Budapest Concert is the second complete show to be issued from Keith Jarrett's 2016 European tour, recorded two weeks earlier than the widely-acclaimed concert released as Munich 2016. The new double album documents the pianist's solo performance at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest. Jarrett, whose family roots reach back to Hungary, viewed the concert as akin to a homecoming – also with regard to his lifelong affection for Bartók, as he explained to the audience - and the context inspired much creative improvisation.
Keith Jarrett - Budapest Concert makes Echoes November 2020 Top 25. SEE THE CHART
'some kind of peace' is the stunning new album from the ground-breaking composer and producer Ólafur Arnalds, available now on Mercury KX. The record features a brand new track 'The Bottom Line' ft. Josin, alongside a beautiful video featuring the work of Japanese flower artist Azuma Makoto out today, and 'Loom', Arnalds' collaboration with Bonobo. Also out now is 'finding some kind of peace', a very special behind the scenes film about the new album.
Ólafur has been confirmed as the closing act for Iceland Airwaves' virtual festival, ‘Live from Reykjavík', on November 13th, where he will perform mostly new material played live for the very first time. Ólafur's music will also play a major role in the forthcoming Netflix documentary on Shawn Mendes, 'In Wonder', which is set to be released on November 23rd. Ólafur has also recently surpassed a staggering 1 billion streams, an incredible milestone for the Icelandic multi-instrumentalist.
Olafur Arnalds - some kind of peace makes Echoes November 2020 Top 25. SEE THE CHART
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell. Don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep.
Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Rumi's influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions. People of many countries have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. Rumi has been described as the "most popular poet" and the "best selling poet" in the United States.
Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God. Rumi encouraged listening to music and twirling, or doing the sacred dance. The dance represents a mystical journey in which the seeker symbolically turnstowards the truth, grows through love, and finds the truth. The seeker then returns from this journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without regard to beliefs, races, classes and nations. It was from these ideas that the practice of whirling Dervishes developed.
Rumi's poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and today Rumi's poems can be heard in churches, synagogues, Zen monasteries, as well as in the downtown New York art/performance/music scene. Recordings of Rumi poems have made it to the USA's Billboard's Top 20 list. A selection of his love poems have been performed by artists such as Madonna, Goldie Hawn, Philip Glass and Demi Moore.
Shunia - Breeze At Dawn makes Echoes November 2020 Top 25. SEE THE CHART
Pianist Hélène Grimaud has created a "dialogue" of sorts between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the Ukrainian-born contemporary composer Valentin Silvestrov in her latest album "The Messenger."
The recording presents three works by Mozart, all in chronological order and in minor keys. Grimaud sees his use of the minor as suggestive of "confrontations with fate or destiny". Written in memory of his late wife, Larissa Bondarenko, Silvestrov's The Messenger – 1996 "establishes a connection between the world that once existed and the present day." It offers "both a response to and an echo of Mozart's music – this idea of acknowledging and paying tribute to what has gone before is central to his art as a composer."
I hope you enjoy the discussion with Hélène and Classical Music Host@VPM Music - Mike Goldberg about this project and her approach to the works that are included. LISTEN
On this edition of All Songs Considered, we pick our favorite music released in November 2020, featuring Kali Uchis' heart-struck devotionals, Tierra Whack's playful pop, metal duo Jucifer's tribute to Arabic music and Salaam Remi's star-studded soundtrack of the Black experience, as well as; Ólafur Arnalds: "Spiral" from Some Kind of Peace.
Some Kind of Peace is a perfect description of what lies within; it's the most impactful record I've heard this year. At its center is Ólafur Arnalds' calming piano and electronics, which often sets the tone for the many collaborations heard within. (By the way, you can listen to my conversation with Ólafur Arnalds in the All Songs Considered podcast feed.) This is music that works as background or foreground, rich in textures making it the perfect headphone album. - Bob Boilen
SEE THE FULL NPR PAGE
In his concerto for guitar and orchestra, Chris Brubeck pays homage to his father, the late jazz great Dave Brubeck. The pianist and composer, whose centennial we celebrate on December 6th, passed away in 2012. Brubeck's piece is the title track of our Classical Album of the Week. Guitarist Sharon Isbin's Affinity features music inspired by different cultures and genres, and has a personal story behind each work.
