Elodie Lauten ‎– Waking In New York – Portrait Of Allen Ginsberg (2003)

FrontCover1.jpgElodie Lauten was born in Paris in 1950, the daughter of jazz musician Errol Parker, and came to New York 1973 when she was ‘discovered’ by poet Allen Ginsberg and encouraged in her already precocious excitement for sonic invention. She went to New York University, learnt a lot from LaMonte Young and others, married, became a Buddhist, and is the inspiration for dance and concert events, sound installations and the staging of operatic presentations, workshops and collaborations with instrumentalists and librettists. She has a formidable list of work which includes some curiously esoteric articles.

WAKING IN NEW YORK is about experiencing daily life in New York through the eyes of Ginsberg, pictured in the later part of his life. From his apartment in the East Village, he tells everything about his state of mind, his body, his food, his work, his political causes – the Middle East, the death penalty, peace – all in the same breath. He is in a constant dialogue with his muses, Freedom and Compassion. He tells stories about the real people in his neighborhood, from the junkies and the homeless to the yuppies. Ginsberg expresses his love of life in a down-to-earth, occasionally satirical vision of the world, alternating with moments of deep emotion and classic lyricism. There is an uplifting ElodieLauten02.jpgelement in Ginsberg’s tolerant and all-inclusive vision of the city with its exciting jaggedness, its energy. Elodie Lauten met Ginsberg in 1973 when at 22, she first came to New York. She stayed at his East Village apartment, and occasionally accompanied him in his public readings. He introduced her to Buddhism with the chanting of mantras and meditation and became somewhat of a mentor. In her setting, she closely followed Allen’s train of thought, alternatively introspective and expansive, edgy, playful or lyrical, sometimes triggering hints of different musical styles and unexpected chord changes. Because of her deep understanding of Ginsberg’s personality and philosophy, she felt strongly about a melodic setting as opposed to narrative over music, as others had done before: in Waking in New York, every word is sung, even the most unlikely. (by elodielauten.net)

Her most recent piece was the première at the Willow Place Auditorium, Brooklyn of Symphony 2001 in its revised and unabridged version. This is a joyful nineteen-minute orchestral celebration of the Millennium in Sioux songs, mystery, magic, Buddha, making light of the dark predictions of Nostradamus, and building seven very brief movements from correspondences between colours and their sound frequencies.

ElodieLauten03.jpgClose on its heels follows the subject of this CD review, Waking in New York, a flow of Allen Ginsberg’s introverted thoughts and impressions compiled only six months before his death, and made into a kind of Two Act musical by Elodie Lauten, with singers Mark Duer as Ginsberg, Meredith Borden as Compassion, with Tyler Azelton and Sherrita Duran as the two faces of Freedom. Lauten is described as a leading light of postminimalism, and this piece seems to be doing something like that, a minimal approach to word setting, harmonic structuring, instrumental colour and even the text itself.

For a short time its fascination is mesmerising, but neither music nor text are quite Sondheim, and only a strong personal enthusiasm or connexion would stimulate concentration for over an hour on this recording. It could be better live, and it does make one curious about other works (like that Symphony 2001), but on CD its mechanical syllabic setting, show-style vocals and instrumental constraint creates a longing for greater subtle invention [listen — track 3, 0:00-1:00]. The Lauten website is, however, quite a revelation. ( by Patric Standford)

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Personnel:
Rafael Agudelo (bass)
Mustafa Ahmed (percussion)
Tania Askins (viola)
Tyler Azelton (Soprano vocals)
Meredith Borden (Soprano vocals)
Mark Duer (Baritone vocals)
Sherrita Duran (Soprano vocals)
Grigory Kalinovsky (violin)
Jaram Kim (violin)
Elodie Lauten (synthesizer)
Bill Ruyle (drums)
Ulla Suokko (flute)
Andrei Tchekmazov (cello)

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Tracklist:

Act I:
1 May Days 1988/Part I: Day After Day 6:04
2 May Days 1988/Part II: How Many More Years 7:06
3 Lunchtime (Meredith Borden) 3:10
4 The Charnel Ground/Part I: See The Supervisor 6:46
5 The Charnel Ground/Part II: Giving Away The Giver 5:28

Act II
6 Personal Ads 3:39
7 Jumping The Gun On The Sun 3:40
8 Manhattan Thirties Flash 3:21
9 Song: The Weight Of The World Is Love (Sherrita Duran) 6:37
10 Waking New York/Part I: O New York 6:35
11 Waking In New York/Part II: Out Of The Womb 9:53
12 Waking In New York/Part III: Well Come & Be Balm 3:48

Music: Elodie Lauten
Lyrics: Allen Ginsberg

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Elodie Lauten, an American composer known for her operatic setting of the work of Allen Ginsberg, died on June 3 in Manhattan. She was 63.

