The Romantic theme of the wanderer, a free spirit undertaking a journey into the self, runs through Seong-Jin Cho's latest solo album. The globetrotting Korean pianist's program includes two monuments of the 19th-century repertoire – Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy and Liszt's Piano Sonata in B minor. The album also contains Alban Berg's Piano Sonata, Op. 1, a single-movement work of extraordinary intensity. All three compositions grow from a simple theme or melodic gesture which is then transformed in the course of a voyage of variation, development, and discovery. "This music looks forwards and backwards at once," notes Cho. "What fascinates me is the (three) composers' ability to create great art from just a few elements. The way they develop the works' entire fabric from a single motif is fascinating."
For Thursday June 4, 2020 - Seong-Jin Cho - The Wanderer is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release'
On Saturday 6th June, Libera were due to perform a concert in Ely Cathedral in the UK. Due to the COVID - 19 pandemic, this event has been postponed - but......... there will still be a Concert - a Mini-Concert which will be shown online! Please join us at 7 30pm UK time, when we will be singing on-line with an orchestra like we've never done before! This will be shown as a YouTube Premier and the concert will be remain on-line after that first 'transmission'.
This concert is free for all to watch. But if you are able to make a donation to help us with the cost of presenting it we would be very grateful. UK Taxpayers can donate using JustGiving. All others can use Paypal.
Michael Whalen's "Sacred Spaces" is an epic recording nearly ten years in the making. Whalen said; "I have been pursuing a spiritual ‘awakening' for most of my adult life. Over the past decade, I realized that I am 100 percent responsible for whatever my relationship with a ‘higher being' might be." Filled with sonic landscapes built from hundreds of layers of sound, "Sacred Spaces" is Michael's tour-de-force electronic project, which seamlessly blends his natural gift for melody with fresh textures and percolating rhythms. Deeply inspired by Michael's film and TV work and his love for progressive rock, "Sacred Spaces" is the ambient recording of the year.
Michael Whalen spoke with Oregon's KBOG Radio about the recording. Listen to the attached interview
The pianist Igor Levit is always one-upping himself. His recordings have swollen from a collection of four Beethoven sonatas to the entire cycle; his performances, from a traditional recital to, as of Sunday, a livestream lasting over 15 hours.
In an extraordinary act of musical self-flagellation, Mr. Levit played Erik Satie's "Vexations" - a mysterious and absurd work consisting only of four lines repeated 840 times - to evoke and draw attention to the difficulties facing artists during the coronavirus pandemic. (Each iteration was printed on a single sheet of paper; they will be auctioned later to raise money for out-of-work musicians.)
"Vexations" performances are extremely rare, and typically presented as a roughly 19-hour relay with a long roster of pianists. But Mr. Levit - accomplishing the unthinkable, if inadvisable - did it alone in a Berlin studio, starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday and finishing at 5:30 a.m. Sunday, relatively early even with scattered intermissions.
If Mr. Levit's traversal, paid for using the $300,000 Gilmore Artist Award he received in 2018, was brisk, it was only for small stretches. The tempo direction is "très lent" ("very slowly"), which he started with and often returned to. But there were flashes in which he hurriedly pecked the keyboard as if jaded and exasperated, understandably dropping notes along the way.
"I got so tired that literally my fingers stopped moving," Mr. Levit said in an interview on Sunday. "Maybe a chord came a second late, but nobody died because of it. I'm OK with that; it's part of the performance."
At no point, he said, did he feel like he wasn't going to finish. And he avoided scaring himself beforehand with the piece's history, like in 1970 when Peter Evans quit after 595 repetitions, claiming to have had evil thoughts and visions. Pianists who take on "Vexations," he later said, "do so at their own great peril."
Mr. Levit may have felt confident, but his facial expressions betrayed frustrated exhaustion. He sometimes slouched or stared emptily into the distance, or held a palm to his reddened forehead - given a persistent sheen by sweat - as if in despair. The fascinating livestream occasionally slid into something more disturbingly voyeuristic, like witnessing a private crisis of faith and bracing for it to all go wrong.
But it didn't. If anything, Mr. Levit found renewed focus near the end, returning to a slow, even drawn-out tempo for what is inevitably an anticlimax. When I heard "Vexations" at the Guggenheim Museum in 2017, the audience didn't realize it was over until the pianist stood up from his bench.
