Hilary Hahn speaks with KDFC: State Of the Arts


Hilary Hahn‘s first studio release was in 1997, with a disc of two of Bach's Partitas and a Sonata for solo violin. More than 20 years later, she's just released the followup on Decca, called Hilary Hahn Plays Bach, with the remaining Partita, and two Sonatas. She'll be coming to San Francisco toward the beginning of November to play some of the repertoire that she's been ‘collaborating with' since she was a teenager. LISTEN & READ THE KDFC: San Francisco - State Of the Arts SEGMENT
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Nadine Sierra speaks with Spokane Public Radio


Nadine Sierra, 2018 winner of the Metropolitan Opera's prestigious Beverly Sills Artist Award, has made her first album for Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Gold. Recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Robert Spano, There's a Place for Us marked the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's birth. The album presents everything from works by Bernstein, Stephen Foster, and Douglas Moore, to Stravinsky and Villa-Lobos, Ricky Ian Gordon, Osvaldo Golijov and Christopher Theofanidis. NS spoke with Spokane Public Radio's James Tevenan about the new album. Listen to the attached file.
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  Interview with Spokane PR's Jim Tevenan

Sullivan Fortner has a gem of a new recording / jazz & blues report


Three years after the release of Sullivan Fortner's charming Impulse! Records debut, Aria , the 31-year-old New Orleans-bred pianist and composer returns with his enchanting sophomore effort, Moments Preserved , which finds him leading a sterling trio with bassist Ameen Saleem and drummer Jeremy "Bean" Clemons. Fortner's profile on the international jazz scene has ascended considerably since the release of Aria, an album, which The New York Times described as containing "an air of crisp assurance." In addition to touring in support of his debut, he's been the pianist for singers Cécile McLorin Salvant and Roberta Gambarini; trumpeters Roy Hargrove, Etienne Charles, and Ambrose Akinmusire; guitarists John Scofield and Peter Bernstein. The year after his debut dropped, New York City's prestigious Lincoln Center crowned Fortner with an "Emerging Artist" award.
SEE jazz&blues report REVIEW IN IMAGE
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'It's a pleasure to present a rare, exclusive interview with Madeleine Peyroux - The Paul Leslie Hour


Madeleine Peyroux's new album, Anthem, finds the singer-songwriter collaborating with writers/musicians Patrick Warren (Bonnie Raitt, JD Souther, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Lana Del Rey, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Brian MacLeod (Sara Bareilles, Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner, Ziggy Marley) and David Baerwald (Joni Mitchell, David and David, Sheryl Crow), who are also the basic rhythm section players on the album. Together, they cast a sober, poetic, and at times philosophical eye on the current state of the world. Produced and co-written by Larry Klein, the album came to life during the pivotal 2016 US elections, with the writers absorbing a "constant stream of news" over many months. It's a pleasure to present a rare, exclusive interview with Madeleine Peyroux discussing several topics including this newest release, her most ambitious and biggest recording yet. She's right here on The Paul Leslie Hour.     LISTEN   p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060; min-height: 14.0px}
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Ben Monder, Theo Bleckmann set for ZINC. / City Guide NY


