The booklet photos for Kate McGarry's new CD "The Subject Tonight is Love" show her, guitarist Keith Ganz and keyboardist Gary Versace in a living room, making music for their own enjoyment. The music contained on the disc carries the same intimacy one might find at a house concert, where a small audience provides the necessary energy to inspire the performers to greater heights. McGarry's variations on "Gone with the Wind" are breathtaking, and her unique combination of innocence and emotional depth unite to create a version of "My Funny Valentine" which stands as near definitive. I have new respect for the Benny Golson/Kenny Dorham composition, "Fair Weather" because of McGarry's sensitive interpretation which collects a series of seemingly random thoughts into an integrated whole. On her original "Climb Down", McGarry tries to make peace with her Irish ancestors, and the track concludes with a brief rendition of an Irish pub song (with guest drummer Obed Calvaire). Another medley, "She Always Will" and "The River", is a mesmerizing piece linking our lives with nature. Ganz (who is also McGarry's husband) and Versace (a long-time friend and collaborator) are far from mere accompanists on these tracks. Their solos add necessary depth to the arrangements, enhancing McGarry's conception of the lyrics and adding immeasurably to the emotional impact of each song. For example, during the guitar chorus on "Valentine", Versace and Ganz employ rubato in a most subtle way (a device easily missed by those not paying close attention). That hesitancy in tempo-which is echoed by McGarry in the next chorus-brings out the uncertainty embedded in Lorenz Hart's lyric. Not everything on the disc is serious and intense: "What a Difference a Day Made" is a light-hearted romp over an implied samba rhythm. McGarry's voice captures a sense of utter joy as she freely switches between lyrics and scat over Versace's whirling Wurlitzer. The album opens with a recitation of the title poem and it closes with a quirky version of the Beatles' "All You Need is Love" (with Ron Miles added on cornet), but to my mind, the true bookends of the album are the versions of "Secret Love" and "Indian Summer", two well-worn standards that are revitalized by McGarry, Ganz and Versace-not through fancy arrangements or unusual concepts, but by performing them in a straight-forward manner which lets the innate qualities of the songs come through. That indescribable sense of adding just the right nuances is what makes Kate McGarry, Keith Ganz and Gary Versace masters of their art.
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This week in the Classic FM Chart, 'The Glorious Garden' has managed to hold onto its No. 1 spot from last week - and Murray Perahia jumps up 20 places with his Beethoven Piano Sonatas!
The Classic FM Chart sees Alan Titchmarsh and Debbie Wiseman holding the No. 1 spot, with their brand-new album of original poetry and symphonic music. And it's good news for Andre Rieu with his album Amore, which stays strong at No. 2. The only change in this week's top five sees Einaudi's Islands and Sheku Kanneh-Mason's Inspiration switching places at No. 3 and No. 4 respectively. At No. 6, Murray Perahia has leapt up a huge 20 places with his album of Beethoven Piano Sonatas, while Sing Me Home by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble has also leapt up seven places from No. 14 to No. 7.
There are only two new entries this week: Language of the Heart by the Santiago Quartet at No. 9, and The Complete Recitals on Warner Classics by Christa Ludwig at No. 12. However, the bottom end of the chart sees a number of re-entries, including Ramin Djawadi's soundtrack to Game of Thrones Season 7, Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man, and two albums from Ludovico Einaudi.
On WCRB's CD of the Week, the soloists from the Montreal Symphony call on their virtuosity to bring out the light-heartedness in Beethoven and Richard Strauss.
Symphony orchestras are miraculous for what they can do as one complex entity. They possess a special chemistry that tunes their musicians directly into one another. And smaller miracles tend to crop up, too. Groups of orchestral players get real joy from stepping out of the bigger entity and finding camaraderie and spontaneity in chamber ensembles. Here in Boston, we've got the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and the Boston Cello Quartet. Now, in Montreal, the Soloists of the Montreal Symphony have begun a new series of recordings, and WCRB has chosen their first as our CD of the Week.
READ THE FULL WCRB: Boston ARTICLE
Johnny Cash built his mythic self to fit his actual voice, behaving as if it had arrived from somewhere else, as if the voice (like a flame) had traveled a great distance to get here. This was correct. As the story goes, Cash's voice presented itself to him late in his adolescence. It just showed up one day, unannounced, there to be misunderstood and wasted, like any other blessing. His mother was a simple woman but she referred to his voice as The Gift.
Its snarl, however full of bombast and sanctimony it might have been, also had a lazy cruelness to it, a sense of malignant power held in reserve. It was like an ink drawn from some prior place. Cash would always imply that his voice did not come from his own earthly person but from a spectral elsewhere, outside of him, coming on like the Holy Ghost, selecting him and then commencing its ravishing. There was no way he could have prepared himself for its arrival. He had been working when he received it, simply doing his chores, adding his blood and sweat to the family engine, keeping on keeping on. "When I was 17," he wrote, "I had been cutting wood all day with my father and I came in and I was singing a gospel song, ‘Everybody's gonna have a wonderful time up there, Glory hallelujah.'" PHOTO: Getty/Bloomsbury Publishing/Salon)
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The Cranberries have just announced they will be releasing a reissue of their Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't We for its 25th anniversary as well as a brand new album. The band, as Rolling Stone reported, had already started working on the reissue before singer Dolores O'Riordan death in January, which caused the project to be put on hold. The surviving members of the group, however, have revealed they will get back to the project and complete their new album, on which O'Riordan recorded her vocals before her sudden death. The band said their hope is to release the new record in the beginning of 2019.
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The music (and film and tech and everything else) at South by Southwest almost always looks to the future. Emerging acts and novel sounds and panels try to make sense of a music industry turned inside-out.