There was clearer finality in Mr. Levit's performance. He had been tossing the sheet music of each repetition onto the floor, and once he got rid of the last one, he slowly closed the lid of the piano, held his face in his hands and walked away, nonchalantly picking his iPhone off a side table on the way out.
He slept for only a few hours before resuming his Sunday as usual. In the early evening, still riding a high from "Vexations," he spoke about his experience with it and what might come next. Here are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Where do you even start with preparing for this?
From the beginning of planning to the concert was about three and a half or four weeks. And I didn't train for it at all. I tried to play it at home, but without pressure and the actual thing happening - honestly, I got bored. There was no point of just playing it.
There couldn't have been any emotional preparation, but I did have a musical goal. I told myself: I am not playing performance art, not stoically in the same tempo. I wanted to just let myself go, to do as much as I could to make it like a piece, like storytelling.
Did it leave you in any sort of pain?
I'm not making this up: I'm feeling really good. I have no back or hand issues, no headache.
What about psychologically?
There were moments of anger, there were moments of fear, sadness, devastation. But these were touchable moments for me more than anything psychological. In the middle, I looked at where I was and thought: There are still 590 to go, what the heck? It took me about half an hour to get through that, but it was really the only moment where I thought, not that I wasn't going to make it, but that I was annoyed.
I feel like that showed in your playing.
I just let myself go. And I wasn't thinking about questions about the dynamics; it was just following my emotions. Sometimes that was just counting every single number. But there were also moments where I was thinking about how I'm playing this piece while the U.S. is burning. This country I love so much - I felt a great level of despair and anger. I can't tell you that it translated into the music, but it at least translated into me. A very long part of the performance was driven by this thought.
Were you keeping up with the news during the intermissions?
This was the first time since the bloody iPhone was invented that I didn't have it with me for 16 hours! But I had seen the news from Minneapolis the night before.
Then what were you doing when you weren't playing?
Peeing. Sorry if that's not a good answer. But I was drinking water all the time, probably five and a half liters at least. I was really sorry to have to stop. I do not like intermissions; it's really hard to stand up. I wish I could play concerts without them.
What comes after something like "Vexations"?
I honestly don't know. This morning, my friends came over for coffee and I opened my iPad and Googled "the longest piano pieces ever." And 90 percent of what comes out is Sorabji. Then Frederic Rzewski's "The Road," which is an incredible cycle. He once told me it's like "War and Peace" music.
So you're not going to just take a break.
Are you kidding? Of course not.
PHOTO: Stephan Zwickirsch
At the end of every month, the NPR Music team picks their favorite albums and songs. Everyone has their passions and they vary widely, from the Atlanta rapper Deante' Hitchcock to the Australian ambient artist Madeleine Cocolas.
On this week's show, we hear the No. 1 albums and songs of May as picked by our staff. There's the Portland band MAITA, which features a singer who entered our Tiny Desk contest in 2018. We also have the 20-year-old Eve Owen (who released an album produced by The National's Aaron Dessner), a team-up between classical guitarist Sharon Isbin and Indian sarod master Ayaan Ali Bangash, and Buscabulla, a duo from Puerto Rico who met in New York City and returned to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to rediscover their home. And then there's brilliant jazz guitar playing from the Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio and joy from Scotland's Vistas.
"Love Avalanche" a cool East-meets-West raga featuring multiple Grammy-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin paired with the Indian sarod master Ayaan ali Bangash. - Tom Huizenga
In episode 921 of "ANIMAJAZZ", conceived and conducted by BRUNO POLLACCI , broadcast on TUESDAY 2 June at 20.30, on PUNTORADIO, also streaming on www.puntoradio.fm and in an immediate podcast on http: // animajazz. eu will be the protagonists of the evening, which include; "The Dream"; by ODED TZUR from "Here Be Dragons"
Here Be Dragons is the ECM debut of New York based, Tel Aviv born tenor saxophonist Oded Tzur, one of the most strikingly original musicians to have emerged from Israeli's creative jazz scene in recent years, and the leader of an outstanding group.
