The Romantic theme of the wanderer, a free spirit undertaking a journey into the self, runs through Seong-Jin Cho's latest solo album. The globetrotting Korean pianist's program includes two monuments of the 19th-century repertoire – Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy and Liszt's Piano Sonata in B minor. The album also contains Alban Berg's Piano Sonata, Op. 1, a single-movement work of extraordinary intensity. All three compositions grow from a simple theme or melodic gesture which is then transformed in the course of a voyage of variation, development, and discovery. "This music looks forwards and backwards at once," notes Cho. "What fascinates me is the (three) composers' ability to create great art from just a few elements. The way they develop the works' entire fabric from a single motif is fascinating."
For Thursday June 4, 2020 - Seong-Jin Cho - The Wanderer is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release'
On Saturday 6th June, Libera were due to perform a concert in Ely Cathedral in the UK. Due to the COVID - 19 pandemic, this event has been postponed - but......... there will still be a Concert - a Mini-Concert which will be shown online! Please join us at 7 30pm UK time, when we will be singing on-line with an orchestra like we've never done before! This will be shown as a YouTube Premier and the concert will be remain on-line after that first 'transmission'.
This concert is free for all to watch. But if you are able to make a donation to help us with the cost of presenting it we would be very grateful. UK Taxpayers can donate using JustGiving. All others can use Paypal.
Michael Whalen's "Sacred Spaces" is an epic recording nearly ten years in the making. Whalen said; "I have been pursuing a spiritual ‘awakening' for most of my adult life. Over the past decade, I realized that I am 100 percent responsible for whatever my relationship with a ‘higher being' might be." Filled with sonic landscapes built from hundreds of layers of sound, "Sacred Spaces" is Michael's tour-de-force electronic project, which seamlessly blends his natural gift for melody with fresh textures and percolating rhythms. Deeply inspired by Michael's film and TV work and his love for progressive rock, "Sacred Spaces" is the ambient recording of the year.
Michael Whalen spoke with Oregon's KBOG Radio about the recording. Listen to the attached interview
The pianist Igor Levit is always one-upping himself. His recordings have swollen from a collection of four Beethoven sonatas to the entire cycle; his performances, from a traditional recital to, as of Sunday, a livestream lasting over 15 hours.
In an extraordinary act of musical self-flagellation, Mr. Levit played Erik Satie's "Vexations" - a mysterious and absurd work consisting only of four lines repeated 840 times - to evoke and draw attention to the difficulties facing artists during the coronavirus pandemic. (Each iteration was printed on a single sheet of paper; they will be auctioned later to raise money for out-of-work musicians.)
"Vexations" performances are extremely rare, and typically presented as a roughly 19-hour relay with a long roster of pianists. But Mr. Levit - accomplishing the unthinkable, if inadvisable - did it alone in a Berlin studio, starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday and finishing at 5:30 a.m. Sunday, relatively early even with scattered intermissions.
If Mr. Levit's traversal, paid for using the $300,000 Gilmore Artist Award he received in 2018, was brisk, it was only for small stretches. The tempo direction is "très lent" ("very slowly"), which he started with and often returned to. But there were flashes in which he hurriedly pecked the keyboard as if jaded and exasperated, understandably dropping notes along the way.
"I got so tired that literally my fingers stopped moving," Mr. Levit said in an interview on Sunday. "Maybe a chord came a second late, but nobody died because of it. I'm OK with that; it's part of the performance."
At no point, he said, did he feel like he wasn't going to finish. And he avoided scaring himself beforehand with the piece's history, like in 1970 when Peter Evans quit after 595 repetitions, claiming to have had evil thoughts and visions. Pianists who take on "Vexations," he later said, "do so at their own great peril."
Mr. Levit may have felt confident, but his facial expressions betrayed frustrated exhaustion. He sometimes slouched or stared emptily into the distance, or held a palm to his reddened forehead - given a persistent sheen by sweat - as if in despair. The fascinating livestream occasionally slid into something more disturbingly voyeuristic, like witnessing a private crisis of faith and bracing for it to all go wrong.
But it didn't. If anything, Mr. Levit found renewed focus near the end, returning to a slow, even drawn-out tempo for what is inevitably an anticlimax. When I heard "Vexations" at the Guggenheim Museum in 2017, the audience didn't realize it was over until the pianist stood up from his bench.
There was clearer finality in Mr. Levit's performance. He had been tossing the sheet music of each repetition onto the floor, and once he got rid of the last one, he slowly closed the lid of the piano, held his face in his hands and walked away, nonchalantly picking his iPhone off a side table on the way out.
