For a composer known to epitomize the "British" style and sound of orchestral music, the Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 61 by Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) sounds more like a Russian work in a Glazunov sort of way. During its lyrical passages in particular it exudes a melancholy typical of the Slavic temperament. And it's within these introspective moments, especially at the recapitulation of the opening movement's main theme near the end of the concerto, that Nicola Benedetti really shines, and lends the music a dark, autumnal tone. This creates a fine contrast to the sparkle she brings to the more technically challenging pages throughout this work. A sprawling Concerto for Violin and Orchestra that spans close to an hour, and demands a strong focus on the main narrative, from both the soloist and the conductor. Benedetti and conductor Vladimir Jurowski work well together and bring out the ebb and flow of this work very well.
Like everyone else I think of Edward Elgar in terms of mostly two of his major works, his Cello Concerto and of course the famous Pomp and Circumstance marches, so typical of his style, but having now heard this fine new recording, I must admit that this elaborate piece is a truer reflection of this composer, and should be an integral part of one's collection along with all the other famous violin concertos, especially when performed from the heart like this.
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His music sinks deep into the question not only of who we are, but who we aspire to be. His works have been streamed over a billion times and, perhaps more importantly than that, he is the composer to whom we turn as we try to find truth in this world.
His new album, Voices, is just out, and it is a work almost beyond categorisation. Voices started as a small idea ten years ago when Richter composed a short piece called "Mercy" in response to events around Guantanamo Prison. Richter's aim was to write a piece to think to, a piece which would provoke us, inspire us, beguile us, something within which we could let our minds go to the most important things in our world.
And he has succeeded. The original piece "Mercy" is now at the end of the album, which combines Richter's new compositions with readings, in many different languages, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was created after the horrors of the Second World War.
"All human beings are born free and equal, in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of community."
Ed Ayres interviews Max Richter READ & LISTEN TO ABC - Australia
Even a globally-renowned, multiple Grammy-winning orchestra such as Maria Schneider's is difficult to fund in the 21st century, and she has to rely on commissions and the crowdsourcing website ArtistShare to bring her projects to the public. Data Lords is Schneider's fifth album in a row she's made using ArtistShare and her first since 2015's autobiographical The Thompson Fields, an album that racked up a bunch of 5-star reviews.
Schneider had a different theme in mind for her next album, one that expresses society's loss of control and identity due to the massive, aggressive and stealthy collection of personal data from tech giants such as Google and Facebook, and how much harder it is to retreat to the natural world, that part of our being still unaffected by the ugly side effects of technology.
There's a message in all music; how successful is the music depends a lot on how effective it is in carrying out its message. Maria Schneider wanted to send a strong message about the threat of a mass manipulation of humanity with Data Lords. Through her high standard for meticulous composing and arranging, delivered by some of jazz's best musicians, she gets the message across in perhaps the grandest way possible.
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Music and motion come together beautifully in a new video featuring the work of pianist and composer Chad Lawson. Explaining the link between the images and his music, Lawson quotes painter Edgar Degas: "Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." The video for Prelude in D Major, directed by Agostina Gálvez, features the dancers Jason Rodriguez and José Lapaz Rodriguez. Jason has become the new face of the art form of voguing, bringing his distinctive moves to the television series Pose, set in the ballroom scene of the 1980s. In the video, the two dancers perform a series of controlled falls, elaborate turns, and fluid movements as they vogue to Lawson's Prelude in D Major against the backdrop of New York City, merging modern classical music with contemporary dance.
From 98.7WFMT: Chicago - WATCH THE VIDEO
Daniel Barenboim and Decca Classics continue their acclaimed Elgar series, recording Sea Pictures again after four decades and paired with the symphonic poem Falstaff. Recorded live in the winter of 2019, the album features the Berlin Staatskapelle and mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča in her first recording of Sea Pictures.
For July 30 2020, Daniel Barenboim Elgar -Sea Pictures, Falstaff is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release'
There are enough records in the world already, thinks the composer Max Richter.
So when he writes music, there has to be a "good reason". So far, those have included the Kosovo War, which he tackled on his debut album Memoryhouse in 2002, the Iraq War, the subject of 2004's The Blue Notebooks, and the 7/7 bombings, on 2010's Infra. 2015's eight-and-a-half-hour concept album Sleep was intended as a break from the pressures of the digital age and became a classical phenomenon, streamed more than 450 million times.
His latest, Voices, began with the contemplative violin and piano-led "Mercy", which takes its inspiration from the "Torture Memos", which revealed how prisoners were treated at Guantánamo Bay, that had left him "dumbstruck". "It felt like the world had gone wrong in a new way, and I wrote ‘Mercy' as a way to figure that out. A bigger piece of protest music was set in motion right then."
The resulting album takes its theme from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, which set the aspirational blueprint for better times after the Second World War.
Music has always been a rebellion for Richter. He was born in Germany, and his family moved to Bedford when he was four. He took piano lessons, but dropped out of school at 16 because he hated it.