Acclaimed jazz guitarist Ben Monder joins forces with vocalist Theo Bleckmann to perform at ZINC. jazz club on Monday, October 15. A musician in the New York City area for over 30 years, Ben Monder has performed with a wide variety of artists, including Jack McDuff, Marc Johnson, Lee Konitz, Billy Childs, Andrew Cyrille, George Garzone, Paul Motian, Maria Schneider, and Marshall Crenshaw. He also contributed guitar parts to the last David Bowie album, "Blackstar". Ben conducts clinics and workshops around the world, and has served on the faculties of the New England Conservatory, NYU, and the New School. He was the recipient of a Doris Duke Impact Award in 2014, and a Shifting Foundation grant in 2013. Ben continues to perform original music internationally in solo and trio settings, and in a long-standing duo project with vocalist Theo Bleckmann. He has appeared on over 200 CDs as a sideman, and has released 6 as a leader: Amorphae (ECM, 2015), Hydra (Sunnyside, 2013), Oceana (Sunnyside, 2005), Excavation (Arabesque, 2000), Dust(Arabesque, 1997), and Flux(Songlines,1995). GRAMMY® nominated jazz singer and new music composer Theo Bleckmann's diverse recorded work includes albums of Las Vegas standards, Weimar art songs, and popular "bar songs" (all with pianist Fumio Yasuda); a recording of newly-arranged songs by Charles Ives (with jazz/rock collective Kneebody); and his acclaimed "Hello Earth – the Music of Kate Bush." Bleckmann has most recently appeared as a special guest on recordings by Ambrose Akinmusire for Blue Note Records and Julia Hülsmann's trio for ECM Records. In January 2017, ECM will release Bleckmann's recording with his new Elegy Quintet, produced by legendary label head and founder, Manfred Eicher. Bleckmann has collaborated with musicians, artists, actors and composers, including Ambrose Akinmusire, Laurie Anderson, Uri Caine, Philip Glass, Ann Hamilton, John Hollenbeck, Sheila Jordan, Phil Kline, David Lang, Kirk Nurock, Frances McDormand, Ben Monder, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kenny Wheeler, John Zorn, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and, most prominently, Meredith Monk, with whom Bleckmann worked as a core ensemble member for over fifteen years.? He has been interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air and appeared on the David Letterman show with Laurie Anderson. In 2015, Bleckmann premiered a new work for the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and in 2016 he brings new work to the New York Philharmonic Biennial and the LA Philharmonic. Bleckmann has consistently appeared in the top-five spots in the DownBeat Critics' Polls for Best Male Vocalist, and top-ten spots in their Readers' Polls, and his work on Phil Kline's "Out Cold" helped place that production on WQXR's Operavore "Best Opera of 2012". In 2010, Bleckmann received the prestigious JAZZ ECHO award from the Deutsche Phono-Akademie in his native Germany. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060; min-height: 14.0px} Phil DiPietro, from All About Jazz said; "A searing unison interplay between Theo Bleckmann and Ben Monder – either they rehearsed this passage for months or they have developed a familial telepathy from their years of collaboration." SEE THE FULL City Guide NY PAGE
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Daniil Trifonov: Destination Rachmaninov is KUSC 'Album Of the Week'


New and noteworthy is a recording of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2, arguably the composer's best-loved piece, with the young Russian superstar pianist Daniil Trifonov joining the legendary Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin. The disc also includes the lesser-known 4th Concerto and a Rachmaninoff transcription of a Bach Partita. Listen for selections from this new release throughout this week on KDFC. Daniil Trifonov: Destination Rachmaninov - Departure is KUSC: Los Angeles 'Album Of the Week'
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Daniil Trifonov: Destination Rachmaninov is KDFC 'Album Of the Week'


New and noteworthy is a recording of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2, arguably the composer's best-loved piece, with the young Russian superstar pianist Daniil Trifonov joining the legendary Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin. The disc also includes the lesser-known 4th Concerto and a Rachmaninoff transcription of a Bach Partita. Listen for selections from this new release throughout this week on KDFC. Daniil Trifonov: Destination Rachmaninov - Departure is KDFC: San Francisco 'Album Of the Week' p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060}
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Seong-Jin Cho set for 2 Bay Area concerts with Stanford Live & San Francisco Performances / The Mercury News


Ever since his Gold Medal win at the 2015 Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho has been dazzling audiences with a rare blend of phenomenal technique and depth of artistic insight. Now he's set to appear in back-to-back Bay Area performances, each one with a different program. First on the schedule is a recital at Stanford Live; the next evening, he'll appear at Herbst Theatre for San Francisco Performances. Both programs include Chopin's Polonaise Fantasy; at Stanford, he'll also play the composer's Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor and Ballade No. 3, along with Debussy's "Images," Books 1 and 2. The San Francisco program includes Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," along with works by Bach and Schubert. Details: 2:30 p.m. Oct. 21, Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University, $42-$87, 650-724-2464, live.stanford.edu.; 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22, Herbst Theatre, S.F., $45-$75, 415-392-2545, www.sfperformances.org READ THE FULL Mercury News ARTICLE
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Leif Ove Andsnes - Chopin: Ballades and Nocturnes is WFMT 'Featured New Release'


Leif Ove Andsnes, "a pianist of magisterial elegance, power and insight" (New York Times), intersperses Chopin's four Ballades – works immense in the range and power of their expression – with three of his nocturnes. The new album represents the Norwegian pianist's first recording of Chopin's music in more than a decade. "There were quite a few years where I didn't play much Chopin. He felt complicated to me, and I was not at ease with him. Something has happened to me in the last ten years, I don't know what it is, but now I experience his music as so unbelievably great, so unique a voice, much more than before. My relationship to this composer is much more intimate." – Leif Ove Andsnes Leif Ove Andsnes - Chopin: Ballades and Nocturnes is WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release' p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060}
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Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Bill Frisell all coming to town this month / The San Diego Union-Tribune


