This 1969 BBC production is about as close as we can get to a definitive version of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes, one of the greatest 20th Century operas. The story of the individualistic fisherman hounded by his neighbors who believe he murdered his young apprentice packs tremendous emotional power. The compelling narrative is richly enhanced by its subtexts: the lone outsider versus the conformist mob; the dreamer of improbable dreams that lead to tragedy; the artist (dreamer) versus the Philistines, and the homosexual overtones of Grimes' abuse of his child apprentices. Britten is conductor of his work and tenor Peter Pears is Grimes, 25 years after he created the title role at the opera's premiere. Britten was a great conductor as his recordings of his own and others' music attests, and here he outdoes himself with a performance that captures both the brooding darkness of the work and its visceral power.
Peter Hammill has announced he'll be releasing a new live album X/Ten, through Fie! Records on November 30.
Containing all the Blegvad Trio and Quintet studio releases: Downtime, Just Woke Up, Hangman’s Hill and Go Figure – all re-mastered and repackaged - plus two additional CDs of unreleased studio recordings and live performances, mostly featuring songs not available on the studio CDs.
Sony has packaged this album like a 1980s disc of music to snog by, but the saxophonist Amy Dickson’s new release is an intriguing and entirely serious collection of recent works by Australian composers, works she did much to create. The title work, premiered by Dickson in 2012, is a late score by Peter Sculthorpe. The first movement is sun drenched and full of yearning, the saxophone soaring over a teeming orchestra; the second is a more unsettled expression of homesickness. Ross Edwards’s concerto entitled the Full Moon Dances – recorded, unlike the rest, live in concert – is elegantly scored and evocative, especially in the opening Mantra, in which the saxophone interweaves with the orchestral soloists, and in the pulsing, almost Stravinsky-esque First Ritual Dance. But it is Brett Dean’s 2007 flute concerto The Siduri Dances, here arranged for saxophone, which offers the most wide-ranging demonstration of Dickson’s mastery with its note-bending, buzzing effects and hectic rhythms.
A massive, 2-disc compilation featuring cover versions of virtually every Peter Green song written during his Fleetwood Mac period, and a few drawn from his mid-80s solo period. While there are some weaker moments in this 39-track collection, the majority of the interpretations feature blues guitar, piano and vocal at their very best. Rather than simply pay tribute to Peter Green by faithfully imitating his material, the artists have chosen to re-interpret these songs and in most cases the results are superb. The power of Green's influence is felt all the more deeply when so many artists use his music as a jumping-off point. A must have item for blues guitar fans.