Legendary maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangaash will be collaborating with multiple Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin. The new album will give viewers a unique teaming of two classical music instruments strumming together. The album, "String For Peace", is scheduled to release on the 22nd of May on the ZOHO label (ZM 202004).
Strings For Peace is a perfect blend of various classics. Viewers will get to listen to a melodious eclectic east-west fusion of sarod and classical guitar. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Sharon Isbin have been contemplating about the east-west fashion and finally, their fusion will come to fruition. The album will contain four tracks and cover various ragas composed by Amjad Ali Khan.
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Produced by Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, and with a sound described as "an album to daydream to", Open Waters finds Todd Mosby once again embarking on a creative journey navigating through elements of Jazz, New Age, Folk and Indian music. Coming from a family of inventors (he is the co-inventor of the Imrat guitar along with Kim Schwartz and Imrat Khan), Mosby's early musical DNA was formed from his love of Bluegrass and Folk music, which eventually expanded into Fusion and Jazz.
Todd Mosby's 'Open Waters' wins the 2019 ZMR 'Best Contemporary Instrumental Album'
If there's an air of resignation to the way pianist/composer Bley has titled the movements of her opening suite-"Life Goes On," "On," "And On," "And Then One Day"-it is belied throughout this gently gripping album by Bley's indelible wit and unsinkable sanguinity. Both are evident in her pithy liner notes, her quotes of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "The Star Spangled Banner" in the "Beautiful Telephones" suite (inspired by remarks made by the current president during his first week in the White House), her play on call-and-response in the closing suite, "Copy Cat," and the unfrantic flow of her elegant melodies and soothing harmonies. The album title could reference Bley's career (more than five decades of recording), her age (she turns 82 in May), or the longevity of this uncannily simpatico trio (25 years and counting). Touching here on the blues and there on tango, now buoyant, now contemplative, the music is richly poignant but never lugubrious, bent but not sharply angular, spacious and light but never ungrounded. Swallow's unique electric bass sound and Sheppard's stately tenor and soprano sax tones, heard in ample solo space, seamlessly lock in with Bley's eccentric phrasing as the band sublimely plays on.
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Niv Ashkenazi, the only violinist in the world to hold an instrument from the Violins of Hope collection on a long-term loan, has just released an album recorded on that instrument featuring music by composers that were affected by the Holocaust. Ashkenazi, a former student of Itzhak Perlman, is joined on the album by his fellow Juilliard graduate, pianist Matthew Graybil. This recording was part of Ashkenazi's work as Artist in Residence at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) in Northridge, CA.
Violins of Hope is an artistic and educational project composed of instruments that were owned by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust. Violins in the collection were played in the concentration camps and ghettos, providing a source of comfort for some and a means of survival for others.
Violins of Hope was founded by Amnon Weinstein and his son Avshalom, Israeli luthiers who collect these instruments, refurbish them to concert quality, and bring them to communities all over the world, so that their voices can be heard again. The message of these violins is one of hope, tolerance, and remembrance. Niv Ashkenazi: Violins of Hope is the first solo album to be recorded on one of these instruments.
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Close your eyes and travel to exotic new lands!
Academy Award-winning composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel does a lot of traveling, soaking up the musical traditions as he goes. His recent album, Migrations, received a Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category. In this episode, Bermel teaches about composer Bela Bartok who inspired one of the pieces on the album. Bartok moved from his native Hungary to New York City at the outset of World War II, and while a lot of great music came out of his journey, his is also a really human story about being a stranger in a strange land. Bermel also talks about the migration of his own European Jewish family and how it influenced his work.
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Robin McKelle released her new album Alterations on Doxie Records in February. On it, McKelle delves into the catalogue of some of the most celebrated women of song, interpreting these masterworks through the lens of the jazz idiom. McKelle follows in a long tradition of female song interpreters, lending her sultry vocal stylings to classics by a diverse list of female innovators including Dolly Parton, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Janis Joplin, Carol King, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and Lana Del Ray. McKelle is joined on this release by a group of consummate musicians including co-producer, pianist and arranger Shedrick Mitchell, acoustic and electric bassist Richie Goods, drummer Charles Haynes, guitarist Nir Felder. In addition, esteemed saxophonist Keith Loftis is featured on McKelle's sole original composition on this release, "Head High"; and renowned trumpeter Marquis Hill is featured on Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die". The first single from Alterations, McKelle's rendition of Sade's "No Ordinary Love."
