The follow-up EP to Relient K's breakthrough album, MMHMM, 2005's APATHETIC finds the Ohio Christian pop-punk band mixing new songs with acoustic renditions of tunes from earlier outings. Highlights include "The Truth," a surging anthem, and a stripped-down rendition of "Which to Bury, Us or the Hatchet" (from the aforementioned debut) that plays up the tune's winning melodies.
Peter Hammill is one of the formative characters of the progressive rock scene to date. In the beginning of the 1970's he recorded four cumbersome mysterious albums with his band Van der Graaf Generator which never could reach the commercial heights of cognate bands like Genesis or Yes due to their musical intransigence. After several visionary but difficult to access albums, Hammill reformed the quartet for another four albums which introduced a more earthy but not less complex sound. After the band's second end in 1978, on solo albums like "The Future Now", "ph7" or "A Black Box" Hammill experimented extensively in the studio and acquired the latest techniques like i.e. early forms of sampling; one of the most breath-taking results being the 20 minute long soundscape 'Flight'…
Václav Jan Krvtitel Tomásek wrote numerous songs and short piano pieces, genres in which his works predate those of his rather more famous near contemporary Franz Schubert by some years. Quite why they are so neglected today is a mystery as this enthralling new album from Renata Pokupic' and Roger Vignoles unfolds twenty-eight songs of a rare appeal. Perhaps we should not be surprised: Tomáek was one of the very few composers of Goethe settings to meet with the great poet's (relatively) undivided approval.
Biber's 'Rosary Sonatas' for violin and basso continuo stand alone in the violin literature and in music history, offering a unique combination of programmatic material and the use of scordatura. The cycle consists of fifteen sonatas for violin and basso continuo, and a closing Passacaglia for solo violin, composed c.1687. Through the copper engravings inserted at the head of each sonata in the manuscript depicting key moments in the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary, the music has become associated with the Catholic Mysteries of the Rosary.
In 2001, when Gunter Wand was an astonishing 89, he led this live concert from Hamburg with his home orchestra, the North German Radio. Wand was a benign (so far as I know) conservative like Josef Krips, happy if his wrld was circumscribed by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Bruckner, who remained the taples of his repertoire.
A lifelong devotion to Mozart shows through in this genial, quick-moving, sunny reading of the "posthorn" Serenade. The posthorn soloist is fine, the first oboe a bit less so, but everyone's in high spirits. There's not a hint of dullness anywhere, making Wand's one of the best versions outside the period-performance litany. Smiles all around.
Franz Schubert never achieved the success as a composer for the stage that the aspired to, and even since his genius has been fully recognized, his dramatic works have not found their way into the repertoire. This is due not so much to the quality of the music, which is often very high, but to the fact that Schubert devoted himself to a form, thesingspiel, which wasn't quite an opera, but a play with interpolated musical numbers that fell quickly out of style and has never made a popular comeback. Several Mozart singspiele, particularly Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Die Zauberflöte, have remained in the repertoire due to the large percentage of musical numbers they contain, their dramatic appeal, and their extraordinary music, criteria that Schubert's work doesn't meet.