The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast is a concept album and subsequent live rock opera appearing in 1974 and 1975 respectively, based on the children's book of the same title (The album cover design is from Alan Aldridge's design for the book).
It was originally conceived as a solo vehicle for Jon Lord and to be produced by Roger Glover who had recently left Deep Purple, but Lord proved too busy with Deep Purple and Glover took up the reins on his own. Using his connections, Glover recruited a large cast of noted rock musicians to perform on it, with a different vocalist for each track including David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes…
This recording of Handel's Acis and Galatea (or Acis und Galatea) features the German translation and arrangement completed by Mozart in Vienna circa 1788, per the instructions of the Baron Gottfried von Swieten to "modernize" Handel's pieces - including Alexander's Feast, Messiah, Ode for St. Cecilia's Day, and Acis and Galatea. Mozart kept much of Handel's original string arrangements, but proceeded to layer harmonies with a degree of sophistication that Handel could only have dreamed of.
This is the sixth set in this comprehensive and excellent Handel edition from Warner. This volume deals with an important oratorio in the shape of "Saul" as well as the "Utrecht Te Deum" and the famous "Ode for St. Cecilia's Day" and "Alexander's Feast", another splendid cantata. The recordings date from the early 1970's to 1990 and come from the prolific Teldec stable under the indefatigable Nikolaus Harnoncourt who conducts in his exemplary no nonsense fashion. "Saul' is a fine interpretation although I still feel that John Eliot Gardiner comes to the core of the work better. "Ode for St. Cecilia's Day' is also given a pomp and circumstance treatment whilst the Utrecht Te Deum is winningly done. The team of soloists is also very good and the recordings are fine and well balanced in proper Teldec tradition. There are also some rarities thrown in for good measure such as the excerpts from "Giulio Cesare" and the ubiquitous cantata, "Apollo e Dafne", both which receive splendidly invigorating performances. Full texts and translations of the works are available online and the booklet is well presented with some interesting photographs. Those who are new to Handel could do far worse than collect this exemplary edition.(Gerald Fenech)
This CD compilation presents, on 8 discs, 17 recording sessions made between 1951 and late 1956 by the extraordinary trumpeter, leader, composer, and perpetual catalyst–Miles Davis. Featured in this collection are such major artists as Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Lee Konitz, and the original Davis Quintet: John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones. The expanse of Miles Davis's recordings for Prestige Records, the California analogue to New York's Blue Note, is huge. In terms of artistic development, the eight CDs in this box span Davis's development from tentative searching through the full bloom of his first great quintet, whose frontline boasted Davis and a young John Coltrane.
In light of Handel’s own connections with Oxford University in the early 1730s and the ensuing performance tradition of his works that was quickly established there, it is ironic that Cambridge have possessed the more vibrant Handelian tradition in subsequent generations (it also boasts the superior collection of Handel musical sources thanks to the Fitzwilliam Museum). Indeed, Cambridge has been central to the promotion of Handel’s oratorios as great drama: the great Handel scholar Winton Dean was converted to the cause during his participation in a staging of Saul while an undergraduate there. More latterly Cambridge has also played a valuable part in the revival of Handel’s operas, has been the foremost academic hothouse for producing the finest English freelance choral singers and soloists, and has played a crucial role in the development in the period instrument movement (The latter-day Academy of Ancient Music is still based in the town).