WUCF: Orlando FL interviewed McKelle about the new recording and living in the COVID reality. Listen to the attached file
The Cave of Wondrous Voice, the latest recording featuring new works by composer Mark Abel, is itself a wondrous creation. It features a variety of chamber music pieces in a traditional style but with a contemporary sound. The Delos CD includes three chamber works, two for clarinet, including Intuition's Dance for clarinet and piano and Clarinet Trio, as well as a piece for violin and piano, titled The Elastic Hours, and Four Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva for soprano, English horn and piano. The two compositions for clarinet bookend the album, beginning with the wispy Intuition's Dance, and both works feature renowned performers, clarinetist David Shifrin and pianist Carol Rosenberger.
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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.
Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin's new recording, Strings for Peace, with sarod master, Amjad Ali Khan, and his virtuoso sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash, is a groundbreaking release steeped in the tradition of ragas and talas of North Indian classical music.
The Bureau (original title: Le Bureau des Légendes) is a French political thriller television series created by Éric Rochant and produced by TOP - The Oligarchs Productions and Canal+, which revolves around the lives of agents of the DGSE (General Directorate of External Security), France's principal external security service.
A classical music critic in New York City could conceivably never spend an evening at home, until now / The New York Times
Posted: April 2, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Carnegie Hall presents the world's leading artists virtually every night during its season; Lincoln Center's theaters are almost never dark. Then there are the dozens of smaller venues scattered throughout town. Planning a concert-going calendar, then, has always been a balancing act, full of disappointment that you can't be in multiple places at once.
Then came the coronavirus pandemic, which caused performances to grind to a halt earlier this month.
I haven't had the heart to delete events in my own calendar, even though in the coming week there's no chance I'll see the premiere of a Kate Soper opera in Montclair, N.J., or hear Mitsuko Uchida play Beethoven's "Diabelli" Variations at Carnegie.
But I also haven't had the time.
In-person performances have been replaced by a deluge of digital ones - live streams and recently unlocked archive recordings - that have made for a calendar hardly less busy than before concert halls closed. It's enough to keep a critic happily overwhelmed, yet also wondering whether the industry is making a mistake by giving away so much for free.
The live streams began immediately, with production values ranging from tinny iPhone videos to cinema-ready sophistication. On March 12, the day New York theaters shuttered, the pianist Igor Levit gave a lo-fi performance from his living room, while the Berlin Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra played to empty halls and audiences at home. (In retrospect, these groups of 100 or so musicians should probably have stayed as far apart as the rest of us.)
Since then, a day hasn't gone by without something to stream. In the past week alone, I've been able to watch older performances I missed; ones I had hoped to travel for this spring; ones that would otherwise seem unfathomable, like the pianist Maria João Pires coming out of retirement. If anything, I'm taking in more music than before; the only difference is that now I can be in multiple places - or at least multiple browser tabs - at once.
Many of these videos have had more charm than a typical classical concert, with banter, a casual dress code and imperfect production. Before a scorching streamed performance of Frederic Rzewski's "The People United Will Never Be Defeated!" for the 92nd Street Y - cut short because, hey, the technology isn't reliable - the pianist Conrad Tao worked through his feelings about the medium, talking to the camera in his apartment like a confessional vlogger.
On Monday, the publisher Boosey & Hawkes hosted a live score-reading of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" on YouTube; alongside the video was a candid chat that included artists like the composer David T. Little and the conductors Teddy Abrams, Christopher Rountree and Marin Alsop. (Ms. Alsop was openly, hilariously critical of the often slow tempos in the chosen recording, Lorin Maazel and the Cleveland Orchestra.)
In breaks from live streams, you can watch archived films. The Industry, an experimental Los Angeles opera company, has made "Sweet Land," whose run was cut short by the closures, available on Vimeo for the more-than-worth-it cost of $14.99. (This is one of the few organizations putting a price tag on their work.)
