Marla Glen – Love & Respect (1995)

FrontCover1Marla Glen (born January 3, 1960, in Chicago) is an American singer who since 1998 has been based in Germany.

Marla grew up on the South Side of Chicago, the daughter of Dell Glen (American-Jamaican) and Cortez Glen (Mexican-American). Glen’s father was a blues guitarist, her grandmother a gospel singer, and her mother was friends with the legendary blues guitarist BB King. Her mother Dell graduated from the University of Chicago and went on to become a successful banker who worked for Merrill Lynch. Glen’s father, an American patriot who joined the military at a young age, became an engineer based in Frankfurt, Germany. Like many other children in Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood (also known as the Black Metropolis) who received gifts and inspiration from folks like Muddy Waters and BB King, Marla was given a toy harmonica as a child, and her musical talent became immediately apparent. She was only 11 years old when she wrote her first song, “Repertoire”, a title that has won three gold records and one platinum, and appears on her 1996 release, Love and Respect.

Since 1998, she has lived in Heilbronn in Germany. On July 2, 2004, she entered a civil union with Sabrina Conley at the local Rathaus. In the meantime, they got divorced.

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Singer Roberto Blanco, his girlfriend Luzandra Strassburg, singer Marla Glen and wife Sabrina Conley attend the ‘UNICEF-Gala’ at Park Hotel on September 5, 2009 in Bremen, Germany.

As a teenager, Marla Glen set out to pursue her musical career. The story of her early days “taking a gamble” on her musical abilities is recorded in the lyrics of “Travel,” a song that appears on her first breakthrough album, This Is Marla Glen.

The gamble paid off: Glen won first prize performing at a local Jam-session in New Orleans and was rewarded with a trip to France, where she first performed before a European audience. When invited to stay in Europe, she did, and formed the Marla Glen Band in Niort, France. In 1993, she catapulted to stardom overnight with her debut album This Is Marla Glen (two-time gold, two-time platinum).

Glen was ruthlessly exploited by the music industry, and spent a period in deep reflection, which she talks about in a 2002 interview with Jakob Buhre (in German). The interview is accompanied by a spectacular series of photos, which may say as much to the English-language reader as the German words can barely convey.

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In 1998, Glen went on tour with her 1997 release Our World, and made a strong comeback in 2003, with Friends.

Glen is known for her haunting lyrics, for her fierce commitment to social change and the cause of human unity. Most recently, she has dedicated her time and efforts to the education of children, and was declared the “patron saint” of the Knowledge Festival, organized by Bildung ohne Grenzen (Education without Barriers) in Hamburg, Germany (2007). (by wikipedia)

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Marla Glen possesses one of the most intense voices I’ve ever heard. She is a true artist devoted to her music and delivering a message in a most powerful and deeply felt manner.
She is probably one of the most popular soul artists in Europe and given the fact that she is an American national living in Paris makes it hard to believe that she is not more well known in her own home country.
This was her second album and although not as strong as her first and third it still is a masterpiece.
I can only strongly recommend her work to anyone. Listen to her and you’ll understand. (Philipp Kessler)

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Personnel:
Gary Barnacle (saxophone)
Patrick Clahar (saxophone)
Michel Crosio (piano, flute)
Marla Glen (vocals, harmonica)
Peter Gordino (organ)
Chris Jarrett (guitar)
Dominic ‘Ski’ Oakenfull (piano, clavinet)

Tony Remy (guitar)
Crispin ‘Spry’ Robinson (percussion)
Kevin Robinson (trumpet, flugelhorn)

Paul Robinson (drums)
Fayyaz Virgi (trombone)

Steve Walters (bass)
Andy Wright (keyboards)
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background vocals:
Beverly Skeete – Morris Michael – Sylvia Mason James – Mason James – Judith Nicholas

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Tracklist:
01. Ain’t That A Shame (Glen) 7.15
02. Also Love You (Glen/Crosio) 4-50
03. Break Free (Glen/Crosio) 5.28
04. Repertoire (Glen) 6.12
05. You Got Me (Glen/Crosio) 4.07
06. Love & Respect (Glen/Crosio) 4.47
07. What About Our Kids (Glen/Crosio) 3.46
08. City Love (Glen) 4.08
09. Other Plans (Glen/Crosio) 4.44
10. Not Really Easy (Glen/Crosio) 3.57

