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.
READ THE FULL SOMETHING ELSE! REVIEW
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.
READ THE FULL iNews ARTICLE
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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Jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath died this past January 19 at the age of 93. That means that he lived through just about every genre of twentieth-century jazz. His personal involvement in making jazz can be traced back to performances with both Howard McGhee and Dizzy Gillespie.
A little over a week ago Verve released his final album entitled Love Letter. There are only eight tracks, all of which are ballad classics, including songs written by Billie Holiday, Mal Waldron, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Dorham, and Gordon Parks (who is probably better known for his work in photography and film). Heath's rhythm section includes Kenny Barron on piano, David Wong on bass, and Lewis Nash on drums. For some tracks the combo is augmented by Russell Malone on guitar and/or Monte Croft on vibraphone.
The album also features three "special guests." Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis joins Heath for a duo account of Dorham's "La Mesha." In addition two of the leading vocalists of the current century join the group. Both of them sing songs by Parks, "Left Alone" presented by Cécile McLorin Salvant and Gregory Porter delivering "Don't Misunderstand."
The focus of listening deserves to be centered on Heath himself. While there is no question that Heath approaches these eight tracks with keen sensitivity to the tunes themselves, there is nothing intellectual about the foundational rhetoric.
READ THE FULL REHEARSAL STUDIO REVIEW
Folk artist, banjo evangelist, Grammy winner and MacArthur genius grant recipient Rhiannon Giddens will be the new artistic director of Silkroad. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma founded the artistic organization in 1998 to foster multicultural connection and collaboration among music artists across the world, sort of like an ongoing United Nations jam session. Silkroad announced the decision Tuesday morning. Giddens' first official appearance as Silkroad's new artistic director will be July 29 during Tanglewood's virtual "Recitals from the World Stage."
"Rhiannon is an extraordinary human being and musician," Ma said in a statement provided by Silkroad. "She lives Silkroad's values, at once rooted in history and its many musics, and is an advocate for the contemporary voices that can move us to work together for a better world."
READ THE FULL UNDEFEATED Q&A
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.
TWO-TIME GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING COMPOSER CHRISTOPHER TIN SIGNS TO DECCA GOLD ANNOUNCES MAJOR LABEL DEBUT ALBUM - TO SHIVER THE SKY
Recognized as the first artist to win a Grammy Award for music written for a video game, composer Christopher Tin will release a new album titled To Shiver the Sky on August 21.
Grammy Award-winning O'Connor Band brings 'An Appalachian Christmas' back to UW's Meany Center / Seattle Times
Posted: December 14, 2017 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
The Grammy Award-winning O'Connor Band( Maggie O'Connor, Mark O'Connor, Kate Lee O'Connor; Joe Smart, Forrest O'Connor and Geoff Saunders) is returning to Meany Center for the Performing Arts Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 16 and 17, for the group's second year in a row performing "An Appalachian Christmas." That's certainly been the lesson learned in 2017 by the O'Connor Band, which is returning to Meany Center Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 16 and 17, for the group's second year in a row performing "An Appalachian Christmas." The two-year-old musical partnership of renowned fiddler-composer Mark O'Connor - titan of Americana, i.e., a style bridging progressive bluegrass and singer-songwriter country-folk - and his violinist wife, Maggie O'Connor; son and mandolinist Forrest O'Connor; and the latter's wife, violinist Kate Lee O'Connor, has faced some enviable problems.
World-renowned acoustic musicians Mark O'Connor (violin), Chris Thile (mandolin), Frank Vignola (guitar), Bryan Sutton (guitar), Jon Burr (bass) and Byron House (bass) can captivate audiences with just their instruments. But for them, jamming is a meeting of musical minds and genres in communication, a perfect example of holistic American music. 'Jam Session,' on OMAC Records, offers "dazzling" (Wall Street Journal) live acoustic recordings that combine bluegrass and gypsy jazz as never before on disc.
