Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Neville Marriner / Pepe Romero – Concierto de Aranjuez; Fantasía para un gentilhombre; Concierto Madrigal

Performer Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Neville Marriner / Pepe Romero
Composer Joaquín Rodrigo
Type Compilation
Released 13 January 1992
Recorded April 1974 – August 1978
Genres Spanish Classical Music, Concerto, Modern Classical

In 1978, Sir Neville Marriner recorded one of the best interpretations of this famous Rodrigo guitar concerto. 
Here the orchestra is incredibly dynamic and let Pepe Romero performs the guitar partition perfectly without any bombastic virtuosity like in too many versions. 
Rodrigo has never been sounded so great as here. Let the Music play…

Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Choir of St Martin in the Fields / Neville Marriner / Elly Ameling / Philip Langridge / Anna Reynolds / Gwynne Howell – Messiah [Neville Marriner]

Artist Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Choir of St Martin in the Fields / Neville Marriner / Elly Ameling / Philip Langridge / Anna Reynolds / Gwynne Howell
Type Album
Released 1989
Genres Baroque Music, Oratorio Choral
Issue details Decca Records / 421.234-2 / Germany

There are so many recordings of this oratorio that it is really tedious to select the right one able to gather most of the qualities required to respect Händel’s soul.
Marriner recorded in 1976 a very optimistic Messiah with a very bright and light orchestra. His strings and chorus have never been sounding so pure in this partition. Elly Ameling is brillant same as most soloists. The only Anna Reynolds (alto) is sounding a bit tired with a tiny bit too much elastic vibrato. Anyway her singing remains decent.
Now, if you are not convinced about this version, just listen to the exploding « Alleluia » which is delightful without sounding bombastic like in so many old versions on modern instruments. Then listen to the 3 chorus #24, 25 and 26. « Surely he hath borne »: an English critic said that we can hear at last that « Su-re-ly » has got 3 syllables in English!

Last but not least, the Decca sound recording is really top.

A too much overlooked recording at its first issue which deserves to be rehabilitated.

Warmly Recommended.

Academy of St Martin in the Fields – 30 Years

Artist Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Type Compilation
Released 1989

Sir Neville Marriner is one of the finest British conductor. He is refined and performs in the baroque and classical era the best.
He plays J.S. Bach with modern instruments and does it very well against all fashions.
His most convincing recordings through the years are Bach, Mozart and Haendel.
Anyway his version of Rodrigo’s Aranjuez Concerto is outstanding and one of the best of the discography.

A very fine box-set but probably deleted now as it was only released for the 30th Jubilee Anniversary.

Éric Abergel – Le roi du palace [5 Tracks Mini-Album]

Artist Éric Abergel
Type Album
Released June 2004

Èric Abergel est un artiste totalement inconnu du grand public car tout simplement la musique n’est qu’une passion à côté de son emploi de voiturier à l’hôtel De Crillon.
Un de ses clients, séduit par sa musique lui a offert la possibilité de tirer 500 exemplaires supplémentaires de son mini album, ce qui a doublé son investissement initial.
Sa musique est faite d’un mélange de folk et de country fort bien arrangé et agréable à l’oreille.
La voix d’Éric n’est pas sans évoquer Jacques Dutronc dans certaines intonations et dans son vibrato également. Les textes sont d’ailleurs plutôt corrosifs envers la société et plein d’humour également (« Les rakakas », « Locataire » (ou « loques à terre » comme vous voulez !).
L’album contient également 2 agréables chansons d’amour : « Ne pleure pas petite » et ma perle d’Orient ».
La vie de musicien d’Éric Abergel se conjugue avec des concerts après son travail, donc pas encore de quoi en faire une carrière et encore moins une star. 
Les musiciens accompagnant ce guitariste, auteur-compositeur et interprète sont Emmanuel Binet (Guitare électrique, basse et arrangements), Jean-Luc Lopez (Batterie), Jean-Marc Henaux (Harmonica) et Hatem Bedoui (Darbouka, bendir, tambourin).
Pour en savoir davantage sur Éric Abergel et écouter des extraits musicaux, vous pouvez visiter son blog.

Un artiste à découvrir.