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Marva Wright – Marvalous (1995)

FrontCover1Down in Louisiana, Marva Wright is called the Blues Queen. Fans of her energy-filled performances, both live and recorded, call her a lot of other things, too, like “Marvalous Marva.” The “bluesiana” numbers she favors are a strong showcase for her dynamic, gospel-rooted voice. One listen would be enough to convince any newcomer of her strengths, which is surprising in light of the fact that the vocalist was a late bloomer who didn’t turn professional until 1987, when she was creeping up on 40. Even then, she only began singing as a way to support her family with a second job. Bourbon Street in the Big Easy led to more than she had dreamed, ultimately landing her gigs in Europe and across the world, with stops in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Russia, Norway, Sweden, and Brazil. Her appearances in the U.S. include Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York, as well as Texas, California, Vermont, Colorado, and Florida.

Although she made a career out of music late in life, Wright actually began to sing much earlier, when she was nine years old. Like many artists, her first public singing efforts were heard in church, with her mother as her accompanist.

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Top honors in a school-sponsored singing competition followed. Later in life, she credited her mother, a piano player and singer in a gospel quartet, as one of her main influences. Mahalia Jackson, the esteemed gospel singer, was an early friend of the family. Early in 1989 during a live set at Tipitina’s in New Orleans, Wright made her first recording, “Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean.” She made her debut on national television in 1991 when her hometown was the setting for a special that revolved around the Super Bowl. Heartbreakin’ Woman, Wright’s first full-length release, appeared later that year and garnered honors from the Louisiana Music Critics Association as Blues Album of the Year. The Times-Picayune placed it among the year’s Top Ten albums in the city. She has sung backup for such artists as Allen Toussaint, Glen Campbell, and Joe Cocker. The long list of others Wright has performed with includes Harry Connick Jr., Bobby McFerrin, Aaron Neville, Fats Domino, Lou Rawls, and Marcia Ball. (by Linda Seida)

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Marva Wright, who sings in clubs in New Orleans, has previously released a cassette tape from Tipitina’s (club), but this better-quality production shows what the lady can do. Big, belting gospel sound is burnished by wit and finesse. Her anthem “I Aint Built for Comfort, I’m Built for Speed” is here, along with some Irma Thomas and Koko Taylor covers (“It’s Raining” might make you forget Miss Thomas’s version) and more. “Members Only” (new to me) is great. Marva Wright deserves a national audience…she follows boldly in the footsteps of the queens of the blues, with her signature upbeat touch. Marvalous!!!!! (by an amazon customer)

A real superb blues & soul album from the blues queen of New Orleans !

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Personnel:
Thomas Bingham (guitar)
Lannie McMIllian (saxophone)
Lester Snell (keyboards)
Staff (bass, drums)
Marva Wright (vocals)
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background vocals:
Bertram Brown – William Brown – William C. Brown – Mashaa

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Tracklist:
01.  Members Only (Addison) 4.21
02. I Had A Talk With My Man (Davis/Caston) 4.18
03. Shake A Hand (Morris) 3.52
04. Driving Wheel (Burnett) 3.54
05. Further On Up The Road (Robey/Veasey) 3.29
06. Mr. Big Stuff (Broussard/Washington/Williams) 3.59
07. Built For Comfort (Dixon) 3.43
08. Wang Dang Doodle (Dixon) 5.14
09. You Can Have My Husband (LaBostrie) 3.06
10. Down Home Blues (Jackson) 4.04
11. (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean (Lance/Singleton/Wallace) 3.03
12. You Send Me (Cooke) 3.54
13. It’s Raining (Neville) 4.02

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… but her website is still alive and well … great !

Cloudberry Jam – Blank Paycheck (1995)

FrontCover1Cloudberry Jam is a Swedish pop group, active from 1991 to 1998 and from 2004 onwards.

The group was formed as an indie pop band in Linköping student circles in 1991. The music they played was described later as “guitar mangling”, but soon developed it into a style similar to Komeda and The Cardigans: a blend of Motown, the Beatles, jazz, easy listening, bossa nova and indie pop played with technical skills, with some melancholy and sadness. This genre was later called Twee Pop or Chamber Pop.

