OK, now you're talking!! As modern music continues to drone down some boring atonal alley, and soundtracks lack any kind of personality, along comes the soundtrack for Color Out of Space, an adaptation of a 1927 H.P Lovecraft short story by infamous director Richard Stanley, who was sacked from directing The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1996 - and hasn't directed a film since. There's a lot of buzz around the film which opens this week, but I have found surprisingly little about the masterful score by saxophonist and songwriter Colin Stetson. Now, since I haven't seen the film, it may be possible that this resoundingly produced horror-sci-fi-creep-fest, now out on CD, only adds to the story of a family man whose psyche is subsumed by an extraterrestrial force.
When soundtracks are out to simply jar you, I get bored. This one gets under your skin in a thoroughly enjoyable way. Being a multi-instrumentalist, Stanley shows off his ability to orchestrate, creating a hallucinatory jail that I was glad to be locked in.
READ THE FULL STAGEANDCINEMA REVIEW
Now in its 39th season, the Alexander String Quartet has undergone some personnel changes, but its founding violist, Paul Yarbrough, is still in his lofty place. That will change on May 16, with Yarbrough's final performance as a member of the ASQ, in the Herbst Theater closing of the 2019–2020 San Francisco Performances Saturday Morning Series.
After Yarbrough's retirement, this summer the quartet will welcome his successor, David Samuel, a violist with a long history of working with the ASQ as a guest artist in recording and education projects. Samuel has a prestigious career as a chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral musician. He is currently associate principal violist with the Auckland (NZ) Philharmonia Orchestra, and serves on the faculty of the University of Auckland. Photo Credit: Shirley Singer
READ THE FULL San Francisco Classical Voice ARTICLE
Norwegian composer and pianist Ola Gjeilo has a musical style that is often described as cinematic and evocative, characterised by warm harmonies, flowing melodies and gently rocking, repeated figures. He is an exclusive Decca Classics recording artist, and the new album follows the highly successful Winter Songs (2017) and Ola Gjeilo (2016), which also feature Tenebrae, Voces8 and the Choir of Royal Holloway. NIGHT is his first solo piano album to be released on Decca.
Gjeilo's now presents a stunning collection of brand-new original works for solo piano, composed and performed by Gjeilo himself. NIGHT is an intimate and meditative collection of peaceful piano music, inspired by the twilight hours in the place he now calls home – New York City.
In conjunction with this release Ola has made some time today! Thursday February 28 to speak with US radio.
Game of Tones:
Microtonal Guitarist John Schneider plays the 30th iteration of PITT's Beyond 2020 Microtonal Music Festival.
Despite its modernist ring, microtonal music is not a recent phenomenon. The term was first coined over a century ago, and the concept - music using altered pitches and tuning systems to play notes not found in the standard Western twelve-tone system - has been utilized as far back as history books go. But thanks to the internet, the ease of self-education through YouTube tutorials, and the advancement of musical technology, microtonal music has evolved into an (almost) mainstream field of study and expression.
Founder of MicroFest, John Schneider is a guitarist and arranger who also writes for harp and percussion. A professor of music at Los Angeles Pierce College, Schneider also hosts the KPFK Los Angeles weekly radio program "Global Village."
From Fri., Feb. 28 to Sun., March 1, a slate of local and international groups will explore microtonality from a variety of approaches through a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments, light shows, video projections, and dance, as well as lectures from experts in the field. Performers include Del Sol String Quartet (San Francisco), MikroEnsemble (Finland), Brightwork Ensemble (Los Angeles), and Pittsburgh musicians Aaron Myers-Brooks, Nuiko Wadden, and Lindsey Goodman, and many more.
READ THE FULL PGH City Paper ARTICLE
Rhythm Planet showcases mostly new releases in our playlist this week, together with some rediscoveries and remembrances along the way. On the jazz front, we hear the music of saxophonists Eric Alexander, Wayne Shorter (by Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra), and Brent Jensen; plus pianists Tim Ray, Joey Alexander's "Inner Urge", and Laurence Hobgood's lovely string-quartet version of Glen Campbell's classic song "Witchita Lineman." Vibraphonist Chris Dingman's new album is called Embrace, and we listen to "Inner Child" from it. This week's playlist also includes; Sheku Kanneh-Mason & London Symphony Orchestra / "Blow the Wind Southerly.
READ THE FULL KCRW: Rhythm Planet Article and Playlist for 2/25/20:
Joey Alexander, the Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, composer and bandleader recently unveiled 'Warna' (Verve Records). The album is primarily a collection of reflective, moving new and original music by an experienced and confident musician. Translating as "color" from Alexander's native language of Bahasa, WARNA follows four Motéma Music albums that garnered the pianist three Grammy nominations and such honors as historic critics' and readers' poll victories in DownBeat and JazzTimes. Joining Alexander on the new album are Larry Grenadier and Kendrick Scott, who comprise the core piano trio. On several tracks, Venezuelan-born percussion Luisito Quintero, and flautist Anne Drummond, join the burgeoning jazz pianist.
