The works on this 2-CD set all come from a single source: a document called "Cancionero de Montecassino" which is believed to contain works composed between 1430 and 1480. Somehow the document has survived down through the centuries; it was almost lost when the Abbey where it was stored was bombed in 1944. Luckily the document survived so that this amazing CD set could be recorded by the - also amazing - Le Capella Reial de Catalunya. This CD is the second in a series entitled "Musicas Reales", the first of which being "Carlos V" containing works mainly from the 16th century. If you enjoyed that one, then "Alfons V el Magnanim" will be a welcome addition to your CD spinner.
Pilar Lorengar never achieved the fame and recognition of some of her Spanish peers, such as Victoria de los Angeles and Teresa Berganza; because of this, her singing is relatively unknown to contemporary listeners. Fortunately, anyone with interest can get to know this terrific soprano through The Art of Pilar Lorengar, Decca's two-disc retrospective featuring operatic excerpts and songs of Spanish composers. It is well worth the time; Lorengar had a gorgeous voice, and at its best her singing competes with anything on record. This is especially true of the purely lyrical excerpts on the album, such as "Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante" from Carmen and "Glück, das mir verbleib" from Korngold's Die tode Stadt, both of which would be tough to beat for sheer beauty of singing.
Previously available only on a limited Japanese edition. These two sessions were produced by Lee Kraft in 1957 featuring the inimitable tenor saxophonist John Coltrane in two different formats; a quintet with Donald Byrd, Walter Bishop, Jr., Wendell Marshall and Art Blakey, and a 15-piece big band organized by Blakey. Coltrane was featured prominently in both settings and played exceptionally throughout. While the other soloists were all top-notch musicians, Coltranes compositions and performance clearly stole the show. His solos were powerful and confident, ripping out sequences of 16th note lines that soared over the full range of the horn with complete command.