1/  The Elixer of Love (Una Furtiva Lagrima)   (Donizetti)                   5.55
  2/  La Forza Del Destino (Overture)            (Verdi)                       5.53
  3/  La Traviata (Prelude, Reprise)             (Verdi)                       4.33
  4/  Tosca Second Act (Orchestral Background)   (Puccini)                     6.45
  5/  Turandot (Nessun Dorma)                    (Puccini)                     5.31
  6/  Samson & Dalila (Mon Coeur)                (Saint-Saens)                 5.02
  7/  Tosca (E Lucevan Le Stelle)                (Puccini)                     5.29
  8/  La Traviata (Prelude)                      (Verdi)                       7.05
  9/  Reprise                                    (------)                      5.10

          Recorded at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York and Orange Music, West
            Orange, New Jersey
          Produced by Bill Laswell and Alan Douglas
          Engineered by Robert Musso
          Conception: Alan Douglas
          Construction: Bill Laswell
          Executive Producer: Michael Dorf
Karl Berger: string and horn arrangements, keyboards; Bill Laswell (uncredited): beats; FEATURED SOLOISTS: Graham Haynes: cornet, flugelhorn; Byard Lancaster: tenor saxophone; ORCHESTRA: Material Strings with Mark Helias: acoustic bass; Becky Friend: C flute, alto flute; Mark Taylor: french horn; Diva Goodfriend: alto flute, bass flute; Vincent Chancey: french horn; Krystof Witek: violin; Hector Falcon: violin; Denise Stillwell: violin, viola; Garo Yellin: cello.

          2000 - Douglas Music/Knitting Factory Records (USA), KFW 267 (CD)
          2004 - Douglas Music (France), AD-02 (CD)


Well here's a gorgeous release ideal for morning, noon or night. Constructed by Bill Laswell and conceptualised by Alan Douglas, here we have jazzed-up restylings of the instrumental sections from various operatic works. Music from Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini and Saint-Saens are "redesigned" with Laswell's bassy rhythms (tabla tabla tabla) which are buried in the background of sweet strings, cornets and saxophones. When I first heard this disc, I wanted the rhythms to be louder -- they just seemed to be too low in the mix -- but on repeated listenings, I now feel they are at the absolute perfect level. Listen to this now before it's exploited and commercialised in Lexus or British Airways advertisements!

Vils M DiSanto (courtesy of the Incursion website)