Bettye LaVette's first single in 1963 was a major hit, but for the next 40 years, the R&B singer bounced between label deals and near-destitution as her peers such as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross became superstars. LaVette grew up in Detroit, the birthplace of Motown, but the label's founder Berry Gordy Jr. never brought her onto his roster.
But LaVette is having the last laugh. At age 74, she's now enjoyed five Grammy nominations and numerous lifetime achievement awards. LaVette's new studio album Blackbirds is the ninth record she's released since 2003, when she kicked off a late-career resurgence.
She brought The Who's Pete Townshend to tears when she performed Love Rain Over Me at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors. It led to her performing at President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony.
Her talent for finding new emotion in other people's songs is such that Justin Hayworth from the Moody Blues once told her that he'd written Nights in White Satin, but he never understood it until she sang it. Her voice, both on stage and in person, is what makes LaVette so extraordinary.
After all these years, she's in a lane of her own. Bettye LaVette is the last of the great women of R&B's golden era.
LaVette joined us for a conversation about her long career as the underdog of American blues.
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Data Lords is a new double-album by Grammy Award-winning composer and bandleader Maria Schneider. Inspired by conflicting relationships between the digital and natural worlds, the recording features Schneider's acclaimed orchestra of 18 world-class musicians.
Schneider says; "No one can deny the great impact that the data-hungry digital world has had on our lives. As big data companies clamor for our attention, I know that I'm not alone in struggling to find space – to keep connected with my inner world, the natural world, and just the simpler things in life," says Schneider. "Just as I feel myself ping ponging between a digital world and the real world, the same dichotomy is showing up in my music. In order to truly represent my creative output from the last few years, it felt natural to make a two- album release reflecting these two polar extremes."
In the latest, 89.9WUCF: Orlando FL Magazine - Bob Kelley reviews the latest from keyboardist and arranger Antonio Adolfo - we celebrate the birth of tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins - and Maria Schneider lets us in on her take of two polarized worlds with "Data Lords". LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT
Ludwig Göransson is a famous Swedish composer, record producer, and conductor. He worked in many great films but never won an Emmy. Other than that he won Grammy's award for best soundtrack for visual media in Black Panther.
On September 19th Saturday, Ludwig was announced as the best music composer for a series, where he scored his first Emmy.
Göransson tweeted thank you to the academy for this honor and all the fame Mandalorian received this Emmy season. He even thanked Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau for giving him such a great opportunity to cross genres and boundaries with the score.
Ludwig is no longer a secret that how talented and amazing person he is. He will be going to touch high places if goes with this speed and ability, Mondo's Mo Shafeek said in an interview. But he didn't tell about the chameleon-like ability to play with multiple genres.
"His music for films like Creed and Black Panther showcase not only his collaborative nature but also his relationship to pop and hip hop, as well as blending untraditional instrumentation with traditional orchestras."
Shafeek added: "His score for The Mandalorian is similarly masterful in its ability to be wildly experimental while never feeling out of place – like a synth spaghetti western score that feels inspired in equal parts to Ennio Morricone, John Williams, and Hans Zimmer, while also never feeling like a pastiche. We are honoured to be the home for this complete score."
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"Beauty will save the world." Those are the words of cellist Camille Thomas, whose new album, Voice of Hope, speaks to this very idea. This album concept, at first glance, might have been at risk of feeling overly saccharine. It turns out, it'll take no more than nine seconds before the opening Kaddish by Ravel pulls you in and you know this is no lightweight endeavor from Thomas. This is not a sweet, innocent beauty, but one of visceral yearning, colored with mesmerizing, sometimes hauntingly beautiful soundscapes.
Thomas delivers this, her second release on the Deutsche Grammophon label, alongside musical colleagues very much on her home turf - the Brussels Philharmonic and their French music director Stéphane Denève.
Hear Camille Thomas and Stéphane Denève discuss the recording of Never Give Up on 90.1WRTI: Philadelphia
Canada's most successful songwriters, composers and music publishers are will be honoured in the 31st annual SOCAN Awards, held for the first time online, with Shawn Mendes solidifying his place in songwriting royalty earning two of the most prestigious prizes, becoming the most-awarded SOCAN member in a single year.
Follow @socanmusic on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (#2020SOCANawards) to join in the celebration of more than 50 award winners announced today through September 25th via special virtual presentation. Celebrations include Drake, LIGHTS, bülow, Andrew Lockington, Daniel Caesar, Laila Biali and more.
Biali has some new music for fall/winter including the release of Anthem by Leonard Cohen.