11 New ON this week 72 Total Direct: ALLTVMusic Markets include: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Wash DC, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Houston, Minneapolis, Portland, Miami, Detroit, Las Vegas, Austin Online: Guru, Taintradio, WGOE
Mark O'Connor's 20-year musical journey from the fiddle competitions of the south to the stages of Carnegie Hall and The Library of Congress reaches a new milestone in Spring 2009 with the release of his debut symphony. Featuring the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, as led by the world-renowned conductor Marin Alsop, the work takes its inspiration from O'Connor's own melody "Appalachian Waltz," the titular piece from his first collaboration with Yo Yo Ma, in 1995. More importantly, it boldly defines the resurgent American Classical movement that O'Connor helps lead. Due out on his own OMAC records on March 10, 2009, the album also includes O'Connor's Concerto No. 6, "Old Brass."
8 New ON this week / 122 Total
Synd: NPR/All Things Considered, Morning Edition(transitions), PRI/Classical 24 Direct: XM/Classics, Sirius/Symphony Hall, Music Choice/Classical Crossover State Networks: CA, TX, MN, GA,CO, OR, WI, WV, NC, KS, NE, ND, IA Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Dallas, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Denver, Portland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Memphis, Salt Lake, Buffalo, Columbus OH, Louisville, San Antonio, Canada Online: RadioIO, Taintradio, Coolstreams, ConcertoNet.com
Mark O'Connor continues his musical journey into the heart of America on his latest album, containing his String Quartets No.'s 2 & 3. Like all of O'Connor's work, each piece takes deep inspiration from the landscape and traditions of America to produce music that is both familiar and original. Masterfully played by O'Connor, Ida Kavafian, Paul Neubauer, and Matt Haimovitz, the album is slated for a May 26th release from OMAC Records. The release follows a major performance of the work at New York's Merkin Hall, with some of the classical world's brightest lights in attendance, including Josh Bell, Lara St. John, Angella Ahn and the Ahn Trio, and Grammy nominees Anastisia Khitruk, Philippe Quint, and Sara Sant'Ambrogio.
5 New ON this week: 128 Total
Synd: NPR (interludes), PRI/Classical 24, CBC, Virtuoso Voices Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland, St. Louis, Houston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Nashville, Memphis, Buffalo, Honolulu, Salt Lake, San Antonio, Columbus OH, Canada Online: Taintradio, RadioIO, Coolstreams, Better TV
Working in the vein of his hero and mentor, French jazz violin virtuoso Stephane Grappelli, Mark O'Connor's final installment in his triology of hot swing trio releases, Live In New York, transcends tribute to become an engrossing and original record. The previous installments in the series, 2001's Hot Swing and 2003's In Full Swing, were both critical favorites The Chicago Tribune spoke for most when they said, "O'Connor and his group have brought this infectious art form to a new height, both technically and musically." Live In New York features O'Connor on violin, Frank Vignola on guitar, and Jon Burr on bass; it is out January 13th, 2009 on OMAC Records.
9 New 'ON' this week / 153 Total
SYND: VOA/Jazz America, NPR/Morning Edition(trans), Jazz Variations Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta, Cleveland, St. Louis, Detroit, Denver, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, New Orleans, Honolulu, Orlando, Albuquerque, Salt Lake International: Canada, France, Australia, The Netherlands Online: RadioIO, The Jazz Intersection, Taintradio, Jazz&Blues Report, animaJazz, Jazz Spotlight on Sinatra
When Mark O'Connor and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg premiered his Double Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2000, the Chicago Sun-Times described the incredible evening: Written in 1997, and recorded live in 2003 in Denver's Boettcher Hall, the Double Violin Concerto is Mark O'Connor at his genre bending finest. Under the baton of Maestra Marin Alsop, the soloists and the spectacular Colorado Orchestra create a musical experience that paints vivid pictures of intimate jazz clubs and glamorous dance floors.
13 New 'ON' this week: Total 82
SYND: APM/Performance Today Direct: Music Choice/Classical Crossover, Spafax State Networks: Texas, Minnesota, Georgia, Oregon, West Virginia, Iowa Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Houston, Baltimore, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Memphis, San Antonio Online: RadioIO, StudioShows, CoolStreams, Taintradio