The sensational SIGNUM saxophone quartet releases their first Deutsche Grammophon album - Echoes. Featuring inventive arrangements of music by composers from Dowland to Peter Gregson, as well as Guillermo Lago's "Sarajevo", this sax quartet launches the recording marked by a concert on DG Stage, streamed from the Berlin Meistersaal.
SIGNUM saxophone quartet's recording showcases the full potential of the saxophone – a modern instrument but one more than capable of capturing the echoes of the past. Two of its tracks, arrangements of works by the hugely successful contemporary composers Joep Beving and Max Richter, were pre-released as digital singles, complete with e-videos. "Ab Ovo" (arr. Knoth), from Beving's album Prehension, and Richter's "On the Nature of Daylight", from The Blue Notebooks, are out now.
Classical Music Sentinel's Jean-Yves Duperron writes.....I've always considered the saxophone to be an extremely versatile musical instrument that can sound right at home within any type of musical setting. Of course, most people associate the sax with some of the great jazz musicians like Dexter Gordon, Phil Woods or John Coltrane. But consider this: Maurice Ravel's Bolero would not sound as good without its inclusion of soprano and tenor saxophones. The first movement of Ralph Vaughan Williams' 9th Symphony would not sound as haunting and enigmatic were it not for its use of two saxophones. Or The Old Castle from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition just wouldn't sound the same were it scored for a different instrument rather than the alto saxophone. So based on the type of piece, saxophones are more than adequate for classical music.
For example, in Max Richter's On the Nature of Daylight, the Signum Saxophone Quartet demonstrate how a group of saxophones can sound like an old pedal-powered reed harmonium. At the other end of the spectrum is the liquid momentum they produce in the Philip Glass Quartet. Or just like The Old Castle, Joep Beving's haunting melody over a hypnotic pulse is something that stays with you all day.
READ THE FULL Classical Music Sentinel REVIEW
Inspired by her own mixed-race heritage and career-long engagement with diverse musical traditions, pianist Lara Downes creates and curates a new digital recording venture, Rising Sun Music, that sheds a bright light on the music and stories of Black composers over the past 200 years. Featuring a wide range of leading instrumentalists and vocalists (including Ms. Downes) whose work defines the creative energy of this generation and the next, the series presents a new EP of music-each exploring a different theme -to be released the first Friday of every month starting February 5. Featured performers include Nicole Cabell; Regina Carter; Anat Cohen; Lara Downes; Randall Goosby; Stewart Goodyear; Ivalas Quartet and more.
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The Violin Channel recently caught up with Grammy Award-winning violist and pedagogue, Kim Kashkashian, on her concert series "Music for Food" - a musician led initiative for local hunger relief. The "Music for Food" events are donation–based fundraising concerts, where the presenters and artists pledge to give all proceeds and fees to local food banks and pantries. The initiative was inspired by fellow violist, Carol Rodland's, Rochester–based food drive concerts entitled "If Music be the Food." Now celebrating its 11th season, "Music for Food" has provided over one million meals to cities around the U.S. and the world. We sat down with Kim to discuss this project, its beginning, and what she sees in its future.
READ THE Q&A
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. The project 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 Violins of Hope have traveled to Jerusalem, Sion, Madrid, Maastricht, Monaco, Rome, Berlin, London, Bucharest, Dachau, Dresden, and Auschwitz. In the United States, the project has been presented in Charlotte, Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Washington, D.C, Cincinnati, Nashville, Birmingham, Knoxville, Phoenix, Louisville, Fort Wayne, and San Francisco.
Niv Ashkenazi: Violins of Hope is the first solo album to be recorded on one of these instruments. Niv Ashkenazi is the only violinist in the world to hold an instrument from the Violins of Hope collection on a long-term loan, and this album was conceived as a way to create a lasting record of the voice of that violin. Ashkenazi is joined on the album by his fellow Juilliard graduate, pianist Matthew Graybil, and the duo first worked together on the project at various ‘Violins of Hope' events in Sarasota Florida in 2017. The Weinstein family commented; "Niv is the only violinist we trust absolutely to bring out the sounds of long gone horrors, with an honest sound and much love for this music and our legacy."