The cause was cancer, her publicist, Jeffrey James, said.

Ms. Lauten’s style, which incorporated elements of minimalism, pop, jazz, blues, classical composition, electronic music and improvisation — and often combined traditional orchestral instruments with ambient sounds like bird song, sirens and amplified heartbeats — defied handy categorization. While not every critic warmed to that style, many praised her as a skilled melodist who could write music of surprising, satisfying consonance in a dissonant age.

Widely recorded, her work was performed at the Lincoln Center Festival, the New York City Opera, the Whitney Museum, La MaMa, the Kitchen and Theater for the New City, all in Manhattan, and at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, among other places.

Ms. Lauten’s best-known composition, “Waking in New York,” is a chamber-opera setting of a cycle of poems by Ginsberg about the life of the city and its people. Scored for voices, strings, flute, percussion and synthesizer, it received its premiere in 1999. (Ginsberg, a friend and mentor, supplied her with the libretto in 1996 but did not live to see the opera performed: He died the next year.) (New York Times, by Margalit Fox, June 10, 2014)

Karl Jenkins (Cantorion + The Cory Band) – This Land Of Ours (2007)

FrontCover1.jpgSir Karl William Pamp Jenkins CBE (born 17 February 1944) is a Welsh musician and composer. His best known works include the song “Adiemus” and the Adiemus album series; Palladio; The Armed Man; and his Requiem.

Jenkins was educated in music at Cardiff University and the Royal Academy of Music, where he is a fellow and an associate. He was a member of the jazz-rock band Soft Machine. Jenkins has composed music for advertisement campaigns and has won the industry prize twice.

Karl Jenkins was born and raised in Penclawdd, Gower, Wales. His mother was Swedish and his father was Welsh. Jenkins received his initial musical instruction from his father who was the local schoolteacher, chapel organist and choirmaster. He attended Gowerton Grammar School.

Jenkins studied music at Cardiff University, and then commenced postgraduate studies in London at the Royal Academy of Music.

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The Collier Septet 1967 – from L to R: Karl Jenkins, John Marshall, Mike Gibbs, GC, Harry Beckett, Phil Lee, Dave Aaron

For the bulk of his early career Jenkins was known as a jazz and jazz-rock musician, playing baritone and soprano saxophones, keyboards and oboe, an unusual instrument in a jazz context. He joined jazz composer Graham Collier’s group and later co-founded the jazz-rock group Nucleus, which won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1970.

In 1972 he joined the Canterbury progressive rock band Soft Machine. The group played venues including The Proms, Carnegie Hall, and the Newport Jazz Festival. The album on which Jenkins first played with Soft Machine, Six, won the Melody Maker British Jazz Album of the Year award in 1973. Jenkins also won the miscellaneous musical KarlJenkins02instrument section (as he did the following year). Soft Machine was voted best small group in the Melody Maker jazz poll of 1974. The albums in which Jenkins performed and composed were Six, Seven (1973), Bundles (1975), Softs (1976) and Land of Cockayne (1981). Jenkins composed most of the tracks on Seven and nearly all of the tracks on the subsequent three albums.

After Mike Ratledge left the band in 1976, Soft Machine did not include any of its founding members, but kept recording on a project basis with line-ups revolving around Jenkins and drummer John Marshall. Although Melody Maker had positively reviewed the Soft Machine of 1973 and 1974, Hugh Hopper, involved with the group since replacing bassist Kevin Ayers in 1968, cited Jenkins’s “third rate” musical involvement in his own decision to leave the band,[3] and the band of the late 1970s has been described by band member John Etheridge as wasting its potential.

In November 1973, Jenkins and Ratledge participated in a live-in-the-studio performance of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells for the BBC. It is available on Oldfield’s Elements DVD.

Jenkins has created advertising music, twice winning the industry prize in that field. From the 1980s, he developed a relationship with Bartle Bogle Hegarty, starting with composing musics for their Levi’s jeans “Russian” series. He composed a classical theme used by De Beers diamond merchants for their television advertising campaign focusing on jewellery worn by people otherwise seen only in silhouette. Jenkins later included this as the title track in a compilation called Diamond Music, and eventually created Palladio, using it as the theme of the first movement. Other arrangements have included advertisements for the Renault Clio.

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As a composer, his breakthrough came with the crossover project Adiemus. Jenkins has conducted the Adiemus project in Japan, Germany, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, and Belgium, as well as London’s Royal Albert Hall and Battersea Power Station. The Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary (1995) album topped the classical album charts. It spawned a series of successors, each revolving around a central theme. In 2014 Jenkins released a tribute song for the 2014 Winter Olympics, performed by his new age music group also called Adiemus.

