> Asian Music for String Quartet.
NZ String Quartet.
Recorded in Toronto's St John's Church, five composers
are featured, combining aesthetic and musical elements of East
Eight Colours is a standout item, written by Tan Dun
in 1986 in New York; its eight short sections are vivid brush
paintings of traditional Peking Opera. Zhou Long's Song of
the Ch-in evokes a Chinese zither with harmonious pluck,
while Chinary Ung's Spiral III (1990) portrays gems in
a Cambodian necklace.
A Way a Lone, by Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu
(1930-1996), takes its title from novelist James Joyce and
provides shimmering sounds. Gao Ping, a composer-pianist born
in China now based in New Zealand, provides Bright Light
and Cloud Shadows, a calm landscape rippled with clouds
inspired by a Ming Dynasty poem.
Highlight: Interesting exotic sounds, beautifully
> "Be My Love".
Joseph Calleja (tenor), BBC Concert Orchestra.
Subtitled "A Tribute to Mario Lanza", is a crossover
undertaking by Maltese tenor Calleja with many of the greatest
hits of Lanza, "a voice of ridiculous beauty" that inspired
Calleja to take up singing.
Sprinkled between evergreen songs such as the saccharine
title tune, Granada, Arrivederci Roma, The Loveliest Night
of the Year, Because You're Mine and the football anthem
You'll Never Walk Alone, are great operatic arias made
popular by Lanza's movie performances.
The latter include Addio alla Madre (from Cavalleria
rusticana), La fleur (from Bizet's Carmen), and the
ubiquitous Nessun dorma. The performances were
reconstructed from manuscripts of original Lanza
performances, Steven Mercurio leads the BBC orchestra in
accompaniments but all is recorded with unusually high
Verdict: Calleja recalls Lanza with passion and charm.