Laila Biali released her cover of 'Anthem' by Leonard Cohen last Friday, Sept 18, for Leonard's birthday celebration TODAY Sept 21.
The 2019 JUNO-Award winner covers her fellow Canadian and music icon with his relevant song that delivers a salient message for the times we find ourselves in: "Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything, that's where the light gets in." Leonard would have turned 86 today.
This single releases on the heels of Laila's highly succsessful 2020 album release, Out of Dust, which came out on March 27 and features an expansive ensemble of instrumentalists and singers including GRAMMY Award winners and nominees Lisa Fischer, John Ellis, Larnell Lewis, and others.
CBC Radio 1 is premiering the track today along with the Quarantunes video. Watch the attached
In 1968, a 16-year-old jazz fan at Palo Alto High School in California decides to hold a concert in the school's auditorium to raise funds for its International Club-and convinces Thelonious Monk's manager that his client should be the headliner. (Not surprisingly, the student, Danny Scher, would soon become a major force in the live-music production world.) As concert day approaches, one of the school's janitors, an audio enthusiast, offers to tune the piano in exchange for recording the show, a deal that's quickly agreed to. On the afternoon of October 27, the Thelonious Monk Quartet gives its only known high-school performance. Afterward, the janitor (his name apparently lost to history, though researchers are no doubt still working on that) hands the young promoter a tape. It goes in a box, where it sits for the next 50 years. When its owner rediscovers it, he contacts Monk's son T.S., who-first tickled by the story, then impressed by the recording's quality-sanctions its release.
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In the fall of 1968, a sixteen-year old high school student named Danny Scher had a dream to invite legendary jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk and his all-star quartet to perform a concert at his local high school in Palo Alto, CA.
Violinist Daniel Hope spent his period of social distancing by performing chamber concerts online from his living room in Berlin with specially invited guests including Christoph Israel, Till Brönner, Matthias Goerne and more.
For 20 years, Lang Lang resisted playing Bach?s 'Goldberg' Variations. Now he?s releasing two recordings of the work / The New York Times
Posted: August 21, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Habits are hard to break. That's one reason people are still asking "How's it going?" during a world-upending pandemic. A similarly reflexive "Fine" often follows, which is why it was so jarring when, during a recent interview, the pianist Lang Lang responded with a wince and shouted: "It's horrible!"
This is a difficult time for everyone in classical music, as in-person performances have all but come to a halt worldwide. Mr. Lang, one of the industry's biggest stars and moneymakers, is relatively safe from financial devastation. But being sidelined by forces beyond his control is painfully familiar to him. He injured his left arm in 2017, and the recovery put him out of commission for more than a year.
"I've had a break already," Mr. Lang, 38, said over Zoom from his home in Shanghai. "This time, I'm so ready, but I cannot play a concert. That's much more frustrating."
Mr. Lang's return from his injury has been incremental, starting with less muscular fare than the Romantic war horses that made him famous, then building back toward those thunderous concertos - while also weaving in new repertoire. This year was meant to focus on a major project for him: a tour of Bach's "Goldberg" Variations and a recording of the work on Deutsche Grammophon, out next month.
He made it three stops into the tour, all in Germany, before the rest was canceled. But before leaving, he made a studio recording of the "Goldbergs" in Berlin and a live one at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, where Bach worked.
Both versions will be on the coming release. That wasn't always the plan, Mr. Lang said, but he pushed to include the live performance after listening to it and finding that he appreciated its spontaneity and "floating" nature. Still, he added, he prefers the studio recording, which he believes shows more depth.
Few works elicit more varied interpretations than the "Goldbergs." Performers bring personal touches to repertory staples like concertos by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, but on balance those works have a consistent running time and a generally agreed upon sound. But Bach's set of 30 variations, surrounded by two iterations of an Aria of music-box simplicity, is written with such austerity that it's something of a blank canvas. There is no rule book for ornamentation; virtually absent tempo markings mean it can last less than an hour or, in the case of Mr. Lang's reading, more than 90 minutes. It can be heard on harpsichords or modern pianos, or even transcribed for other instruments.
Despite being an audience favorite, Mr. Lang has long left critics scratching their heads over his undeniable skill and his questionable taste, his expressiveness and his pop star mannerisms. And he will yet again divide listeners with his "Goldbergs." Baroque specialists in particular may bristle at his occasionally counterintuitive voicing, with unconventional emphasis on particular notes and phrases, and his rubato - rhythmic manipulation that sometimes pushes the meter toward unrecognizability. The slow 25th variation, which typically lasts six or seven minutes, is here stretched beyond 10; Mr. Lang's studio version of the closing Aria is nearly six and a half minutes long, while most pianists stay shy of four.
