Paul Watkins is one of the world’s finest cellists. He is much in demand throughout the world and although he has made several recordings for Chandos in the past, this is his first as an exclusive artist. He is accompanied by his brother Huw Watkins, with whom he has developed an extremely rewarding musical partnership. The three cello sonatas of the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu span the period 1939 – 52 and are full of rewarding musical invention. The experience of his long exile was often expressed in his music, particularly here in the Third Sonata and in the Variations on a Slovak Theme. If in the First, competed in 1939, the unease occasioned by World War II may be detected in the first two movements, the energetic finale, driven by Martinu’s motoric rhythms, prompted the composer to remark of its first performance: ‘It came as a last greeting, a beam of light from a better world (which is the opinion of others, not my own). For several minutes we realised what music could give us and we forgot about reality.’
In 2016, Fujiya & Miyagi released two four-song, limited run 12-inch EPs that found the Brighton, England quartet exploring some of their most inspired and well-conceived songs since their breakthrough sophomore LP, Transparent Things, a decade earlier. For their new self-titled LP, Fujiya & Miyagi have combined both EPs, along with songs from a third 12-inch that was, puzzlingly, put out the exact same day. But no matter which format you choose to consume these 11 tracks, it's clear that the quartet have crafted a clear and uniform vision for their new(ish) material. Working off of the dance-y Krautrock sound they've been known to favour, Fujiya & Miyagi keep things fresh and resourceful here with tracks like the groove-centric "Serotonin Rushes," the punk-y "Outstripping (The Speed of Light)" and the pulsating, disco-indebted "Impossible Objects of Desire." Yet it's tracks like the spoken word, self-referential/-explanatory "Extended Dance Mix," the motoric instrumental "Synthetic Symphonies" and the heavy guitar snarler "R.S.I." that earn this collection repeat listens.
After achieving independence from Spain, Argentina developed its own models for concert- and opera-going, even though these continued in many respects to reflect European traditions. Musical legends emerged during this time: Astor Piazzolla, the founder of the Tango Nuevo, Mauricio Kagel, Carlos Gardel and Alberto Ginastera, the man considered for decades to be the country's most significant composer of classical music. Three of the works recorded on this CD fall into Ginastera's final ‘Neo-Expressionist’ period: the Concerto per corde Op.33 (1965), cast in a classical, four-movement form; the Estudios sinfonicos Op.35 (1967), which represent Ginastera at his most adventurous with the avant-garde style; and the Glosses sobra temes de Pau Casals Op.48 (1976/77), in which Ginastera experiments by taking traditional themes by the great Spanish cellist Pablo Casals and holding them up to an avant-garde mirror.
The line-up on this newly released bootleg is said to consist of Florian Schneider, Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger, which tells us that this was probably recorded in that short period of time in 1971, estimated to 6 months, when Ralf Hütter had left the band. Supposedly, the recording was made at the Gondel Kino in Bremen, Germany on June 25, 1971. And it's an interesting recording.
Denmark’s four leading composers – Poul Ruders, Per Nørgård, Bent Sørensen and Hans Abrahamsen - have allowed the experimental trio Alpha to take their music behind the looking glass and let their works re-emerge in the trio’s very own sound world. Played and recorded entirely by heart, Alpha’s close encounter with the musical essences of seven different works seems to reveal the form and richness of each composer’s imagination in a new magical reflection.