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Veljo Tormis:

Reminiscentiae w/TCO & EPCC, Tonu Kaljuste

The elemental power of ancient folk music was the life force that drove the compositions of Veljo Tormis (1930-2017). As the great Estonian composer famously said, “I do not use folk song. It is folk song that uses me.” This sentiment is echoed in definitive performances by the Estonian Philharmonic Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Tõnu Kaljuste, for decades one of Tormis’s closest musical associates. Four orchestral cycles celebrate the changing seasons: Autumn Landscapes, Winter Patterns, Spring Sketches, Summer Motifs. And three pieces – Worry Breaks The Spirit, Hamlet’s Songs and Herding Calls - feature new arrangements by Tõnu Kaljuste, continuing and commemorating Tormis’s work.

The album opens with The Tower Bell In My Village with words by Fernando Pessoa (recited and sung here in Estonian) that seem entirely pertinent in the context of this tribute. “Oh death, it’s a bend in the road/You can’t be seen when you’ve passed by/But still your steps continue.” For most of his life, Tormis’s music was little heard beyond his homeland – a situation that began to change with the release of Forgotten Peoples in 1992, and Litany to Thunder in 1999, both with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under Kaljuste. Meanwhile, his influence continues to spread with each passing year.

Yuja Wang:

Rachmaninoff w/LA Phil. - Gustavo Dudamel

Los Angeles, the city in which Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) spent the last few months of his life, played host to an exceptional festival of music last February. As part of this year’s Rachmaninoff 150 celebrations, Yuja Wang joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel over two consecutive weekends to perform all four of the composer’s piano concertos and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Deutsche Grammophon were there to capture their sold-out and critically acclaimed performances live at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Rachmaninoff: The Piano Concertos and Paganini Rhapsody is now set for release on 2 CDs, 3 LPs and digitally on 1 September 2023. The Allegro vivace finale of Piano Concerto No. 1 comes out as an e single and e video on 23 June; the filmed cycle of five performances will be premiered on STAGE+ on 24 June and will also be available on the LA Phil’s online concert series SOUND/STAGE later in September. 
A formidably talented pianist himself, Rachmaninoff wrote a wide range of expressive, idiomatic music for his own instrument, including these five dazzling large-scale works for piano and orchestra. They have been part of Yuja Wang’s repertoire since the start of her career, and she continues to bring fresh insights to their kaleidoscopic riches. She has collaborated with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic many times, and a powerful sense of mutual respect and understanding is conveyed through these performances.  As Dudamel notes, “We connect as if we were playing chamber music.”

Rachmaninoff began work on his First Piano Concerto in 1890, when he was still a student at the Moscow Conservatory. Some 26 years later he substantially revised the work, and it is the 1917 version that opens this new album. The composer himself wrote at the time, “All the youthful freshness is there, and yet it plays itself so much more easily.” Yuja Wang certainly makes the solo writing sound effortless, from the fiery flourishes of the first and third movements, to the intimate delicacy of the central Andante. 

A huge success at its premiere in 1901, the Second Concerto remains one of the composer’s best-loved works. Its wealth of passion, virtuosity and glorious melodies are perhaps all the more remarkable given that the score emerged from the period of despondency Rachmaninoff experienced after the initial failure of his First Symphony. So familiar is the concerto that there is the risk of falling into well-worn grooves, but with not these performers. As the Los Angeles Times noted in its review, Yuja “attacked [the opening chords], making each one an ever-more-important event. She seemed to be saying, listen, this matters … [Along] with Dudamel, who was propulsive and extravagantly detailed in the accompaniments, [she] went … for the dynamism of our times.”

Maciej Obara Quartet:

Frozen Silence

Frozen Silence is the third ECM release from alto saxophonist Maciej Obara’s Polish-Norwegian quartet, bringing the story forward from Unloved and Three Crowns, recordings which confirmed the ensemble’s standing as one of the most strikingly original European bands of the present moment. The quartet’s creative sense of musical interplay is again to the forefront of this newest album, recorded in Oslo in the summer of 2022, which may be their strongest statement to date. Obara’s new music optimally highlights his intuitive musical relationship with Dominik Wania, while Ole Morten Vågan and Gard Nilssen continually transcend rhythm section roles to interact persuasively with the saxophonist and the pianist.