Jenkins was the first international composer and conductor to conduct the University of Johannesburg Kingsway Choir led by Renette Bouwer, during his visit to South Africa as the choir performed his The Armed Man: A mass for peace together with a 70-piece orchestra.

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Jenkins’ choral work The Peacemakers, features texts from Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank and Mother Teresa, as well as words from the Bible and the Qur’an with some new text specially written by Terry Waite. On the 2012 record the London Symphony Orchestra is joined by different vocal forces including Rundfunkchor Berlin, the City of Birmingham Youth Chorus, and the 1000-strong “The Really Big Chorus” made up of members of UK choirs from across the country brought together in one day, in one studio, to contribute to two movements on the album. Guest artists include violinist Chloë Hanslip, soprano Lucy Crowe, Davy Spillane on Uilleann pipes, Indian bansuri player Ashwin Srinivasan and jazz musicians Nigel Hitchcock and Laurence Cottle. The album was released on 26 March 2012. The world premiere of this seventeen-movement work took place, however, in New York City’s Carnegie Hall on 16 January 2012. Jenkins conducted from the podium and John H. Briggs, Sr. conducted the Children’s Chorus from a seated position. Briggs was the Choral Arts Conductor of one of the participating schools and its two choruses: Il Bel Canto and Die Meistersingers of Gwynn Park Middle School, Maryland.[citation needed] Additional concerts in the UK and US took place later in the year.

Jenkins composed the music for the 2012 BBC Wales series The Story of Wales presented by Huw Edwards.

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A work entitled The Healer – A Cantata For St Luke was premiered on 16 October 2014 (7:30 pm) in St Luke’s Church, Grayshott, Hampshire, and was recorded and broadcast on Classic FM.[9] The Healer received its US premiere at Carnegie Hall, New York on 19 January 2015. In September 2015, the recording of the premiere of The Healer was released on CD by Warner Classics as part of the 8 disc boxed set Voices.

A compilation CD, Still With The Music, was also released in September 2015, coinciding with the publication of his autobiography of the same name.

On 8 October 2016 Jenkins’ choral work Cantata Memoria: For the children, a response to the 1966 Aberfan disaster with a libretto by Mererid Hopwood and commissioned by S4C, premiered at the Wales Millennium Centre. The concert was broadcast the following evening on S4C and was released as an album by Deutsche Grammophon.

Jenkins holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Wales. He has been made both a fellow and an associate of the Royal Academy of Music, and a room has been named in his honour. He also has had fellowships at Cardiff University (2005), the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Trinity College Carmarthen, and Swansea Metropolitan University.

In 2008 Jenkins’ The Armed Man was listed as No. 1 in Classic FM’s “Top 10 by living composers”.

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He was awarded an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Leicester, the Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Glamorgan and honorary visiting professorships at Thames Valley University, London College of Music and the ATriUM, Cardiff.

Jenkins was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2005 New Year Honours and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours. In 2015 he was made a Knight Bachelor.

Jenkins is joint president of the British Double Reed Society and Patron of the International Schools Choral Music Society (ISCMS).

In 2016 Jenkins received the BASCA Gold Badge Award for his unique contribution to music. (by wikipedia)

Tracks on the album ‘This Land Of Ours’ are all special arrangements by Karl Jenkins and range from classical favourites and choral classics to traditional Welsh tunes and pop standards – all performed in that unique brass band style. (prestomusic.com)

This wonderful recording grabbed me at the first note and excepting for one track (“Delilah”, whose inclusion I did and do fail to understand). I was in turn moved to tears, exalted, enchanted and in all, delighted by this recording. Given the nationality of the composer, it’s not surprising that the land referred to in the title is Wales. The original songs by Karl Jenkens, performed in Welsh are gorgeous, showing a genuine affection for the music, and musicians of his homeland. The all male group, Cantorion are splendid. Some all-male (and-all female choruses, for that matter) can bring a sameness to their performances, but not Cantorion.

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The blend is awesome and the range of color of which this group is capable is nothing less than astounding. And as far as the instrumental ensemble, Cory Band, is concerned, the review who opined that this was ‘not a good recording for them’ must have been listening to something else entirely. First of all, the combination of male chorus and band is an ancient and honorable one in Wales. Also, the performances here are nothing short of awesome — in every sense of the word. The final selection ends with an extended cadenza for the band that absolutely takes my breath away every time I listen to it. And every time I play it on my radio program, “Sunday Evening Songfest” (on WMNR Fine Arts Radio — wmnr.org) I get calls from listeners who love what they hear and can’t wait to get this recording. (Annie Schwaikert)

It seems slightly unfair to label this as a ‘Karl Jenkins’ album, as the performers here are the multi-award-winning brassists Cory Band and male voice choir Cantorion. Of course, fellow Welshman Jenkins is the arranger and producer of the material included on this EMI Classics debut, and it’s his name that looms largest on the cover.