He slept for only a few hours before resuming his Sunday as usual. In the early evening, still riding a high from "Vexations," he spoke about his experience with it and what might come next. Here are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Where do you even start with preparing for this?
From the beginning of planning to the concert was about three and a half or four weeks. And I didn't train for it at all. I tried to play it at home, but without pressure and the actual thing happening - honestly, I got bored. There was no point of just playing it.
There couldn't have been any emotional preparation, but I did have a musical goal. I told myself: I am not playing performance art, not stoically in the same tempo. I wanted to just let myself go, to do as much as I could to make it like a piece, like storytelling.
Did it leave you in any sort of pain?
I'm not making this up: I'm feeling really good. I have no back or hand issues, no headache.
What about psychologically?
There were moments of anger, there were moments of fear, sadness, devastation. But these were touchable moments for me more than anything psychological. In the middle, I looked at where I was and thought: There are still 590 to go, what the heck? It took me about half an hour to get through that, but it was really the only moment where I thought, not that I wasn't going to make it, but that I was annoyed.
I feel like that showed in your playing.
I just let myself go. And I wasn't thinking about questions about the dynamics; it was just following my emotions. Sometimes that was just counting every single number. But there were also moments where I was thinking about how I'm playing this piece while the U.S. is burning. This country I love so much - I felt a great level of despair and anger. I can't tell you that it translated into the music, but it at least translated into me. A very long part of the performance was driven by this thought.
Were you keeping up with the news during the intermissions?
This was the first time since the bloody iPhone was invented that I didn't have it with me for 16 hours! But I had seen the news from Minneapolis the night before.
Then what were you doing when you weren't playing?
Peeing. Sorry if that's not a good answer. But I was drinking water all the time, probably five and a half liters at least. I was really sorry to have to stop. I do not like intermissions; it's really hard to stand up. I wish I could play concerts without them.
What comes after something like "Vexations"?
I honestly don't know. This morning, my friends came over for coffee and I opened my iPad and Googled "the longest piano pieces ever." And 90 percent of what comes out is Sorabji. Then Frederic Rzewski's "The Road," which is an incredible cycle. He once told me it's like "War and Peace" music.
So you're not going to just take a break.
Are you kidding? Of course not.
PHOTO: Stephan Zwickirsch
At the end of every month, the NPR Music team picks their favorite albums and songs. Everyone has their passions and they vary widely, from the Atlanta rapper Deante' Hitchcock to the Australian ambient artist Madeleine Cocolas.
On this week's show, we hear the No. 1 albums and songs of May as picked by our staff. There's the Portland band MAITA, which features a singer who entered our Tiny Desk contest in 2018. We also have the 20-year-old Eve Owen (who released an album produced by The National's Aaron Dessner), a team-up between classical guitarist Sharon Isbin and Indian sarod master Ayaan Ali Bangash, and Buscabulla, a duo from Puerto Rico who met in New York City and returned to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to rediscover their home. And then there's brilliant jazz guitar playing from the Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio and joy from Scotland's Vistas.
"Love Avalanche" a cool East-meets-West raga featuring multiple Grammy-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin paired with the Indian sarod master Ayaan ali Bangash. - Tom Huizenga
In episode 921 of "ANIMAJAZZ", conceived and conducted by BRUNO POLLACCI , broadcast on TUESDAY 2 June at 20.30, on PUNTORADIO, also streaming on www.puntoradio.fm and in an immediate podcast on http: // animajazz. eu will be the protagonists of the evening, which include; "The Dream"; by ODED TZUR from "Here Be Dragons"
Here Be Dragons is the ECM debut of New York based, Tel Aviv born tenor saxophonist Oded Tzur, one of the most strikingly original musicians to have emerged from Israeli's creative jazz scene in recent years, and the leader of an outstanding group.
Oded Tzur has found a new and personal sound for the tenor saxophone. Inspired by his extensive studies from 2007 onward with bansuri master Hariprasad Chaurasia, he has mastered the graceful slides of Indian classical music and brought raga's sense of pitch fluidity and microtonal shading into a jazz context. His pieces elegantly explore and unfold their melodic and atmospheric implications in a context of subtle group interaction. Structurally, each of Tzur's compositions on Here Be Dragons sets out to develop a "miniature raga" over a moving bass, juxtaposing two musical concepts. Oded: "The dialogue between these dimensions takes us wherever it takes us." The ragas deployed in the pieces "Here Be Dragons", "20 Years" and "The Dream" are of Oded's creation, while "To Hold Your Hand" uses an Indian scale called Charukesi and operates on similar principles. He stresses, however, that "raga is, for me, a universal concept. I hear its connection to synagogue prayers, or to the blues – a marvellous creation – and to music all around the world." Ancient and modern traditions are referenced in Oded's work, including traditions of storytelling. "If music has the ability to tell stories," suggested All About Jazz, "saxophonist Oded Tzur proves himself one of the jazz world's premier storytellers." Tzur's concept is also broad enough to embrace some unexpected song choices, and the album concludes with a tender interpretation of "Can't Help Falling In Love", made famous by Elvis Presley.