Alert interactivity is the hallmark of the group’s approach. The new repertoire, however, was shaped by Maciej in isolation. When pandemic lockdowns shut the door on the Polish jazz scene and ruled out international touring, he left Warsaw and headed for the hills and forests. The compositions heard here are reveries of the solitary walker: direct responses to nature, in particular the starkly dramatic landscapes of the Karkonosze region in south-west Poland, where his family roots are. Song titles single out some special locations – “Black Cauldron” (in Polish, Czarny kociol jagniatkowski), “High Stone”  (Wysoki kamien), and “Dry Mountain” (Sucha Góra). 

John Holloway:

Henry Purcell - Fantazias

Henry Purcell’s “fantazias” are regarded as some of the finest and most intricately wrought examples of the fantasia, due to their profound embrace of counterpoint and great command of the polyphonal techniques of the time. Composed in the summer of 1680 – a time when the fantasia was already considered old-fashioned and had been replaced by the sonata –, Purcell’s “fantazias” turned out to be the very last ensemble fantasias to be published in England. As John Holloway notes in his detailed liner text contextualizing the three- and four-part works, “it is tempting in retrospect to see their brilliant distillation of the very best of Byrd, Lawes, Jenkins and Locke as a personal farewell to a kind of music, which in Purcell’s own chamber music would soon be superseded by sonatas”.

In this recording John Holloway and his ensemble – violists Monika Baer and Renate Steinmann as well as violoncellist Martin Zeller – excel at bringing to light the emotional nuance and technical complexity of the works in all their transparency and colorfulness, naturally emphasizing Purcell’s contrapuntal idiosyncrasies in the process. Holloway’s expansive studies of Purcell’s life and work are evident in this music, and the violinist discloses his great appreciation of the composer in the accompanying text, saying, “only just out of his teens, Purcell already shows his extraordinary ability, shared by few other composers of any era, to walk the fine line between joy and sorrow, to beautifully express the melancholy which was such a characteristic mood of his times; and all this within the strictest self-imposed disciplines of complex counterpoint.”

On the album, recorded at Zürich’s Radio Studio, Holloway and his ensemble approach Purcell’s fantasias No.1 through 12 with distinct and convincing interpretations that substantiate John Holloway’s suggestion that even J.S. Bach “would have been immensely proud to have composed this music, and had he encountered it, would certainly have acknowledged it as equal to his finest achievements in this art.”

Danish National Symphony Orchestra - Fabio Luisi:

Carl Nielsen - The Concertos

After six years of acclaimed live performances in Europe, USA and Asia, The Danish Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi are now presenting their special take on Carl Nielsen's symphonies and concertos on record for the first time. To complete their critically acclaimed Nielsen cycle, The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi have released a digital album presenting Carl Nielsen’s three solo concertos for flute, clarinet and violin.

Fabio Luisi, Chief Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, states: The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and I are delighted to join Deutsche Grammophon for this important release cycle. I am particularly pleased to see the complete symphonies of Carl Nielsen being featured under the famous yellow logo, placing the composer in the canon of great 20th century composers which is fully deserved.

David Lopato & Global Coolant:

Short Stories

SHORT STORIES, the new recording by award-winning NY-based composer-pianist David Lopato is an eclectic assemblage of eight original compositions and one cover (Prince of Darkness by Wayne Shorter). The music spans 4 decades of writing and, like all of Lopato’s previous recordings, a wide range of musical genres and styles. It features a core quintet of incredible musicians with whom Lopato has worked for many years: Ed Neumeister on trombone, Lucas Pino on saxes and clarinets, Ratzo Harris on string bass and Michael Sarin on drum. The group is augmented by three of New York’s top percussionists: Rogerio Boccato, Keita Ogawa and Bobby Sanabria, and by newcomer Anson Jones on vocals.

The influences on Lopato’s music run far, wide and deep, from traditional jazz, blues and rock to avant-garde improvisation, and the musics of Africa, Brazil and Asia, most notably Indonesia, where Lopato lived for a year as a Fulbright scholar studying Javanese gamelan. His last recording, the South Asian-influenced Gendhing for a Spirit Rising, was cited as one of the top albums of 2017 by Downbeat Magazine, which described it as “unlike anything you are likely to hear this year (or any year). Unlike many experiments with musical fusion, Lopato’s music is the genuine article”.

