As I am actually doing a bit of painting at present (none yesterday, though, sadly) I thought I'd get some new tunes to paint to, as I can't paint without music.
Now given I have more than 16,000 tracks on my iTunes you'd think that I would be able to find something to play but it's always nice to have something new, so I have had a bit of a blitz in the last few weeks.
Casino Royale the Complete Original Soundtrack
This is one of my six favourite sixties soundtracks (along with How to Murder your Wife (Hefti), The Ipcress File (Barry), The Italian Job (Jones), Our Man Flint (Goldsmith) and The Pink Panther (Mancini)). I had the shorter CD of Bacharach's engaging score for years but recently acquired the extended version. Perfect for painting spies and secret agents to. Except I don't have any.
Highlight: The Look of Love by Dusty Springfirled with Herb Alpert's slinky double tracked trumpet.
The Unknown Sibelius
The Lahti Symphony Orchestra have been recording some interesting early versions of Sibelius's work amongst BIS's complete Sibelius project and here they round it up with a few oddments, some of which haven't been recorded before. Perfect for painting Great Northern War figures.
Highlight: The not quite three minutes, in four fragments, of what is probably all that remains of Sibelius 8th symphony, the manuscript of which he burnt in disgust as he couldn't complete it to his satisfaction. Actually, I think it would have been rather fine from what I can hear but what do I know?
The Solent: Fifty Years of Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Amongst the endless repeats of Spring from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Jupiter from The Planets (actually, I don't mind that), Rachaminov's Second Piano Concerto (I don't mind that either), the opening of Beethoven's 5th and Nimrod from the Enigma variations you occasionally discover something new and worthwhile on Classic FM. Such was the case with a piece I recently heard whose style sounded faintly familiar but I couldn't place. It turned out to be a world premiere recording of an early piece of Vaughan Williams called The Solent. The name alone would have been enough for me to buy it! It wasn't available on download so I actually bought the CD! Perfect for painting early Dark Ages Britons to.
Highlight: The Solent itself. Early flashes of the Vaughan Williams string sound to be found in the Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis a few years later, coupled with some Tristan-style Wagnerian effects from before the time when Ravel talked him out of the Wagnerian style.
Lots of weird drum and flute music with, strangely, cod Mahler (although bits sound like the more mysterious parts of John Williams Raiders of the Lost Ark score). Very atmospheric, though. Perfect for painting Samurai! Which is, of course, why I bought it.
Nino Rota Piano Concerti
Classical critics are always rude about film composers and even ruder about them if they have the temerity to attempt a piece of "serious" music. For years Rota was, for me, the composer of the soundtrack to Waterloo (1970) and I wasn't aware of his other film music. Rota's concerti are good enough to have received several recordings but this one conducted by Muti (who was one of Rota's students) is excellent. If you like Rachmaninov, Shostakovitch, Ravel or Saint Saens piano concerti you will like these. Perfect for painting...er Italians in Russian service?
Highlight: The finale of the concerto in E; a big romantic piece.
I need something a little more relaxing if I am painting (or. more likely, basing or filing) late at night so this album of Jobim standards is just the job. Febian Reza Pane has a lovely delicate touch Perfect for drinking Champagne in the bath with someone from Vancouver.
Highlight: Agua de Beber.