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Guitarist Sharon Isbin first caught my eye when I saw her in a trio setting where she held her own with Stanley Jordan and Romero Lubambo at a concert at CSUN. Here, she releases a pair of albums, one with her in the lead and the other in a unique quartet setting.
The first, Affinity, has her in solo, duet and concert settings all to rich rewards. The feature piece is Chris Brubeck's "Affinity: Concerto for Guitar & Orchestra" which includes intricate and romantic fingerwork with modern Iberian tones and sweeping strings. Leo Brouwer's "El Decameron Negro" is darker and filled with shadows, while her duet with guitarist Colin Davin on "Waltz No. 3 Natalia" is a joyful conversation. On her own, she displays a strong touch, crisp and affirmative on ""Balada de laDoncella Enamorada" and with mezzo soprano Isabel Leonard gets folksy and minstrel'd for "Listen…" and "This Night of Love…". A wide stringed palate.
Quite eclectic is the four piece team of Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Bangash, Ayaan Ali Bangash and Iben for a handful of premiers for guitar and sarod, which is essentially a mini-sitar. Kavthekar plays tablas on all tracks with isben, while the three sarod players take turns teaming up. Kavthekar guides the team on the concise "Love Avalanche" with mysterious strings in abundance, while rapid fingers race and dance to a rich climax to "By The Moon". The strings bend to almost exhaustion on "Sacred Evening" and while they gallup to the finish lne on the bluesy "Romancing Earth". Southern Asia tones and harmonies meld with Western musings like a rich sauce.
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Cellist Jonah Kim and pianist Sean Kennard have been making music together since they were teenagers at the Curtis Institute of Music and together they have played almost every sonata in the standard repertoire.
The first-time teaming of Poland's dynamic Marcin Wasilewski Trio and big-toned US tenorist Joe Lovano brings forth special music of concentrated, deep feeling, in which lyricism and strength seem ideally balanced.
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.
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.
The Comet Is Coming - Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery makes Treble '10 Best Jazz Albums of 2019'
Posted: December 12, 2019 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Comparing the year in jazz to that of 2018 is a little like comparing this year in metal to its predecessor-on the surface it seems hard to compete with 12 months of obvious ringers. After all, last year revealed the first set of unheard John Coltrane music in decades. I mean, this year also yielded a set of unheard Coltrane pieces, which was pretty cool as well, but they were still essentially alternate versions of pieces we'd already heard, and the novelty wasn't quite as strong. But if the strength of a jazz year can only be measured by the freshness of its rare Coltrane recordings, well, most years would be pretty disappointing. And honestly, to focus on 50-year-old outtakes when so much great new material is being recorded feels at best shortsighted and at worst intransigent. Jazz this year was dominated not by headline-grabbing archival music but by the sheer strength of new artists honing their craft. Some of them have made this list before (Yazz Ahmed, Shabaka Hutchings). Some of them are best known in other genres (Cochemea). And some arrived well out of left-field (Paisiel). But the one thing they have in common is that they all reveal something new about a 100-year-old style. Here are the best jazz albums of 2019.
I've always been somewhat skeptical of anything described as "nu-jazz," as more often than not it's less jazz and more downtempo electronic music to pulse through the lobby of a trendy, high-end boutique hotel. The Comet Is Coming, however, are a proper jazz outfit who just so happen to sound like they're prepped to launch into hyperspace, thanks in large part to Danalogue's synth-heavy atmospheres. Yet saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings and drummer Betamax are what bring the project back down to earth with both an emotionally powerful presence and grooves that never relent. One need only give one spin to standout jam "Summon the Fire" to understand that this group is simply not fucking around-they're certainly headed for the cosmos, but they're getting asses shaking on the ascent. Trust In the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery is the group's Impulse! debut, putting them in the league of giants like Charles Mingus and John Coltrane (and Hutchings' other group, Sons of Kemet), and while those might be big shoes to fill, it's to the iconic label's credit that groundbreaking talent like this-making something truly innovative from an electronic/jazz combo that's been stuck in M.O.R. range for too long-is carrying their its forward into the 21st century.
"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."
The Comet Is Comingreleases their Impulse! Debut - Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery US tour starts March 12. Includes; Los Angeles, SXSW, New York, Philadelphia, DC, Big Ears, Bonnaroo
The Comet Is Coming, "an improvisational, intergalactic mash-up" (The Guardian), will release their Impulse! debut, Trust In the Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery, on March 15. Their first-ever US tour begins in Los Angeles on March 12 and takes them through SXSW, NYC, Philadelphia, DC, Big Ears Festival and finally lands them in Bonnaroo on June 13. The first track from the album, "Summon The Fire," is available today.
The Comet Is Coming, who in 2016 were shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize, is comprised of King Shabaka (Shabaka Hutchings) on saxophone, Danalogue (Dan Leavers) on keys/synth, and Betamax (Max Hallett) on drums. On this album, Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery, the trio envisage a 21st century take on spiritual jazz that is part Alice Coltrane, part Bladerunner.