When Chris was writing his 2015 concerto for guitar and orchestra for her, Sharon says he wanted to tap into her broad-ranging musical interests. He was "intrigued by the idea that I'd worked with so many people from so many different genres."
Sharon met with me on Zoom in late September, 2020, and shared the personal stories behind the Brubeck piece and the other music on the album, which includes works by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, Venezuelan composer Antonio Lauro, Chinese composer Tan Dun, and American composer Richard Danielpour.
Sharon Isbin's 'Affinity' is the 90.1WRTI: Philadelphia 'Classical Album of the Week.' READ THE FULL ARTICLE & WATCH THE VIDEOS
Tony nominee Melissa Errico, known for her incredible voice and vivacious stage presence, will grace the Bay Street Theater stage on December 10 to perform Season for Joy, an evening of holiday fun and music.
Errico is best known for her starring roles on Broadway, but her career is characterized by diverse interests in many creative corners of show business. She has had a steady career in television, appeared in feature films, and performed in non-musical roles in Off-Broadway plays by Shaw, Wilde, and others. She has also explored music as both a recording artist and concert singer, releasing several music albums and working with some of the world's best symphonies and jazz and cabaret spaces. More recently, she established herself as a writer, publishing essays in The New York Times and beyond. As a musical theater actress, she starred in the Broadway musicals Anna Karenina, My Fair Lady, High Society, Dracula, White Christmas, and Amour which won her a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical and began a longtime association with its composer Michel Legrand. Melissa was recently honored with a caricature at Sardi's in celebration of her Broadway starring theatrical performances, her concerts as well as her engaging essays for The New York Times on the actor's art.
Errico talks with Dan's Papers about life as a performer during the pandemic, her new single and more. READ THE Q&A
Invited to experiment with Deutsche Grammophon's Shellac Project – a collection of digitized material restored from early 20th-century 78s in a collaborative initiative with Google Arts & Culture – German musician, visual artist and producer Christian Löffler has created his own experimental electronica tribute to Beethoven.
Sony Music today announces the November 20 release of THE CROWN: SEASON 4 (SOUNDTRACK FROM THE NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES) with music by BAFTA and Ivor Novello Award-winning composer MARTIN PHIPPS (Black Mirror, Peaky Blinders).
Dynamic pianist CHLOE FLOWER has given the Christmas classic "CAROL OF THE BELLS" an eloquent twist on her latest single, which was co-written and co-produced alongside GRAMMY® Award-winning icon Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds.
Conceived jointly by violinist Movses Pogossian and violist Kim Kashkashian on the occasion of Tigran Mansurian's 80th birthday, the Con anima project brings together a dedicated cast of players to perform the chamber music of Armenia's great contemporary composer.
Recorded in Buenos Aires last year, Albores [Dawn] is among Dino Saluzzi's most intimate albums, featuring the great Argentine bandoneonist alone with the instrument that has been his constant companion since childhood.
Having amassed over 55M streams on his piano album ‘Tales of Solace' released earlier this year, Grammy and Academy Award-nominated composer, songwriter and producer Stephan Moccio returns with a brand-new instrumental Christmas album ‘Winter Poems', out on now on Decca Records.
READ THE TRANSCRIPT - "I discovered Billie Holiday when I was a little girl. I have this strong memory of finding the records in my parents' collection and hearing her voice," says pianist Lara Downes, whose A Billie Holiday Songbook, features 22 jazz standards made famous by Holiday. "And I fell in love with her music and voice. And it's music that's been in my ear my whole life."
"It's funny of course, I'm a classical pianist but I think we become aware of how many different influences make up our musical vocabulary. It's really everything we hear and everything we love and it all blends together. I got to a point when I wanted to try to do something with all of that music that had taken root and her 100th birthday seems like a really nice time to do that."
Eleonora Fagan was born on April 7, 1915 in Philadelphia. Her home life was chaotic, but it didn't dampen her ambitions to be a singer. She adopted a stage name after her favorite silent movie actress Billie Dove. Lara Downes says Holiday's distinctive voice has always been in her head, "And I think that Billie Holiday for me is a singer who represents not just the jazz tradition but something really powerful about the power of individuality. Her voice was so unique and what she did with it was so unique. That's the thing that connects her music to lots of other music I know that comes from different traditions - that very personal way she had of communicating with a listener. When I hear her songs, American standards, most of them, but the way she makes them specifically her own....those are things that translate I think across genres that have references and resonances with a lot of other music."