But regardless what people think about Mr. Lang's interpretation, they cannot write it off as unconsidered. It's deeply felt and two decades in the making.
Like all piano students, Mr. Lang played a lot of Bach as a child, from the easy minuets to the encyclopedic "Well-Tempered Clavier." He used fast sections of the "Goldbergs" for exercises, but didn't perform the work in its entirety until, after coming to stardom as a substitute at the Ravinia Festival near Chicago in 1999, he recounted it from memory in the middle of the night for some fellow musicians.
Mr. Lang said he didn't want to publicly share his "Goldbergs" until the moment felt right. In his mid-20s, he played the work for the conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt during an informal audition for the Salzburg Festival. He recalled Harnoncourt saying, "You play Bach with no imagination," urging him to play with fewer reservations and more lyrical melodic lines.
"He started singing the theme of Variation 3, and I was like, wow, can Bach be played this Romantic?" Mr. Lang said. "I was quite overwhelmed by his emotions."
Mr. Lang has since sought advice from other artists, including the German pianist and harpsichordist Andreas Staier, who taught him the importance of approaching the "Goldbergs" with scholarly rigor. Learning the piece, Mr. Lang said, has improved his understanding of composition, and of music itself.
"It takes you to another level of thinking," he said.
With his copy of the score in hand, Mr. Lang discussed what he has learned about the "Goldbergs," and how he arrived at his interpretation. Here are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Your career was made with Romantic concertos, but lately you've worked backward in time, now to the Baroque. Does this style come naturally to you?
It does, but I've played it much less than the Romantic or Classical repertoire. And Bach is another planet. When I met Andreas [Staier], he told me this piece needs to have a real knowledge behind the strategy. You cannot think about this as a 10-minute or a 30-minute piece or concerto. You have to hold your cards in your hands and not throw your cards at the same time. He said I had to learn each variation with a kind of calm temperament, and not get overheated on Variation 1.
What has guided your interpretation?
This is an entire piece, but at the same time it's separate pieces. In that way, each of the variations has to have a calculated way of playing. You cannot play everything the same way.
I feel like you're most personal in the rubato and ornamentation. Those can be difficult to balance, and Baroque rules can be very particular. How did you find what works for you?
With rubato, it's the theory of the roots of the tree and the leaves going up. In this case, the left hand is not always the roots in Bach's music. In the Aria it is, but in other variations, maybe it's the middle voice. But you always need to find where the roots are, and those need to be steady. Then the melodic line can be a little different. I realized doing some of my studio recording, sometimes I gave a lot of rubato and had to come back, because then it can fall apart very easily. You can hear that you're losing the pulse.
You play as little ornamentation as possible the first time through. [Each section of the "Goldbergs" is divided into two parts that are both repeated.] Then on the repeat you can do ornamentation to give it a little bit of improvisational style. If it sounds like everything is planned, the ornamentation loses its real meaning. Sometimes, you can even add a few chords here and there to make it a little more colorful. In the French overture, Variation 16, I try to make it more like an organ piece, so I add a little more lower voice. But we have to be careful to not have strange ornamentation that sounds like Messiaen or something. Some of my ornamentation was corrected by Baroque musicians.
Let's talk about some specific sections. The Aria is a perfect example of how the "Goldbergs" can be played any number of ways.
I intended to play slightly slower than other musicians, especially in the studio. It gives me a quietness, slightly more space. But obviously it needs to be legato. If I can really connect each note, then I can play slower because it gives me a grounded feeling.
And Variation 7, the gigue, is a place where you seem to really loosen up.
For the repeat, I played the chords, the sixth and the third, under the main voice. This is what I learned from the Baroque way of playing. They often add lower sixth and lower third to make it like a bell sound. It's more notes, but actually a lighter feel. This is the character of the piece. It needs to bubble.
The 26th variation seems like one of the trickiest. You have to decide whether to emphasize those effervescent runs or the dancing melody.
I was always playing this as an exercise as a kid. This is maybe the most difficult variation, technically. You can actually play around with it each time, with a different priority - sometimes more on the left hand, or more on the right hand. But if you do that, you'd better stay with your choice two bars, or four. Don't switch too fast.
For an open-ended section like this, do you consult with older recordings or artists?
Especially on this one, I got a huge inspiration from Glenn Gould. He is someone who is not afraid to play fast passages really fast. I think that's why people like his "Goldberg" Variations. It has such an inspired character. He gave me the confidence that some parts can be very exciting; you can just let it go.
What does the return of the Aria at the end mean for you?