Helene Grimaud:

For Clara feat. Konstantin Krimmel

Hélène Grimaud explores the rich universe of German Romanticism For Clara couples Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana Op. 16 with Brahms’s Intermezzi Op. 117 and Lieder und Gesänge Op. 32, featuring baritone Konstantin Krimmel

“You can spend a lifetime with a piece like this and always find something new” - Hélène Grimaud on Kreisleriana 

“I’ve always had a special relationship with the German Romantics,” says  Hélène Grimaud (in a recent interview for Deutsche Welle). “These are worlds in which I feel I can express what the composer intended.” That affinity is very much in evidence on her latest album, For Clara, which focuses not only on the pianist’s own relationship with the music of both Robert Schumann and his protégé Brahms, but also on that which bound both men to pianist-composer Clara Schumann (née Wieck). Grimaud revisits Schumann’s Kreisleriana, a work she has known most of her life and recorded once before, pairing it with Brahms’s three Op. 117 Intermezzi and his Op. 32 set of nine songs. Joining her for the latter is baritone Konstantin Krimmel, her musical partner on the Valentin Silvestrov album Silent Songs, released earlier this year (“Konstantin Krimmel and Hélène Grimaud deserve the highest praise for their poised and unaffected account of this beautiful, dreamlike music”, BBC Music Magazine). 
For Clara will be released by Deutsche Grammophon on CD, vinyl and digitally on 8 September. Filmed in the library of Polling Abbey near Munich, in June 2022, Hélène Grimaud’s performance of Kreisleriana will be available on demand on STAGE+ from 10 July 2023, while her Berlin recital with Konstantin Krimmel, featuring Brahms’s Op. 32, can be streamed from the platform now. Grimaud’s recordings of two further Brahms intermezzi – Op. 116 No. 2 in A minor and Op. 118 No. 2 in A major – will be issued as e-singles on 13 October and 24 November respectively. 

Vikingur Olafsson:


Celebrated for his visionary interpretations of J.S. Bach, Víkingur Ólafsson, one of the greatest pianists and musical minds of today, now embraces Bach’s monumental Goldberg Variations. Ólafsson devotes his entire next season to touring the work globally across six continents, while October 2023 marks the anticipated album release on Deutsche Grammophon. “I have dreamed of recording this work for 25 years,” says the Icelandic pianist.

The album follows Ólafsson’s hugely successful DG recording of works by the composer, Johann Sebastian Bach (2018), which won BBC Music magazine’s Album of the Year, Opus Klassik’s Solo Recital award, numerous other recording of the year accolades and led to him being named Gramophone magazine’s Artist of the Year. Now Ólafsson brings his unique musical vision, and an affecting, meticulous recorded sound to Bach’s masterpiece. It marks the first time Ólafsson records a complete work and he begins with one of the most demanding in the piano repertoire.

Ólafsson dedicates his 2023-24 season to a Goldberg Variations world tour, performing the work across six continents throughout the year. He brings Bach’s masterpiece to major concert halls including London’s Southbank Centre, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Wiener Konzerthaus, Philharmonie de Paris, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Philharmonie Berlin, Harpa Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, LA’s Walt Disney Hall, Sala São Paulo, Shanghai Symphony Hall, Tonhalle Zurich, KKL Luzern, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Mupa Budapest and Teatro Colón, to name a few.

Lorne Balfe:

The Wheel of Time - Season 2 Vol. 1 ( PVOSS )

Milan Records releases THE WHEEL OF TIME: SEASON 2, VOLUME 1 (PRIME VIDEO ORIGINAL SERIES SOUNDTRACK) by award-winning composer Lorne Balfe. Available everywhere now, the Volume 1 album is the first of an eventual two volumes of original music, which Balfe wrote for the second season of the fantasy series. It serves as a conceptual album of 11 key themed tracks, each tailored to a different character in the new season. Today’s Volume 1 album release will be followed by an additional Volume 2 soundtrack, set to debut on Friday, September 22.

