NYSMusic's Andie Chapman writes...... Four-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo has often advocated for human rights as she has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2002. Her music is imbued with compassion, and throughout the years she has contributed songs for important causes, such as her contribution song "Leila" for the Enough Project which raised awareness for women's rights in Raise Hope for Congo.
In 2020, the singer and activist recorded the song "How Can I Tell You?" by composers Lynn Ahrens (lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty who wrote "Ragtime," "Once on This Island," "Anastasia," and many more notable works. This song was included in a documentary directed and produced by Jeff Kaufman titled Nasrin. Often referred to as the "Nelson Mandela of Iran," Nasrin Sotoudeh fought for human rights in Iran, eventually leading to her arrest in June 2018 for defending women who publicly protested Iran's mandatory hijab law. The government sentenced her to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. Nasrin now has COVID-19 and a heart condition, but even from the confines of prison she has continued to challenge the authorities.
READ THE FULL NYSMusic ARTICLE & WATCH THE VIDEO
The Guardian's Dave Gelly writes....August Wilson's 1982 play, and the 2020 Netflix film, are about a lot more than music, but Gertude "Ma" Rainey ("Mother of the Blues") was a real person, and the action takes place around what was a real recording session. Music, and how it's treated, is the basic metaphor here, so music is an important accompaniment to the story. In this case – like the clothes, the cars and the surrounding scene – it must also persuade us that we are in Chicago in 1927. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis has certainly spared no effort in recreating authentic period sounds. Photograph: David Lee/AP
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WBGO'S The Checkout: SIMON RENTNER writes......We've always admired Shai Maestro's fearless approach to music. When he sits down at the piano, especially in an improvisational solo setting, he checks the temperature of a space and lets the music come to him, allowing one idea to flow into another. But he wasn't always that free.
On this episode of The Checkout, Maestro remembers a difficult moment on tour with bassist Avishai Cohen and drummer Mark Guiliana - a moment that would shape his career. In the middle of a performance, while playing his tune, the trio took an unexpected detour and he completely freaked out. That meltdown would change his thinking, and approach to music, forever. To hear Maestro tell it, what he became after this experience was more human - which is also the title of his new album, which ECM will release on Jan. 29.
READ THE FULL WBGO: Newark NJ ARTICLE & LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT
Following the success of the Busoni The Visionary series, Jeni Slotchiver is humbled to introduce something so intimately close to home. With Southern roots of her own, Ms. Slotchiver's debut ZOHO CD release American Heritage is her homage to the legendary composers preserving American folk music and creating anew. What was once familiar, is reborn.
Spanning 125 years, from Louis Moreau Gottschalk's The Banjo (ca. 1854-5) to Frederic Rzewski's Down by the riverside (1979), American Heritage presents piano compositions by composers of concert music, inspired by the melodies, dance rhythms, harmonic inventions and various stylistic elements evocative of the American experience. Of the eight composers represented, six are of African descent and two of these are women. There are quotes from spirituals, use of the African American pentatonic scale, the African call and response structure popularized in southern church tradition, polyphonic rhythms of jazz, and the rich, sultry harmonies of blues. With the exception of the rich musical heritage of Indigenous people, the largest and most important American folkloric body of work arrived on American shores with the first enslaved African people.
Jazz Weekly's George W. Harris writes....Pianist Jeni Slotchiver gives solo interpretations of music from early to late 20th Century, taking you to a different world of patience and space. While classically trained, Slotchiver has a rich blues touch and a bona fide feel for gospel and folk material. Material ranges from a homespun read of "Swanee River" to the spiritual "Down By The Riverside" as well as the folk classic "Shenandoah" but with an arrangement by Keith Jarret. Parlor moods are presented in a collection of pieces from Harry Thacker Burleigh and the genteel pen of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, on "Union" and "The Banjo" while traditional pieces like "Deep River" and even 1967's "Troubled Water" feel like they've both been drawn from the same well. A journey to another world and world view.
