DECODING THE PAST goes far beyond the bestseller lists to reveal the truth about Opus Dei. Founded in 1928 by Spaniard Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, it encourages members, most of whom are lay professionals, to find God through work and daily life. The most orthodox commit to a celibate life, live in Opus Dei residences, give the majority of their income to the organization, and practice corporal mortification, the infliction of self-pain as a holy act of sacrifice. Now, Opus Dei leaders grant unprecedented access as we lift the veil surrounding their mysterious organization to reveal the truths and demystify the myths.
French saxophonist Sophie Alour's Opus 3 is not only her third album as a leader, it is also her first in a trio setting. The recipient of the French Django D'or award, Alour departs from the electric intensity of her previous release, Uncaged (Nocturne, 2007), to explore her voice as an instrumentalist. The 11 originals are tone poems bearing heavy western classical influences, with occasional peppering of other styles that showcase the leader on both tenor and soprano saxophones.
The twenty sonatas on this recording show Handel writing for the professional musicians of his London opera orchestra; they demand considerable skill and stamina both from the soloist and the continuo. Prominent bass parts give the sonatas a contrapuntal strength and vitality, and Handel keeps the elements of display and purely musical argument in admirable balance in these works. For this reason, they are among the most attractive Baroque solo sonatas and deserve their lasting popularity.