The recordings of both albums were a global effort with recording sessions taking place at Abbey Road in London, Abriguerio Recording Studios in Spain, as well as various project studios in London, Los Angeles, Nashville and Chicago.

Balfe returns to The Wheel of Time universe after composing three albums for the series’ first season, which also included a similar conceptual album of key themes. 

“This season, we really tried from the beginning to accentuate the high stakes, action and dark threats in each episode, expanding upon the themes from season one while introducing new ones as the world continues to expand,“ Balfe said. “Like in season one, vocalists recorded singing in “Old Tongue”, which follows the narrative as it develops throughout season two. We kept the same musical palette, but moved away from the traditional fantasy tropes and incorporated more elements of electronic, dreampop, folk, classical and even dark wave into each track. This was a great way to show the musical evolution of the characters and how they have come into their own.“

The first four episodes of The Wheel of Time are available now on Prime Video, with new episodes debuting every Friday in more than 240 countries and territories around the world.  

Bear McCreary:

Outlander The Series-Highlights from Season 7 OTS

Sony Music Masterworks releases OUTLANDER: SEASON 7 (HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ORIGINAL TELEVISION SOUNDTRACK) with music by Emmy® and BAFTA Award-winning series composer BEAR McCREARY. Available everywhere now, the EP also features McCreary’s arrangement of the series theme song “The Skye Boat Song” performed by the late Sinéad O’Connor, and a Scottish traditional song performed by Griogair Labhruidh. The EP serves as an introduction to the larger soundscape envisioned by McCreary for the seventh season of the critically acclaimed STARZ series from Sony Pictures Television, the first half of which is available now on the STARZ app, all STARZ streaming and on-demand platforms.

Of the release, composer BEAR McCREARY says, “Scoring Outlander’s seventh season allowed me to continue to weave the threads that create the tapestry of this dynamic, eclectic score. The sounds of Americana were brought to the fore as Claire and Jamie at last collide with the events of the American Revolution. Most importantly, Season 7 also allowed me to return to the series’ roots in Celtic folk music. I was thrilled by the opportunity to enlist the legendary singer Sinéad O’Connor, who I thought could provide a unique sense of power and wisdom to our latest rendition of the series’ iconic title theme, ‘The Skye Boat Song.’ It was my privilege to collaborate with her on what I understand was her final recording, a hauntingly beautiful vocal performance. Sinéad was the warrior poet I expected her to be. I am gutted by her loss.”

Yo-Yo Ma:

Nature at Play - Bach's Cello Suite No. 1

J.S. Bach’s Suites for Unaccompanied Cello have been a touchstone and a source of inspiration for YO-YO MA since he learned the first notes of Suite No. 1 at age four. Today, Sony Classical announces that the cellist’s 1983 recording of the suites – his very first – will be released as a new, three-LP collector’s edition. Available worldwide on October 20 and for preorder now, J.S. Bach: 6 Suites for Unaccompanied Cello – The 1983 Sessions celebrates the 40th anniversary of the original recordings with three newly-pressed picture discs enclosed in a tri-fold jacket featuring exclusive, never-before-seen photos from the original recording session as well as an essay by its producer, Richard Einhorn.

Today, Sony Classical also releases Nature at Play: Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1, a digital EP that exemplifies Ma’s ongoing exploration of Bach’s music and its contemporary relevance – listen here. Featuring Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 recorded live in the foothills of The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee as part of Ma’s ongoing “Our Common Nature” initiative, Nature at Play asks us to consider the ways that culture can connect us to the natural world and to each other in pursuit of a common future. Ma has pledged to donate his earnings from the release to EarthPercent, a charity that helps artists and the music industry support the most impactful organizations currently addressing the global climate emergency. Accompanying the EP is a video of the live recording, featuring Ma’s performance of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in its entirety – watch here.

J.S. Bach’s Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, composed between 1717 and 1723, have been at the pinnacle of the solo cello repertoire ever since Pablo Casals rediscovered and began performing them, well over a century ago. Across three impeccable recordings released by Sony Classical and dozens of live performances around the world, the suites have become a kind of artistic signature for Ma, who won the first of his 19 GRAMMY® Awards for the 1983 recording. Though Ma has recorded the suites twice more, at pivotal moments in his career, it was this 1983 recording that confirmed to the world the singular breadth, depth, and promise of his artistry.