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Soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom and bassist Mark Helias come together to create duets discovered in the moment in a way that is rarely heard today with Some Kind of Tomorrow. The long time bandmates, separated by space and time find a way to play in real time with one another and the results are magical. Two master improvisers and composers bring listeners up-close and personal to the first spark of their imaginations at work, recording eleven duet improvisations over the spring, summer, and fall of 2020. The music is raw, authentic, intimate, alive, and unapologetic in its passion. Their sound is deep wood and polished brass recorded with a depth that is hard to describe. They played the music, recorded it, mastered it firsthand and are now making it available to listeners for the first time as a digital download on Bandcamp. Don't miss these fearless jazz explorers as they face the future.
Heard on Fresh Air, here's Kevin Whitehead's piece. LISTEN & READ THE TRANSCRIPT
Shunia is a duo that combines addictive melodies, ancient chants and polycultural rhythms into a sound that feels both new and timeless. Their music captures and conveys deep energies and spirit. The state of "shunia" means stillness, receptivity. Shunia's members, Lisa Reagan and Suzanne Jackson both performed with the Washington National Opera for 20 years before finding continued success in their solo careers. Coming together as Shunia, they combined their influences, inspirations and experiences to create genre-defying music with the power to transform and to connect you to the energy within and around you. It can put you in touch with something as simple as your five senses or as mysterious as the infinite.
American Songwriter's NADIA NEOPHYTOU writes......To press play on Shunia's new album of chants is to allow a wave of calm and relaxation to wash over one's whole self. For Lisa Reagan and Suzanne Jackson, who've known each other for 30 years, sharing the gift that's been a major part of their lives with others is the reason they began recording together as the duo Shunia in the first place. "Music in and of itself is such a powerful medium," Reagan tells American Songwriter. "It is the language of our humanity and our souls. We know these mantras are tried and true, and we have personally been chanting them for years."
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WFMT: Chicago 's Candice Agree writes....From the age of 3, CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe toiled at a keyboard-not in typing, as unintended preparation for his 13 years at the Washington Post, but in studying classical piano in Delmar, a suburb of Albany, NY. Although he loved playing, his interest in current events and politics pulled him into a journalism career. No stranger to Chicago, in 2008, O'Keefe was in Grant Park the night that Barack Obama was elected president. O'Keefe, 37, is about to become a fixture in the White House press room, as he will cover the Biden administration for the TV network he joined in 2018. But he has never left his first passion far behind. He shared some musical memories with us before taking on his new assignment at CBS News as Senior White House & Political Correspondent. Photo courtesy CBS News)
READ Candice Agree's Q&A with Ed O'Keefe.
An ensemble that attracts rave reviews and sell-out crowds at prestigious venues everywhere from Vienna to New York, the sensational SIGNUM saxophone quartet are now set to present their first Deutsche Grammophon album.
On 'Selige Stunde,' Jonas Kauffman and Helmut Deutsch bounce like precisely synchronized trampolinists / LIMELIGHT
Posted: November 19, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
With concert halls, studios and airports closed the pandemic has forced Jonas Kauffman to downsize from belts and braces Otello and sumptuous Viennese tributes to something smaller and closer to home. So, he got in touch with his old mate pianist Helmut Deutsch and suggested they make a welcome return to their neglected Lieder repertoire. They put together a running order – "It's our own personal wish list, you might call it an album of encores," Kaufmann says.
Kaufmann and Deutsch bounce like precisely synchronised trampolinists on Schubert's Der Musensohn, which opens the disc. And they manage a spacious sotto voce sense of wonder for Gustav Mahler's Ich Bin der Welt Abhanden Gekommen(I Am Lost to the World) to finish this lovely collection, most of which is on the gentler side, allowing the listener to enjoy Kaufmann's subtle nuances. Deutsch, predictably, never puts a foot wrong.
In a Christmas album that is a gift itself, Jonas Kaufmann – the most acclaimed operatic tenor of the age – echoes his own holiday memories and joys with It's Christmas!, celebrating the most festive time of the year with a unique selection of beloved songs and carols. This uniquely rich and diverse holiday album features 40 favorites that reflect the many facets of Christmas, from ancient Christian hymns to contemporary pop classics. It's Christmas! will be released worldwide November 20 on Sony Classical.