Critics often compared Cloudberry Jam with The Cardigans, almost always to the latter’s favor. Although the group had an overseas success (over 100,000 albums sold in Japan) they never had a major breakthrough coming back home. When vocalist Jennie Medin chose to focus on her academic career in 1998, the group was dissolved.

Jennie MedinA few years later, Medin played on the solo album The World Through My Eyes with songs by Jorgen Warnstrom, which was released in Japan and Sweden in the winter of 2003–2004.

After that, it was decided to reunite the group, then as a trio. In 2004 came the album The Great Escape, followed by Movin ‘on up, released only in Japan. (by wikipedia)

Formed in the town of Linköping in 1991, the group comprised vocalist Jennie Medin, guitarist Jörgen Wärnström, bassist Per Valsinger, multi-instrumentalist Henrik Sundqvist and drummer Per Byström; while their 1992 debut EP La La La offered a more faceless, guitar-driven lo-fi sound, their 1994 follow-up The Art of Being Cool began moving towards the fresh diversity of their best work. Blank Paycheck, Cloudberry Jam’s full-length debut, arrived in 1995, and offered a complete integration of the quintet’s myriad influences, yielding a bright, sophisticated sound topped off by Medin’s gorgeous vocals. (by Jason Ankeny)

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Personnel:
Per Byström (drums, percussion)
Jennie Medin (vocals)
Henrik Sundqvist (keyboards, guitar, vocals)
Per Valsinger (bass)
Jörgen Wärnström (guitar, vocals)
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Pelle Henricsson (percussion)
Asa Hjelm (violin)
Kerstin Isaksson (cello)
Eskil Lovstrom (trombone)

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Tracklist:
01. Walking In My Sleep 3:08
02 Yeah! 2:26
03. This And That 3:08
04. Couching 3:45
05. Twice As Cool 3:18
06. By Your Side 2.:56
07. Intermission / Lost In Syncopation 1:45
08. Hold On 3:21
09. Waiting For Another Day 3:06
10. Someday Soon 2:17
11. Please Don’t 3:13
12. Monday’s Back In Town 3,29

All songs written by Per Byström – Jennie Medin . Henrik Sundqvist – Per Valsinger . Jörgen Wärnström

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Various Artists – Boys On The Side (OST) (1995)

FrontCover1Boys on the Side is a 1995 American comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross (in his final film as a director). It stars Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore and Mary-Louise Parker as three friends on a cross-country road trip. The screenplay was written by Don Roos.

 

Three unique women embark on a cross-country road trip: Jane (Whoopi Goldberg), a lesbian lounge singer in search of a new life after breaking up with her girlfriend and getting fired; Holly (Drew Barrymore), a pregnant girl who just wants to escape her brutal boyfriend; and Robin (Mary-Louise Parker), an uptight real estate agent who has her own secrets (namely being infected with HIV).

Robin puts an ad in the newspaper that she is looking for a traveling companion to accompany her on a cross country trip to California. Jane answers the ad and agrees to join Robin after her car gets towed during their meeting. Jane and Robin leave New York City and travel through Pittsburgh to take Jane’s friend Holly to lunch. They stumble across a knock out-fight between Holly and her abusive boyfriend, Nick, over some missing drugs.

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They leave him there bound to a chair with tape after Holly hits him in the head with a bat to stop him from attacking Jane. Later, he frees himself from the chair, stumbles across the floor, falls and hits his head on the bat and dies. The three unlikely travelers then form a special friendship on their journey which sees them through ultimately tragic times.

After discovering that Nick is dead and that Holly is pregnant, the three women decide to continue across country and end up in Tucson, Arizona when Robin has to be hospitalized. They decide to stay in Tucson, hoping to start a new life. However, Jane has a secret crush on Robin, Holly falls in love with and eventually confesses to a local police officer named Abe Lincoln (Matthew McConaughey), and Robin finds the courage to face her impending death.

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Shortly after Jane and Robin have a falling out over Jane telling a friendly bartender (James Remar) who was interested in Robin that she has HIV, Holly is arrested by Abe. She is taken back to Pittsburgh to face the consequences of her actions. The return to Pittsburgh involves Robin and Jane making peace with each other on the courthouse’s “Bridge of Sighs” while the Pittsburgh Police process Holly.