It's not surprising that Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Bill Frisell form the triumvirate of a very exclusive mutual admiration society. As three of the guitar world's most acclaimed and distinctive artists of the past 40 years, their singular careers are matched by the esteem they have for one another as musicians and friends. Each of them has developed a playing style so innovative and distinctive that listeners can identify their work within just a few notes. Just how distinctive will be demonstrated over a nine-day period this month, when each of these three Grammy Award-winning guitarists perform separate San Diego concerts. It's hard to recall three guitar greats of their stature appearing here in such close succession, let alone three whose careers have intertwined as closely. READ THE FULL San Diego Union-Tribune ARTICLE
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Kim Kashkashian - Bach: Six Suites For Viola Solo make Pitchfork's '8 albums out today you should listen to now'


Here are Bach's six cello suites, played on the viola by one of the instrument's greatest exponents, Kim Kashkashian. The suites were once described by Pablo Casals as "the very essence of Bach…a whole radiance of space and poetry pours forth from them."  These qualities are in abundance in the present version, recorded at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York in November and December 2016, and February 2017. Bach composed the suites around 1720 when he was in the employ of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen. In recent years, there has been speculation about the instrument for which Bach wrote the music: was it the violoncello as we know it today, or was it the violoncello da spalla, the small cello played braced against the shoulder?  Were the suites played on the viola in Bach's lifetime Perhaps. Bach's fondness for the viola is documented; he liked to play it in chamber music and also directed cantatas from the viola. Hearing the Suites on the viola, with its range an octave above the cello, Paul Griffiths remarks in the liner notes, the music takes on "a different kind of sombreness, a different kind of dazzlement, a different kind of self-examination." Kim Kashkashian approaches the suites as a player whose sensibilities have been shaped by engagement with new music as well as classical tradition. For these performances she uses contemporary instruments, including a 5-string viola (as called for in the Anna Magdalena Bach manuscript) for the challenging D major suite, and brings to the whole set a feeling of freedom, grace and power. The cello suites have long been part of her performance repertoire, approached from multiple perspectives. (In concert, for instance, inspired by György Kurtág's insertion of Bach arrangements amid hisJátékok pieces, she has sometimes threaded sections of Kurtág's Signs, Games and Messages in between movements). In her hands, the music is very much alive, and speaks to the present. SEE THE OTHER 7 Pitchfork ALBUMS
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Alexandra Streliski's 'Overturn' makes ourculture - Sound Selection


The last song on our Sound Selection is by the wonderful Alexandra Stréliski who brings us a wave of emotions in a mellow composition that will have one's heart shifting with its delicate melody. The song is ‘Overturn' and is accompanied by an artistic music video, which takes influence from the late Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky. ‘Overturn' is part of Stréliski's sophomore album titled INSCAPE, via Secret City Records. Recorded in the Fall of 2017 at Studio PM in Montreal, INSCAPE is the work of an artist unconcerned with conventions, whose approach of neoclassicism is resolutely current. Produced by Alexandra Stréliski herself and Maxime Navert (who also co-produced Pianoscope), the attempt was to fill a certain emotional emptiness, a creative urge that commits to taking the listener back to a form of lost sincerity. "A piano, on its own, is a very vulnerable thing, and I want to share this moment with the listener," explains Alexandra.  Stréliski has been in the spotlight this Summer following an incredible artistic collaboration with Jean-Marc Vallée for his latest HBO miniseries Sharp Objects, starring Amy Adams. Alexandra was included in the process of using her music and tailored pieces were requested from the pianist. In the end, Alexandra's pieces from both her previous album Pianoscope and her new release INSCAPE are heard multiple times in six of the eight episodes, including the crucial scene of the finale, which aired last August 26th. Alexandra also wrote the theme for the third episode and recorded a Bach Concerto for Sharp Objects which was released last July.  Since then, her single Plus tôt is now over 2 million streams online. READ THE FULL ourculture ARTICLE
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Top 10 Albums for October

Tony Bennett, Diana Krall :