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Jenkins’ powerful use of surging vocal arrangements infused with drama, and the sprinkling of modern touches into classical structures is here in abundance – it’s a Jenkins work and no mistake.

The inclusion of the Cory Band generates a clean, brass sound and an almost-Christmassy atmosphere.

Some lesser-known Welsh-language pieces such as Cysga Di (Go To Sleep) vie with age-old favourites (Delilah, Abide With Me, Pie Jesu) but Jenkins’ skill comes in its own, allowing each to breathe; not one piece overwhelms another.

He’s on top form with this interperative collection, aided by some of the UK’s very best musical and vocal performers. (James McLaren)

Recorded at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, 31 August, 1 & 2 September 2007

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Personnel:
Cantorion (chor; musical director: Tim Rhys-Evans)
Cory Band (brass band; musical director: Robert Childs)
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David Childs (euphonium)

Conducted by Karl Jenkins

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Tracklist:
01. Cantilena: Ysbryd y Mynyddoedd (Spirit Of The Mountain) (Davies/Jenkins) 3.29
02. Cysga Di (Davies/Dvořák) 2.56
03. Delilah (Mason/Reed) 2.26
04. Abide With Me (Monk) 2.43
05. Suo Gan (Traditional) 3.23
06. Danny Boy (Traditional) 4.16
07. Son Of Maria (Barratt/Traditional) 3.03
08. Pie Jesu (From Requiem) (Jenkins) 4.34
09. Hyfrydol (Traditional) 3.38
10. Evening Prayer (Kelley/Humperdinck) 3.47
11. In These Stones Horizons Sing (Jenkins) 4.22
12. Flower Duet (Delibes) 1.41
13. Myfanwy (Parry) 4.16
14. Agnus Dei (From The Armed Man) (Jenkins) 3.39
15. Benedictus (From The Armed Man) (Jenkins) 7.38
16. Lle Cana’r Eryrod (Where Eagles Sing) (Lovatt-Cooper) 3.58

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Various Artists – Concerti Grossi – The Joy Of Baroque (1997)

FrontCover1.jpgA new kind of orchestral composition, the concerto, appeared in the last two decades of the 17th century, and became the most important type of Baroque orchestral music after 1700. The concerto was the synthesis in purely instrumental music of four fundamental Baroque practices: the concertato principle; the texture of a firm bass and florid treble; musical organization based on the major-minor key system; and the building of a long work out of separate autonomous movements.

The concerto grosso is probably the most important type of baroque concerto, characterized by the use of a small group of solo instruments, called “concertino” or “principale”, against the full orchestra, called “concerto”, “tutti” or “ripieni.” The concertino usually consists of two violins and continuo (the same ensemble that constitutes the Baroque trio sonatas). The ripieni are a small string orchestra, later occasionally including wind instruments (trumpets, oboes, flutes, horns).

“Concerto grosso” originally signified the “large consort,” that is, the orchestra, as opposed to the “concertino” or “little consort,” the group of solo instruments. Later, the term “concerto grosso” was applied to the composition which used these opposed groups.

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The practice of contrasting solo instruments against full orchestra had been introduced into Baroque music long before the concerto as such made its appearance. A predecessor of the concerto was the sinfonia or sonata for one or two solo trumpets with string orchestra, which was cultivated especially at Venice and Bologna. Various elements of the concerto also may be found in the Venetian opera overtures, which were occasionally played outside the opera house as independent instrumental sonatas.

The circumstances under which orchestral church music was presented were often such Giuseppe Sammartinias to encourage the concerto style. The church of San Petronio in Bologna, for instance, maintained a small orchestra of expert instrumentalists; when large numbers of extra players were brought in for special occasions, the contrast between the modest technique of the outsiders and the accomplished virtuosity of the regular performers strongly suggested writing that could take advantage of the situation by providing an appropriately different kind of music for each group within the framework of a single composition — easy parts for the ripieno, more difficult parts for the soloists when heard alone.

Concertos, like sonatas and sinfonias, were played in church as “overtures” before Mass or at certain moments in the ceremony.

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The earliest known examples of the concerto grosso principle occur in two “Sinfonie a piu instrumenti” by A. Stradella (1653-1713). Some concerti grossi by Corelli, although published much later, would seem to be of a date close to Stradella’s, because they show the patchwork structure of the earlier canzona with quick changes of a considerable number of short “movements.”