"I think in the classical tradition, we have a challenge. Most of what we play has been played so many times before. And we have a tremendous respect for the tradition and the history - that's paramount. And yet we have to find our own voice. That's a life–long process. And I think that it really comes down to just looking deep inside, pulling from a genuine place inside which is again what I think Billie did with her voice and music."
Lara's recording is a musical portrait told without words, a challenge she knew her friend and colleague Jed Distler could handle. "When I started thinking seriously about this Billie Holiday project, he was the first person I called. And he was so excited. And we talked for hours on the phone and started going through all of her songs and picking out the ones that would work the best. First and foremost, you're creating songs without words. You're taking out the text so there was sort of the...challenge of finding a way to translate the text through other medium. Through...expression of line and ... dynamic and phrasing and tempo...just the whole vocabulary of music without the words."
"Then there was the question of paying tribute to Billie Holiday without imitating her...so capturing some of the inflections that are very much associated with her singing without doing some sort of a parody. I think that he found a way to honor Billie Holiday specifically, to honor the American songbook, to honor the tradition and the history of the piano, all in one package."
When Lara was just eight years old she noted in her diary that her favorite song was Billie Holiday's, 'I Cover the Waterfront,' "I think that there were a range of things that attracted me at that very young age. I think that her voice just captivated me at the beginning...and that song in particular...I mean, it's a beautiful song. It's a sad song. I think that my experience of life at that age was fairly sad - there were some sad things happening in my family and I think I was drawn to the idea that sadness could become something very beautiful. I think that's probably what it was. And that has stayed with me, always."
Not surprisingly, 'God Bless the Child,' is part of this Billie Holiday songbook. It's not just a signature song for Billie Holiday it's also one that she co–wrote, "But I think that that song for me is one of the songs that shows another side of Billie," Lara explains, "I think that one of the things that has happened over the years is that she's passed into icon status and the myth, the legend, that focuses on self–destruction and tragedy and this hard life that she led - I think sometimes gets in the way of the musicianship and the joy that she found in making music. And ‘God Bless the Child' for me is a very hopeful song and it's a very powerful song and so I think that it was important to me to capture that. The arrangement itself is one of the more bluesy takes on this music. And it's the first one that Jed did for me and I just knew we were off to a great start when I got that over my email."
'But Beautiful,' is the final song on this recording. For Lara, it speaks to why she wanted to create this beautiful portrait of Billie Holiday, "The text for that song - that was text I was sorry to lose. Those are words to live by - beautiful to take a chance, if you fall, you fall...and I'm thinking I wouldn't mind at all. And I think that that's true, whether it's in love or in life. Making this record for me was absolutely taking a chance. To do something so different...and to do it within the framework of a different tradition than mine and a tradition for which I have so much respect and admiration. And I was kind of prepared to fall. As it turns out, I don't think I have so it gives me really tremendous happiness about the possibility to do what you believe in, to do it well, to do it for all the right reasons, to do it with love and respect and give it out into the world and to make people happy. That's as good as it gets."
On March 1, 2019, American pianist Lara Downes releases her new album, Holes in the Sky, on Portrait, an imprint of the Sony Music Masterworks label.
Holes in the Sky is a genre-fluid collection of music written and performed by today's leading female artists, celebrating the contributions of phenomenal women to the past, present, and future of American music.
The music of Holes in the Sky tells the story of what women and girls can contribute to the world when they are given a chance - their dreams can make holes in the sky. Lara collaborates with an extraordinary multi-generational group of female guest artists on this album, including the iconic singer / songwriter Judy Collins, boundary-breaking violinist Rachel Barton Pine, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, fast-rising cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing, and the urban youth vocal ensemble Musicality.
The album is presented in direct support of PLAN International Because I Am A Girl, bolstering the rights and empowerment of girls and young women around the globe; Women's Empowerment in Sacramento, ending homelessness one woman - and one family - at a time; the Downtown Women's Center in Los Angeles, a permanent and supportive housing and healthcare provider for women; Girls on the Run in Spokane, teaching life skills through fun, engaging lessons that celebrate the joy of movement; and the Lower East Side Girls Club, breaking the cycle of poverty by training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial, and environmental leaders.
