'Bing at Christmas' makes holiday edition of APM's 'Major Themes'

In this holiday edition of Major Themes - a feature in which classical music experts recommend a must-hear recording based on a theme - we asked staff members at Classical MPR and American Public Media to pick a favorite holiday album. Bing Crosby - Bing at Christmas makes our top picks. One morning in 1940, Irving Berlin - then America's most popular songwriter - ran into his office with a tune in his head. Unable to read or notate music, Berlin dictated the piece to his musical secretary before proclaiming, "Not only is it the best song I ever wrote, it's the best song anybody ever wrote." The tune - a sentimental, secular holiday piece called "White Christmas" - was first performed live by Bing Crosby on a radio broadcast shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It became a massive hit with troops abroad and families back home, ushered in the modern Christmas music industry, and earned the Guinness record for bestselling single worldwide. Now, with a newly reorchestrated version featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, we can hear "the best song anybody ever wrote" as it's never been heard before, along with a dozen other holiday hits and a special Crosby duet with David Bowie. - James Napoli, digital producer SEE APM's 'Major Themes' PAGE p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d; min-height: 14.0px}
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Cally Banham talks Christmas with 1120KMOX - St. Louis

Announcing the re-release of Cor Christmas, an instrumental collection of sacred and secular carols featuring the soulful sound of the English horn, performed by Saint Louis Symphony Solo English horn player Cally Banham. Featured on the album are Banham's own ensemble Cortango, Adam Maness Trio, and Trombones of the Saint Louis Symphony, and harpist Allegra Lilly and percussionist William James.. Cor Christmas presents a varied journey through popular Christmas tunes, presented in a fusion of classical and jazz styles and reimagined in new and sonorous arrangements! In conjunction with the 2019 re-release, Cally sat in on today's (December 9 ) 1120KMOX- The Charlie Brennan Show with Amy Marxkors. Listen to the segment p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d}
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Jeff Goldblum and company show their bonafides on 'I Shouldn't Be Telling You This' / Jazz Weekly

Jeff Goldblum continues his delving into the nightclub jazz scene with this album of him backed by The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. Goldblum plays it a bit like an emcee, as he brings up cameo singing appearances by the likes of Gregory Porter, Fiona Apple, Anna Calvi and Gina Saputo on this cavalcade of Rat Packed gems. Music-wise, Goldblum and company show their bonafides with a cooking take of "The Kicker" and boogaloo to Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder" before Inara George coos out the close with Sonny and Cher's "The Beat Goes On." The team sizzles on Wes Montgomery's "4 on 6" as Anna Calvi sings along some hip additions, and Porter is soulfully warm as he swaggers on "Make Someone Happy." Even Miley Cyrus sounds like she's a Blue Noter as she comes in on "The Thrill Is Gone" before the band grooves into a delectable "Django" while Sharon Van Etten is Ella-ish on "Let's Face The Music and Dance." More like a nightclub show than an album, but it's a show worth attending. SEE THE Jazz Weekly PAGE
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Derek Bermel talks Migrations and GRAMMY nominations with classical radio

Three world-premiere recordings from Grammy nominated composer and clarinetist, Derek Bermel entitled MIGRATIONS was recently released on Naxos The album which scored a 2019 GRAMMY nomination, includes Bermel's Migration Series for Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra (2006); the song cycle Mar de Setembro (2011), with texts by Eugénio de Andrade; and the three-movement orchestral A Shout, a Whisper, and a Trace (2009), in performances by the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, saxophonist Ted Nash, clarinetist Bermel, Brazilian jazz vocalist Luciana Souza, and the Albany Symphony under its music director, David Alan Miller.  In conjunction with the new release and GRAMMY nomination, DB has made himself available to speak with classical radio TODAY!!, December 9, 2019. Watch for our tweets throughout the day
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The Hilliard Ensemble, Jan Garbarek 'We Are The Stars' from 'Remember Me My Dear' makes 'The Best of Echoes 2019'

The end of the year is coming and that means it's time for the Best of Echoes 2019. Join us as we play our Top 25 albums from this past year. It's sure to include music by The Hilliard Ensemble & Jan Garbarek 'We Are The Stars' from Remember Me My Dear. 25 years on from the release of Officium, the groundbreaking alliance of Jan Garbarek and The Hilliard Ensemble, comes a live album from their unforgettable final tour. Remember me, my dear, named for the Scottish ballad which concludes the concert, was recorded in October 2014 at Chiesa della Collegiata dei Santi Pietro e Stefano in Bellinzona, in the Ticino canton of Switzerland. The album embodies all the special attributes of this unique alliance between the Norwegian saxophonist and the British vocal ensemble. SEE THE 12/9 PLAYLIST
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If you're still trying to choose the perfect soundtrack to accompany the festive period, 'Christmas Carols with Libera' could be the one / CLASSIC fM: Album Of the Week