Joey sits down with 91.3KXCI: Tucson to discuss the recording. Listen to the attached file
The two Piano Concertos by Frederic Chopin recorded here have been an integral part of British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor's repertoire ever since his early teens. And this level of familiarity definitely manifests itself in his playing. There's a constant fluid limpidity and clarity to his phrasing, and an overall forward momentum shaped by delicate contours. Nothing ever sounds forced or affected, but rather seemingly moves along naturally. The slow passages are contemplative whilst the fast passages quite simply dance off the keyboard. And when a certain degree of darkness creeps into the music, his playing takes on an appropriately different mien, and the same can be said when the music takes on a highly Polonaise style.
READ THE FULL Classical Music Sentinel REVIEW
‘Love Letters' marks a different direction for the internationally celebrated artist; it offers a shift in intimacy and content and comes at a pivotal time in her career as she signs to her new record label, Mercury KX.
Milan Records today releases THE NEW POPE (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK FROM THE SKY – HBO – CANAL+ SERIES produced by FREMANTLE'S THE APARTMENT and WILDSIDE, co-produced with HAUT ET COURT TV and THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO) with music by LELE MARCHITELLI.
Referred to as "the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele," Jake Shimabukuro is a true virtuoso, and exhibits his talents once again with the release of ‘Trio', available February 14th through Music Theories Recordings.
Igor Levit - Bach, Beethoven, Rzewski / Gramophone review
Posted: November 9, 2015 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Igor Levit's late Beethoven sonatas (11/13) and Bach Partitas (10/14) on Sony Classical have already made bold declarations of his pianistic and artistic prowess. Now he confirms his appetite for the big entrance with three monuments to variation form, each rooted in its own century, yet all united by the harnessing of maximum variety, maximum discipline.
Levit will be stuck for some years to come with the epithets ‘young' and ‘Russian-born, German-trained/domiciled'. But the instant he touches the piano such information becomes irrelevant. Certainly he can muster all the athleticism, velocity and finesse of a competition winner ready to burst on to the international scene. But like the rarest of that breed – a Perahia, say – his playing already has a far-seeing quality that raises him to the status of the thinking virtuoso. There is, if you care to rationalise, a Russian depth of sound and eloquence of phrasing, tempered by Germanic intellectual grasp. There is also a sense of exulting in technical prowess and energy. But not once in the course of these three themes and 99 variations did I feel that such qualities were being self-consciously underlined. Levit's musical personality is as integrated and mature as his technique. And both of these are placed at the service of the music's glory rather than his own. READ THE FULL Gramophone REVIEW
Sparked by the tragic death of a close friend in an accident, Igor Levit's piano playing reflects upon an experience of loss encompassing grief, despair, resignation and solace. He concentrates on works whose gloomy grandeur and melancholy beauty have occupied him for years. Each of them pays tribute to the virtuoso possibilities of the piano. Poetic moments of contemplative silence blend with life-affirming and extremely sensual music with a direct physical fascination. ...
Sony Classical announces the release of Pianist Igor Levit's third album - Bach, Beethoven, Rzewski. Available October 30, the album includes Bach's Goldberg Variations and Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, long considered acid tests of the performer's art, plus Frederic Rzewski's gigantic cycle on the Chilean revolutionary song ¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!, which has the reputation of being nearly unplayable. Not content with canonized masterpieces, Levit is equally drawn to the physical challenge of Rzewski's virtuosic tightrope walks.
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Igor Levit has recorded the Partitas by this incommensurable Bach, BWV 825-830: it's the second release by the 27-year-old pianist, whom many regard as the greatest talent of his time. With his debut album, featuring the late Beethoven sonatas, Levit already enjoyed great success and international critical acclaim: the album rose to no. 46 in Germany's Top 100 album charts.
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"Unlike those technically brilliant young pianists who dazzle briefly and disappear, Levit is pre-eminently a real musician who seems built to last." – The Guardian
For the last three years, Igor Levit's name has been the first to be mentioned whenever there has been talk of the most exciting of the younger generation of pianists. What is so surprising about Levit is not only the maturity of his interpretations, but his boundless appetite for new repertoire of works as difficult and demanding as possible. For his long awaited debut album, the twenty-six-year-old Levit has chosen some of the most challenging repertoire ever written for piano: Beethoven's last five piano sonatas. On his two-CD debut set, Levit is not just another young aspiring pianist releasing his debut album, but rather an outstanding artist who meets the exceptionally high demands of this extraordinary music. Levit's technical and artististic command in the difficult "Hammerklaviersonate" op. 106 is sure to be recognized as one of the most astounding accomplishments in recent history of Beethoven recordings.