So what a treat to wander into a club set from '70s rock experimentalist Todd Rundgren at the end of Thursday evening's slate of music at 1 a.m. There are usually a few legacy acts or established mainstream performers each year, but it's rare to catch a singer-songwriter who has been pushing the outer edges of rock since the '60s - and has a worthy new collaborative album to add to that legacy.
Rundgren had some chart hits in the U.S. ("Hello It's Me" and "I Saw The Light" among them), but today, he's more of a cult figure and deep inspiration for today's crop of psychedelic acts and electronic producers. His new LP "White Night" has collaborations with current electronic boundary-pushers like Trent Reznor and Robyn, and nods to his classic rock legacy with turns from Joe Walsh and Steely Dan's Donald Fagen.
There's always pleasure in discovering something brand new at SXSW, but there's just as much as rediscovering something older that turns out to still sound brand new. "You're playing checkers and I'm playing chess," he sang on "Let's Do This," from his newest LP. That's been true for 40 years and counting. PHOTO: Gordon Lamb
READ THE FULL Los Angeles Times ARTICLE
Internationally acclaimed jazz pianist Vijay Iyer is one of the few artists to play two different sets on the Rosies Stage at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Iyer brings out his sextet to play both nights of the Festival on March 23 and 24, presenting original compositions on both nights.
Speaking from New York, Iyer said it had not been a tough decision to travel so far to get to Cape Town. While it is difficult to organise and schedule a six-member band made up of people who also have their own careers, playing in South Africa is something he has wanted to do for a while. "My mother-in-law is from Durban so I have been hearing stories for 20 years now," said the Grammy-nominated composer/ bandleader.
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Following her acclaimed album with the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim, Tchaikovsky & Sibelius Violin Concertos, Lisa Batiashvili releases Visions of Prokofiev, a new album with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Daniel Hope returns to core repertoire with Journey to Mozart, an intimate exploration of Mozart's world comprising both works by the titular composer and pieces by his contemporaries Gluck, Haydn, Mysliveček and Salomon.
READ THE TRANSCRIPT - "Before we met we were doing similar things in different ways. Matt was playing Bach in coffeehouses, and I was bringing rock via Radiohead to the concert hall." That's pianist Christopher O'Riley. He and cellist Matt Haimovitz are frequent collaborators. Their most recent recording, Troika, explores the music of the Slavic soul. "I think Troika is distinctive in that it represents three separate generations of Russian music in exile and in protest," O'Riley says. "That's the broad statement to be brought away from the record. And, of course the Pussy Riot song, 'Punk Prayer,' was indeed the song for which they were arrested, imprisoned, and subsequently one of them was murdered."
That pop song is one of three that Haimovitz and O'Riley decided to feature on the second CD of this two-CD set, at the heart of which are three masterful sonatas by the great 'troika' of composers: Sergei Rachmanioff, Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich. PHOTO: Sarah Scott
Crossover Media Projects with Matt Haimovitz | Christopher O'Riley
Acclaimed for their adventurous and wide-ranging recording projects – from Beethoven Sonatas on period instruments to genre-bending arrangements of Radiohead and Arcade Fire – the endlessly inventive duo of cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O'Riley returns to explore music of the Slavic soul. Anchored by the cello sonatas of the iconic triumvirate of Russian composers – Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich – and inspired by the subversive irony of Shostakovich's Sonata for Cello and Piano, TROIKA also delves into more recently-written, unexpected, and popular works. Whether subtle or blatantly rebellious, each work potently reveals the strength of the artistic voice in the face of political repression in mother Russia. The 2-SACD recording is on the PENTATONE Oxingale Series.
SYND: C24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Minneapolis, Portland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Austin, Louisville, Albuquerque, NE(Network), MN(Network), Canada Online: SLIPPED DISC, The Listener's Club, STITCHER
Matt Haimovitz and Christopher O'Riley, two fearless musicians who have bonded over common musical passions of wide range and scope, reunite for BEETHOVEN, Period., an illuminating voyage back to the birth of the cello/piano genre with Beethoven's Sonatas for Pianoforte and Cello. Grammy-nominated Matt Haimovitz, praised as a musical visionary in pushing the boundaries of classical music performance, and O'Riley, acclaimed for his engaging and deeply committed performances and known to millions as the host of NPR's From the Top, turn back the clock to record for the first time on period instruments – Haimovitz's Venetian Matteo Gofriller cello of 1710 set up with gut strings and an early 19th century tailpiece, and O'Riley with an 1823 original Broadwood fortepiano. The new recording on two SACDs is available internationally on February 1, 2015 on the PENTATONE Oxingale Series.
12 NEW 189 Total
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Cellist Matt Haimovitz & pianist Christopher O'Riley have made one of year's true event recordings with Shuffle.Play.Listen, which blurs the often artificial, outmoded boundaries that divide classical and popular music. Released by Oxingale Records as a double-album CD set, Shuffle.Play.Listen sees the groundbreaking, Grammy-nominated Haimovitz team with O'Riley (host of the popular NPR and PBS weekly program "From the Top") to juxtapose 20th-century classics by Stravinsky, Janacek, Martinu, Piazzolla and Bernard Hermann with versions of art-rock songs by the likes of Radiohead and Arcade Fire and the jazz-rock of John McLaughlin, in boldly imaginative cello-piano arrangements by O'Riley. Prior to its physical CD release, Shuffle.Play.Listen will be available exclusively via Amazon's MP3 site on Sept. 1, with the full digital album offered at a reduced price and a free track offered for preview the Prelude from Hermann's Vertigo suite.
8 New 'ON' this week: 165 Total
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