Nicholas McGegan may no longer be the artistic director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, but the record of McGegan's inimitable touch - unmistakable, in the case of Handel's Saul - remains to savor. Everything about his artistry, including the buoyant and sprightly tempos, sly humor, deep reverence for beauty, and capacity for sincere emotional expression come through on this, his final live recording with PBO.
Although Saul's covers and liner notes shockingly fail to give him credit, the recording was superbly produced, recorded, edited, mixed, and mastered by PBO's former recording engineer, David v.R. Bowles of Swineshead Productions, LLC. Set down in Berkeley's First Congregational Church in April, 2019, this digital-only release shows the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Philharmonia Chorale, under Bruce Lamott, in fine form. Auditioned in 24/192 high-resolution, Bowles's achievement captures all the nuance and color that were transmitted by First Congregational's uniquely live, resonant, and spacious acoustic, and leaves me deeply regretting both his departure and that of his husband, McGegan.
The recording is available on various streaming/download services, including Qobuz, Amazon, and others. If you download or stream this recording and discover yourself without libretto, biographies, and Lamott's introduction, you can find them at philharmonia.org/saul., Make sure to access them because they'll help you understand just how wonderful this performance is. Having said that, there are many times when the sound and music are so captivating that you may find yourself closing your eyes as your relish their beauties. PHOTO: Laura Barisonzi
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Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann. Steven Spielberg and John Williams. Spike Lee and Terence Blanchard. Every visionary filmmaker needs a composer they can trust-someone they can call on to accentuate their work with music. And from 1964 until well into the 1980s, there was no greater director-composer partnership than Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone, the Italian film composer who died on Monday in Rome at age 91. It was through his long-term collaboration with the late filmmaker that Morricone created his most iconic scores and helped define the sound of the Spaghetti Western, the Italian film movement spearheaded by Leone and his so-called "Dollars Trilogy" starring Clint Eastwood: 1964's A Fistful of Dollars, 1965's For a Few Dollars More, and 1966's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Leone was hardly the only director to take advantage of Morricone's talents over the last 60 years. In fact, hundreds of filmmakers, among them Quentin Tarantino, Brian De Palma, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Terrence Malick, partnered with the composer in order to infuse their films with orchestral gravitas and vintage swagger. Morricone's prolific drive was astonishing: By the end of his career, he had scored more than 500 movies-an especially impressive number, considering how he refused to move to Hollywood and never learned to speak English.
Some film composers consider it their duty to write music that blends into the scenery or prioritizes tasteful subtlety. Not Morricone. His scores are expressive, grandiose, and undeniably audacious in their oddball instrumental choices, from the pan pipes he used in 1989's Casualties of War to the Haitian drumming and children's choir he incorporated into 1977's Exorcist II: The Heretic. Such boldness was remarkably well-suited to the operatic scope and brooding emotional expanse of the Spaghetti Western. As Leone put it in an interview towards the end of his life, "I've always felt that music is more expressive than dialogue. I've always said that my best dialogue and screenwriter is Ennio Morricone."
Fittingly, on Monday, everyone from Chance the Rapper to Bon Iver's Justin Vernon to El-P mourned the indispensable composer. As the director Edgar Wright put it, "He could make an average movie into a must-see, a good movie into art, and a great movie into legend." Movies will be a little quieter, and emptier, without Morricone.
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Not Our First Goat Rodeo is the long-awaited follow-up album to the Grammy Award-winning Goat Rodeo Sessions with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile. Both albums combine the talents of the four solo artists to create a singular sound that's part composed, part improvised, and uniquely American. The music is so complex to pull off that the group likens it to a goat rodeo – an aviation term for a situation in which 100 things need to go right to avoid disaster. Both the first album and the new recording also feature the voice and artistry of singer-songwriter Aoife O'Donovan.
For July 6, Ma, Thile, Meyer, Duncan - Not Our First Goat Rodeo is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release.' SEE THE PAGE
To these ears, the soundtracks Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi created for Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli classics Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and Kiki's Delivery Service are so indissolubly bound up in their reception, it's hard to think of the music as a separate entity. To that end, Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi does a superb job of enabling admirers to do precisely that by presenting his musical artistry sans visual accompaniment. In assembling a diverse selection of twenty-eight pieces spanning his nearly forty-year career, the release is a must-have for those already familiar with Hisaishi and those discovering him anew.