Lara Downes' new album For Lenny celebrates the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein with a special friends-and-family tribute to the man behind the music. The recording features Bernstein's aptly-named Anniversaries for Piano, new arrangements of his songs, and world premieres of works dedicated to Bernstein by leading American composers including Stephen Sondheim, John Corigliano, and Stephen Schwartz. The album is introduced by an essay from acclaimed writer Adam Gopnik.
Pianist Lara Downes releases a solo album, America Again, worldwide on Sono Luminus on October 28, 2016. The album's title is taken from Langston Hughes' poem, Let America Be America Again, written in 1938. America Again features twenty pieces selected by Downes that explore the elusive but essential American dream, written by composers including Duke Ellington, Lou Harrison, Morton Gould, Amy Beach, George Gershwin, Angélica Negrón, Dan Visconti, Leonard Bernstein, Scott Joplin, Irving Berlin, Florence Price, Aaron Copland, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and more.
26 NEW 67 TOTAL
SYND: NPR/First Listen, Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD, AccuRadio Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Portland, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Denver, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Austin, Hartford, KS(Network), IN(Network), IA(Network), Canada Online: The Rehearsal Studio, Second Inversion, Passion Musique et Culture, I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, therumpus, Sacramento Bee
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Billie Holiday's birth, Lara Downes releases: A Billie Holiday Songbook on Steinway & Sons Records, A personal tribute to this sensitive, timeless icon of American music.Radiant. Intimate.
Lara Downes grew up listening to Holiday's recordings with her father, born and raised in Harlem. Trained in the conservatories of San Francisco, Paris, Vienna and New York, Downes acknowledges that Holiday's singing has been a lifelong influence. "As a musician, I learned from Billie Holiday to make something completely personal when you make music," she says. "something that is completely your own - maybe something unexpected, something indefinable, perhaps complicated, but beautiful. To take a chance. As the song says: "But beautiful to take a chance, and if you fall, you fall. And I'm thinking I wouldn't mind at all."
20 NEW 49 Total
SYND: PRI/Classical 24 Direct: Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Houston, Austin, St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, Madison WI, Canada Online: Taintradio, Classical Candor, AXS, Party934
In June of 1955, Glenn Gould made his groundbreaking recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations for Columbia Records, rescuing the Goldbergs from obscurity in one of the most significant classical recordings of a generation. Critically acclaimed pianist Lara Downes will be breaking ground of her own when Tritone Records releases her new CD 13 WAYS of Looking at the Goldberg, a fascinating new take on Bach's masterpiece. In an extraordinary coincidence of fate and timing, Lara's recording of her new Goldberg project took place over the same four days in June as Gould's historic 1955 sessions.
11 New 'ON' this week: 93 Total
Synd: NPR/Sunday Baroque, The Romantic Hours, PRI/Classical 24, Harmonia, Galaxy
Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, Houston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Louisville, Purto Rico
Online: Live 365, RadioIO, Taintradio, Crystal Ball Report
Pianist Lara Downes is known for her fusing of rare pianistic sensitivity and evocative, thought-provoking concepts. Her latest album, Exiles' Café-released on the Steinway & Sons label  -- is the result of a moment of inspiration after hearing a lovely little piece entitled Tango from the Exiles' Café. Downes fantasized about this café and created a narrative around it, which she describes as "both real and metaphorical." This album captures the pain, nostalgia, and freedom that are indelibly tied to this state of being-in exile. Featuring miniature works by composers such as Chopin, Milhaud, Bartok, Weill, and including a premiere work by Mohammed Fairouz, Exiles' Café goes beyond an examination of what is to be in exile, to consider the inspiration exiled composers drew from the musical communities they found in their new homes. Because in this sense, the exiles cafes were actual places – there were indeed such locations throughout history to which composers and musicians gravitated and found each other, and they and their music were influenced accordingly.
17 New 'ON' 183 Total
SYND: PRI/Classical 24, The Romantic Hours Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, St. Louis, Seattle, Minneapolis, Portland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Denver, New Orleans, San Antonio, Memphis, Columbus OH, Buffalo, Louisville, Madison WI, Honolulu Online: Taintradio, RadioIO, WGOE