Bill Johnson contributes eight originals to his Still Blue, each one a fine example of a contemporary blues song, not merely a retread of a familiar 12 bar theme, and each sung in his evocative voice. The variety of approaches, from the sneaky slide on “Another One” to the crisp lead guitar midway between Cray and Knopfler on “Habitual Survivor” is invigorating. Very hip phrases and a hard-luck lyric make the minor-key “Half The Man” stand out. Johnson shows he can reliably deliver straight blues on his shuffle “Old Les Paul Guitar” and three well-chosen covers from Slim Harpo, T-Bone Walker, and Howlin’ Wolf. Lee Roy Parnell’s roadhouse rocker “Red Hot” rounds out the set. A gem of an album!–by Tom Hyslop
Glyndebourne has a proud association with the operas of Benjamin Britten, however until 2010 had never staged Billy Budd. The all-male opera with a libretto co-written by E.M. Forster, is based on the battle between pure good and blind evil, and is set on a British man-‘o-war ship. Michael Grandage, Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, chose this work to make his long-awaited operatic debut. Sir Mark Elder returned to conduct, marking the 100th opera production in his illustrious career.
This is the start of a Beethoven Symphonies cycle (Nos. 1-9) with Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The Beethoven cycle of the 21st century!
3 Documentaries - In a one-hour-long film for each symphony Maestro Thielemann and Joachim Kaiser (Germany´s most famous music critic) discuss and analyze in an entertaining conversational exchange Thielemann’s interpretation, complemented by excerpts from rehearsals as well as comparisons of Beethoven cycles with Karajan, Bernstein etc. – no aspect of Beethoven’s symphonic œuvre will remain unaffected!