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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. John was a 20-year-old student at Berklee when he first met and played with bassist Swallow, and they have continued ever since, in many different contexts.
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"I love these songs", says Scofield of the selection of Swallow compositions explored here – a broad range including tunes that have become standards, as well as some lesser-known works. The rapport between Scofield and Swallow is evident in every moment. John: "Sometimes when we play it's like one big guitar, the bass part and my part together."
Behind the drum kit, Bill Stewart is alert to all the implications of the interaction. "What Bill does is more than ‘playing the drums,'" Scofield says. "He's a melodic voice in the music, playing counterpoint, and comping, while also swinging really hard." The guitarist himself plays with fire and invention throughout: "These two giants bring out the best in me."
Swallow's compositions, John notes, "make perfect vehicles for improvisation. The changes are always interesting – but not too interesting! They're grounded in reality with cadences that make sense. They're never just intellectual exercises, and they're so melodic. They're all songs, rather than ‘pieces'. They could all be sung."
Swallow Tales opens with "She Was Young", a tune introduced on Steve Swallow's ECM album Home, in 1979, where it was indeed sung, by Sheila Jordan. A number of the tunes addressed here – including "Falling Grace", "Portsmouth Figurations", and "Eiderdown" – belonged to the 1960s repertoire of Gary Burton's groups. Scofield, who had admired them from the outset, studied them with Burton and the composer in the early 1970s, by which point Swallow had made the transition from double bass to bass guitar, creating a new voice for himself on the electric instrument. When Scofield launched his own recording career, Swallow was in his trio (with Adam Nussbaum on drums). Touring widely the guitarist and the bassist fine-tuned their musical understanding, a process continued in many other configurations over the years. Scofield appeared on Steve's XtraWatt album Swallow in 1991, for instance, and Swallow is on numerous Scofield recordings - including the recent Country For Old Men, which also featured Bill Stewart. A close associate since the early 1990s, drummer Stewart had played in John's quartet with Joe Lovano, and gone on to join the guitarist in many journeys over varied musical terrain.
John Scofield has recorded for jazz labels including Impulse, Blue Note, Verve, Emarcy and Gramavision. ECM appearances to date have been infrequent but distinguished; they include two albums with Marc Johnson's Bass Desires group – Bass Desires (recorded 1985) and Second Sight (1987) - in which the guitarist shared frontline duties with Bill Frisell. On Shades of Jade (2004), a third Marc Johnson album, Scofield is heard alongside frequent colleague Joe Lovano. The live double album Saudades (recorded in 2004), meanwhile, features Scofield as a member of Trio Beyond, alongside Jack DeJohnette and Larry Goldings, reassessing the songbook of Tony Williams' Lifetime. Swallow Tales is the first of his ECM recordings to feature the guitarist as bandleader.
Produced by Max Horowitz - Crossover Media, This content, as well as the related podcast, are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) for redistribution and adaptation.
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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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.
Luka Sulic returns to his classical roots with cello arrangement of Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' / WFMT: Featured New Release
Posted: November 10, 2019 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
After seven years of touring the world as part of the critically acclaimed duo 2Cellos, Luka Šulić returns to his classical roots with his first solo album for Sony Classical. A graduate of London's Royal Academy of Music and a prize-winning cellist, Šulić takes on one of the most iconic works in classical music for his first independent recording project. His dramatic interpretation of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons is the first complete recording of the popular cycle of Baroque concertos arranged for a cello soloist.
After seven years of touring the world as part of the critically acclaimed duo 2CELLOS, Luka Šulić returns to his classical roots with his first solo album for Sony Classical. A graduate of London's Royal Academy of Music and a prize-winning cellist, Luka Šulićtakes on one of the most iconic works in classical music for his first independent recording project. Available everywhere Friday, October 25, his dramatic interpretation of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons is the first complete recording of the popular cycle of Baroque concertos arranged for a cello soloist. Also arriving today is the album's lead offering, "La Primavera (Spring) Op. 8 No. 1 in D major – I. Allegro," released alongside an accompanying video of Šulić performing the track from his world live Premiere –