Nina Hagen is a unique vocalist, ranging from a coloratura soprano to a guttural alto and phrasing in surprising, dramatically changing ways, so that her performances are musical roller coasters, full of sudden shifts in mood and volume. Singing alternately in German and English, Hagen is backed by rock tracks leaning toward punk on some songs, and by producer Giorgio Moroder's signature Euro-disco synth-dance sounds on others on this 14-track, 74-minute compilation. Want to hear a German-language version of the Tubes' "White Punks on Dope"? How about a performance of "My Way" (also in German) that rivals Sid Vicious' for outrageousness? Ultimately, Nina Hagen may be a period novelty act of the early '80s, a mixture of Toni Basil, Falco, and a hyena. But she gets your attention.
Bela Bartok's six quartets are considered the most important cycle of works in the genre after those of Beethoven. Like Beethoven, the form of the quartet spanned Bartok's creative life.
Recorded between 1989 and 2004, the Hagen Quartet's recordings of Mozart's complete music for string quartet is clearly the finest set of the works released in the early digital age. For one thing, because the collection includes not only the 23 canonical string quartets but also the three early Divertimenti for string quartet, the five Fugues from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier arranged by Mozart, and the late Adagio and Fugue in C minor, their set really is the complete music for string quartet.