A few months pass, in Tucson, Holly is free and with Abe and her daughter, which is celebration to all family and friends. Robin is now farther along with AIDS and is not expected to live much longer. The party asks Robin to sing the Roy Orbison song “You Got It” as she performed that song in a Star Search contest; though weak, she manages to sing with Jane backing her singing. In the final scene, Robin has died from AIDS as her wheelchair is now empty, Holly and Abe plan to stay in Arizona and become a family, while Jane hits the road to finally seek a life of her own.

The film’s soundtrack album is made up entirely of contributions from female pop/rock artists, including lesbian icons Melissa Etheridge (“I Take You With Me”), Joan Armatrading (“Willow”) and the Indigo Girls (“Power of Two”). Previous hit singles by Annie Lennox (“Why”) and The Cranberries (“Dreams”) are also included, as are new recordings by Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Stevie Nicks and The Pretenders among others. The hit single from the movie soundtrack was Bonnie Raitt’s cover of the Roy Orbison hit “You Got It”, which peaked at #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. (by wikipedia)

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Boys on the Side is a collection of mainstream ’90s rock dominated by female artists, which is appropriate for the feminist nature of the film. Not all of the music is first-rate, but much of it is, particularly Bonnie Raitt’s cover of Roy Orbison’s “You Got It.” Fans of the film will find much to enjoy here, but the record doesn’t quite hold together as an individual entity. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

This is just such an amazingly wonderful collection of beautiful songs, from the movie of the same title. This CD is like a warm, happy, occasionally sad, emotional journey through the eyes & hearts of some really talented women! I’m going to stockpile some more copies of this CD, as I never want to be without it! (by Mary Jo Ashleyon)

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This has always been one of my favorite CDs, given the assortment of some of the best tracks of a series of female artists. Recently on a trip out west I inadvertently left the CD playing when my daughter (4th grade) got in the car–it is now her favorite album as well, and I don’t have to listen to the teeny bop music she usually pleads for–what a relief!!
I had never heard many of these artists before, given that I stopped hearing new artists about when my daughter was born and Raffi took over our lives, and it was such a delight to discover so much talent–it really sent me out to get acquainted with more of their music on their own individual albums. (by an Amazon customer)

This is a strong album for strong women … And I love strong women …

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Tracklist:
01. Bonnie Raitt: You Got It (Lynne/Orbison/Petty) 3.25
02. Melissa Etheridge: I Take You With Me (Etheridge) 4.48
03. Sheryl Crow: Keep On Growing (Clapton/Whitlock) 5.24
04. Indigo Girls: Power Of Two (Saliers) 5.22
05. Stevie Nicks:  Somebody Stand By Me (Crow/Wolfe) 5.05
06. The Pretenders: Everyday Is Like Sunday (Morrissey/Street) 3.41
07. The Cranberries; Dreams (Hogan/O’Riordan) 4.30
08. Annie Lennox: Why (Lennox) 4.53
09. Sarah McLachlan: Ol’ 55 (Waits) 4.11
10. Joan Armatrading: Willow (Armatrading) 4.01
11. Jonell Mosser: Crossroads (Johnson) 2.49
12. Whoopi Goldberg: You Got It (Lynne/Orbison/Petty) 3.08
13. Bonnie Raitt: You Got It (Lynne/Orbison/Petty) 3.25

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Christopher Wilson – Early Venetian Lute Music (1995)

FrontCover1This is a wonderful CD! Beautifully recorded in St. Andrews Church in Toddington, England! The quiet melodies of each piece are different enough that you will never get bored playing it over and over again! The next time you have a bad day, or come home from work some night with frayed nerves, try this!

Turn out all of the lights, light a candle in a jar, preferably a scented one (sounds awfully 60’s doesn’t it!) put this CD on the stereo, get comfortable, let your mind drift back to the 16th century, watch the candle light flicker on the walls and ceiling and feel yourself relax!!!