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The typical Allegro movement of the concerto was established primarily by Torelli. Each begins with a complete exposition of the theme by the full orchestra; alternating with solo/concertino episodes, the material of the tutti exposition recurs once or twice, slightly modified and in different keys; the movement is rounded off and brought to a close with a final tonic tutti practically identical with the opening one.

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A tutti which recurs in this way in a concerto is called ritornello; this structure is typical for all first and last movements of late Baroque concertos. The form is something like that of the rondeau, with the important exception that in a concerto all the ritornellos except the first and last are in different keys. The concerto therefore combines the principle of recurrence with the equally important principle of key relationships.

Typical traits that mark the mature concerto form of the Baroque are: 1) the fast-slow-fast sequence of movements (allegro-adagio-allegro); 2) the ritornello form; and 3) virtuoso flights of the soloists. An occasional adagio introductory movement might precede the first Allegro movement. Generally, except in the case of Vivaldi, the fast movements are based on the fugal principle. A typical pattern of key-related cadences in an Allegro movement might be: tonic; dominant; tonic; relative minor or major or other related key; subdominant or dominant; and finally, tonic. (by lcsproductions.net)

And here´s a real fine collection of classic Contero Grossi … enjoy this delightful music of the 17th century …

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Personnel:
London Festival Orchestra conducted by Ross Pople (01. – 04. + 13. – 15.)
Hamburg Solist conducted by Emil Klein (05 . – 09.)
Cis Collegium Mozarteum Salzburg conducted by Jürgen Geise (16. – 22.)

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Tracklist:

Arcangelo Corelli: Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No.1.:
01. Largo – Allegro 2.33
02. Largo – Allegro 2.32
03. Largo – Allegro 4.54
04. Largo – Allegro 20.6

Georg Friedrich Händel: Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 1:
05. Tempo giusto 1.35
06. Allegro 2.24
07. Adagio 2.51
08. Allegro 3.09
09. Allegro 1.36

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto Grosso in D minor Op. 3 No. 11:
10. Allegro – Adagio – Allegro 4.22
11. Largo 2.10
12. Allegro 2.46

Giuseppe Sammartini: Concert Grosso Op. 5 No. 6:
13. Spirituoso – Allegro – Spirituoso – Adagio 4.15
14. Rondo – Allegro moderato e graziosa 5.28
15. Pastorale – Andante sostenuto 5.14

Pietro Antonio Locatelli: Concero in F minor:
16. Largo 0.35
17. Grave 1.31
18. Vivace 1.24
19. Grave 2.02
20. Largo andante 3.49
21. Andante 2.29
22. Pastorale – andante 3.58

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Molly Kien – Pyramid – Song of Britomartis – Smarginatura (2017)

FrontCover1.jpgMolly Kien is a Swedish composer new to me, but one with an impressive and distinctive voice. The idiom of these orchestral works is undoubtedly and unabashedly modern, but with moments of particular beauty. I look forward to hearing more of her work: she has something very distinctive to say.

The three works here are different from each other, but each demonstrates excellent command of orchestral colour and also of mood.

Pyramid was inspired by “Altar Painting No. 1”, a work by Hilma af Klimt which shows a colourful pyramid rising to the sun. The piece starts with high notes, followed by drum beats—a theme which recurs and provides rhythmic impetus. There is a touching solo for violin at the heart of the piece.

For me, the highlight was the second work, the Song of Britomartis, here performed live by the Canadian, Laura Stephenson, principal harpist of the Stockholm Philharmonic. It was premiered in 2009 and was also played in London later that year. This recording is of a revised version. There is so much to admire, not least the understanding of the capabilities of the harp. The inspiration for the work was classical – Britomartis is a Minoan goddess – as represented by a rug in the Stockholm Concert Hall. One hears echoes of fauns playing flutes and mermaids with their lyres.

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The longest work, Smarginatura, is based on a series of novels by Elena Ferrante. In the first, My Brilliant Friend, a character experiences “smarginatura”, a dissolution of margins. The music contains various blending effects, with changes of phrases and dark undertones. I have not heard it sufficiently often to uncover more than a few of its insights, but each hearing has revealed more riches.

Recording quality is excellent, and notes are informative, but the main joy is the music itself. (Michael Wilkinson)

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Personnel:
Laura Stephenson (harp)
Västeras Sinfonietta conducted by Eva Ollikainen (01. + 03.) and Anna-Maria Helsing (02.)

