Hilary Hahn's new recording pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of a city that has been close to her heart throughout her career. Released by Deutsche Grammophon on 5 March 2021, Paris sees the American violinist resume her productive partnership with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and its Music Director, Mikko Franck. The three-time Grammy Award-winner's album presents the world premiere of Einojuhani Rautavaara's Deux Sérénades, commissioned by Mikko Franck. It also includes Ernest Chausson's Poème and Sergei Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.1, which received its first performance in the French capital in 1923.
Montana Public Radio's John Floridis interviewed HH about the new recording. LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT
In her first new recording in a decade, Joy Harjo – the first Native American named Poet Laureate of the United States – digs deep into the indigenous red earth and the shared languages of music to sing, speak and play a stunningly original musical meditation that seeks healing for a troubled world – I Pray for My Enemies, was released from Sunyata Records/Sony Orchard Distribution on March 5, 2021.
Collaborating with producer/engineer Barrett Martin on this unique new album, Harjo brings a fresh identity to the poetry and songs that have made her a renowned poet of the Muscogee Creek Nation and one of the most authentic and compelling voices of these times.
"The concept for I Pray for My Enemies began" says Harjo, "with an urgent need to deal with discord, opposition. It could have been on a tribal, national or a personal level. I no longer remember. The urgency had a heartbeat and in any gathering of two or more, perhaps the whole planet, our hearts lean to entrainment – that is, to beat together."
Join Spokane Public Radio's 'Soundspace' as Zan hosts a phone interview with the multi-instrumentalist musician, poet, performer, activist and 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate, as she speaks about what inspired her recent album. LISTEN
WFMT's Lisa Flynn writes.....The new album by Charles Richard-Hamelin presents two important works by Frédéric Chopin and consolidates the musician's place in the highest ranks of the pianistic world. Describing the 24 Preludes, Richard-Hamelin says: "One can hear the entire scope of Chopin's output inside the microcosm that are the Preludes. Across all the different major and minor keys, we get hints of his Études, Nocturnes, Impromptus, Mazurkas, and even fragments of larger works such as the Ballades. Yet, there is also a sense of an overarching story being told in 24 chapters of various lengths and weights. It is Chopin at his most beautiful, heart-wrenching, experimental, dissonant, sometimes even violent. It is a fascinating journey through the human psyche and my interpretation aims to show precisely that."
For April 13, 2021, Charles Richard-Hamelin: Chopin Preludes is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release'
Rio Grande Guardian's Mario Munoz writes.....Composer and pianist Robin Spielberg believes in "old school" technology. Yes, she is in the top one percent of artists featured on Pandora Internet Radio, has over 200,000 listeners monthly on Spotify and has sold over a million CDs.
However, Robin told me that one of her top-selling platforms is still the old-fashioned vinyl record. I recently had an enjoyable conversation with Robin Speilberg about her recording work and the continued viability of old school technology.
As a special treat for you, I directly transferred one of the cuts from her vinyl album, "Re-Inventions – Timeless Masterpieces Re-Imagined." Wear headphones. This was NOT a digital download, this was direct, real-time transfer from the physical vinyl album, just like it sounds on my sound system.
LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT
90.1WRTI: Philadelphia's DEBRA LEW HARDER writes.....Sergei Rachmaninoff considered The Philadelphia Orchestra his favorite American ensemble, and our Classical Album of the Week reveals why. Under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, our fabulous Philadelphians offer the first and the final symphonic works of the Russian master (his First Symphony and his Symphonic Dances) with the flair, finesse, and fire that Rachmaninoff came to appreciate in his own frequent performances with the Orchestra, under its earlier music directors Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy.
Under Yannick's baton, and with its signature lush sound, The Philadelphia Orchestra powerfully defines a sense of drama, drive, suspense, and the sweeping lyrical lines that are Rachmaninoff's forte, in both works. And in both works, Rachmaninoff's distinct voice, and his unique sense of instrumental color is clearly heard-which is perhaps the hallmark of a great creative artist.
This is the first of three Rachmaninoff orchestral albums to be recorded by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra, and released by Deutsche Grammophon. We savor this first one, and eagerly await the next installment.