Love Is Here To Stay

Tony Bennett and Diana Krall celebrate their shared love of the music of George and Ira Gershwin on their new collaborative album, LOVE IS HERE TO STAY, set for a September 14th release on Verve Records/Columbia Records.  Tony Bennett, who celebrates his 92nd birthday today, has been friends with Diana Krall for over 20 years. The two toured together in 2000 and recorded duets for two of Bennett's albums ("Duets" and "Playin' With My Friends"), but this marks their first full album project together.  LOVE IS HERE TO STAY is out just in time for the 120th Anniversary of George Gershwin's birthday which takes place on September 26th.  Both multi-Grammy winning and platinum-selling artists, Bennett is the only artist at the ages of 85 and 88, respectively, to have an album debut at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and Krall is the only jazz artist to have eight albums debut at #1 on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart.  Danny Bennett, President and CEO of Verve Label Group commented, "When Tony Bennett and Diana Krall sing the music of the Gershwins, it's truly the consummate artistic pairing of singers and songwriting.  It's one of those recordings that when you listen to it, you recognize instantly that it had to happen - it was just a matter of getting these two extraordinary performers into a studio and putting the Gershwin songbook in front of them."
Jon Batiste :

Hollywood Africans

Jon Batiste is an internationally acclaimed musician, bandleader and composer. As an educator and television personality, he spreads his unbridled optimism coupled with a profound understanding of the arts. Born into a long lineage of New Orleans musicians, Batiste is a graduate of The Juilliard School with a master's degree. After graduating, he toured globally with his band Stay Human and currently appears nightly on national television as the bandleader and musical director for "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Jon is a Forbes 30 under 30 honoree, Musical Director for The Atlantic and Creative Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. He balances a demanding performance schedule with speaking engagements, curating events, occasional acting and producing opportunities, all while relentlessly composing new music. Jon is also a coveted brand ambassador–featured in campaigns for Chase, Apple, Lincoln Motor Company, and numerous fashion brands including Bonobos, Ralph Lauren, Barney's and Nordstrom. He has worked with famed photographer Annie Leibowitz, among many others, and his personal style has been profiled in various fashion publications including GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Jon's mission is to share his faith, hope and love with the world around him.
Yo-Yo Ma :

Six Evolutions - Bach Cello Suites

YO-YO MA releases Six Evolutions – Bach: Cello Suites today.  The new album from Sony Classical marks Ma's third and final recording of the works and celebrates his nearly six-decade-long relationship with the music.  Six Evolutions – Bach: Cello Suites is available to stream and download now on all digital service providers and for purchase as a 3-LP 180-gram vinyl set. As Ma's "constant musical companions" for almost 60 years, Bach's Cello Suites first entered the cellist's life at the age of four, when he learned the first measure of the Prélude to Suite No. 1 under his father's instruction.  His Grammy Award-winning first complete recording of the suites was made in his late twenties. His second, Inspired by Bach, was released in his early forties and recorded alongside a multi-genre, collaborative exploration of the works. Both previous recordings of the Cello Suites, also on Sony Classical, became landmarks in classical discography, as well as milestones in Ma's musical life.  Since then these works have been a through line in his life, guiding him through times of happiness as well as hardship, prompting Ma to ask, "What power does this music possess that even today, after three hundred years, it continues to help us navigate through troubled times'"
John Scofield :

Combo 66

Grammy Award-winning jazz guitarist, band leader and composer, John Scofield is set to release his new album, Combo 66, marking his 66th birthday, on September 28 via Verve Records. The album, which features long-time drummer Bill Stewart, bassist Vincente Archer and pianist/organist Gerald Clayton, combines jazz with genre-defying elements, allowing Scofield to find new modes of expression.
Olafur Arnalds :

re:member

BAFTA winning artist, composer, musician and producer Ólafur Arnalds has unveiled his new track ‘re:member' featuring his ground-breaking new software, Stratus, which transforms the humble piano into a unique new instrument. It is released today Friday April 6 along with a brand new music video. Ólafur will be performing The Stratus Pianos across the world later this year, including a sold-out date at London's Royal Albert Hall and New York City's Le Poisson Rouge on June 30 (full US tour dates below).
Daniil Trifonov :

Destination Rachmaninov - Departure

As a teenager, Daniil Trifonov absorbed lessons from the recordings of Sergei Rachmaninov, lessons that fed the creative process of his latest Deutsche Grammophon project, Destination Rachmaninov – Departure, the first of two albums comprising Trifonov's cycle of the great Russian composer's piano concertos. Destination Rachmaninov – Departure, set for release on October 12, 2018, features Concertos Nos. 2 and 4, along with Rachmaninov's solo piano transcriptions of three movements from Bach's Violin Partita in E major. Together with its upcoming October 2019 sequel Destination Rachmaninov – Arrival, which contains Concertos Nos. 1 and 3, Trifonov's new album documents a journey of artistic exploration made in company with the Philadelphia Orchestra and its music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who have a special, historical connection to Rachmaninov. Rachmaninov first performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and its then Music Director Leopold Stokowski in 1913 as a soloist in his own Third Piano Concerto and returned many times as pianist and conductor before his death thirty years later.
Kim Kashkashian :