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Tracklist:
01. Pyramid 11.57
02. Song Of Britomartis 19.53
03. Smarginatura 24.27

Music composed by Molly Kien

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Mantovani and his Orchestra – An Album Of Strauss Waltzes (1952)

FrontCover1.jpgJohann Strauss II (born Johann Baptist Strauss; 25 October 1825 – 3 June 1899), also known as Johann Strauss Jr., the Younger, the Son (German: Sohn), son of Johann Strauss I, was an Austrian composer of light music, particularly dance music and operettas. He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas and a ballet. In his lifetime, he was known as “The Waltz King”, and was largely responsible for the popularity of the waltz in Vienna during the 19th century.

Strauss had two younger brothers, Josef and Eduard Strauss, who became composers of light music as well, although they were never as well known as their elder brother. Some of Johann Strauss’s most famous works include “The Blue Danube”, “Kaiser-Walzer” (Emperor Waltz), “Tales from the Vienna Woods”, and the “Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka”. Among his operettas, Die Fledermaus and Der Zigeunerbaron are the best known. (by wikipedia)

All these beautiful melodies were played by Mantovani and his Orchestra:

Annunzio Paolo Mantovani (Italian pronunciation: [anˈnuntsjo ˈpaːolo mantoˈvaːni]) (15 November 1905 – 29 March 1980), known mononymously as Mantovani, was an Mantovani02Anglo-Italian conductor, composer and light orchestra-styled entertainer with a cascading strings musical signature. The book British Hit Singles & Albums states that he was “Britain’s most successful album act before the Beatles…the first act to sell over one million stereo albums and [have] six albums simultaneously in the US Top 30 in 1959”.

Mantovani was born in Venice, Italy, into a musical family. His father, Bismarck, served as the concertmaster of La Scala opera house’s orchestra in Milan, under the baton of Arturo Toscanini. The family moved to England in 1912, where young Annunzio studied at Trinity College of Music in London. After graduation, he formed his own orchestra, which played in and around Birmingham. He married Winifred Moss in 1934, having two children: Kenneth (born 12 July 1935) and Paula Irene (born 11 April 1939). By the time World War II broke out, his orchestra was one of the most popular British dance bands, both on BBC radio broadcasts and in live performances.

He was also musical director for a large number of musicals and other plays, including Noël Coward’s Pacific 1860 (1946) and Vivian Ellis’s musical setting of J. B. Fagan’s And So to Bed (1951). After the war, he concentrated on recording, and eventually gave up live performance altogether. He worked with arranger and composer Ronald “Ronnie” Binge, who developed the “cascading strings” effect (also known as the “Mantovani sound”). His records were regularly used for demonstration purposes in stores selling hi-fi stereo equipment, as they were produced and arranged for stereo reproduction. He became the first person to sell a million stereophonic records. In 1952, Binge ceased to arrange for Mantovani but the distinctive sound of the orchestra remained.

Orchestra Leader and Composer MANTOVANIMantovani recorded for Decca until the mid-1950s, and then for London Records also owned by the Decca Company. He recorded in excess of 50 albums on that label, many of which were Top 40 hits. His single tracks included “The Song from Moulin Rouge”, which reached Number One in the UK Singles Chart in 1953;[2] “Cara Mia” (with him and his orchestra backing David Whitfield) in 1954; “Around the World” in 1957; and “Main Theme from Exodus (Ari’s Theme)” in 1960. In the United States, between 1955 and 1972, he released more than 40 albums with 27 reaching the “Top 40”, and 11 in the “Top Ten”. His biggest success came with the album Film Encores, which attained Number One in 1957.

Similarly, Mantovani Plays Music From ‘Exodus’ and Other Great Themes made it to the Top Ten in 1961, with over one million albums sold.

Mantovani starred in his own syndicated television series, Mantovani, which was produced in England and which aired in the United States in 1959. Thirty-nine episodes were filmed. Mantovani made his last recordings in the mid-1970s.

He died at a care home in Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent. His funeral was held at the Kent and Sussex Crematorium and Cemetery on 8 April 1980.

The cascading strings technique developed by Binge became Mantovani’s hallmark in such hits arranged by Binge as “Charmaine”. Binge developed this technique to replicate the echo experienced in venues such as cathedrals and he achieved this goal through arranging skill alone.

Author Joseph Lanza describes Mantovani’s string arrangements as the most “rich and mellifluous” of the emerging light music style during the early 1950s. He stated that Mantovani was a leader in the use of new studio technologies to “create sound tapestries with innumerable strings”, and that “the sustained hum of Mantovani’s reverberated violins produced a sonic vaporizer foreshadowing the synthesizer harmonics of space music.” His style survived through an ever-changing variety of musical styles prompting Variety to call him “the biggest musical phenomenon of the twentieth century”.

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From 1961 to 1971 David McCallum Sr was leader of Mantovani’s orchestra. At this time, his son David McCallum Jr was at the height of his fame, prompting Mantovani to introduce his leader to audiences with the quip, “We can afford the father but not the son!”

