Violins of Hope is an artistic and educational project that utilizes instruments once owned by Jewish musicians, many of which were played in concentration camps and ghettos. Israeli luthiers Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein have collected many of these instruments, refurbishing them to concert quality, and in this singularly engaging album, violinist Niv Ashkenazi and pianist Matthew Graybil bring to life music by many Jewish composers both dead and alive, including Serenade by Robert Dauber, Nigun by Ernest Bloch, the theme from "Schindler's List" by John Williams, The Chassid by Julius Chajes, Bestemming: Triumph by Sharon Farber, Trois pièces de concert by Szymon Laks, Dance of the Rebbitzen by George Perlman, both Berceuse Sfaradite and Three Songs Without Words by Paul Ben-Haim, and Kaddisch by Maurice Ravel.
Throughout the CD the immensely gifted Niv Ashkenazi and Matthew Graybil, his superb collaborative pianist both play soulfully imbuing the music with appropriate emotional depth though never falling prey to sentimentality. Altogether a worthy project, Violins of Hope provided this listener with a lovely listening experience.
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This is the latest in a series of recordings by Lyn Stanley focussing on the songs made famous by Julie London, along with two songs she feels Julie would have recorded if she had been around. A lot of play is being made of that fact that this is a direct to disc recording, and in that respect, it is quite an incredible effort, as they were recording without a safety net. It also meant that there were only a few seconds to reset their minds before going straight onto the next. This meant the recordings had to be completed one complete side at a time for the original vinyl release, no opportunity to overdub or fix problems. From there it was just the case of choosing which set to go with, and ‘Favourite Takes – London With A Twist – Live At Bernie's' was done.
I am sure the pure audiophiles will state the sound quality produced by this is incredible, and if I were listening to this on a high-quality record player/amplified/speakers I am sure I would agree. As it is I am using Bluetooth headphones connected to an iPhone, so while I can say it does sound well produced I can't comment any more than that given the sound I am listening to has been both compressed and cut up. For me this sounds like a studio recording, and therein lies the problem for me, in that Lyn does make mistakes and there are times when she is flat and times when she isn't really singing but going for emotional emphasis. In a live environment, or on a live recording then that can all be forgiven, but this sounds like a studio effort. Many jazz bands record live, but flubs and flaws are often fixed, and that isn't the case here. It is interesting, but even with a take of Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac" on offer I can't see me returning to it again.
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On Tuesday, April 7 at 12:00 PM Pacific Time, Composer/performer Terry Riley joins Music on Main with his son, guitarist Gyan Riley at their A Month of Tuesdays concert (filmed live Tuesday, February 18, 2020).
On Saturday, April 11 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time, Violinist Jennifer Koh's Alone Together is an online commissioning project that brings composers together in support of the many freelancers among them. Twenty-one composers have each agreed to donate a new, 30-second micro-work for solo violin while also recommending a fellow composer to write their own 30-second solo violin work on paid commission from the artist-driven nonprofit ARCO Collaborative. Koh will premiere a selection of these donated and commissioned works each Saturday at 7:00 p.m Eastern Time . Photo by Juergen Frank
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With her debut album »Arias for Josepha« the young German, soprano Sarah Traubel pays musical tribute to the 18th century coloratura world star Josepha Hofer (1758-1819). On her first CD, Sarah Traubel compiled and recorded 14 arias, most of which have been written for and sung by the legend of the high notes, including numerous world premiere recordings. The CD will be released by SONY Classical and will be available available from 6 March 2020 on digital platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and amazon.
Traubel follows in the footsteps of Josepha Hofer - a sister-in-law and the first Queen of the Night by Mozart and talks to mdr - KLASSIK's Bettina Volksdorf about her musical discoveries.
In the past two weeks, our world has changed at a breakneck pace. At the same time, it has crawled from one day to the other without distinction. From the comfort of my home with my trusty dog Charley at my side, it seems as if I'm living a perfect Sunday afternoon, over and over again. I'm sure you know the feeling. But the reality is quite different. From my dining room table, I have been communicating with colleagues and artists near and far. Together we are doing our best to keep our organizations afloat as well as support the arts field at large. The best moments are enjoying online performances from my front row sofa seat. With that in mind, I offer you my suggestions. After all, if I can't bring you live performances, then I can offer my assistance in recommending a few online concerts. Every Friday while we're "Safer at Home," I'll offer my Director Selects. Read my notes too (because I might reveal a secret or two about next season).
