International star Sting has sold millions of albums worldwide, including the original 2006 release of Songs from the Labyrinth which has sold over 250,000 copies in the US alone. On the album, Sting, in collaboration with lutenist Edin Karamazov, interweaves songs, instrumentals and a few short recitations by Elizabethan composer John Dowland, one of England's greatest songwriters. This special bonus edition includes three new tracks: 'Fields of Gold', 'Message in a Bottle' and Robert Johnson's 'Have You Seen the Bright Lily Grow'. The first two tracks were recorded live in NY in 2006, and the third is a new studio version recorded by Sting in Tuscany in September 2006. According to Classic FM: It's a must for his fans.
Pièces de Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, Caccini, etc. / J. Baird, soprano - R. McFarlane
If you don't know whether you'll enjoy Italian songs of the Renaissance era, this disc will convince you one way or the other--probably positively. Baird's dexterity and expressiveness bring the antique material to life, and her light voice is perfect for the music. McFarlane collaborates with vigor and personality, instead of accompanying from a respectful distance, and he even varies the program with some beautiful lute solos. Printed texts with literate translations also help bring the music closer to us, and the recording quality is superb. The only problem with the disc is that it's difficult to read the names of the composers and titles, which are printed in small type on a picture background. But if that's the worst problem, who cares? --Leslie Gerber