“Ma, of course, has his own long history with the suites,” the Los Angeles Times critic Mark Swed wrote when the cellist did “the impossible” by playing all six suites in one evening before a hushed audience of almost 17,000 at the Hollywood Bowl in 2017. He recalled the revelation of Ma’s 1983 recording as “fresh, vibrant, immaculately played.”

In his liner note for this new edition, producer Richard Einhorn wrote, “Listening to the Suites now, I fell in love with Yo-Yo Ma’s interpretations all over again. The first word I wrote down for this essay was ‘exuberance,’ an exuberance in abundant evidence right from the start … Yo-Yo would go on to re-record the Bach Suites in both audio and video; they are all equally remarkable achievements. But naturally, this version remains my favorite: I hear so much of my long-ago friend’s ebullient personality in these marvelous interpretations of some of the greatest music ever written.”

Defne Sahin:



Few artists bridge as many worlds as the renowned singer and composer Defne Sahin, who effortlessly merges poetry and music, language and song, as well as different places and emotions. With "Hope," the Berlin-born artist of Turkish origin, continues to develop her cosmopolitan sound drawing from her experience of living between New York, Berlin, and Istanbul. Inspired by the poems of Dickinson, “Hope” is an exceptional album which offers an intimate look into the highs and lows of life. It offers deep insights into human existence in all its complexity.




MILOŠ - the superstar musician who has led today’s classical guitar revival, begins a new era in his exceptional career with a debut album for Sony Classical. Titled simply “Baroque”, the album presents MILOŠ’ carefully curated selection of baroque works especially transcribed and arranged for the guitar, both solo and in collaboration with Jonathan Cohen and his ensemble ‘Arcangelo’. The album will be released on October 13 and is set to enrich the unrivalled legacy of Sony Classical’s recordings of legendary guitarists, which boast John Williams and Julian Bream amongst others.

“Baroque” heralds a new milestone in MILOŠ’ career. “Since the very beginning of my life as a musician, I have been deeply inspired by the incredible variety and electrifying energy of the baroque repertoire. This golden era of music is mysterious and extraordinary, flamboyant, often endlessly lyrical, ultimately timeless. And yet within the classical guitar context, apart from J.S. Bach, I believe we have only ever managed to touch the surface. This very thought inspired me to, over the years, try and dig deeper, go beyond the obvious, experiment, collaborate and transcribe, to open a new door of possibilities for my instrument and its own baroque voice”. 

James Newton Howard:

Night after Night

Night After Night: Music from the Movies of M. Night Shyamalan celebrates one of the richest collaborations between a contemporary film director and a composer – an all-new recording of music for M. Night Shyamalan’s most acclaimed films by the Emmy®- and Grammy®-winning composer and nine-time Oscar® nominee James Newton Howard. The Sony Classical album will be released on October 20, 2023 and is available now for preorder.  

Included on Night After Night are highlights from Howard’s haunting scores that became part of the identity of eight of Shyamalan’s eerie, mind-bending thrillers – The Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002), The Village (2004), Lady in the Water (2006), The Happening (2008), The Last Airbender (2010) and After Earth (2013).

For this album, James Newton Howard created eight suites that are piano centric and include new and original material.  Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet performs throughout the recording. Violinist Hilary Hahn recreates her contributions to the soundtrack recording of the score for The Village, and cellist Maya Beiser reprises her performance of “An Event” from The Happening soundtrack. Gavin Greenaway conducts the orchestra and chorus in Howard’s new arrangements.

Chandrika Tandon:

Ammu's Treasures

From Grammy-nominated artist, Chandrika Tandon, a collection of classic songs and soothing chants. Ammu has a hug for you ... Ammu has a song for you ... Ammu’s door is always open ...Ammu is a delicious term of endearment used in many parts of India. Literally, Ammu means happiness. Ammu means sweetness. Ammu means purity. Ammu is what Chandrika's grandchildren call her. Inspired by constantly singing to her grandchildren, Chandrika’s Ammu's Treasures is a gift of intergenerational love and wisdom, with profound messages for everyday living.