This CD is a lot cheaper than a bottle of tranquilizers or a visit to the shrink! BEWARE: Don’t substitute Lute music played on an acoustic guitar! A Lute has different dynamics, nuances and colours! Good Listening To You!!! (by John F. Coughlin)

ChristopherWilson01I discovered this CD quite by accident. I had been listening to two solo albums by Jan Akkerman, at one time the guitarist in Focus. Amid all the rock and jazz-rock tunes, it was clear that his solo lute recordings were much the best aspects of the two CDs. I resolved to buy a John Dowland CD, and this album also came up in the search.
This has quickly become the favourite of my lute CDs. The others feature singing — usually by a counter-tenor — and while that is pleasant enough, it places the music firmly in another time.
Without the singing, we can place this album almost anywhere we want: ambient, rock, classical, music to work to. There’s a nostalgic quality to several of the pieces here: they are so close to musical scales that they distantly remind me, as a child of the 1960s, of the themes to ‘Camberwick Green’ and ‘Trumpton’. This is music that it is impossible to dislike. (by Gavin Wilsonon)

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Personnel:
Christopher Wilson (lute)
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Shirley Rumsey (lute duetist)

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Tracklist:

Joan Ambrosio Dalza:
01. Calata ala spagnola 2.06
02. Tastar de corde, Recercar dietro 2.13
03. Pavana alla venetiana 3.26
Francesco Spinacino:
04. Rececar 1.37
05. Jay pris amours 3.33
Franciscus Bossinensis;
06. Recercar 0.28
Francesco Spinacino:
07. La Bernardina de Josquin 2.59
Vincenzo Capirola:
08. Recercar quinto 3.45
09. Canto bello 1.36
10. La villanella 1.29
11. O mia cieca e dura sorte 3.47
12. Che farala che dirala (after Don Michele Vicentino) 2.00
13. Non mi negar signora (After Serafino dall’ Aquila) 1.01
14. Recercar 0.50
15, Pavana 2.16
16. Calata 1.46
Franciscus Bossinensis;
17. Recercar 0.41
Francesco Spinacino:
18. Je ne fay 4.10
19. Recercar 2.54
20. De tous biens 3.52
Joan Ambrosio Dalza:
21. Tastar de corde, Recercar dietro 1.09
22. lata ala spagnola 2.33
23. Poi che volse la mia stella (after Bartolomeo Tromboncino) 2.43
24. Laudato dio 2.43
25. Saltarello and Piva 4.54

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Arild Andersen – Kristin Lavransdatter (1995)

