In addition to being one of the top tenor saxophonists of his generation, Eric Alexander has developed quite a following in Japan, as evidenced by his series of recordings for the Venus label. These 2004 sessions with pianist Mike LeDonne, bassist John Webber, and drummer Joe Farnsworth are much in the mold of John Coltrane's Ballads album of the early '60s…
Eric Alexander is in top form throughout this 2007 quartet session with some of his favorite bandmates, including David Hazeltine, bassist John Webber, and drummer Joe Farnsworth, all four of whom are members of the group One for All and regular participants on the Manhattan jazz scene in clubs and studios…
Marking 100 years since his death, this is the first ever set of SCRIABIN COMPLETE WORKS. Drawn principally from Decca’s distinguished catalogue, the set also features no fewer than 64 newly-recorded tracks - over 200 mins of music, newly recorded by Vladimir Ashkenazy and Valentina Lisitsa especially for this set. Scriabin has in recent years become admired as one of the early 20th century’s most innovative and influential composers. The set concludes with a bonus disc showcasing great pianists across Decca, Philips and DG who have played Scriabin down the years, from Horowitz, Richter and Cherkassky onto Kissin, Grosvenor and Trifonov.
Shostakovich's Symphony No.8 was written in the summer of 1943, and first performed in November of that year by the USSR Symphony Orchestra under Yevgeny Mravinsky, to whom the work is dedicated. Many scholars have ranked it among the composer's finest scores. Some also say Shostakovich intended the work as a ''tragedy to triumph'' symphony, in the tradition of Beethoven, Brahms and Mahler. This release in Praga's Reminiscences series of audiophile SACD remasterings features an historic live recording from 1961 featuring Mravinsky leading the Leningrad Philharmonic.
No one except psychedelic Renaissance man Alexander "Skip" Spence could have created an album such as Oar. Alternately heralded as a "soundtrack to schizophrenia" and a "visionary solo effort," Oar became delegated to cut out and bargain bins shortly after its release in the spring of 1969. However those who did hear it were instantly drawn into Spence's inimitable sonic surrealism. As his illustrious past in the Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Moby Grape would suggest, this album is a pastiche of folk and rock. In reality, however, while these original compositions may draw from those genres, each song has the individuality of a fingerprint. As a solo recording, Oar is paramount as Spence performed and produced every sound on the album himself at Columbia Records studios in Nashville in the space of less than two weeks.
Roberta Alexander’s outstanding CD of vocal music by Samuel Barber demonstrates the soprano’s understanding of the composer’s musical language and emotional content … The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic plays very well under the tasteful leadership of Edo de Waart.
Alexander O'Neal almost achieved the breakout he needed for crossover success with his second album. It cracked the Top 30 on the pop album chart, earned a gold record, and included O'Neal's two strongest uptempo tunes, "Fake" and "Criticize." Jam and Lewis linked the material with "party" dialogue and patter, providing their finest and tightest production for any O'Neal record. The beats were catchy, the songs hook-laden, and O'Neal's voice alternately explosive, sensitive and bemused.
Based on Gogol’s fantastical and comic story of the Devil’s antics on Christmas Eve, this magical blend of opera and ballet is brought to vivid life in Francesca Zambello’s colourful production. Magnificent set designs (Mikhail Mokrov) and costumes (Tatiana Noginova), and an excellent, largely Russian cast provide authenticity. Splendid dancing by The Royal Ballet and Cossack dancers completes the spectacle.