The Seduction of Claude Debussy is a 1999 concept album by Art of Noise, featuring a line-up of Trevor Horn, Anne Dudley, Paul Morley, and Lol Creme. Also appearing on the album are John Hurt, soprano Sally Bradshaw, Rakim, and Donna Lewis. The group blended the music of French impressionist composer Claude Debussy with drum and bass, opera, hip hop, jazz, and narration, and described the album as "the soundtrack to a film that wasn't made about the life of Claude Debussy.
In this recording entitled Enigma Fortuna, the ensemble La Fonte Musica, directed by Michele Pasotti, aims to shed light on the mysterious and eccentric personality of Antonio Zacara da Teramo (1355-1416). A contemporary of Boccaccio, Donatello and Brunelleschi, this composer from the Abruzzi region could almost be likened to a sort of musical Hieronymus Bosch, for the texts he set to music conjure up a ‘topsy-turvy universe’ where the obscene, the imaginary and the grotesque go hand in hand. In his ballata Amor ne tossa he writes ‘Let him understand me who can, for I understand myself’, foreshadowing the proud egotism of the Romantic artists who were to come 400 years after him. With this four-CD set presenting the world premiere of Zacara’s complete works, La Fonte Musica offers us an initial approach to understanding his music. And thereby, through the timeless character of art, to understanding a so-called ‘renascent’ era that seems as ‘topsy-turvy’ as our own.
Celebrating his half-century as a Decca artist, as well as his eighty-fifth birthday, Sir Georg Solti here offers a nicely autobiographical collection of three sets of variations: the Peacock Variations of Kodaly representing his Hungarian roots, the lively Paganini Variations of Blacher a recognition of his years as German citizen, and finally a tribute to his unique Britishness in Elgar's Enigma Variations. The disc is also a tribute to the Vienna Philharmonic and Solti's special relationship with that orchestra, with whom he recorded these live performances in the Musikverein last April. You have only to compare this warmly expressive, subtly nuanced, and deeply felt account of the Elgar with Solti's earlier Chicago version of 1974 to appreciate not only the quality of this great Viennese orchestra, but the way in which Solti has mellowed over the last two decades.