frontcover1Arild Andersen (born 27 October 1945) is a Norwegian jazz musician bassist, known as the most famous Norwegian bass player in the international jazz Scene.
Andersen was born in Lillestrøm, Norway. He started his musical career as jazz guitarist in the Riverside Swing Group in Lillestrøm (1961–63), started playing double bass in 1964, and soon became part of the core jazz bands in Oslo. He was a member of Roy Hellvin Trio, was in the backing band at Kongsberg Jazz Festival in 1967 and 68, was elected Best Bassist by Jazznytt in 1967, and started as bass player in the Jan Garbarek Quartet (1967–1973), including Terje Rypdal and Jon Christensen. After completing his technical education in 1968, he became a professional musician and collaborated with Karin Krog, George Russell, and Don Cherry (Berlin 1968), and with visiting American musicians Phil Woods, Dexter Gordon, Bill Frisell, Hampton Hawes, Johnny Griffin, Sonny Rollins, Sheila Jordan, and Chick Corea. During the same period he worked with Ferenc Snétberger and Tomasz Stańko.
In the early 1970s, Andersen collaborated with Norwegian musicians Magni Wentzel, Jon Eberson, Ketil Bjørnstad, and Terje Rypdal, before leaving for an eventful visit to the U.S. in the winter of 1973–1974, and has since 1974 led his own bands, at first a quartet (1974–79). He worked with the Radka Toneff Quintet (1975–81) and has recorded more than a dozen albums as band leader for ECM Records, founded the critically acclaimed band arildandersen01Masqualero, and appeared as side man on a series of recordings. In January 2009 he was named “Musicien Europeen 2008” by the French Academie du Jazz, In 2010, Andersen received the Ella Award at the Oslo Jazzfestival. (by Wikipedia)
This one was written by Andersen for a play based on Sigrid Undset’s Nobel Prize-winning novel. I have seen this release slandered in an on-line review as inconsequential music but I would like to argue that it actually develops the ideas from “Arv” and “Sagn” further. Not as immediately arresting as those two masterpieces, Andersen here creates a less flashy, more pastoral sound. The inspiration is drawn from medieval ballads, instrumental folk tunes and jazz. However, this all new band (Andersen and Vinaccia plus Tore Brunborg on saxophone, wooden flutes and ocarina, and Reidar Skaar on keyboards) deliver compositions where the folk element is more subtly incorporated in the music and the musicians’ roots in the European free-jazz tradition much more to the front. This is especially true for tracks like “Erlends Flukt” and “Erlend” which would not have been out of place on Andersen’s normal ECM releases.
If one approaches this record like a movie-soundtrack – not expecting the combination of breathtaking instrumental virtuosity and characteristic folk singing on the previous gabriellekillandalbums – one will find that the band actually has managed to create an even more homogenous fusion between folk music and jazz. Besides functioning as illustration to scenes in the play this music definitely can stand alone as a separate, highly evocative, piece of work. In addition to the band, the CD-version includes contributions from0 the Oslo Chamber Choir, Kjetil Bjerkestrand on organ and a string quartet.
This is one of the finest jazz Albums from the Scandinavian Jazz Scene … If you like Jan Garbarek then is this Album a must.
The booklet contains many ilustrations by Gabrielle Kielland (Born 1945), a real fine Artist from Norweg
That´s what I call a jazz & art highlight !
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Personnel:
Arild Andersen (bass)
Kjetil Bjerkestrand (organ)
Tore Brunborg (Saxophone, flute, ocarina)
Kjell Arne Jørgensen (violin)
Kari Ravnan (cello)
Reidar Skår (Keyboards)
Atle Sponberg (violin)
Nora Taksdal (viola)
Paolo Vinaccia (Percussion)
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Oslo Kammerkor (choir) conducted by Grete Helgerød
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Gabrielle Kielland (booklet illustrations)
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Tracklist:
01. Kristin Og Alvemoen (Andersen) 3.53
02. Hamarkirken (Andersen) 2.35
03. Simons Festemø (Andersen) 3.28
04. Kristin Og Erlend (Andersen) 5.32
05. Isvind (Andersen/Vinaccia/Skår/Brunborg) 2.33
06. Bryllupsmarsj (Andersen) 2.00
07. Pilgrimssang (Andersen) 4.44
08. Nidaros (Andersen) 3.21
09. Erlends Flukt (Andersen) 3.31
10. Erlend (Andersen) 3,38
11. Sunniva (Andersen/Vinaccia/Skår/Brunborg) 2.41
12. Dans (Andersen) 2.05
13. Flommen (Andersen) 4.11
14. Simons Død (Andersen) 4.37
15. Tidlig Morgen (Andersen/Vinaccia/Skår/Brunborg) 2.21
16  Kristin (Andersen) 3.51
17. Pesten (Andersen/Vinaccia/Skår/Brunborg) 2.33
18. Ved Steingjerdet (Andersen) 2.07
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Vangelis – El Greco (A Tribute To El Greco) (1995 – 1998)

frontcover1El Greco is a 1998 classical album by Greek electronic composer and artist Vangelis (born March 29, 1943). The title is a reference to the man who inspired the composition, Dominikos Theotokópoulos (known as El Greco, “The Greek”; 1541–1614), the painter and sculptor of the Spanish Renaissance. It consists of ten long movements performed on electronic instruments.

This album is an expansion of an earlier album by Vangelis, Foros Timis Ston Greco. That album had been released in 1995, in a limited edition. For this general release, the track order was rearranged, three new tracks were added, and the album title was changed.

Vangelis composed and arranged the album, and performed all the instruments, accompanied by a choir conducted by Ivan Cassar. The music is in a Byzantine style yet sounding contemporary due to his use of synthesizers. Soprano Montserrat Caballé and tenor Konstantinos Paliatsaras make guest appearances on one movement each.

The album reached #66 in France and #74 in Germany. At the Billboard New Age Albums chart peaked at #9 position.

The image on the album is “The Knight with His Hand on His Breast” by El Greco.