"When I think of Christmas, many memories spring to mind," Kaufmann writes, in his liner note for It's Christmas! "In this I'm probably like everyone else. Christmas is the festival of contemplation and remembrance, of joy and light."
Jonas Kaufmann's new album, "Selige Stunde", will be released by Sony Classical on 4 September. During the corona lockdown he joined forces with pianist Helmut Deutsch to record a highly personal selection of lieder by Schubert, Brahms, Strauss, Mahler and other masters. "Selige Stunde" is the first album from this series of recording sessions and the first single - Schumann's "Mondnacht."
Two years after the release of his highly successful album Dolce Vita, Jonas Kaufmann reaffirmed his love affair with Italian music this summer with a special concert at the Waldbühne – Berlin's renowned stage-beneath-the-stars. In what can be seen as a wondrous zenith of his dedication to Italy and her music, the concert has become one of this year's biggest classical music events. Sony Classical is proud to announce the release of the magical concert on DVD and Blu-ray on October 19, with the CD and digital formats available October 5.
"An Italian Night – Live from the Waldbühne Berlin" features popular songs and canzone as well as passionate Italian opera arias and duets from Cavalleria rusticana, where Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili joined Jonas as a charming guest-artist and duet partner. Both were supported by Jochen Rieder conducting the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.
Jonas Kaufmann pays homage to a magnificent era of opera that defined musical splendor and elegance, in his new album of 19th-century French opera arias and duets. His selection of music for tenor spans this momentous period, starting with "Rachel, quand du Seigneur" from Halévy's La Juive (1835), through two of Bizet's greatest works, "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée" from Carmen (1875) and "Au fond du temple saint" from Les Pêcheurs de perles (1863), by way of Gounod's "Ah! lève-toi, soleil!" from Roméo et Juliette (1867) and ending with the latest aria "Pourquoi me réveiller" from Massenet's masterpiece Werther (1892). Plus many more along the way.
15 NEW 70 TOTAL
SYND: NPR/ATC, Classical 24, TRH, CBC Direct: MOOD, AccuRadio Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Detroit, Santa Fe, Honolulu, IA(Statewide), WI(Statewide), Canada Online: AccuRadio, Passion Musique et Culture
Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde was posthumously premiered in Munich in 1911 and described by Mahler as a "symphony for tenor, alto (or baritone) and orchestra." It follows that two soloists have been featured in every performance and recording to date: either tenor and baritone or tenor and alto/mezzo soprano. Jonas Kaufmann is the first soloist to be heard singing both parts. His recording of Gustav Mahler'sDas Lied von der Erde has been recently released on Sony Classical.
SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, New Orleans, Denver, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Canada Online: AccuRadio, Beyondcriticism.com
Italy and its immortal music have a magical pull on people like no other culture. Jonas Kaufmann, long familiar with Italy's ways has had his own special bond with the country since his youth. The new album, Dolce Vita is his tribute to this culture, this way of life that has conceived one immortal melody after the other for the tenor voice. Available October 7, Sony Classical is proud to release this special collectionof timeless Italian songs – sung by "The world's greatest tenor" (The Daily Telegraph)
24 NEW 66 TOTAL SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: MOOD, AccuRadio Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Austin, St. Louis, Denver, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Madison WI, Louisville, Honolulu, KS(Network), IA(Network), WI(Network), MN(Network), NE(Network), CO(Network) Online: DWRadio
Jonas Kaufmann became the first German tenor to sing Cavaradossi at the Metropolitan Opera in 103 years. He shaped Puccini's music with exceptional elegance, balancing the character's essential revolutionary fervor with a heart-stopping tenderness. Critics and audiences received the portrayal ecstatically. Listeners familiar with Kaufmann's artistry in German and French repertoire exclusively will be astonished by his affinity for Italian music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Having welcomed him as Cavaradossi in 2008, Covent Garden presented his first Maurizio in 2010 and his debuts as Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut in 2014 and as Andrea Chénier in 2015. The current collection highlights many of these roles as recorded for Decca.