A collection of musical gems by great contemporary composers of the minimalist and postminimalist trend. Music of Steve Reich (Vermont Counterpoint, New York Counterpoint - first recording of the saxophone version), Arvo Pärt (Pari Intervallo), Hans Otte (Eins), Ludovico Einaudi (Quattro Passi), Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (For you Ann Lill, Op.58), skilfully interpreted by Andrea Ceccomori and Goffredo Degli Esposti on the flutes, Paul Wehage on the saxophones, Cecilia Chailly on harp and Fabrizio Ottaviucci on piano.
This 2014 BGO two-fer pairs 1972's Blue River and Stages: The Lost Album, largely recorded in 1972 but released in 1991. It's a nice pairing, containing Andersen's acclaimed Columbia debut and the record he cut for the label immediately afterward, a record the label didn't release until two decades later. Andersen made good records before and good records after, but these two albums are arguably his peak and it's nice to have them together on a two-fer.
Passaggio, Lavinia Meijer's first release on Sony, is an album of the crossover music of Ludovico Einaudi, an Italian composer and pianist who encouraged the Dutch harpist to record some of his most popular pieces. The playing on this 2013 album is highly polished and appealing, and Meijer demonstrates considerable powers of concentration and precision in performances of her harp transcriptions of Einaudi's keyboard music. Some will find Meijer's renditions emotionally communicative and mood enhancing, and most of the credit for their effectiveness belongs to her, because Einaudi's modal harmonies and conventional patterns tend toward a bland prettiness, or pretty blandness, that's all of a piece. Simple melodies and repeated arpeggiated chords have the instant attraction of minimalist music, and simplicity is often a virtue in the proper context. Sony's recording is clear and close-up, and Meijer has presence in a fairly resonant studio space.
Following on the worldwide success of In a Time Lapse, Ludovico Einaudi presents his new work, Elements. The work's sound is lush and deep and interwoven with a freshness that naturally blends Einaudi's piano with acoustic and electronic sounds. In addition to his usual collaborators, the album also features the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Berlin-based electronic musician Robert Lippok, Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco and South African violinist Daniel Hope. The composer said of the album, "Elements sprang from a desire to start anew, following a different path of knowledge. I saw new frontiers - on the edge between what I knew and what I didn't know - that I had long wanted to explore… gradually, everything came together in a dance, as if all the elements were parts of the same world, and myself within it".
The inimitable Danny Kaye stars as famed storyteller Hans Christian Andersen in this charming fictionalized biopic that blends music, romance, comedy and fantasy to trace the life of Denmark's literary hero. A small-town shoemaker with a knack for spinning yarns, Hans encounters happiness and heartbreak on his road to becoming a full-fledged writer.