Once you see how many operas are available online, your free time quickly evaporates. Beth Morrison Projects is putting one on its website every week; right now, you can watch Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek's "Song From the Uproar." (Another Mazzoli-Vavrek piece, "Breaking the Waves," is streaming on SoundCloud.) Rai, the Italian public broadcaster, is playing Gyorgy Kurtag's widely hailed "Fin de Partie," filmed during its premiere run in Milan in 2018.
And a production of Beethoven's "Fidelio" at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, originally planned for this month but then canceled, was thankfully recorded. The direction, by the actor Christoph Waltz, may be a bit chilly; but the sculptural set, by the architects Barkow Leibinger, is a subtle and mesmerizing reflection of the music, propulsive under the baton of Manfred Honeck.
Last weekend, live streams escalated to marathons. The cellist Jan Vogler organized a 24-hour event called Music Never Sleeps NYC, which coincided with Deutsche Grammophon's globe-trotting relay of solo performances for Piano Day. Never have I felt so productive spending hours on YouTube.
Among the Piano Day artists were Ms. Pires, out of retirement for an elegant and lucid reading of Beethoven's "Pathétique" Sonata; and Daniil Trifonov, both eerie and endearing in a mask and gloves as he introduced himself from the Dominican Republic with a selfie video. Music Never Sleeps was a feel-good miracle of coordination and collaboration across musical forms and genres. When it overlapped, at 7 p.m. Eastern time, with a moment for New Yorkers to applaud out their windows for those on the front lines of the pandemic, the conductor David Robertson and the pianist Orli Shaham cleverly offered Steve Reich's "Clapping Music." Later, Inon Barnatan gave an elegant, at times sublime performance of Schubert's Piano Sonata in B flat that I hope to one day hear in person.
The two marathons were studies in contrast. Music Never Sleeps was a soft fund-raiser - not quite a telethon, but presented with the suggestion that fans donate to the NYC Covid-19 Response & Impact Fund and the Local 802 Musicians' Emergency Relief Fund. Piano Day, however, was simply a celebration of top-shelf talent: artists who could - and have - sold out Carnegie, playing here at no cost to viewers.
Like almost every other live stream of the past month, Deutsche Grammophon's felt dangerously reminiscent of the internet's early days, when prestige journalism - including The New York Times - was available for free. Publishers later regretted not monetizing their work from the start; I hope the classical music industry doesn't end up in the same position.
Freelancers, whose incomes depend on live performance, are in crisis as even summer festivals begin to announce their cancellations. The New York Philharmonic is anticipating a loss of $10 million in revenue because of its closure; the Met Opera, up to $60 million.
And yet these are the same artists and organizations giving away their music for free. The Philharmonic launched a website of archived performances, NY Phil Plays On, and is broadcasting older concerts on Facebook every Thursday. The Met is digging into its collection of high-definition movie theater transmissions for nightly streams. It's heartening to witness, and the exposure may be helpful, but it doesn't even begin to cover lost revenue.
So if you like what you hear, donate. Think of the industry as a giant Central Park busker, happy to play but leaving that guitar case open and ready for tips.
The world of classical music has never been more accessible. Rarely, though, has it ever been so endangered. And it's up to all of us to decide just how much it's worth.
Joshua Barone is a senior staff editor on the Culture Desk, where he writes about classical music and other fields including dance, theater and visual art and architecture.
Crossover Media Projects with Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends
Through a chance meeting on a flight from Berlin to New York, actor Bill Murray and cellist Jan Vogler became fast friends, curious about each others' artistic worlds and interests. The result of their collaboration is New Worlds, an unexpected and enchanting exploration of the intersection of music and literature. Both the recording and live events feature songs paired with literary readings brought to life with classical music. New Worlds is released today on Decca Gold, with multiple tour dates including Chicago, Buffalo, Santa Barbara, and New York City. (Full Itinerary Below)
SYND: CBS, NPR, C24 Direct: MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cleveland, Portland, Minneapolis, Detroit, San Diego, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Hartford CT, Buffalo, CA(Statewide), Toronto INTER: Canada, UK, Greece, Singapore, Australia