The music on Niv Ashkenazi: Violins of Hope was chosen to reflect the life and experiences of the violin. Many of the composers featured were directly affected by the Holocaust. Robert Dauber composed his only surviving work, the Serenade, in 1942, while he was interned in Theresienstadt. He died in Dachau of typhoid in 1945 at the age of 26. Szymon Laks was a Polish composer whose successful career in Paris was cut short in 1941 when he was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. While in Auschwitz, Laks served as the concertmaster of the Birkenau Men's Camp Orchestra. Other composers, such as Paul Ben-Haim and Julius Chajes, fled Europe in the 1930s to escape the oppressive creative and political situation they faced. Also included is John Williams's iconic Theme from Schindler's List, written for Itzhak Perlman.
The album alsoincludes a commission from award-winning Israeli-American composer Sharon Farber, an adaptation of the final movement of her cello concerto Bestemming. Bestemming tells the true story of Holocaust survivor and Dutch Resistance hero Curt Lowens in his own words. The final movement of the concerto; ‘Triumph' was arranged for violin, piano for four hands, and narrator. Farber plays one of the piano parts on the recording, and actor Tony Campisi provided the narration.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, major Violins of Hope events taking place in Los Angeles in March and April 2020 have now been tentatively postponed until January and February 2021. Once rescheduled, these events will include a day honoring Violins of Hope at Los Angeles City Hall, educational events for thousands of students, an exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, as well as scores of concerts hosted and produced by numerous partner organizations throughout Southern California, including; The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, the Long Beach Symphony, and others. 2020 Violins of Hope events still planned are slated for cities in Virginia and New Jersey. Additionally, the program will also be presented as a residency in Sarasota this November.
Virtuoso violinist Niv Ashkenazi has captivated audiences with his heartfelt musicianship and emotional performances. An accomplished soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, he has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School. Pianist Matthew Graybil has performed throughout the United States and Canada since making his orchestral debut at age 14. The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, he is a graduate of The Juilliard School.
ARCHI Magazine reviewed the recording which appears as this story's cover image
Because of the pandemic, the concert had to take place without an audience in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein. The performance was broadcast to over 90 countries all over the world and watched by more than 50 million viewers on TV. The program contained works by members of the Strauss family, including seven premieres of works not previously heard at a New Year's Concert.
For January 25 2020, the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release' is The 2021 New Year's Concert in Vienna, conducted by Riccardo Muti. SEE THE PAGE
York Daily Record - Mike Argento writes......Robin Spielberg was looking forward to a good 2020. The pianist and composer was working on her 19th record and had a tour scheduled with legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb, who penned such iconic songs as "By the Time I Get to Pheonix," "Galveston," "Wichita Lineman," "Up, Up and Away" and countless other timeless tunes.
She had toured with Webb before – her husband, producer and talent agent Larry Kosson represents Webb, among other artists – and it was always a great time. "I'm Jimmy's driver, shoe-shiner, everything," Spielberg said. "I always joke with him in the car, telling him, ‘You're an icon." And he would say, ‘Say that one more time and I'll slap you in the face.' So then, I'd have to say it over and over again."
She was also eager to get back on the road to promote her new record, "Love Story," released Feb. 7, her 19th record and first to be pressed on vinyl - bright red vinyl at that.
They played one date of the 20-city tour and were scheduled to play in her adopted home, York County, on March 28. Then the pandemic began. And everything changed.
READ THE FULL York Daily Record ARTICLE
The Korea Times - Kwon Mee-yoo writes.....Pianist Cho Seong-jin will premiere an unheard piece by Mozart in Salzburg on the occasion of the classical composer's 265th birthday. Cho will play Mozart's "Allegro in D K626b/16" at the Great Hall of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation, Wednesday, which mark's the Austrian composer's birthday as well as the opening date of the first-ever virtual edition of Mozartwoche, or Mozart Week, festival. "It is a great honor to be invited to give the premiere of a formerly unknown work by Mozart in the city of Salzburg, where the composer was born," Cho wrote on his Twitter, Friday.