JS Bach: Six Suites For Viola Solo BWV 1007-1012

Here are Bach's six cello suites, played on the viola by one of the instrument's greatest exponents, Kim Kashkashian. The suites were once described by Pablo Casals as "the very essence of Bach…a whole radiance of space and poetry pours forth from them."  These qualities are in abundance in the present version, recorded at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York in November and December 2016, and February 2017. Bach composed the suites around 1720 when he was in the employ of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen.  The autograph manuscript is no longer extant, and the earliest known copies date from 1726 and 1730, the latter made by Anna Magdalena Bach.  Bach himself made a transcription of an arrangement of Suite V for lute, however, which has survived. Differences in articulation between the versions invite a certain expressive liberty. There has also, in recent years, been speculation about the instrument for which Bach wrote the music: was it the violoncello as we know it today, or was it the violoncello da spalla, the small cello played braced against the shoulder'  Were the suites played on the viola in Bach's lifetime Perhaps. Bach's fondness for the viola is documented; he liked to play it in chamber music and also directed cantatas from the viola.
Renee Fleming :

Broadway

Currently wowing theatre-goers in the US with her Tony-nominated performance in Carousel, Grammy-winning soprano Renée Fleming announces her new album ‘Broadway', to be released on Decca Classics on Friday 7th September. Celebrating musical theatre, the album features a diverse array of great songs for the stage by composers including Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Pasek & Paul, and Rodgers & Hammerstein, as well as a special guest duet with the Hamilton, television and film star, Leslie Odom, Jr. Fleming made her Broadway musical debut this April as Nettie Fowler in the hit new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's beloved Carousel. She received glowing reviews and even a Tony nomination – the prestigious awards ceremony takes place this Sunday. The Hollywood Reporter described her performance in Carousel as "superb" and "sheer euphoria", and Newsweek said, "she is divine".
Hilary Hahn :

Plays Bach - Sonatas I & II, Partita I

When Hilary Hahn plays Bach came out on Sony in 1997, critics were astounded that a performer would choose solo Bach for her debut album; they were further confounded by her elegant approach to this music's technical and interpretive challenges at such a young age. Bach expert Nicholas Anderson wrote in BBC Music Magazine at the time, "Bach's six unaccompanied solos - three each of partitas and sonatas - have long been regarded as the pinnacle of violin writing and the most elusive of goals for the aspiring performer... Hahn's affection for Bach's music becomes apparent at almost every turn; and the concluding movement of the C major Sonata is a tour de force. I long to hear more." Stereo Review wrote, "I would go so far as to say that I've never heard this legendary, impossible piece of music played on a higher level, technically and musically, than it is on Hahn's debut CD. This is simply a magnificent performance, completely true in all its parts and possessed of a depth and wisdom that belie the performer's age. Unlike most of the violinists who play this music, she is truly its master, and that frees her to play it with soul." Now 38, she completes her recording of the Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin in an album that will be released on Decca Classics on October 5, 2018. The new album includes the first partita and first and second sonatas.
Anthony Roth Costanzo :

ARC

"Anthony Roth Costanzo exists to transform opera." - THE NEW YORK TIMES Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo Announces ARC his debut solo album pairing arias of Philip Glass and Handel Set for release on September 21 on Decca Gold. In conjunction with the album, Costanzo and Visionaire unveil  GLASS HANDEL, an ambitious live installation of ARC in Philadelphia (Sept 22, 23, 30) and NYC (Nov 26, 27) Along with ARC, Costanzo and the avant-garde fashion/art company VISIONAIRE and producer CATH BRITTAN will present GLASS HANDEL, an hour-long, live interdisciplinary installation that will take place at Opera Philadelphia's Festival O18 (at the Barnes Foundation) on September 22-23, 30, and in New York City (produced with National Sawdust at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, who co-present) on November 26-27. With GLASS HANDEL, Costanzo and Visionaire have curated an unprecedented collaboration with stars from the worlds of art, fashion, dance, and film: 
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