‘The burly Aussie tenor is now even more identified with this ill-fated protagonist than Peter Pears, the first Grimes. And everywhere Skelton has sung the part, whether at English National Opera, the Proms, the Edinburgh festival or now on this international tour of a concert staging mounted by the Bergen Philharmonic, the conductor has been Edward Gardner. Theirs is one of the great musical partnerships, and they continue to find compelling new depths in this tragic masterpiece.’ – Richard Morrison – The Times. This studio recording was made following the acclaimed production at Grieghallen, in Bergen, in 2019 (repeated in Oslo and London and reviewed above). Luxuriant playing from the Bergen Philharmonic and a stellar cast under the assured direction of Edward Gardner make this a recording to treasure.
The Warrior story starts in 1982 with the Boston based band New England, featuring keyboard player Jimmy Waldo, bassist Gary Shea and drummer Hirsh Gardner, and how their plans to record their fourth album with Todd Rundgren were skippered when their guitarist, John Fannon, unexpectedly quit the group…
On his debut album, Cabinet of Curiosities, Jacco Gardner showed himself to be the best kind of revivalist. He didn't just unearth the paisley-clad bones of '60s psychedelia, he added a clean perfectly arranged modern feel that made the record sound timeless and up-to-date as well. Like that record, Hypnophobia sounds like a freshly polished psych-pop rarity that was rescued from some musty vault, with loads of Mellotron-colored songs ("Outside Forever") and stately ballads ("All Over") to keep the psych-pop hordes satiated. This time out there's a little more folk-pop in the mix, with tracks like "Brightly" and "Face to Face" having some Brit folk in their brightly strummed guitars and swirling Mellotrons.
Following outstanding reviews for his interpretation of Duke Bluebeard around the world, notably at the Paris Opéra and then in Philadelphia and New York with Michelle DeYoung, John Relyea stars in the first studio SACD Surround Sound recording of Bartók’s psychological thriller.
This much awaited recording offers keenly idiomatic performances of the most famous works by Grieg, played by the composer’s own orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, and its Chief Conductor, Edward Gardner. The drama and passion of such favourite pieces as the incidental music to Peer Gynt and the Piano Concerto are superbly captured in surround-sound with exemplary Chandos sound quality. Unlike most existing recordings, offering only the orchestral suites, this disc presents numerous extra excerpts from Peer Gynt, which follow the sequence of Henrik Ibsen‘s dramatic poem, including sections for the unique Norwegian 'Hardanger Fiddle’. Having collaborated with the orchestra on several occasions, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is the soloist in the Piano Concerto, a piece that stands out as a shining example of a single great thought captured and expressed in music. The power of this conception is evident throughout the concerto in the pianist’s faithful, yet highly romantic interpretation.