READ THE FULL Korea Times ARTICLE
An ensemble that attracts rave reviews and sell-out crowds at prestigious venues everywhere from Vienna to New York, the sensational SIGNUM saxophone quartet are now set to present their first Deutsche Grammophon album.
Ron Howard documents the life of Luciano Pavarotti / KCRW - PRESS PLAY
Posted: June 7, 2019 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Famed tenor Luciano Pavarotti teamed up with Bono, Sting, and Mariah Carey to bring opera to the masses. He was also part of the Three Tenors, along with along with Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo. They sold out stadiums and became the hottest band of the 1990s. Pavarotti died from pancreatic cancer in 2007. He's the subject of director Ron Howard's new documentary "Pavarotti." Photo credit: Michele Nazzaro
To coincide with the theatrical release of the highly anticipated Ron Howard-directed documentary "Pavarotti," Decca Recordsreleases the original soundtrack, Pavarotti: Music From The Motion Picture. from Decca/UMG.
Pavarotti: Music from the Motion Picture draws from Pavarotti's rich recorded catalog and follows the arc of the film. It features selections from operas such as "Turandot," "La bohème," "Aida," "Tosca" and more as well as Italian songs and collaborations with friends such as Plácido Domingo, José Carreras ("‘O sole mio"), U2, Brian Eno, Passengers ("Miss Sarajevo"), and others. Touchingly, the complete recording of Puccini's "Donna non vidi mai," which Pavarotti dedicated to Princess Diana, is included. In addition to a special unreleased song with Andrea Bocelli, the soundtrack also features Pavarotti's duet of "Ave Maria" with Bono, available for the first time commercially. The song, recorded live during the 2003 "Pavarotti & Friends for SOS Iraq" benefit concert in Modena, Italy, is available now for streaming and as an instant grat download with digital pre-order.
To coincide with the theatrical release of the highly anticipated Ron Howard-directed documentary "Pavarotti," Decca Recordsreleases the new 3-CD best of collection titled Pavarotti: The Greatest Hits from Decca/UMG.
The complementary releases both feature previously unreleased music and superstar duets with the likes of Bono, Elton John, James Brown, Lou Reed, and more.
Pavarotti's incredible repertoire can be explored in depth with the new three-disc/digital best of collection, Pavarotti: The Greatest Hits, which serves as a companion to the soundtrack and film. The anthology features 67 of the world-renowned tenor's most well-known recordings and collaborations and includes the best of his "Opera Arias," "Italian Songs & Sacred Arias" and"Great Duets." Fittingly opening with his iconic performance of "Nessun dorma," the "Opera Arias" disc spans the opera legend's entire career and includes beloved performances from "La bohéme," "Rigoletto," "Pagliacci," "Tosca," "Carmen" and"Madama Butterfly." More than 20 of Pavarotti's most powerful works including "O Sole Mio," "Caruso," "Volare," "O Holy Night," "Mama" and"Funiculì, funiculà" are collected together on "Italian Songs & Sacred Arias."
Pavarotti 50 Greatest Tracks commemorates Luciano Pavarotti's 50th anniversary with Decca Records, and an unforgettable legacy of recorded music from one of the greatest voices of our time. This definitive collection encompasses iconic Pavarotti selections, including ‘Nessun Dorma,'‘Caruso,' ‘La Donna E Mobile,'and ‘Granada,' to incredible duets with fellow superstars Frank Sinatra, Bono, Eric Clapton and Sting. Numerous milestones in the late-opera star's unprecedented career are captured here, including the first ever recording of Pavarotti's voice. The historic recording of the aria from La Bohème, ‘Che gelida manina' (‘Your tiny hand is frozen'), has been lying dormant in the archives for 50 years, only now to be unearthed by Pavarotti's widow, Nicoletta Mantovani Pavarotti, re-mastered and made commercially available for the first time. The 50 Greatest Tracks will be available October 22nd in the U.S. on Decca.
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