As both musician and translator, one of my favourite gigs is translating liner notes for the record label Analekta. I get to combine my two professions, the liner notes are always well-written and interesting, it's a real challenge (as opposed to translating, say annual reports...yawn), and--the best part--free CDs periodically appear in my mailbox.
Last week was particularly wonderful; I got a padded envelope with two discs. One, a recording of Alessandro Scarlatti cantatas by Les voix baroques and countertenor Matthew White, the other a recording of Bach sonatas by the amazing young violinist James Ehnes.
Both CDs are wonderful. I've toured with Matt White. His voice is really starting to blossom and I predict a bright future for this guy (not that he's begging for work as it is). He also happens to be a genuinely nice person. This CD is magnificent.
I've played with James Ehnes too. When I was with the Wiinipeg Symphony, this guy was a 16-year-old child prodigy. Being from just down the road in Brandon, he played with the WSO often back then, though I see that that orchestra isn't even mentioned in his bio nowadays--you've come a long way baby! He was great as a 16-year old. Now he must be around 30, and he blows me away. I'm no great judge of violinists, but this guy is certainly one of my favourite young fiddlers. The Bach CD is good, though I'm used to hearing a more period-specific style. But Ehnes is such a fine musician. I can't say much against it.
Analekta has been putting out some really good recordings lately (I'm not biased at all, mind you). I hope they continue to thrive, both because I love the gig and because they're doing a great job.