A three-volume omnibus of 35 songs and 21 chants, Ammu's Treasures invites its listeners to reminisce or make new memories with traditional folk tunes and familiar popular songs and poems, which were a part of Chandrika's childhood years. These songs speak of faraway places, in different genres and languages, with varied arrangements. They are meant for quiet times, happy times, and anytime. This treasury of music also includes ancient Vedic chants set to Indian scales, aimed to soothe and relax.

Adding their incredible artistry to complex arrangements, Ammu's Treasures features many maestros, including Cyro Baptista, Martin Bejerano, Purbayan Chatterjee, Rakesh Chaurasia, Béla Fleck, Eugene Friesen, Maeve Gilchrist, Jamey Haddad, Bobby Keyes, Howard Levy, Romero Lubambo, Marcus Rojas, Dave Schroeder, Michael Ward-Bergeman, Kenny Werner, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Teese Gohl, Mirek Vana, John Kiehl, Scott Cannizzaro, and more. Marc Lumer and Bob Spang contributed their talents to beautiful accompanying lyric videos.

Nick Flade:

Better Man feat. Ola Onabule

British Nigerian, Singer Songwriter Ola Onabulé and German songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Nick Flade joined forces on this retro pop/soul song, BETTER MAN. Flade created the music production and Ola was immediately inspired to write the lyrics which talk about a man finally seeing himself as a separate entity and being his own strongest judge and critic. This man wants to be the best version of himself that he can imagine.

It was recorded at Mastermix Studios, formally known as Electric Studios, Munich - the famous site for the conceptualising, writing and recording of seminal albums from the 70s and 80s from artists including Donna Summer, ELO, Pete Bellotte, Giorgio Moroder, Jennifer Rush. This iconic studio became the location for the filming of the sumptuous retro video that accompanies BETTER MAN.

This mid-tempo, groove based song is reminiscent of the sounds of the great soul era of the 60 & 70s era exemplified by artists such as Al Green, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and more recently Sharon Jones, The instrumentation is drums, bass, guitar, Rhodes, Hammond organ and a ‘Phoenix Horns’ style brass arrangement.

Samara Joy:


Two-time GRAMMY-winner Samara Joy has returned with her new self-produced single “Tight.” Featuring Joy with her working band (pianist Luther Allison, bassist Mikey Migliore and drummer Evan Sherman), the track was recorded at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in NYC. Originally written by Betty Carter and a true showcase of Joy’s incredible range, “Tight” has been a fan favorite during Joy’s onstage sets. Fittingly, the music video for the single incorporates both her live performances and in-studio recording session.

The release of “Tight” continues a whirlwind year that saw Joy take home the auspicious Best New Artist and Best Jazz Vocal Album awards at this year’s GRAMMY’s. Joy also released the deluxe edition of her album Linger Awhile, which includes brand new music plus fan favorites like “Guess Who I Saw Today” and “Can’t Get Out Of This Mood.”

Since Joy’s breakout GRAMMY wins, Linger Awhile has reached #1 on Amazon Best Sellers, Billboard Jazz, Pandora Trendsetters, iTunes and Amazon’s digital-music and CD sales, and more. Joy has garnered over 1 million followers on social media, and her tour dates all over the world have rapidly sold out.

With her GRAMMY-Award winning and chart-topping album, Linger Awhile, 23-year-old Samara Joy makes her case to join the likes of Sarah, Ella, and Billie as the next mononymous jazz singing sensation recorded by the venerable Verve Records. Her voice, rich and velvety yet precociously refined, has already earned her legions of fans in addition to millions of likes on TikTok — cementing her status as perhaps the first Gen Z jazz singing star. 

Tan Dun:

Buddha Passion

The world-premiere recording of Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion – an epic choral work which will also launch the Edinburgh International Festival this summer – is set for release on Friday 4 August.

Described by the New York Times as “a kind of rock star of the modern music scene”, the multi-award-winning composer and UNESCO Global Goodwill Ambassador conducts as he begins his recording partnership with Decca.

Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion is a captivating tale of wonder, truth and gentle but irresistible transformation. The monumental work involving massed choirs, large orchestra, six percussionists and an array of soloists including indigenous singers, traditional Chinese instruments and a dancing pipa player, is the first such ‘Passion’ on a Buddhist rather than Christian narrative.

Set at the foot of the Himalayas and inspired by Chinese and Sanskrit texts, the story follows a little prince as he finds enlightenment and becomes Buddha, meeting an array of characters before reaching Nirvana. The life-affirming score fuses the ancient wisdom of Buddhism with the musical tradition of JS Bach’s Passions, featuring hypnotic orchestral textures and Eastern vocal techniques.

Irreversible Entanglements:

Protect Your Light

Irreversible Entanglements proudly announced their signing to the legendary Impulse! label, as well as the forthcoming release of their new album, Protect Your Light, out September 8th. Additionally, they share the first single off the record, “Free Love.” The band will celebrate the release of Protect Your Light with a performance at Hudson’s Basilica SoundScape Presents festival on September 9th.  “We are thrilled to welcome Irreversible Entanglements to the Impulse! Family,” says Dahlia Ambach-Caplin, SVP A&R and Artist Development at Impulse!/Verve Label Group, of the signing. “Their music is not only brilliant but also courageous and contemporary. Protect Your Light embodies so much of Impulse!’s history while also looking unassailably forward as well.”

Every once in a while, the world is blessed with a band that helps define an era. Its sound, purpose and energy speaks directly to the cultural moment. Its individual members mirror the community’s identities, perspectives and aspirations; and collectively, the group forms a supernova, a sign of how we might get to the future — its music, in fact, already spelling aspects of that future out. Usually, it is history that cements the names of these bands in the books, but occasionally we’re capable of glimpsing their majesty unfurl in real time. 


'Spirits Of The Dead' from 'Mysterious Star'

On January 19th 2024, the 215th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, singer, harpist, composer Thistle Jemison releases new album Mysterious Star: A Tribute to Poe under the Chamber Folk moniker THISTLE.

“When I wrote this music, I was inspired by the emotions of terror and wonder, which the beloved Poe so famously evoked through his literature,” explains Thistle.

The formal study and professional performance in the folk, jazz, Western classical and South Indian classical genres are among Jemison’s diverse influences in creating her music for THISTLE, while the literature of poets past are the inspiration for her lyrics. Jemison studied music at Hampshire College and the Five College Consortium, obtained a degree in Vocal Jazz Performance at The New School for Jazz, and spent seven years studying S. Indian Classical Voice with guru Saavithri Ramanand in NYC. She also performed in rock bands as both a harpist and vocalist, including touring in cello rock band Rasputina, of 1990’s fame.

While the album features no less than thirteen professional musicians, THISTLE as a live performance group is an ever-changing cast of classically trained musicians dedicated to the exploration of chamber music from around the world, and to the artistry of performing music with acoustic chamber instruments. “The music of THISTLE is meant to be heard by candlelight anywhere there is beauty–a garden, a cemetery, a historic theater–” says Thistle. THISTLE might almost be considered a relic of the by-gone romantic era, if it weren’t for the music’s universal appeal in its originality of sound that captivates, thrills, and enchants the listener.

Chamber Music America called Mysterious Star: A Tribute to Poe “beautiful” “unique” and “hypnotic.” Much like Poe’s body of work, the album is equal parts illustration of terror and evocation of beauty.  All four Poe stories which inspired THISTLE on the tributary album–”King Pest”, “The Masque of the Red Death”, “The Pit and Pendulum”, and “The Tell-Tale Heart”--are notoriously spooky. Jemison wrote music to accompany the retelling of these stories with the intent to send shivers down the listeners’ spines.  

Perhaps lesser known than his stories, Poe’s poetry tends to follow in the style of romanticism and gothic revivalism popular among his Victorian contemporaries. The poem “Mysterious Star,” by which the titular track was inspired, is no different in its exploration of themes of natural beauty and spiritual reverence that an evening spent staring at the stars will evoke. Other poems which inspired songs on the album are “Evening Star,” “Fairyland,” “The Raven” and “Spirits of the Dead,” of which the latter two will be released as singles on October 7th, in commemoration of Poe’s death in 1849.

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