Throughout the week Classic FM's presenters bring you the best new recordings, including world exclusives and premiere broadcasts of latest releases. This week: John Suchet's Album of the Week is Christmas Carols with Libera. John plays a track from his featured Album of the Week at 10.15am every weekday. If you're still trying to choose the perfect soundtrack to accompany the festive period – maybe this could be the one. The all-boy English vocal group Libera returns with another Christmas album, following a succession of highly popular festive CDs. This latest release is made up of 16 festive favourites to get you into the Christmas spirit, including ‘Once in Royal David's City', ‘Carol of the Bells' and The Snowman's ‘Walking in the Air'. Directed by British composer Robert Prizeman, Libera is made up of boys from the London area, all between the ages of seven to 16. The group regularly performs across the world, and has attracted a large following from the US, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. Join Classic FM for a month of musical festivities. SEE THE PAGE
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PublicRadio90's Classiclectic interviews Angele Dubeau

Pulsations, the new record from Canadian violinist Angele Dubeau, infuses time, rhythm and heart.  The music (coming from modern composers like Olafur Arnalds, Jean-Michel Blais and Craig Armstrong) was selected by Dubeau, and strives to evoke imagery and emotional intensity.  The contemporary sounds of these composers could fall into the post-minimalist movement, but putting the works into a box of genre or group could take away from the experience that the album (and the singular works) aim to instill. Classiclectic host Kurt Hauswirth had a chance to speak with Angele where they discussed the importance of modern composers, as well as the challenges and rewards of working as a classical violinist. LISTEN
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  Interview with Public Radio 90's Kurt Hauswirth

Paula Cole: Where Have All The Puzzles Gone? / npr: ASK ME ANOTHER

As a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and boundary-pushing feminist trailblazer, Paula Cole has long incorporated powerful social statements into her emotional hit songs. Cole's latest album, 2019's Revolution, is no exception. Described as a social protest album, Revolution's songs tackle subjects like climate change and politics, which Cole hopes will inspire thought and conversation from listeners. "I felt the need to come out with some of my stories and my truths," Cole told NPR's Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg at the Bell House in Brooklyn, New York. "I was raised by silent generation parents. It's very difficult, but I really feel that we [Gen] X'ers, we Boomers, we do need to talk. We do need to have this conversation. And I'm trying: That's at the heart of the album." Cole is perhaps best known for her 1996 pop hits "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" and "I Don't Want To Wait" - the latter famously served as the theme song to the TV show Dawson's Creek. But she didn't always have a firm understanding on where her sound would take her. While a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Cole moonlighted at airports, hotel lounges, and weddings singing jazz standards. She said she wanted to sound like her idols, like Ella Fitzgerald and Chet Baker. However, Cole said she realized the lyrics of that earlier era often contained sexist and fraught messages, which inspired her to begin writing her own music that was more personal to her, and empowering to others. That decision to go down her own path resulted in a long and successful music career. In 1998, Cole won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist and was nominated in the Producer of the Year category for her 1996 album This Fire. And Cole joined artists like Sarah McClaughlin, Lisa Loeb, Natalie Merchant, and the Indigo Girls as co-headliners at the first iteration of women-only music festival, Lilith Fair in 1997. "I was there for the first two years," Cole recalled. "And I'll tell you: It was the best audience I've ever experienced. We were there in a movement of peace and love. It felt like the original intention of Woodstock probably felt like." Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg chats with Paula Cole at the Bell House in Brooklyn, New York on December 6, 2019  For her Ask Me Another challenge, Cole requested a game about human anatomy. In her game, every answer was two rhyming words: a body part, and a music term.    PHOTO: Mike Katzif/NPR p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d; min-height: 14.0px} LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT
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Carr-Petrova Duo with 'Novel Voices' for classical radio