SEE THE FULL WRTI: Philadelphia PAGE
88.3WBGO's Nate Chinen writes......Chemurgy, an early-20th century innovation, was the concept of repurposing raw agricultural materials in industrial products - perhaps best exemplified by the Ford Motor Company's use of soybeans and hemp in its automotive line. Henry Ford developed this initiative in close consultation with the Father of Chemurgy: George Washington Carver, an agricultural inventor at the Tuskegee Institute, and the most prominent African American scientist of the age.
Tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis pays homage to Carver's pioneering legacy on Jesup Wagon, an album due out on TAO Forms on May 7. "Chemurgy," one of two tracks released in advance, captures the organic quality of the album and its resident all-star band: the Red Lily Quintet, featuring Lewis alongside cornetist Kirk Knuffke, with cellist Christopher Hoffman, bassist William Parker and drummer Chad Taylor. Note how the song's plaintive folk melody, an Ornette Coleman-esque theme played in unison by the horns, yields to calmly exploratory improvisations, solo and in tandem.
SEE THE 88.3WBGO - Newark NJ - Take Five PAGE
The Detroit Free Press - Brian McCollum writes.....What a difference a year can make.
For its second streaming edition, the Detroit Music Awards served up a crisp, lively, tightly produced affair Sunday night - a bright and optimistic contrast to the homespun virtual event scrambled together during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If nothing else, it's clear that everyone has gotten better at the self-video routine after 12 months of practice.
The DMAs were marking the 30th year of a show that began as the Motor City Music Awards and which traditionally has been held at the Fillmore Detroit. Sunday's presentation was more cohesive and compelling than some of the in-person Fillmore shows of recent years. And the technical leap from the 2020 stream was clear from the get-go.
While the bulk of the DMAs' 70-plus categories are reserved for artists working largely on the local scene, there are a handful set aside for national-level acts. There, Eminem took outstanding major label recording for his album "Music to Be Murdered By," while Cooper won outstanding national single and major-budget video with "Our Love Will Change the World." Bettye LaVette snagged outstanding national indie recording for "Blackbirds."
SEE THE FULL Detroit Free Press ARTICLE
Icelandic pianist and post-classical composer Eydís Evensen has confirmed details of her debut album, BYLUR, which will be released on 23rd April, 2021 by XXIM Records, Sony's new imprint for innovative, post-genre instrumental music.
On 26 March 2021 the ambitiously multifaceted musician/composer Clark presents his chillingly affecting ninth studio album Playground In A Lake, on which he broadens horizons and tries new things, with profound results.
When I think back on the musical events of the past decade, I think first of the sound of a composer talking. At the end of 2011, in the midst of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Philip Glass spoke to a crowd that had gathered on Lincoln Center Plaza. His opera "Satyagraha" had just been performed at the Met, and a crowd of protesters were registering the discrepancy between the opera's Gandhian ideals and modern economic reality. Glass, accepting their point, took hold of the human microphone and led a chant of one of the opera's Sanskrit texts: "When righteousness withers away and evil rules the land, we come into being, age after age, and take visible shape, and move, a man among men, for the protection of good, thrusting back evil and setting virtue on her seat again." When I wrote up the event for my end-of-year summary, I included a sentence from Virginia Woolf's "The Waves," one that has become a kind of mournful mantra: "One cannot live outside the machine for more perhaps than half an hour."
Righteousness continues to wither away; evil is trending; a time or space outside the machine may no longer exist. Major classical-music institutions are generally too enmeshed in networks of power to make meaningful gestures of resistance. Orchestras and conservatories, no less than the National Basketball Association, stay silent on increasingly dire human-rights abuses in China. The Salzburg Festival is accepting money from Gazprom, a crucial component of Vladimir Putin's globally corrosive regime. Donald Trump has no interest in classical music, yet many of the plutocrats who support domestic performing-arts institutions welcome his policies. Still, I cling to the idea that music can play a constructively antagonistic role in a monopoly culture. The voices that matter most are those of living composers, who occupy a perennially uncomfortable position in an obsessively nostalgic classical ecosystem. They are, to adapt a phrase from Theodor W. Adorno, the splinter in the eye that becomes a magnifying glass.
