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.
William Susman's 'A Quiet Madness' is neither quiet nor mad, but a welcome selection that leaves 'New Music Buff' wanting more
Posted: April 1, 2021 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
New Music Buff's Alan J Cronin writes......This 2020 release of chamber and solo pieces by William Susman (1960- ) is the third reviewed by this writer. The music here is from the last six years but these pieces rather unmistakably have Susman's compositional fingerprints on them. There are six works in total and the solo piano pieces from Susman's Quiet Rhythms series provide a sort of punctuation on tracks 2, 4, and 6. The Quiet Rhythms (2010, 2012, 2013) series appear to function sort of like working papers, little essays many of which are later used in other compositional projects. Three of those pieces similarly punctuate an album by pianist Erika Tazawa (Belarca 005) of piano pieces by Francesco Di Fiore, Douwe Eisenga, Marc Mellits, Matteo Sommacal and William Susman.
Francesco Di Fiore handles the piano on tracks 2, 4, and 6 playing Quiet Rhythms Nos. 1, 5, and 7 (all from 2010). These are just three tantalizing works from nearly 100 pieces in 4 books. Though these works seem to be a working out of ideas they interesting and engaging rather than simply didactic.
Susman, himself an accomplished pianist, plays the piano with Karen Bentley Pollick on violin in Aria (2013). This is the longest work on the disc and it is tantamount to a concerto or grand sonata which keep both performers very busy. It is above all a joyously lyrical piece likely to please listeners. The liner notes state that this piece uses material from an opera in progress. And a grand teaser it is.
Seven Scenes for Four Flutes (2011) is one of those delightful works which will doubtlessly be performed by a soloist against prerecorded tracks. Patricia Zuber, no stranger to Susman's work, handles all four flute parts with seeming ease. The piece's seven movements traverse a variety of moods in the poetically titled movements. This is a pretty densely written piece whose charms belie its complexity. Music using multiples of the same instrument (whether live or multi-tracked) inevitably invoke Steve Reich's counterpoint pieces but there is in fact a large and growing list of such pieces which produce their own unique results consistent with their respective composers and this one is a most welcome addition to this genre.
The penultimate work is one for accordion, an instrument which has risen from folk music roots to a sometime part of an orchestra and, increasingly, as a solo instrument for classical repertoire both new and old. The soloist here, Stas Venglevski, rises to the challenge of Zydeco Madness (2006), a piece which takes the listener though various sections which challenge the artist and entertain the audience.
Despite the title this album is neither quiet nor mad (well maybe a little obsessive). But it is a welcome selection of music by a consistently interesting composer that leaves this listener wanting more.
Grammy-nominated cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, vocalist / accordionist Mira Stroika and composer / pianist William Susman perform a blend of influences in these film scores seen on PBS Television, over 20 film festivals world-wide, museums in New York and San Francisco, and WINNER of the Tribeca Film Festival. Films during the Silent Era were called moving pictures. Live performance of the music helped provide a "narrative" and intensify the emotion. Setting the mood for these early films, a musician, often a pianist, performed live accompanying the projection of the film. In some of the larger picture houses an organist or orchestra played a score live-to-picture or improvised to pre-determined themes.
"When you think you have a clear idea of a composer's purpose, suddenly you realize that something is hiding behind it, and behind it, again and again. I will keep playing William Susman's music for a long time." –Francesco Di Fiore, 2012
Violinist Karen Bentley Pollick, pianist Francesco Di Fiore, bayan accordionist Stas Venglevski, and flutist Patricia Zuber have been knitting restorative sonic garments from the compositional yarn of William Susman for over a decade. Their rapport is deeper and more apparent than ever on A Quiet Madness, an appropriately titled new masterwork for our zeitgeist.
A Quiet Madness immerses the listener in a photorealistic sound world of understated beauty. At once calming and thought-provoking, it allows the ear and mind to make their own connections without feeling overwhelmed by thematic constraints. Susman's precise harmonic and rhythmic languages invite us into a subdued, enchanting expression of madness that roams all over the map, akin to the mind wandering during a rainy day-or, perhaps clairvoyantly, akin to the strange passage of time spent in self-isolation during the collective trauma of COVID-19.
Scoring the documentary Fate of the Lhapa was an inspiring experience. I worked with a marvelous director, Sarah Sifers, who trusted my musicianship and gave me the freedom to compose a score that attempts to capture the place, culture, spirit and passion of the Tibetan Shamans and their broader historical context.
As with many of my scores, I look for melody and instrumentation that the filmmaker has captured on film. In Fate of the Lhapa, there were stunning musical moments including ritual chanting, a prayer vigil, bells, gongs, drumming and dance. All of these sonic elements contributed to my choice of melody, harmony, rhythm and instrumentation.
OCTET''s inaugural album has been recorded over the past few years with renowned engineer John Kilgore and was released by Naxos on the label Belarca. The album features the music of William Susman including two song cycles (with poems by his sister Sue Susman) Scatter My Ashes and Moving in to an Empty Space performed by soprano Mellissa Hughes, as well as his Piano Concerto and the ensemble work Camille.
OCTET takes the instrumentation of the American big band and scales it down to a brass section of saxophone, trumpet, and trombone and a rhythm section of piano, electric piano, double bass and drums plus vocals.
"William Susman's remarkable achievement is to take the familiar instrumentation of American popular music, harmonic and rhythmic influences from jazz and Afro-Cuban music and sinuous melodic lines that are uniquely his own and weave them into something new and fresh, yet timeless and haunting. Memorable yet enigmatic, simple yet profound, Susman's music is irresistible." - John Kilgore (Grammy Award-Winning Classical Engineer)
Scatter my Ashes reached No. 1 on Amazon's Classical Hot New Releases, No. 8 on Billboard's Classical and was featured in iTunes Classical New and Noteworthy.
Belarca Records presents Collision Point, a new album by American composer William Susman and Rome-based ensemble Piccola Accademia degli Specchi celebrating a 10-year collaboration. Collision Point features music inspired by love, loss, redemption, and the writings of Allen Ginsberg, Colum McCann and Francis Bacon.
The album brings together four premiere recordings including two pieces for the full ensemble: Camille (2010), which was written for the ensemble, and The Starry Dynamo (1994), as well as a piano trio, Clouds and Flames (2010) and a duo, Motions of Return (1996) for flute and piano.
Susman's music is described by AllMusic as "the next developments in the sphere (of) minimalism," and has earned praise from The New York Times for being "vivid, turbulent, and rich-textured," from Gramophone as "texturally shimmering and harmonically ravishing," and from textura as "distinctly American."