Mantovani is referred to by name in The Kinks song “Prince of the Punks”. He also had a big influence on Brian May, Queen guitarist.

During his lifetime, Mantovani did not always get respect from his fellow musicians. When George Martin first suggested overdubbing Paul McCartney’s recording of Yesterday with strings, McCartney’s initial reaction, according to Martin, was that he didn’t want it sounding like Mantovani. Martin therefore used a more classical sound, employing a string quartet.

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Much of his catalogue has reappeared on CD. There are also many compilations. A large number of CDs are available containing unauthorised recordings, billed as Mantovani or Mantovani Orchestra, for example the CD titled “The Mantovani Orchestra” released in 1997[15] contained a track from the 1980s Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Cats”, which would have required posthumous conducting on the part of Mantovani. There have also been CDs released under the Mantovani name of recordings made by others while Mantovani was still alive.

Following Mantovani’s death in 1980, the Mantovani Estate continues to authorise numerous concerts worldwide and recordings using original and newly commissioned arrangements. (by wikipedia)

This music is not my favorite music, but it´s without any doubts an important part of music history … and so … it´s also a part of this blog … you know: Many fantastic colors !

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Alternate front covers

Personnel:
Mantovani and his Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Blue Danube (Johann Strauss II) 3.41
02. Voices Of Spring (Johann Strauss II) 2.46
03. Roses From The South (Johann Strauss II) 3.19
04. Village Swallows (Joseph Strauss) 3.19
05. Thousand And One Nights (Johann Strauss II) 3.12
06. Treasure Waltz (From “The Gipsy Baron”) (Johann Strauss II) 2.54
07. Emperor Waltz (Johann Strauss II) 3.13
08. Wine, Women And Song (Johann Strauss II) 3.21
09. Accelerations (Johann Strauss II) 3.44
10. Tales From The Vienna Woods (Johann Strauss II) 3.40
11. Morgen Blätter (Johann Strauss II) 3.16
12. Fledermaus Waltz (“Du und du”) (Johann Strauss II) 3.36

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Strauss

Yoshiko Ieki – Toccatas Vol. 1. (J.S.Bach) (2016)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Japanese harpsichordist, Yoshiki Ieki, studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory, where she graduated wirh a soloist diploma in 1981.

And on this album she played on a very old instrument from Johannes Ruckers, part of the legendary Ruckers family:

The Ruckers family (variants: Ruckaert, Ruckaerts, Rucqueer, Rueckers, Ruekaerts, Ruijkers, Rukkers, Rycardt) were harpsichord and virginal makers from the Southern Netherlands based in Antwerp in the 16th and 17th century. Their influence stretched well into the 18th century, and to the harpsichord revival of the 20th.

The Ruckers family contributed immeasurably to the harpsichord’s technical development, pioneering the addition of a second manual; the quality of their instruments is such that the name of Ruckers is as important to early keyboard instruments as that of Stradivarius is to the violin family. In the 18th century, Ruckers instruments were often modified by French makers in a process known as ravalement, to allow for an extended range and other additions.

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The Colmar harpsichord from 1624

Joannes Ruckers (variants: Ioannes, Hans, Jan) (15 January 1578 – 29 September 1642) was the first son of Hans Ruckers, and also became a harpsichord and organ maker. He lived his life in Antwerp. He and brother Andreas became partners in their father’s business upon his death, Joannes becoming sole owner in 1608. He joined the Guild of St Luke in 1611; his entry reads ‘Hans Rukers, sone, claversigmaker’; following this he engraved ‘IR’ into the rose of his instruments, rather than his father’s ‘HR’. He worked for the archdukes of the Netherlands in Brussels from 1616. His nephew Joannes Couchet joined his workshop around 1627, taking it over after his death. Around 35 of his instruments are in existence today. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a short biography of Yoshiko Ieki:

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This album was recorded at the Under Linden Museeum in Colmar/France … on an original harpsichord from 1624 !

And … the music is just brilliant … listen to this fascinating melodies and sounds of an old harpsichord ! Enjoy this trip … !

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Personnel:
Yoshiko Ieki (harpsichord)

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Tracklist:
01. Fantasia & Fugue in A Minor, BWV 904 / 8.45
02. Toccata in E Minor, BWV 914 / 8.21
03. Toccata in D Minor, BWV 913 / 13.21
04. Toccata in F-Sharp Minor, BWV 910 / 11-36
05. The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2:  Prelude & Fugue No. 14 in F-Sharp Minor, BWV 883 / 6.59
06. Toccata in G Major, BWV 916 / 9.12

Music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach

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Yoshiko Ieki

Tommy & Phil Emmanuel – Terra Firma (1994)

FrontCover1.jpgTerra Firma is an album by Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel with his brother Phil that was released in February 1995 and peaked at No. 12 on the ARIA Albums Chart in Australia. The sing “(Back on the) Terra Firma”reached No. 45 on the ARIA Singles Chart.

