Following the discovery of the Americas, Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church was established with incredible speed. Many of the Native Indians were part of highly sophisticated civilizations, most notably the Aztecs and the Incas, and were very responsive to the new ideas, especially music, which was already an important social and spiritual element in their lives.
Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann is among those operas with most textual problems, since the composer did not live to its premiere, leaving an incomplete score. The traditional text, bringing in extra material, much of it unauthentic, and leaving out alot, was only established in the 20th century. This Dresden recording sessions were held (June 1987-June 1989) borrowed much from Michael Kaye's 1991 Schott Edition.
The English composer Alec Roth has been active for several decades and collaborated with Indian novelist Vikram Seth on an opera in the 1990s. Here he seems to tread into the profitable choral music territory mined by John Rutter. Although he is in no way a clone of Rutter, your reactions to that composer may give you an idea of how you'll feel about the Roth works here.
An unusual sort of setting for tenor saxophonist Paul Jeffrey – an overlooked player from the east coast scene of the early 70s, and one who only cut a handful of records at the time! The date features Jack Wilkins on guitar, playing with these bright chromatic hues next to Jeffrey's sharper horn – a pairing that makes for an unusual sound, despite a familiar quartet setting – one that's even different from other matches of this nature, such as the work between Sonny Rollins and Jim Hall! Jeffrey's clearly got some bop roots here, but also opens up in other directions too – and the group features Thelonious Monk Jr on drums and Richard Davis on bass.