Oded Tzur has found a new and personal sound for the tenor saxophone. Inspired by his extensive studies from 2007 onward with bansuri master Hariprasad Chaurasia, he has mastered the graceful slides of Indian classical music and brought raga's sense of pitch fluidity and microtonal shading into a jazz context. His pieces elegantly explore and unfold their melodic and atmospheric implications in a context of subtle group interaction. Structurally, each of Tzur's compositions on Here Be Dragons sets out to develop a "miniature raga" over a moving bass, juxtaposing two musical concepts. Oded: "The dialogue between these dimensions takes us wherever it takes us." The ragas deployed in the pieces "Here Be Dragons", "20 Years" and "The Dream" are of Oded's creation, while "To Hold Your Hand" uses an Indian scale called Charukesi and operates on similar principles. He stresses, however, that "raga is, for me, a universal concept. I hear its connection to synagogue prayers, or to the blues – a marvellous creation – and to music all around the world." Ancient and modern traditions are referenced in Oded's work, including traditions of storytelling. "If music has the ability to tell stories," suggested All About Jazz, "saxophonist Oded Tzur proves himself one of the jazz world's premier storytellers." Tzur's concept is also broad enough to embrace some unexpected song choices, and the album concludes with a tender interpretation of "Can't Help Falling In Love", made famous by Elvis Presley.
We remind you that "ANIMAJAZZ" can be heard on TUESDAY at 20.30 in immediate podcast on http://animajazz.eu and the "DOWNLOAD" of the episode can be made, free of charge, from the podcasts area. Happy listening. "ANIMAJAZZ" in collaboration with the PISA ACADEMY OF ART. SEE THE PAGE
The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit - stripped-down sets, an intimate setting - just a different space.
Lara Downes thrives on collaboration. Her new album features Toshi Reagon, the vocal ensemble MUSICALITY and the string quartet called PUBLIQuartet. But in this intimate piano recital from her home in Sacramento, Calif., her only collaborators are her son Simon, who takes on cinematography duties, and her beloved pooch, Kona.
The songs, all from her recent album Some of These Days, might be old, but they are strong statements that resonate in new ways. From Margaret Bonds, one of the first celebrated African-American women composers, there's "Troubled Water," a poignant riff on the spiritual "Wade in the Water" that Downes says takes a "journey from classical virtuosity to gospel, jazz, blues and back again." Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's arrangement of "Deep River," for Downes, now represents "crossing over" the coronavirus crisis, while Florence Price's "Some of These Days," is a vision of better times ahead.
In a moment of vulnerability, Downes admits that not being out on the road – performing, embedded in communities and working with young people – makes her feel "not very useful." But in these performances there's a sturdiness and purpose that provide both comfort and the strength to carry on. Very useful, indeed.
"Margaret Bonds: Troubled Water"
"Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Deep River"
"Florence Proce: Some Of These Days"
Guitarist John Scofield celebrates the music of his friend and mentor Steve Swallow in an outgoing and spirited recording, made in an afternoon in New York City in March 2019 - "old school" style as Scofield says, acknowledging that more than forty years of preparation led up to it.
Pulsations, Angele Dubeau's new album, brings together works that evoke strong images and possess a profound emotional intensity. "A pulsation marks time, it infuses its rhythm in it and also evokes the heart. Just like those composers whose music calls out to me and who, with their unique signatures, mark time, our time. Features the music of; Olafur Arnalds, Jean-Michel Blais, Ludovico Einaudi, Alex Baranowski, Craig Armstrong, Peter Gregson, Yann Tiersen, Abel Korzeniowski, Johan Johannsson, Max Richter and Dala.
Crossover Media Projects with Angele Dubeau & La Pieta
With a career spanning over four decades and an impressive discography of more than forty albums, Angèle Dubeau continues to leave her mark in today's music world. Her virtuosity brings her on the most prestigious stages and she continues to be awarded international prizes for her recordings and to receive honors for her career.
Pulsations, the violinist's new album, brings together works that evoke strong images and possess a profound emotional intensity. In addition to the excellence of her playing, she has a flair for finding and recording the works of remarkable composers, thus placing her at the center of the post-minimalist movement, one of the most relevant musical genres of our time. The public's increasing interest for some of these composers whose works are featured on Pulsations tells us that we are witnessing the emergence of a golden age for this contemporary music.