The Novel Voices Refugee Aid Project, created and directed by the Carr-Petrova Duo, is a project designed to give voice and visibility, through music and film, to the lives and struggles of both local and international refugee communities, and to encourage audiences and artists alike to become connected and involved. Since August 2018, it has brought free, interactive classical music concerts and workshops to displaced populations while increasing awareness of and raising support for both U.S.-based and international refugee-aid programs.  in conjunction with the project and recording, Molly and Anna have made themselves available to speak with classical radio today, December 6, 2019.  Watch for our tweets throughout the day.
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Ahh ... that's better! Bing Crosby's original Christmas settings, remixed with newly-recorded orchestral arrangements for the LSO / Classical Music Sentinel

I don't know about you, but every year when I play my Bing Crosby Christmas recordings I can't help but feel that the background vocals, and particularly the orchestral accompaniment, always sound slightly anemic and unidimensional. But now with the magic of audio technology, Crosby's original vocals have been remastered and remixed against fresh new recordings of backup singers and the wonderful London Symphony Orchestra. As Kathryn Crosby herself notes in the booklet: "Hearing Bing's voice with these completely new, beautifully recorded, orchestral accompaniments makes it seem as though he's back after all these years. It's magic." Like using Photoshop software to brighten up an old faded photograph, this type of digital audio manipulation breathes new life into the music. Now I've never really been a proponent of tampering with audio. I've heard digital remasters of older analogue recordings that were actually detrimental and personally, I believe that analogue sounds more natural. One glaring example is a digital remastering of a famous analogue recording of the Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss on one of the most iconic classical music labels in which the software doing the transfer completely removed the sound of the "wind machine" because it was considered noise. And obviously whoever did the quality assurance tests didn't know the work very well as it was commercially released with this major flaw. But in this case the end result is quite amazing. And of course, this may not be "classical" music but it certainly is a "classic" when it comes to Christmas recordings, to be enjoyed once again! Tracks include It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas Sleigh Ride Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! White Christmas (feat. Pentatonix) I'll Be Home For Christmas Jingle Bells (with The Andrew Sisters feat. The Puppini Sisters) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Do You Hear What I hear The Christmas Song Little Drummer Boy (with David Bowie) Twelve Days of Christmas (feat. The Puppini Sisters) Winter Wonderland The Christmas Song (feat. The Tenors) White Christmas (Bing solo) SEE THE Classical Music Sentinel PAGE
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Sung-Won Yang interviews with 89.7WCPE

After the releasing the Bach album with EMI in 2005, Decca releases; Sung-Won Yang's J.S. Bach, Six Cello Suites recorded at 19th century's catholic church, Notre Dame de Bon Secours, Paris. In order to contain the natural sounds of the recording from the catholic church, this album specifically minimized the post production including the mixing process. You can experience the maturity and depth of Sung-Won Yang's cello sound of time compared to the recording 13 years ago. Sung-Won Yang's have said that Bach's music provides beyond happiness, yet intellectual and spiritual pieces which makes J.S. Bach, Six Cello Suites holy grail for the cellists. Sung-Won Yang was recently interviewed by Rob Kennedy at 89.7WCPE: Wake Forest NC. Listen to the interview via the attached file.  
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  Interview with WCPE's Rob Kennedy

Hobgood, Hahn, Getz, Kidjo, Bailey, Schiff and Labeque,Dessner, make Ted Gioia's 100 Best Recordings of 2019

Here are Ted Gioia's picks for the 100 best albums of 2019 (all styles, all genres) + another 100 'HONORABLE MENTION' albums of merit from 2019 worthy of your attention.    Happy listening!   Laurence Hobgood     Tesseterra       Popular Songs Reimagined for Jazz Trio and String Quartet   Antón García Abril (composer), Hilary Hahn (performer)            6 Partitas by Antón García Abril       Contemporary Music for Solo Violin   Stan Getz         Getz at the Gate          Previously Unreleased Live Jazz Recording from 1961   HONORABLE MENTION - Here are another 100 albums of merit from 2019 worthy of your attention András Schiff: Franz Schubert: Sonatas and Impromptus Classical Music   Angélique Kidjo: Celia     Afropop Versions of Celia Cruz Songs   Bryce Dessner (composer)/Katia and Marielle Labèque (performers): El Chan Extroverted Contemporary Classical Music   Philip Bailey (with jazz guest artists): Love Will Find a Way Soul/R&B
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Top 10 Albums for December

Alexandre Desplat :

