Following celebrated productions of Prokofiev Semyon Kotko and Shchedrin The Left-Hander, Valery Gergiev continues his survey of uniquely Russian works with The Golden Cockerel, Rimsky-Korsakov’s final and, arguably, most mysterious opera. This vibrant new production features bass-baritone Vladimir Feliauer as Tsar Dodon, alongside celebrated soprano Aida Garifullina as The Queen of Shemakha and mixes live action with CGI. It is the vision of Anna Matison, acclaimed playwright, script-writer, film director and producer.
Originally composed to celebrate Pushkin’s centenary, the full title of the work - The Tale of Tsar Saltan, of His Son the Renowned and Mighty Bogatyr Prince Gvidon Saltanovich, and of the Beautiful Princess-Swan - is indicative of the fantastical content of the opera. It is an old-fashioned Russian treat for the eyes and the ears from the country’s most long-standing musical institution. Filled with colourful music that is typical of Rimsky-Korsakov’s style, it is the origin of the instantly recognisable Flight of the Bumblebee, which arrives when the magic Swan-Princess changes Prince Gvidon Saltanovich into an insect.
This powerful four disc anthology is a wonderful illustration of the genius that was the late, great Frank Zappa in performance and broadcasting live to air. Zappa always defies categorisation. He blended humor, satire, virtuoso guitar, challenging lyrics, bawdy tales, brilliant compositions, and inspired improvisation and somehow managed to make those diverse elements work together in a unique, musical form which defies categorisation, and is known to posterity by the term "Zappa".
The 34-year-old Manhattan-resident Cuban pianist David Virelles can sound like a 21st-century jazz heir to Herbie Hancock in other people’s bands (Tomasz Stanko’s, Chris Potter’s) – but his own preferences are for avant-grooving, as on last year’s Antenna and the broadly sourced contemporary classical music that informs a good deal of Gnosis. This session, with strings, flute, vocals and four percussionists led by the Cuban drums guru Roman Diaz, sees Virelles deepening his exploration of the fission points between ancient African Cuban traditions and the music of his own era.
That's quite an unusual cover for a jazz vocal album – but then again, Cecile McLorin Salvant is quite an unusual singer – and one who may well be out to change the future of her genre with records like this! The songs are this fantastic blend of original compositions, jazz standards, and other classics – but woven together in this tapestry by Cecile and the group, almost as if they're part of this larger patchwork commentary on the history of vocal jazz – all updated and taken to very personal territory.
Broken up over three movements and containing over 140 minutes of music and video, “Symphonic Terror - Live at Wacken 2017” captures Accept on stage at Wacken 2017 in front of over 80,000 metal fans alongside the Czech National Symphony performing hits such as “Die By the Sword”, “Restless and Wild” and many others including the band’s perennial hit “Balls to the Wall”.
A 3CD/1Blu-Ray set featuring over three and a half hours of material performed during King Crimson’s five night residency at Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City in July 2017 plus audio extras.
Stephen Rice and The Brabant Ensemble uncover more Renaissance treasures: Jacob Obrecht’s name may now be less familiar than those of some of his Flemish contemporaries, yet in his lifetime he was considered second only to Josquin.