Variation 30 is the most important connection for me. It's a combination of three popular songs, German folk songs. I copied the lyrics, and the third is about home. This created a great transition to the Aria. And without this variation I think the Aria would be so much harder to play, after those fireworks: After the Adagio, Variation 25, you have four variations that are fast and virtuosic. It's just impossible to get back to the Aria. But when you have this family reunion song in the 30th, you suddenly realize that you are getting older.
The truth is, we don't need to think too much to play the Aria this second time. It's already different, automatically, no matter what you do. After certain things, you're changed. You don't need to say it; you just are. PHOTO: Stefan Hoederath
"This is a very important dream-come-true moment", says Lang Lang. The superstar pianist, who waited 20 years before playing Johann Sebastian Bach's monumental composition in public, has finally achieved his goal of recording the Goldberg Variations. The result of two decades of deep study and personal reflection, his vision of Bach's Aria and 30 Variations is out now onDeutsche Grammophon.
One of the world's biggest classical stars, Lang Lang, returns with his brand new solo album ‘Piano Book' – a collection of pieces which first inspired him to play the piano and led him on his path to international stardom. The recording, his first new studio album in three years, marks his return to Universal Music Group and Deutsche Grammophon – the label he first signed to in 2003.
Lang Lang says: "I want to take every music lover on a journey through my favourite piano pieces. I hope to inspire as well as motivate every piano student to remain focused during daily practice, and to play and understand these essential pieces for what they really are: true masterpieces!"
‘Piano Book' gathers together many of the miniatures that generations of amateur pianists have grown up with. Lang Lang holds them in the highest regard, believing them to be classics in their own right. He wants to encourage piano students across the world to fully appreciate them.
The ineffable magic of New York City fires the imagination of superstar pianist Lang Lang on his new album New York Rhapsody (Sony Classical) available September 16, 2016. He is joined by a wide array of special guests including Andra Day, Herbie Hancock, Jason Isbell, Jeffrey Wright, Kandace Springs, Lindsey Stirling, Lisa Fischer, Madeleine Peyroux andSean Jones.From the haunting reveries of Gershwin and Copland to the in-the-moment intensity of songs made famous by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, Lou Reed and Don Henley, New York Rhapsody rediscovers the dazzle and the soul of America's most symbolic city. Following the release of the album, a star-studded concert special Live From Lincoln Center will air on PBS on November 25, 2016 as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival. The video for "Empire State of Mind" with Lang Lang and singer Andra Day premiered on Town & Country.
14 NEW 122 TOTAL
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Ever since his first visit to the magical space that is the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, Lang Lang had dreamed of performing there. When his dream came to fruition in the form of a special recital on June 22, 2015 he chose Chopin's four momentous Scherzi and Tchaikovsky's rare but masterly cycle The Seasons to present to his audience. A studio recording of the repertoire was made in the Salle Liebermann at the Opéra Bastille and the live concert was filmed in 4K in the Hall of Mirrors for release on DVD and Blu-ray.
Sony Classical is delighted to announce Lang Lang's first albumentirely devoted to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozartavailable September 30. World renowned pianist, Lang Lang, will be joined by the legendary Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Harnoncourt is famous for his ability to match deep knowledge of 17th and 18th century musical language with an interpretative mind of outstanding originality.
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The world's best-selling pianist, Lang Lang, joins one of the most renowned orchestras, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle for Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto and Bartók's Second Piano Concerto.
'I've wanted to record with Maestro Rattle and his orchestra for a long time. The Berliner Philharmoniker is extraordinary to work with – the winds and brass are from a different planet and Sir Simon creates a depth of tone with the orchestra, particularly when playing quietly, that's unique. Some of my happiest musical experiences have taken place with this orchestra. We performed the Prokofiev 3 in 2007 in Salzburg and I gave four performances of the Bartók 2 earlier this year with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Both works have such life and such rhythmic vitality that to my ears they sound absolutely contemporary. I believe these concertos have a musical relevance that's absolutely right for our time," - Lang Lang
14 New 'ON' this week 115 Total
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Sony Classical is proud to announce its debut release "Live In Vienna" from one of the most thrilling and inspiring musicians of our time, the world-renowned pianist Lang Lang. Recorded and filmed live in Vienna's legendary Musikverein concert hall, the Sony Classical debut will be available on August 24 in multiple formats. This release represents Lang Lang's second live recorded recital to date after the best-selling "Live at Carnegie Hall" in 2004, which marked his international breakthrough as a recording artist. He has performed the new album's program at the world's major concert venues and will continue to tour with it throughout 2011.
12 New 'ON' this week: 116 Total
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