Little Women OMPS

Sony Music announces the release of LITTLE WOMEN (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) with music by Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and GRAMMY® Award-winning composer ALEXANDRE DESPLAT.  Available for preorder now, the album will be available in digital, CD and vinyl formats beginning Friday, December 13.  Recorded in New York City under the leadership of Desplat, who conducted a chamber orchestra to perform his original compositions, the score serves as a sonic companion to the film's coming-of-age narrative.  Making its debut alongside album preorder is the title track from Desplat's score – listen to "Little Women" now.  Directed by Greta Gerwig, Sony Pictures' Little Women will make its highly-anticipated theatrical debut on Wednesday, December 25.   
Bing Crosby :

Bing at Christmas

On the anniversary of the untimely death of the world's first ‘multimedia' star Bing Crosby, October 14th sees his longtime record label, Decca, together with his widow Kathryn and their children, Harry, Mary, and Nathaniel Crosby, announce the release of the brand new album, Bing at Christmas, via Decca/UMe. Bing's is the voice that is completely synonymous with Christmas. Now, Bing's utterly distinctive original vocals are set to newly-recorded orchestral arrangements, performed by the UK's most prestigious orchestra, The London Symphony Orchestra, on an album that breathes new life into the best Christmas songs in existence.  The new album gives the world the chance to hear these beloved tracks totally transformed, with today's technical advances. Produced by Nick Patrick, who was behind the hugely successful Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and Buddy Holly orchestral albums, Bing at Christmas boasts a unique sound and warmth that sets it apart from past Bing Crosby releases.
Jon Batiste :

Chronology Of A Dream - Live@The Village Vanguard

The inimitable musician and bandleader, Jon Batiste, sets to release Chronology Of A Dream: Live At The Village Vanguard on November 1. Recorded during his six-night residency in the fall of 2018, the live album is a follow up to his recent critically acclaimed release, Anatomy of Angels: Live at the Village Vanguard, and is part two of the two-part series.  You can listen to the first single "HIGHER" and pre-order the album here. Anatomy of Angels and Chronology of a Dream are two sides of the same coin. Batiste explains, "My compositions on Chronology focus on thematic development within short form structures with memorable melodic themes, while Angels focuses on thematic development within longer form structures that are built for deconstruction, never to be played the same way twice."
Ola Onabule :


Socially conscious singer/songwriter Ola Onabule has built an enviable career as an international touring performer and has now turned his attention to the North American market with a newly recorded collection of original songs. Onabul''s meticulous attention to detail in his arrangements and production as well as the support from Sennheiser/Neumann have contributed to the manifestation of an impressive recording.'' Point Less, is a follow up to Onabul''s last album, It's The Peace That Deafens, with the new album boldly expressing his views on social injustice, reminiscent of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. It is an activist's call - at once a celebration of life and a cautionary take on the social forces that threaten it. Violence, immigration, xenophobia, betrayal, and dignity are themes considered on Point Less, rendered with a powerful and knowing generosity of spirit. Onabul' is rueful yet optimistic.
Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra :

I Shouldn't Be Telling You This

JEFF GOLDBLUM WITH BRAND NEW ALBUM  FEATURING - SHARON VAN ETTEN • FIONA APPLE • ANNA CALVI • INARA GEORGE • GINA SAPUTO In DUETS WITH JEFF GOLDBLUM  - OUT NOVEMBER 1 ON DECCA RECORDS "I'm crying with ecstasy over this new album. Creatively, I'm happy as a clam. This collection of cohorts (cream of the crop), with whom I get to cavort, is outa this cosmos. Ouch, my crackling cranium! I'm crowing!!!" – Jeff Goldblum After his live set being hailed as one of Glastonbury 2019's most iconic moments this summer, at which he announced from the stage that a brand new record was in the works, Jeff Goldblum is now set to release an album which will make the listener smile even more than his first one. If that is possible. With his long-time band The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, the enticingly-titled album I Shouldn't Be Telling You This will be released globallyNovember 1 on Decca Records and features an impressive array of surprising duet guests.
Ludovico Einaudi :

Seven Days Walking - Day Seven

Following his sold-out, seven-night residency at the Barbican in early August, Decca announces the release of ‘Seven Days Walking: Day Seven', and the climactic seven-volume collection from composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi – his most ambitious album project yet, with seven albums released over as many months. A solo piano album, ‘Day Seven' is released on 20thSeptember, followed by a complete box set on 27th September, marking the final stop on Einaudi's intimate journey through the snow-capped Alps.
Third Coast Percussion :