We remind you that "ANIMAJAZZ" can be heard on TUESDAY at 20.30 in immediate podcast on http://animajazz.eu and the "DOWNLOAD" of the episode can be made, free of charge, from the podcasts area. Happy listening. "ANIMAJAZZ" in collaboration with the PISA ACADEMY OF ART. SEE THE PAGE
The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit - stripped-down sets, an intimate setting - just a different space.
Lara Downes thrives on collaboration. Her new album features Toshi Reagon, the vocal ensemble MUSICALITY and the string quartet called PUBLIQuartet. But in this intimate piano recital from her home in Sacramento, Calif., her only collaborators are her son Simon, who takes on cinematography duties, and her beloved pooch, Kona.
The songs, all from her recent album Some of These Days, might be old, but they are strong statements that resonate in new ways. From Margaret Bonds, one of the first celebrated African-American women composers, there's "Troubled Water," a poignant riff on the spiritual "Wade in the Water" that Downes says takes a "journey from classical virtuosity to gospel, jazz, blues and back again." Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's arrangement of "Deep River," for Downes, now represents "crossing over" the coronavirus crisis, while Florence Price's "Some of These Days," is a vision of better times ahead.
In a moment of vulnerability, Downes admits that not being out on the road – performing, embedded in communities and working with young people – makes her feel "not very useful." But in these performances there's a sturdiness and purpose that provide both comfort and the strength to carry on. Very useful, indeed.
"Margaret Bonds: Troubled Water"
"Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Deep River"
"Florence Proce: Some Of These Days"
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.
Lang Lang picks up double ECHO Awards / Deutsche Welle
Posted: October 19, 2015 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Star pianist Lang Lang was the only musician to take home two ECHO Klassik prizes. The star-studded gala event also honored pianist Menahem Pressler and singer Jonas Kaufmann. The festive ECHO Klassik gala on Sunday evening (18.10.) served up some fine performances, beginning with Jonas Kaufmann, for whom TV entertainer Gottschalk found words of praise, calling him "the best the world of opera currently has to offer." With his deeply masculine, darkly shaded voice, Kaufmann proved the point in his rendition of an aria from Puccini's "Tosca."
Chinese pianist Lang Lang, this year accepted his eighth and ninth ECHOs: one as Instrumentalist of the Year in the piano division, the other for his work with the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, which promotes young talent. Handing over the trophy, German television host Johannes B. Kerner declared, "Because of Lang Lang, millions of children in China have taken piano lessons." No longer needing to demonstrate his virtuosity, the megastar served up two delicate piano pieces by Tchaikovsky and Chopin. READ THE FULL Deutsche Welle ARTICLE
One of the world's biggest classical stars, Lang Lang, returns with his brand new solo album ‘Piano Book' – a collection of pieces which first inspired him to play the piano and led him on his path to international stardom. The recording, his first new studio album in three years, marks his return to Universal Music Group and Deutsche Grammophon – the label he first signed to in 2003.
Lang Lang says: "I want to take every music lover on a journey through my favourite piano pieces. I hope to inspire as well as motivate every piano student to remain focused during daily practice, and to play and understand these essential pieces for what they really are: true masterpieces!"
‘Piano Book' gathers together many of the miniatures that generations of amateur pianists have grown up with. Lang Lang holds them in the highest regard, believing them to be classics in their own right. He wants to encourage piano students across the world to fully appreciate them.
The ineffable magic of New York City fires the imagination of superstar pianist Lang Lang on his new album New York Rhapsody (Sony Classical) available September 16, 2016. He is joined by a wide array of special guests including Andra Day, Herbie Hancock, Jason Isbell, Jeffrey Wright, Kandace Springs, Lindsey Stirling, Lisa Fischer, Madeleine Peyroux andSean Jones.From the haunting reveries of Gershwin and Copland to the in-the-moment intensity of songs made famous by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, Lou Reed and Don Henley, New York Rhapsody rediscovers the dazzle and the soul of America's most symbolic city. Following the release of the album, a star-studded concert special Live From Lincoln Center will air on PBS on November 25, 2016 as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival. The video for "Empire State of Mind" with Lang Lang and singer Andra Day premiered on Town & Country.
