Sharon Isbin has been a tireless commissioner of new work and her latest album Affinity is no exception with several recent compositions set alongside some old friends. It's Chris Brubeck's 18-minute Guitar Concerto-the longest and most colorful work here-that gives the album its title and opens proceedings. The concerto's name alludes to a shared "affinity" between composer and soloist, two musicians who thrive on exploring different styles. Like his father jazz legend Dave Brubeck, Chris Brubeck has his roots in jazz, but despite its plentiful toe-tapping syncopation, Affinity is most definitely a classical work. At its atmospheric heart the composer manages to incorporate one of his father's loveliest tunes-"Autumn in Our Town"-before a lilting Renaissance dance section ups the tempo to end with something akin to a wriggling Brazilian samba. Highly energetic, melodically infectious, and colorfully scored, Affinity is a real crowd pleaser, and with her immaculate and fleet-footed technique Isbin does it proud. The Maryland Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Elizabeth Schulze has just the right feel for this music and the excellent engineering ensures both textural clarity and a perfect balance.
It's 40 years since Leo Brouwer wrote his solo guitar work El Decameron Negro for Isbin, and although she's recorded it previously, her interpretation has only deepened with time. The three evocative instrumental "ballads" are inspired by African love stories infused with the musical sensibilities of Brouwer's native Cuba. Isbin is a natural storyteller and is in her element here, putting on a virtuoso display full of light, shade, and manual dexterity. Ditto Tan Dun's Seven Desires, an intriguing solo work that straddles-and fuses-the seemingly disparate worlds of the Chinese pipa and Spanish flamenco guitar. Antonio Lauro's charming Waltz No. 3 is here arranged for two guitars by former Isbin student and now regular duet partner Colin Davin. The disc concludes with Richard Danielpour's Of Love and Longing, three contrasting settings for voice and guitar of the Persian poet Rumi. Performed here with great warmth and sensitivity by Isabel Leonard, it crowns an album that should please fans of Isbin and of contemporary guitar music in general.
One would find it hard to beat the all-star line-up featured in The Cave of Wondrous Voice, a new, hour-long survey of vocal and chamber music by the California-based composer Mark Abel. David Shifrin, Carol Rosenberger, Hila Plitmann, and Fred Sherry headline the album but they're not its only stars. On the whole, The Cave of Wonderous Voice is smartly played and engineered. Abel's writing throughout is fluent and often genial. While certain spots in the Trio, particularly, might benefit from grittier moments to offset the diatonic ones, this is music of considerable expressive directness as well as charm.
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Composer, pianist, and conductor Michael Shapiro joins us to talk about the music on his latest disc, including his John Milton-inspired piano concerto entitled Archangel. In this action-packed work, Shapiro lays out the epic Biblical battle between good and evil as a metaphor for the challenges we all face in our daily lives (which includes the current coronavirus pandemic – something Michael recently fell victim to himself). Also on the disc: orchestral excerpts from an opera based on Federico Garcia Lorca, and a full-throttle realization for orchestra of the famous organ Toccata by French composer Charles-Marie Widor.
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There are a few guitarists who are almost instantly recognizable by their tone: Richard Thompson, Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny - and John Scofield. It's not that his sound is idiosyncratic, it's just that it's personal. There's some chorus in there, and just a touch of distortion to rough up the very edges. But it's also the notes he plays, and the way that the blues are never far from him no matter how complex the chord changes get. On his latest solo album he's joined by drummer Bill Stewart and bassist Steve Swallow. As the title suggests, the album is actually a tribute to Swallow, and consists entirely of the bassist's compositions. Scofield has said that when the two of them play together "sometimes… it's like one big guitar," and you can definitely hear that; you can also hear why Scofield likes Swallow's tunes so much ("they're grounded in reality, with cadences that make sense"). As discursive as the trio sometimes gets - this is an ECM jazz recording, after all - they never lose the thread of brilliant continuity that binds these wonderful tunes together. For all jazz collections.
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Voice of Hope is Camille Thomas's second album for Deutsche Grammophon. The Franco-Belgian cellist's program pays tribute to people's ability to triumph over adversity, create harmony in place of chaos, and overcome hatred with love. The album presents the world-premiere recording of Fazil Say's concerto Never Give Up, a response to terrorist attacks in Paris and Istanbul written for and premiered by Thomas, and also includes an exquisite selection of songs, prayers, and laments, Bruch's Kol Nidrei and Ravel's Kaddisch among them.