Grammy Award-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion plays music by international R&B and pop music star Devonté Hynes (aka Blood Orange) on their newest album, Fields, marking Hynes's recording debut as a classical composer. Fields, became available on October 11, 2019, via Cedille Records and features world-premiere recordings of works adapted from music Hynes composed for Third Coast Percussion's 2018 collaboration with modern dance ensemble Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Orchestrated, arranged, and performed by Third Coast Percussion, the album's compositions include Hynes's multimovement For All Its Fury, which includes the title track "Fields," Perfectly Voiceless, and There Was Nothing  "Seeing what Third Coast Percussion has done with the pieces is magical," Hynes says Hynes is also credited as a performer on tracks that incorporate prerecorded synthesizer passages originally intended for Third Coast's reference in orchestrating the scores, all of which Hynes composed in a digital audio workstation (DAW).
Libera :

Christmas Carols with Libera

The  boys  who  make  up  the  choral  group  Libera  are  normal  South  London  kids  aged  7  to  16  years.  The  music  they  produce  is  truly  extraordinary.  Their  new album  ‘Christmas Carols With Libera' is available on 15 November 2019 on  CD  plus  digital formats through Invisible Hands Music.   Libera are one of the leading worldwide exponents of the British choral tradition and this special collection includes 16 popular carols and a bonus song from the ‘The Snowman'; the evergreen ‘Walking in the Air' is recreated Libera-style.  From the traditional‘Once In Royal David's City' and the haunting ‘Carol Of The Bells' to the popular ‘In The Bleak Midwinter', this new CD is packed with favourites but also imbued with the unmistakable atmosphere of a Libera concert. There will be a launch show on 3 December 2019 at 1930 at St John Smith Square, London. Taking on the mellow and the more upbeat songs in this collection, the boys of Libera had great fun. The likes of ‘Ding Dong Merrily On High' require real precision, as well as purity. Many of the tracks were recorded during a group ‘retreat' to a rehearsal space in an old school, this allowed a true live feel to the process. The boy who took the lead vocal on ‘The Snowman' had just turned 9 years old, whilst the introductions to the French ‘Noël Nouvelet' and the Irish ‘Wexford Carol' are both handled by native French and Gaelic speakers, Libera is as polyglot as ever. Libera are a phenomenon with 65 million  hits  on  You Tube,  they have performed  for  Popes  and  Presidents and  gained 3 Classical  Brit  nominations. With  shimmering,  mystical  chords  and  ecstatic  harmonies,  they  are  unlike  any  other  group  you  have  ever  heard.  The  distinctive  sound  of  Libera has  travelled  the  world  and has  endeared  the  group  to  fans  all  over  the world,  particularly  in  the  USA,  the  UK,  the  Philippines,  South  Korea  and  Japan,  where  their  CDs  top  the  mainstream  and  classical  charts  and  where  they  pack  concert  halls and  Cathedrals  appearing  in  their  trademark  flowing  white  robes  on  imaginatively  lit  stages.  
The Comet Is Coming :

The Afterlife

"Bridging the gap between experimentation and accessibility" (Rolling Stone), The Comet Is Coming announces the digital release of the group's highly-anticipated mini-album The Afterlife, via Impulse! The Afterlife will serve as a companion piece to the group's breakout album Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery and the lead track "Lifeforce Part II." "The Afterlife has been a topic of deep consideration and of the keys to spiritual mythology around the world for millennia," claims kinetic keyboardist Danalogue. He continues to state "The two records can be seen as companions, that cannot exist without each other, like day and night, light and dark, creation and destruction. They were made together, at the same time, and have always been intended to be experienced together."
Laura Karpman :


p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #4d4d4d} Laura Karpman (Underground, Paris Can Wait, Step, Black Nativity) has scored the Discovery docu-series Why We Hate. The show is directed by Geeta Gandbhir & Sam Pollard and investigates the human capacity for hatred and how we can overcome it. The 6-parter traces the evolutionary basis of hate and uses stories from past and present to reveal the nature of the primal and universal emotion. Steven Spielberg, Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) and Frank Marshall (Jurassic World, The Sixth Sense) are executive producing the Amblin Television & Jigsaw production with Stacey Offman, Richard Perello (Super Troopers), Darryl Frank & Justin Falvey (The Americans, The Haunting of Hill House), Yael Melamede, Erica Sashin and Steve Tisch (Forrest Gump, The Equalizer). Karpman has previously scored the Spielberg-produced 2002 mini-series Taken. Why We Hate will premiere later this year on Discovery.