We're presenting a live online broadcast from The Soraya's stage on Friday, April 17 at 4 pm. The concert will feature Artist-in-Residence violinist Niv Ashkenazi, who had just released his new CD (copies available on Amazon.com) just before the cancellation of Violins of Hope. The CD, as well as this concert, are performed on one of the instruments from the Violins of Hope collection. For this concert, Niv has prepared a 30-minute excerpt from his CD, and I will interview him prior to his performance. For this concert, we're compliant with all social distancing measures, working from different locations. Two staff members will come to the theater prior to Niv to set-up equipment. Put this on your calendar. It's historic – in the midst of this crisis, we experience music from a violin that witnessed the last great global crisis, the Holocaust. Detailed instructions about how to join this live event will be coming soon, and will also be available at www.TheSoraya.org.
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This Sunday morning, we celebrate Frank's Sinatra's Greatest Duets on ‘The Sinatra Hours'! You'll hear the voices of Tony Bennett, Celion Dion, Michael Buble', Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffet, Tanya Tucker and Barbara Streisand… along with early collaborations with Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Elle Fitzgerald and Elvis Presley. Plus, a conversation with Frank's former manager and friend Tony Oppedisano and Frank's daughter, Nancy Sinatra. It all starts at 6:30am CST on AM720, wgnradio.com or tell your smart speaker to ‘play WGN Radio on Tune In'!
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Jarvis Cocker has shared a reading of Times Square In Montana by Richard Brautigan to keep fans entertained during the coronavirus outbreak. The first offering in his new Bedtime Stories series on Instagram, Cocker's post sees him reading Brautigan's short in his recognisable Sheffield tones. "The calm after the storm: I know it can be hard getting off to sleep at night at the moment so, as of tonight, I will be posting a bedtime story- read by yours truly – every Sunday evening," wrote Cocker.
Cocker's alternative entertainment for fans comes after he streamed a ‘Domestic Disco' live-stream from the comfort of his living room last Friday. PHOTO: (Picture: Getty)
The 13-minute reading can be accessed HERE
‘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 announces the February 28 release of WENDY (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) with music by award-winning composer, songwriter and producer DAN ROMER and the film's award-winning director BENH ZEITLIN.
Wolfgang Muthspiel, whom The New Yorker has called "a shining light" among today's jazz guitarists, returns to the trio format with Angular Blues, the Austrian's fourth ECM album as a leader, following two acclaimed quintet releases and his trio debut.
World-renowned guitar hero Al Di Meola welcomes a new decade with an ambitious follow-up to his 2013 studio recording All Your Life: A Tribute to the Beatles with a sophomore homage to the Beatles, entitled Across The Universe, due out on earMUSIC on March 13, 2020.
Michele Tozzetti captures Leonard Bernstein's solo piano music with meticulous detail / Classical Music Sentinel
Posted: April 11, 2019 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
None of the piano "greats" seem to have performed or recorded the solo piano music of Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). Perhaps simply because most of it, with some exceptions, does not speak directly to the heart but instead appeals to the intellect. Italian pianist Michele Tozzetti captures and projects all of these facets of a complex individual very well, with meticulous attention to details, accents, and rhythmic alterations. His delivery is always clear and unmuddled, which suits the motivic manipulations very well, and avoids adding extra emotional baggage to the more intimate pieces. These are highly personal and introverted musical statements from a man who used to revel in spectacular musical opulence, and Tozzetti treats them as such, and leaves the listener feeling like he's just had an intimate conversation with the composer. Highly recommended if you want to explore yet another facet of Leonard Bernstein, a true 20th century 'Renaissance' man.
In the annals of American music, there is no other figure quite like Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990): conductor, composer, pianist, teacher, and media star. "Lenny," as his friends called him, was, from the 1940s onward, a durable part of the American fabric, the last classical artist ever to become a household name in the United States. Though widely celebrated-especially for his popular theater works, of which?West Side Story?is the enduring masterpiece, and for his presence on television as the nation's most renowned musical educator-his fame was not achieved without a great deal of controversy.
Michele Tozzetti accomplishes the task brilliantly. He finds the heartfelt tenderness in?Ilana, the Dreamer, brings out the Jewish elements in?Idele, the?Chassidele and animates the dance rhythms of?Yosi, the Jokester?(likely meant as a tribute to cartoonist Yossi Stern). The spirit of Aaron Copland hovers over all of this music; in the?Anniversary?dedicated to him,?For Aaron Copland?(in?Seven Anniversaries, 1943), Tozzetti captures the sound and spirit of the man Bernstein called "my first friend in New York, my master, my idol, my sage, my shrink, my guide, my counselor, my elder brother, [and] my beloved friend." The pianist reveals a delicate sense of sonority along with exquisite dynamic control in?For Paul Bowles, and musters the perfect aggressive edginess to bring to life?For Sergei Koussevitzky.?He injects youthful vigor into Bernstein's Sonata (1937), a probing work rich in counterpoint, written when the composer was still a student.