For June 30, Camille Thomas - Voice of Hope is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release'
"There is no denying the emotional expression and feeling of the music, the joy and exuberance transmitted, and at times it certainly lifts the spirits, but unless you have a taste for this style, a little goes a long way"
An intriguing release, this is really world music, drawing on Middle Eastern and Andalusian traditions, with guitarist and keyboard player Dave Soldier setting poems, mainly Hebrew and Arabic, to music. For this he uses traditional instrumentation with occasional elements of contemporary music and a sprinkling of jazz. There are jazz connections in the personnel – bassist Ratzo Harris played with Mose Allison and Betty Carter, trombonist Chris Washburne with Eddie Palmieri, and Soldier himself studied with Roscoe Mitchell. But apart from this, the link is minimal.
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Recently French composer and pianist Lucas Debargue breathed new life into the harpsichord sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti and presents works outside the standard piano repertoire. The Parisian pianist has already climbed the pinnacle of piano artistry with Beethoven, Liszt and Ravel and unleashed full-blown romantic thunderstorms with Schubert's A-minor Piano Sonata no. 14 and the madcap finale of Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit.
On the album, Debargue devotes himself completely to Domenico Scarlatti. He already played four of this Italian master's sonatas on his highly acclaimed début album. Germany's Der Spiegel waxed ecstatic: "Debargue's Scarlatti recalls his mighty predecessors. He displays the subtle touch and feeling once bestowed on these miniatures by Vladimir Horowitz and imparts new sound to Scarlatti's keyboard music. … Debargue touches the outer limits of expression between joylessness and rapture: one may find it overwrought, but it's never less than gripping. And then there's the gentle Glenn Gould touch."
Debargue joins us for this mini-episode of REMOTE with a couple words on some of his pandemic-projects, reading list, and the importance of emphasizing our similarities rather than differences. READ THE Q&A
Sony Music Masterworks today releases Not Our First Goat Rodeo, the long-awaited follow-up album to the GRAMMY Award-winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions, with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile.
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.
Blues Hall of Famer Bettye LaVette has decided to release her stirring rendition of "Strange Fruit" ahead of schedule as it says as much about the history of American racism and the state of the country today.
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.
Australia's ABC:Classic100 listeners vote Beethoven as their favorite composer / LIMELIGHT
Posted: June 9, 2019 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Beethoven has taken out the top spot in this year's ABC Classic 100, which asked listeners across the country to name the composer they just couldn't live without. Having clearly struck a chord, the broadcaster received a staggering 127,971 votes overall, setting a new record in the annual poll's 18-year history.
"This year's Classic 100 has been an amazing journey," said Toby Chadd, Content Manager of ABC Classic. "We've heard about the music that you love – from iconic film composers to home-grown talent to the acknowledged classical greats. Beethoven narrowly beat Bach and Mozart to the crown, and we're celebrating in style with a performance of his ‘Ode to Joy' featuring an 800-strong choir at the Sydney Opera House, followed by a reading of his heart-wrenching ‘Testament' from John Bell."
"Beethoven was music's biggest revolutionary," said Classic Breakfast's Russell Torrance. "He took the niceties of the existing musical world and blew them apart. There are moments of exquisite quiet and contemplation in his music, like the Moonlight Sonata. But his trademark is those barnstormers we know and love, full of power, melancholy, and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit."
Recorded live to the highest industry standards in front of the magnificent scenery of Beijing's Forbidden City, this unique gala concert celebrates the 120th anniversary of Deutsche Grammophon. The concert features conductor Long Yu and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, both freshly signed as exclusive recording artists to Deutsche Grammophon, and performances from Aida Garifullina, Daniil Trifonov, Mari Samuelsen, and more.
Impulse! has brought together some of the great progressive jazz musicians of our time to pay tribute to The Beatles'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A Day In The Life: Impressions of Pepper will be available on vinyl for Record Store Day on November 23, available on CD, digital, and streaming platforms on November 30, with a wide vinyl release on January 18, 2019.
A Day In The Life: Impressions of Pepper includes performances and interpretations by artists such as UK saxophonist and Impulse! recording artist Shabaka Hutchings, Impulse! pianist Sullivan Fortner, Verve recording artist Miles Mosley, Onyx Collective, percussionist Antonio Sanchez, guitarist Mary Halvorson, The JuJu Exchange and more.
