The third in the Glass’ trilogy of operas about men who changed the world in which they lived through the power of their ideas, “Akhnaten”‘s subject is religion. The Pharaoh Akhnaten was the first monotheist in recorded story, and his substitution of a one-god religion for the multi-god worship in use when he came to power was responsible for his violent overthrow. The opera describes the rise, reign, and fall of Akhnaten in a series of tableaus. Libretto (Egyptian, Arcadian, Hebrew, and language of the audience) by the composer in association with Shalom Goldman, Robert Israel and Richard Riddell. Vocal text drawn from original sources by Shalom Goldman.
Exclusive 2005 interview the main man behind the Kinks, Ray Davies. Topics include Ray’s song writing process, hearing the Beatles for the first time, Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders and lots more.
Meredith Davies's great quality is his inspired pacing of a score that can easily stagnate. Davies sets the love-duets in dramatic contrast to the vigorous writing…Elizabeth Harwood and Robert Tear are both excellent as Vreli and Sali, winningly characterful and clearly focused…[Shirley-Quirk] is firm and forthright with an apt hint of the sinister.
Countertenor Iestyn Davies and the viol consort Fretwork present a new recording of works for viol consort and voice, drawn from 17th Century Germany, following their critically praised 2019 album of works by Michael Nyman and Henry Purcell.
If this had only been Kronikles, 1963-1972 instead. It's the same problem with all the '60s greats who aren't named Neil Young. Their work rises like comets shot out of cannons in the early, R&B/Merseybeat beginnings, soaring ever higher toward the more expansive psychedelic era. Then they peak, level off around Woodstock, begin to descend in the earliest '70s, and then they plummet with a thud and a plop. To be fair, the Kinks made the tidiest, least offensive mess of it, and thus you could feel affection for them even when they sucked. Like, say, John Lennon or Pete Townshend, Ray Davies and his husky, Mickey Mouse-voiced sibling were capable of the odd later-'70s (or even later) gems that, if nothing like their fabled past, would remind of their prodigious talents in their early-twenties prime. Nevertheless, over a 35-year chronological presentation, the helpless spiral toward crap city is inescapable. All the more so with the junior Davies, who had such a smaller catalog to start. CD one plucks out the one or two songs Dave sang on each Kinks LP – blues-stomp covers, a few melodies Ray wrote for him, and some of Dave's earliest, best tunes. Most significantly, there's two huge vault-uncovered treats for '60s Kinks heads: a rare 1963 acetate of an unknown Dave number, the early-Beatles-like "I Believed You," the band's earliest unearthed recording from its days as the Ravens; and a 1969 Dave-alone eight-track, "Climb Your Wall," a nice piece of post-Dylan, post-Arthur happy shambles.
This powerful record brings together two of the most seminal works for viola and orchestra of the twentieth century. Although these pieces are as different as they are similar, together they form a distinct balance of sentiment and execution.
Ray Davies published a memoir chronicling his life-long affair with America in 2013. Naturally, it was called Americana, and that's also the title of this 2017 musical adaptation of the book. Davies plays a little fast and loose with his facts, which is perhaps a detriment in an autobiography but suits the condensed nature of songwriting. He doesn't tell a story with Americana – it's not a song cycle along the lines of Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) – but rather offers a series of vignettes, some torn from the pages of his book, others expanding upon its themes. Images of highways, cowboys, and movies dance through the songs, as do sly allusions to the Kinks. It's not just that there's an echo of "All Day and All of the Night" on "The Man Upstairs," either: "Poetry" recalls the pastoral jangle of Village Green Preservation Society and "The Great Highway" stomps like a Low Budget outtake.
Debbie Davies doesn't play straight blues on All I Found, her eighth release as a bandleader and her first for Telarc Records, so much as a kind of blues-inflected country-pop somewhat reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt, only without Raitt's distinctive, drop-dead slide guitar technique. Make no mistake, Davies plays some solid guitar on this album (she got her start playing in Albert Collins' Icebreakers, after all), and she has Arthur Neilson on loan from Shemekia Copeland on second guitar to keep things sizzling on three cuts, but somehow under all that stellar guitar work, several of these songs seem a little tired, and "Troughin'," a humorous ditty about overeating, is downright irritating.