(Not to be confused with El Greco Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, a 2007 album also by Vangelis)

This 1998 album expands the original ‘Tribute To El Greco’ (released semi-privately in Athens in 1995) to a full-length CD by adding three tracks (Movements III, V and VII) to the original ones, which have not been tampered with for this international release, only reordered slightly. The lavishly packaged 1995 release was limited to 3000 signed copies and officially obtainable only through the National Gallery museum in Athens which used the money thus generated to help acquire an El Greco painting (called ‘Saint Peter’) for its collection, although various copies have been bought by determined fans through different channels. I’ve always found the reasoning behind this restricted release a bit suspect – if you really want to generate a sizeable sum of money then why not create a great album and make it an international (or certainly internationally obtainable) release, perhaps upping the price a bit to account for its charity purpose. Anyway, a great album it was so this re-release has been much welcomed by fans unable to get hold of the original. The project shows Vangelis at his most inspired by the almost exclusively religious paintings from Domenikos Theotokopoulos (to give El Greco his full name) and his general artistic outlook. This becomes apparent from a rare personal note by Vangelis in the booklet, which is basically the mystic statement that, in order to be a truly creative artist, one must be true to one’s own nature and thus to Cosmic nature in general, as they are identical. The music’s flavour is very Byzantine, using Greek orthodox harmonies, church-bells, choir-sounds and more. It’s got a faint religious touch and is both austere and rich at the same time – austere because of the generally sparse orchestration, rich because of its deeply felt emotions. One of Vangelis’ main musical strengths, which is the use of rubato (the slight quickening up or slowing down of the tempo of the music to create those subtle effects), is very much in evidence throughout. Two singers from the classical world also make a contribution – a great aria by Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballe accompanied on piano and on another track tenor Konstantinos Paliatsaras. The album’s promotion (what little there has been) occurred mainly through classical channels and although it’s hard to think of a classical composer creating music equivalent in nature to ‘El Greco’ still anyone who likes classical music (for instance Wagner – similar use of rubato, or perhaps Eastern European religious music) will in all probability like this music as well. (by .vangelismovements.com)

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Doménikos Theotokópoulos (Greek: Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος [ðoˈminikos θeotoˈkopulos]; 1541 – 7 April 1614), most widely known as El Greco (pronounced: [el ˈgɾeko]; Spanish for “The Greek”), was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. The nickname “El Greco” refers both to his Greek origin and Spanish citizenship. The artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος (Doménikos Theotokópoulos), often adding the word Κρής (Krēs, “Cretan”).

view-of-toledoView of Toledo (c. 1596–1600, oil on canvas, 47.75 × 42.75 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) is one of the two surviving landscapes of Toledo painted by El Greco.

El Greco was born in Crete, which was at that time part of the Republic of Venice, and the center of Post-Byzantine art. He trained and became a master within that tradition before traveling at age 26 to Venice, as other Greek artists had done. In 1570 he moved to Rome, where he opened a workshop and executed a series of works. During his stay in Italy, El Greco enriched his style with elements of Mannerism and of the Venetian Renaissance. In 1577, he moved to Toledo, Spain, where he lived and worked until his death. In Toledo, El Greco received several major commissions and produced his best-known paintings.

El Greco’s dramatic and expressionistic style was met with puzzlement by his contemporaries but found appreciation in the 20th century. El Greco is regarded as a precursor of both Expressionism and Cubism, while his personality and works were a source of inspiration for poets and writers such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Nikos Kazantzakis. El Greco has been characterized by modern scholars as an artist so individual that he belongs to no conventional school. He is best known for tortuously elongated figures and often fantastic or phantasmagorical pigmentation, marrying Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Vangelis (synthesizer)
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Montserrat Caballé (soprano)
Konstantinos Paliatsaras (tenor)
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Choir conducted by Ivan Cassar

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Tracklist:
01. Movement I (Movement I) 10.04
02. Movement II (Movement II) 5.18
03. Movement III (new) 6.48
04. Movement IV (Movement III) 6.21
05. Movement V (new) 4.30
06. Movement VI (Movement V) 7. 52
07. Movement VII (new) – 3:18
08. Movement VIII (Movement IV) 9.43
09. Movement IX (Movement VI) 12.00
10. Movement X (Epilogue) (Movement VII) 6.21

In parenthesis, correspondence to the track listing of Foros Timis Ston Greco.

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The Vision of Saint John
(El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (1541–1614)