Orphaned at age five from a musical family, French composer Félicien-César David had a religious upbringing, and would go to study at the Paris Conservatory in 1830. But he left after eighteen months, later making his way to Egypt, where music of the East would make a lasting impression on him.
David wrote a significant body of work, including a highly acclaimed and innovative symphonic ode Le Désert in 1844. It established him as the first French romantic orientalist and gained him a reputation throughout the continent.
Is it possible to make a top ten list of albums everyone can agree on? With your help, we're going to try!
Each week, now through the summer, we're asking you to give us a thumbs up or thumbs down on a list of records. Just tell us in the survey below whether you do or don't love the record.
And, of course, in the comments section below, tell us what albums you think we should include in future surveys. We hope to use the results to compile a list of the ten most universally loved records by sometime in August.
You may or may not know who David Bromberg is, depending on your age. Odds are, though, you do know his friends. Bromberg has been featured on close to 200 albums, recording with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Carly Simon and The Eagles, among others.
Spiritualized, a neo-psychedelic outfit with Jason Pierce (a.k.a. J. Spaceman) at its center, formed out of the ashes of Pierce's previous group, Spaceman 3. The newer band's seven albums of panoramic space-rock are deeply influenced by soul, gospel and all things Velvet Underground.
Singing about one's imminent death requires a certain level of delicacy, because it's way too easy to dive into melodramatic gloom. But Sonnymoon's "Just Before Dawn" — in which Anna Wise's ethereal vocals float across Dane Orr's palpitating soundscape as she contemplates mortality — takes on a more hopeful, universal tone. "Every night, you should have someone to hold," Wise sings, "to tell you that you did okay when your mind is against you."