At the ARIA Music Awards of 1995, the album was nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album but lost to Brood by My Friend the Chocolate Cake. (by wikipedia)

Phil has toured Australia with Brother Tommy as “The Emmanuel’ Brothers” seeing them playing in every major city in Australia with sell out concerts every night. What followed was the rise and rise of the Emmanuel Brothers, with the long awaited Sony Records release of ‘Terra Firma” in 1995 which debuted on the Australian Music Charts at #13 Nationwide, and climbing to #6 in the July of that year. “Terra Firma” was the first ever album release by the two Emmanuel Brothers and celebrated 35 years of guitar playing. It not only earned an ARIA Nomination for Best Adult Contemporary, it was also nominated at The Tamworth Country Music Awards for Best Instrumental Album. (philemmanuel.com.au)

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Andrián Pertout speaks with Tommy about the Emmanuel brothers’ recording debut with the album ‘Terra Firma’.

After 35 years, and a career that began for Phil at 7, while amazingly for Tommy at 4 years old with the ‘Emmanuel Quartet’, a recording debut for these two brothers seems almost incredible. Over the years they have both individually won the admiration and respect of millions of Australians. You have to look hard for the producer’s credit on this very special project, which says a lot about Tommy’s very modest and down to earth nature. A great musician with an attitude hard to match, and a talent that needs no introduction. Unlike other current albums, ‘Terra Firma’ sets out to capture the purity of real performances by real people, with little emphasis on ‘high tech’ studio methods.

I’m sure that everybody is more than happy to finally see this long overdue collaboration. How did it come about?

TE: “Well, we’d been talking about doing this for a long time; But just didn’t feel the time was right, until now. I’m sure that if we’d made an album ten years ago we wouldn’t have been happy with it, and it would have sat on the shelf. I felt that we made it at the right time, and the choice of material was stuff that we both liked; And we wrote things for the album that we would never have written before.”

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How did you chose the material?

TE: “We wanted to put things on the album that we’d been playing since childhood, as well as things that meant a lot to us along the way. You know, like there’s a ‘Shadows’ song on there, a couple of sort of bluegrass tunes, an ‘AC/DC’ medley and a ‘Mozart’ tune. So there’s a bit of everything there, plus there are some original songs. I think we ended up with about twenty five tunes, and then we honed it down into an album basically.”

In a recent press release you say that the new album is really about going back to your roots. What is the music that really inspires you both? What did you grow up listening to?

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TE: “We grew up listening to instrumental music by people like the ‘Shadows’ and the ‘Ventures’ when we were kids. In the early sixties I discovered ‘Chet Atkins’, and he really changed my way of playing, listening to music and talking a lot, just through his records. We listened to anything and everything. In the seventies we discovered ‘Eric Clapton’ and people like that, and then in the eighties all sorts of people, from ‘Larry Carlton’, ‘B.B. King’ and ‘Stevie Ray Vaughan’ right through to ‘Steve Vai’.” (pertout.com)

This instrumental album is a real pretty good one … a great mix between rock, acoustic guitar music, and even classic.

And at the end of this album you can hear unique versions of 2 AC/DC songs … in a very bluesy way.

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Personnel:
Joe Chindamo (accordion)
Phil Emmanuel (guitar)
Tommy Emmanuel (guitar)
Rob Little (bass)
Kevin Murphy (drums)
Broderick Smith (harmonica)

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Tracklist:
01. (Rock On The) Terra Firma (Jorgenson) 5.20
02. Love Gone West (P.Emmanuel/T.Emmanuel) 4.06
03. Nashville Express (Posa) 2.51
04. Rondo Ala Turka (Mozart/Brubeck) 2.42
05. Theme From “Missing” (Vangelis) 3.39
06. Happy Go Lucky Guitar (Owens) 2.36
07. Bendin’ It (P.Emmanuel) 3.53
08. Optimism Part One (Roche) 0.28
09. Shindig (Marvin/Welch) 2.08
10. Town Hall Shuffle (Maphis) 2.26
11. Last Post (Traditional) 2.10
12. Ashoakan Farewell (Traditional) 3.26
13. Rise And Shine (Emmanuel) 3.40
14. Optimism Part Two (Roche) 1.23
15. The Shaker (T.Emmanuel) 3.21
16. AC/DC Medley: Riff Raff/Let There Be Rock 6:02

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Phil
Phil Emmanuel (6 July 1952 – 24 May 2018)