In any case, it has been a chaotically great decade for new music. The well-worn idea that twentieth-century avant-garde exhausted the possibilities of musical language is belied by the likes of Kate Soper's bravura philosophical monodrama "Ipsa Dixit," Chaya Czernowin's engulfing war requiem "Infinite Now," Liza Lim's fine-spun multicultural song cycle "Tongue of the Invisible," and Ashley Fure's molten soundscape "The Force of Things." It was also a decade in which veteran artists made statements of unstinting power: Meredith Monk's "On Behalf of Nature," a plea for a suffering planet; and Laurie Anderson's "Habeas Corpus," a monumental critique of the American torture regime. That these are all works of women is evidence of a long-awaited, though far from complete, revolution in a patriarchal profession.
Although visceral experimentalism seemed to make the strongest impact-I think also of Michelle Lou's tumultuous "HoneyDripper" and Jürg Frey's ethereal Third String Quartet-conventional forms were hardly depleted. George Benjamin's neo-medieval opera "Written on Skin" offered visions of refined savagery; György Kurtág's Beckett opera "Fin de Partie" had the aspect of the last twentieth-century masterpiece. Andrew Norman's "Sustain" and John Luther Adams's "Become Ocean" sketched fresh futures for orchestral music. The latter's "Inuksuit," performed on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, gave a glimpse of a utopia in sound.
It was a decade of sprawling music-theatre spectacles, operatic or otherwise. None was more astounding than Yuval Sharon's citywide Los Angeles fable "Hopscotch," although two Stockhausen productions-the Birmingham Opera's "Mittwoch" and the Holland Festival's "aus licht"-came close. I also cherish memories of Peter Sellars's St. Matthew Passion with the Berlin Philharmonic; of the touring revival of Philip Glass's "Einstein on the Beach"; and of Patrice Chéreau's valedictory staging of "Elektra" in Aix-en-Provence, with a hypnotic vocal standoff between Evelyn Herlitzius and Waltraud Meier. The Met made amends for its "Ring" debacle by presenting Kaija Saariaho's "L'Amour de Loin" and by mounting John Adams's "The Death of Klinghoffer" in the face of a misbegotten protest.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic kept its place at the forefront of American classical music, delivering a stupendous centennial season. The New York Philharmonic began the decade with formidable programming under Alan Gilbert. At Carnegie Hall, the Minnesota Orchestra and the Oregon Symphony proved that smaller-budgeted orchestras can outpace international heavyweights. The strongest instrumental début of the decade was that of Igor Levit, in 2014; the pianist's subsequent achievements have exceeded heady expectations. The same may be said of the conductor Mirga Gra?inytė-Tyla, who made her American début, at the Hollywood Bowl, in the same year. As for the established stars of the profession, none gave more satisfaction than Yo-Yo Ma, who, in a solo Bach outing at the Bowl, held a crowd of seventeen thousand spellbound. For the better part of three hours, the machine stayed still.
Notable performances of 2019
Philip Venables's "4.48 Psychosis" at the Prototype Festival, January 6th
Thomas Adès's Piano Concerto in Boston, March 7th
Tyshawn Sorey at the Kennedy Center, March 29th
Stockhausen's "Licht" in Amsterdam, May 31st to June 2nd
Meredith Monk's "atlas" at the L.A. Phil, June 11th
Troilus and Cressidacontains some of William Walton's most seductive music, as can be heard in the new e‑album from Mirga Gra?inytė-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – their second for The British Project on Deutsche Grammophon. Set for release on 12 March 2021, the recording comprises the four-movement Symphonic Suite reworked and arranged from the original operatic score by Christopher Palmer. The CBSO and its charismatic conductor convey all the charm, swagger and sumptuous sonorities of this music in a performance captured live at Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie.
Young maestro Mirga Grazinytė-Tyla makes history as she signs to Deutsche Grammophon – home to legendary conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Claudio Abbado, Karl Böhm, Pierre Boulez and Carlos Kleiber. The Lithuanian musician, who is the Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, becomes the first female conductor to sign an exclusive long-term contract with the label.
Grazinytė-Tyla will release her debut album on May 3 – a collection of orchestral works by Polish composer Mieczysław Weinberg, whose centenary falls this year. She conducts the combined forces of the CBSO, Kremerata Baltica and violinist Gidon Kremer in Symphony No. 21 "Kaddish" – a major work completed in 1991 and dedicated to the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto. She also directs Kremerata Baltica in the early Symphony No. 2.