp, sonic spectacle – how well Smetana writes for the brass! Indeed this, Richard III and especially Hakon Jarl emerge afresh as symphonic poems every bit the equal of those of Liszt. The early Jubel Overture (1848) with its thundering, frantic opening timpani and energetic folksy flavour is a real find. So, too, is the beautiful watery tableau The Fisherman, which has a Wagnerian evocation gently reminding one of the moonlight sequence in Vltava.
"My life is a novel which interests me very much", Hector Berlioz allegedly once said to a friend. For this reason, in 1848 – at the age of 45 – he began writing his memoires. When the work was published posthumously in 1870 the public was astonished by the candour and literary prowess with which Berlioz described the course of his life.
Thomas's Le songe d'une nuit d'ete is not, as one might expect, a setting of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. What it is, however, is a fantasie lyrique in which the characters of Shakespeare, Elizabeth I and Sir John Falstaff all play a part. Apart from the delightful overture and the exquisite tenor aria, "Ou suis-je," the music is perhaps not as memorable as that found in Thomas's other operas such as Hamlet or Mignon, but it is not without its gossamer charm. The production (taped on May 7, 1994) was mounted to celebrate the opening of Le tunnel sous la Manche (the Channel tunnel that now links England and France). In fact, the opera ends with Shakespeare and Elizabeth I walking slowly towards the entrance of the Chunnel–presumably on their way to France. Next to the modest set designs, the costumes (provided by the Royal Shakespeare Company) look more than opulent…
The Enchanted Island has hitched itself to the eighteenth century pasticcio tradition, a conglomeration of old music set to a new story. But it’s a 21st-century creation through and through, as I think its creators would readily acknowledge. Jeremy Sams is responsible for the libretto. In a rewrite of The Tempest, Prospero is situated on the titular island (which makes whooshing noises identical to the one on Lost) and must confront the challenges of age, Ariel, and his lady-rival Sycorax (who is already dead in the Shakespeare)…