In December 2017, with two sold-out concerts at the Maison symphonique de Montréal, the tour celebrating Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà's 20th anniversary came to an end. This tour of thirty-three concerts was, for the violinist, an opportunity to thank her Quebec fans for the support they had given her throughout her career.
It was on that tour, during the concerts at Palais Montcalm in Quebec City, that Ovation was recorded. This new album features a retrospective program composed of works by the likes of Einaudi, Richter, Glass, Enescu and Saint-Saens and which have been landmarks of the first 20 years of La Pietà's career. The album also showcases a violinist at the top of her form and a concert where magic and perfection are in symbiosis.
Angèle Dubeau has always stood out for the quality of her playing, her adventurous musical undertakings and her irreproachable artistic journey. An artist very much her own and a musician of her time, the violinist has often found a source of inspiration and an important influence in contemporary works. The new album Max Richter: Portrait by Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà is a striking addition to the Portrait series, music of great depth and acute sensitivity.
13 NEW 58 TOTAL
SYND: C24, CBC Direct: Music Choice, MOOD, SpaFax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Minneapolis, Portland, Detroit, Denver, Santa Fe, MN(Statewide), CO(Statewide), WV(Statewide), AL(Statewide), WI(Statewide) INTER: Canada, UK Online: allmusic, AccuRadio
Having personally done the research for this directory, choosing a variety of film music extracts, I had in mind to revisit their original version are bringing another dimension of sound with my violin and these wonderful musicians that I lead and around me. I also worked closely with various composers and arrangers that I thank and congratulate. Thank you to all the team for Analekta trust over the years the support and expertise worthy of the greatest. My reason for being as a musician is my audience and that is that I realized that 40th, oops, double I said, 41st album. - Angele Dubeau
22 NEW 50 TOTAL
SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, Houston, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Hartford, Madison WI, Honolulu, AL(Network) Online: AccuRadio
Portrait is a string of recordings presenting contemporary composers with a unique musical signature. Ludovico Einaudi is one of them. A music that captivates the listener, a sonic landscape to discover"says Angèle Dubeau. Driven by the works of this grand and prolific Italian composer, the internationally renowned violinist shares once again her passion with the excellent musicians of her string orchestra, La Pietà. For her 39th album in career, Angèle Dubeau offers a unique revisit to Ludovico Einaudi's music, "changing its texture, rethinking its character, while bringing a new sonic dimension."
25 NEW 61 TOTAL
SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC Direct: Music Choice, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Austin, New Orleans, Memphis, Albuquerque, Columbus OH, Canada Online: Taintradio, ClassicallyHip
"BLANC like purity and serenity. BLANC for luminous music that can bring interior peace through its strength and powerful evocation. Fully charged emotions that reflect the strange solitude found in illness. After months of battle against cancer, music has been my focal point, it has brought me comfort, tranquillity and sometimes, an essential escape. This music is of Brubeck, Dompierre, Golijov, Hisaishi, Morricone, Mozetich, Munsey, O'Connor, Phillips, Sakamoto, Schyman and Stevens. A music without artifice, real and filled with hope. This album tells my story, the story of a woman like many others who had to fight against illness and, serenely, came out of it stronger." The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation Thanks You Thank you. By buying this album, you will be helping the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation to finance research and innovation, to support women affected by breast cancer and make breast cancer health a priority thanks to initiatives in education and awareness.
8 New 'ON' 134 TOTAL
SYND: PRI/Classical 24 Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Memphis, Buffalo
Online: Taintradio, allmusic, Le Huffington Post, The WholeNote
Canada's internationally acclaimed and best selling violinist, Angele Dubeau, along with her chamber ensemble La Pieta, turn in a resolutely contemporary direction for their new album on Analekta: a musical portrait of Philip Glass. The prolific American composer has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times. Here, Dubeau paints a dramatic portrait of Glass with some of his most significant works for strings.
4 New ON this week / 62 Total
Synd: APM/Performance Today, PRI/Classical 24 Networks: MN, TX, OR, WV, CT Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans Direct: Spafax/Air Canada Online: RadioIO, Taintradio