This stellar lineup represents some of the great progressive jazz artists from around the world: Shabaka from the UK Jazz scene, Miles Mosley and Cameron Graves from LA's West Coast Get Down, Onyx Collective from NYC, Makaya McCraven and the JuJu Exchange from Chicago.
Many people picture grim-faced Beethoven, shaking his fist at the heavens and persisting through deafness and illness to compose works of transcendent beauty, but he also stirs emotions that feel both deeply personal and ubiquitous. There are moments of red-cheeked optimism, quiet introspection, playful dances, heroic declarations, a restless search for the sublime. And while Beethoven is perhaps most famous for his sonatas and symphonies, he composed an opera, chamber works, songs, sacred music, incidental music for the stage, even dances. Taken together, these selections paint a rich portrait of Beethoven's humanity, which has attracted artists of the highest caliber such as Leonard Bernstein, Carlos Kleiber, Janine Jansen, and Martha Argerich. Some of these recordings are legendary, but all of them jump out with their undeniable virtuosity and brilliance. This collection may remind you of that iconic portrait of immortal Genius suffering for Art, but it will also reacquaint you with an artist from another time who somehow captured so much of the human experience.
Decca Records is proud to release The Official Recording of The Royal Wedding, one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year. Having recorded the entire service live at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle today, every piece of music, the readings, blessings and the vows will be available to listen to permanently on all streaming services in just a few hours: a first for a Royal Wedding. The physical album, on CD, will then be released into retail stores around the world from 1st June.
The musical highlight of the moving and joyous ceremony was British cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, one of the most exciting musicians of his generation, who was personally asked by the bride and groom to perform at their wedding. The 19-year-old musician took centre stage for the all-important signing of the register. Dressed in a black Paul Smith suit with vibrant pink tie, Sheku played three beautiful pieces: "Sicilienne" by von Paradis, Schubert's "Ave Maria," and "Après Un Rêve" by Fauré. He was accompanied by orchestra*, as the Royal Couple officially became husband and wife. Knowing he was performing not only for the Royal Family, 600 invited guests in the Chapel, and an estimated global audience of up to three billion people, the talented teenager was thrilled to be involved in the occasion:
History was written in 2000 BC, and 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of Brahms' Lullaby, so this precious musical tradition has deep cultural and emotional roots. These personal songs bring people together, span generations, and tell stories about where we come from, who we are now, and our hopes for the future. The legacy continues with the release of Hopes and Dreams: The Lullaby Project on Decca Gold (Verve Label Group). The recording is inspired by the Lullaby Project, a program of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute which pairs pregnant women, new mothers, and family members with professional artists to write and sing personal lullabies for their babies, supporting maternal health, aiding child development, and strengthening the bond between parent and child. Hopes and Dreams: The Lullaby Project features fifteen lullabies written by parents from across New York City, as performed by Fiona Apple, the Brentano String Quartet, Lawrence Brownlee, Rosanne Cash, Joyce DiDonato, Janice Freeman (The Voice 2017), Rhiannon Giddens (Nashville), Angélique Kidjo, Patti LuPone, Natalie Merchant (10,000 Maniacs), Dianne Reeves, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Pretty Yende, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The second installment of the Jazz Loves Disney series, Jazz Loves Disney 2: A Kind of Magic features guest artists including Angélique Kidjo, Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum, Jacob Collier, George Benson, Madeleine Peyroux and more, taking on beloved melodies from the Disney canon. The album will be released on Verve Records on November 10. The Jazz Loves Disney series celebrates the nostalgia and universal appeal of the music of Disney films. The rich catalogue of Disney songs that span genres and generations inspired producer Jay Newland and arranger Rob Mounsey to continue the series.
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The Passion of Charlie Parker is a new album from producer Larry Klein that tells the story of Charlie Parker using his music as inspiration for new songs that narrate his life. Guest artists include Gregory Porter, Madeleine Peyroux, Kandace Springs, actor Jeffrey Wright, and more. The album will be available on impulse!/ Verve digitally on June 16, with physical release to follow on June 30. Larry Klein says, "With this album I've endeavored to do something new and different in an effort to illustrate who ‘Bird' was as an archetypal character, and to draw attention to the huge impact that his work had on Jazz." Rather than create another tribute of traditional bebop tunes, Klein partnered with lyricist David Baerwald to create a musical play that tells the story of Charlie Parker's life while still playing with the jagged melodic nature of Charlie Parker's compositions.
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