14 NEW 122 TOTAL
SYND: C24, CBC Direct: AccuRadio Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, St. Louis, New Orleans, Detroit, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Seattle, Cincinnati, Tampa, Salt Lake, Madison WI, Hartford CT, Knoxville TN, Honolulu INTER: Canada, Italy, China Online: The Nerdist, Metro, Yahoo, Town & Country, AP, The Classical Arts, Comicbook, Gettyimages, The Jewish Voice, Wall Street Journal, Wireimage, Daily Herald, Music Aficionado, Green Arrow Radio, MSN Music Radio, BroadwayWorld.com, China Buzz, io9gizmodo, dnainfo, slashfilm.com, We The Unicorns, JazzTimes, billboard, Dirty Dog, WSJ, Jazz Weekly, The Jazz Intersection
Ever since his first visit to the magical space that is the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, Lang Lang had dreamed of performing there. When his dream came to fruition in the form of a special recital on June 22, 2015 he chose Chopin's four momentous Scherzi and Tchaikovsky's rare but masterly cycle The Seasons to present to his audience. A studio recording of the repertoire was made in the Salle Liebermann at the Opéra Bastille and the live concert was filmed in 4K in the Hall of Mirrors for release on DVD and Blu-ray.
Sony Classical is delighted to announce Lang Lang's first albumentirely devoted to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozartavailable September 30. World renowned pianist, Lang Lang, will be joined by the legendary Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Harnoncourt is famous for his ability to match deep knowledge of 17th and 18th century musical language with an interpretative mind of outstanding originality.
46 NEW 117 Total
SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC, The Romantic Hours Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Denver, Cincinnatti, Austin, St. Louis, Portland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit, Louisville, Honolulu, Columbus OH, Madison WI, Canada Online: Taintradio, Classical Candor, ClassicallyHip
The world's best-selling pianist, Lang Lang, joins one of the most renowned orchestras, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle for Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto and Bartók's Second Piano Concerto.
'I've wanted to record with Maestro Rattle and his orchestra for a long time. The Berliner Philharmoniker is extraordinary to work with – the winds and brass are from a different planet and Sir Simon creates a depth of tone with the orchestra, particularly when playing quietly, that's unique. Some of my happiest musical experiences have taken place with this orchestra. We performed the Prokofiev 3 in 2007 in Salzburg and I gave four performances of the Bartók 2 earlier this year with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Both works have such life and such rhythmic vitality that to my ears they sound absolutely contemporary. I believe these concertos have a musical relevance that's absolutely right for our time," - Lang Lang
14 New 'ON' this week 115 Total
SYND: Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM / Symphony Hall, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, St. Louis, New Orleans, Detroit, Pitsburgh, Cincinnati, Memphis, Indianapolis, Albuquerque, Mamphis, San Antonio, Louisville Online: Taintradio, RadioIO, WGOE
Sony Classical is proud to announce its debut release "Live In Vienna" from one of the most thrilling and inspiring musicians of our time, the world-renowned pianist Lang Lang. Recorded and filmed live in Vienna's legendary Musikverein concert hall, the Sony Classical debut will be available on August 24 in multiple formats. This release represents Lang Lang's second live recorded recital to date after the best-selling "Live at Carnegie Hall" in 2004, which marked his international breakthrough as a recording artist. He has performed the new album's program at the world's major concert venues and will continue to tour with it throughout 2011.
12 New 'ON' this week: 116 Total
Synd: PRI/Classical 24, NPR/TTBOOK, WFMT Net/The Romantic Hours, BETTERTV Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Denver, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Porland, Baltimore, Detroit, Portland, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Berkeley CA, Albuquerque, Salt Lake, Honolulu, Austin, Berkeley CA, Indianapolis, Louisville, Columbus OH Online: RadioIO
Sony Classical announces world renowned pianist Lang Lang's new recording Liszt - My Piano Hero and DVD Liszt Now! which pays tribute to the life and music of Franz Liszt whose 200th anniversary is celebrated this year. One of the most eagerly anticipated classical releases of the year, the project encompasses an album - a filmed concert and a documentary that will come out on multiple formats.
38 New 'ON' this week: 41 Total
Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice
Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Dallas, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Houston, Portland, Atlanta, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinatti, Detroit, Kansas, City, Madison WI