Swiss-French flautist Emmanuel Pahud, named "one of the finds of the decade" by Gramophone Magazine, is one of today's most exciting and adventurous musicians. Appointed Principal Flute for the Berliner Philharmoniker aged just 22, his solo albums have sold over 400,000 copies worldwide, including a Mozart Concertos disc that has sold over 70,000 units.
The first Debussy disc (La Mer 1C1165) received very positive critical acclaim from the classical press and rightfully hailed Emmanuel Krivine as one of the conducting greats, revisiting one of the greatest French composers. Emmanuel Krivine is one of the most distinguished European conductors, with a particular expertise in French repertory and classics of the 20th century literature.
As an Australian, guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel doesn't seem to be much bothered about musical categories. Is his music jazz, folk, bluegrass, new age? Depending on the track, it can be any one. Like his mentor, Chet Atkins, Emmanuel is simply a guitar player, and on Little by Little, a two-CD set, he sticks mostly to acoustic guitar, playing mostly originals, tunes that he has used in concert but not recorded before. He is also mostly solo, although the double-disc length allows him room to share space with guests including singers Pam Rose (on her co-composition "Haba Na Hava") and Anthony Snape (on the folk-rock "Willie's Shades"). Among the covers are two versions of "Moon River," one with a bass countermelody, the other with an Emmanuel vocal, Carole King's "Tapestry," Atkins' "Mountains of Illinois," and "The Tennessee Waltz." Emmanuel plays fast runs, slows down for delicate passages, and adds harmonics on tunes that evoke players including Will Ackerman and John Fahey. He also likes folk-pop; "Papa George" needs only a James Taylor vocal to fit into that category. But Little by Little is a tour de force by a musician who usually leaves categories behind.
Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers (@1632-1714) lived at the same time as King Louis XIV, and served the king at Versailles, among other duties, which also included work as organist and singing teacher at the Maison Royale de Saint-Cyr. Hence there's a nice historical connection to the performers in this recording, which collects several motets and church hymns by Nivers. Several of the works have been programmed into two "Saluts", or "Salut du Saint Sacrement" salutation/benediction of the Holy Sacrament). The music also borrows from organ works from Nivers' "Cent Pieces de tous les Tons", to keep a sense of alternating textures between the female chamber choir and the organ.