He performed at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018. Two years earlier, at the age of 17, he won the BBC's Young Musician Competition. And he's appeared on Britain's Got Talent with his six musical siblings. Yet, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who is just 20 years old and still studies at the Royal Academy of Music, is grounded in the music he loves. He's just released his second solo recording. It features Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor and other pieces that are close to his heart.
"What I'm always searching for is the most convincing and expressive way to play the music that I'm playing. There are lots of pieces of music that I really, really want to learn. I think meaningful playing is what I practice for."
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One of the greatest losses to both avant-garde music and cinema in the past decade was the tragic death of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Known best for his score for Mandy and his work with Denis Villeneuve on films like Sicario and Arrival, Jóhannsson's work became quickly beloved by cinema-heads the world over, which made his passing at 48 even more bitter; he had a lot of life yet to live and a lot more work to do. This included a burgeoning directorial career of his own - a year before his passing, the composer premiered his first film, an adaptation of Olaf Stapleton's sci-fi classic Last and First Men (which influenced the likes of H.P. Lovecraft, C.S. Lewis, and Arthur C. Clarke, and which you should really check out given that it's available for free online), in a work-in-progress exhibition at the Manchester International Film Festival, which he scored live alongside a narration done by Tilda Swinton.
Well, a completed version of Last and First Men will have its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival next week, and it already has a trailer ready to go. Take a look at this and tell us that you aren't intrigued.
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British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor presents a new recording of two concerto favorites: Chopin's Piano Concertos Nos.1 and 2, released on Decca Classics. Recorded with Elim Chan and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), the record marks Benjamin's fifth album on Decca Classics, following the hugely successful Homages in 2016, and is his first orchestral album since 2012.
These works have been an active part of Grosvenor's repertoire since his early teens: "Chopin was the first composer to whom I felt a strong connection as a child. I have always been drawn to his music, and his piano concertos are among some of the finest in the repertoire." Of the new recording, which came to fruition following a successful performance of the Piano Concerto No.2 with Elim Chan and the RSNO in 2018, Benjamin notes: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Elim and the outstanding musicians of the RSNO." Benjamin appears this spring in the US performing the Piano Concerto No.1.
In conjunction with this new release, BG has made some time available TODAY!, February 29 to speak with classical radio in the US. Watch for our tweets throughout the day
It's a well-known predicament - the idea of ferrying someone to your mind space. When sitarist Anoushka Shankar takes us there as she translates loss, separation and pain in her personal life in Love Letters, she is accompanied by German-Turkish singer-songwriter Alev Lenz's voice. Through a string theory that Shankar builds with her sitar in Bright Eyes - a heaving piece from Love Letters - Lenz's bare voice fits like a glove. It's as if it was made to be sung along with the sitar. She modulates her voice, goes up and down the scales effortlessly and finds minor yet majestic inflections that make the song a very tightly-knit merger (fusion is a wretched word, as most serious musicians believe). On Friday, at Delhi's Siri Fort auditorium, when she sat behind a piano and sang, the now very famous piece, live, along with Shankar, among other accompanying artistes, she built on the sense of catharsis that the two found while creating Love Letters.
"It was really natural," she says. "We were just two friends making songs that we felt were important and things we wanted to communicate as women. It was creatively the most satisfying process. We didn't have the usual pressure that people do while making an album. Since both of us were dealing with heartbreak around the same time, it became a common process," says Lenz.
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27-year-old Benjamin Grosvenor is considered to be one of the greatest pianists of his generation, or any other generation, for that matter. Ever since emerging in his teens as a prodigy mature beyond his years, Grosvenor continues to evolve artistically, as he builds a legacy of recordings that often achieve reference status, such as his Chopin Scherzos and Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, and a new release encompassing both Chopin Concertos.
This week, Grosvenor will be the featured guest on Episode 243 of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys, hosted by The Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence, composer/pianist Jed Distler. "Benjamin was an absolute delight to interview," says Distler. "He's warm, affable, unassuming, yet completely comfortable with his high place in the pianistic firmament, and passionate about a wide range of music. Long after our official conversation ended, we kept on talking shop and sharing repertoire ideas. No wonder all of my pianist friends adore Benjamin, personally and artistically."
Grosvenor's new recording of two concerto favorites: Chopin's Piano Concertos Nos.1 and 2, released on Decca Classics, was recorded with Elim Chan and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). The album marks Benjamin's fifth on Decca Classics, following the hugely successful Homages in 2016, and is his first orchestral album since 2012.
Tune in to Between the Keys this Tuesday February 18th at 10:00 PM with special guest Benjamin Grosvenor, including musical selections by Ravel, Mendelssohn, Bach, Chopin and Brett Dean, only here on The Classical Network and WWFM.org New Jersey.
Ted Poor, who the NY Times wrote; "a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," isn't your typical jazz drummer, and either is his New Deal/Impulse! debut recording 'You Already Know.' If you're at all familiar with the Seattle-based Poor's explorative career-or the wide-ranging work of his principal collaborators here, the deeply influential guitarist-producer Blake Mills and the saxophonist Andrew D'Angelo-this should come as no surprise.
Poor's album release show is set for the Columbia City Theatre on March 7,8
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Robert Plant, Karen Dalton, Elton John, Stephen Malkmus, Maria McKee, Shabaka Hutchings and Iggy & Bowie – plus our CD of the month's best music – all feature in the new Uncut, dated April 2020 and available to buy in UK shops from February 20. Inside the issue, you'll find: SHABAKA HUTCHINGS: The cosmic torchbearer of the London jazz scene, lynchpin of Sons Of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming and Shabaka And The Ancestors, invites Uncut round to talk "ecstatic improv", radical reinvention and esoteric philosophies. On March 13, Shabaka & The Ancestors will make their Impulse! debut with the band's sophomore album 'We Are Sent Here By History.'
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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.
You Already Know, the New Deal/Impulse! debut from the acclaimed drummer Ted Poor-"a trustworthy engine in countless modern-jazz settings," per the New York Times-isn't your typical jazz drummer's recording, almost defiantly so.
Anna Netrebko, Verismo (2016) - After a recording hiatus of three years, Russian powerhouse Anna Netrebko returned with a vengeance in 2016 with a new set of 16 arias by Puccini, Leoncavallo, Ponchielli, Boito, Giordano and Catalani. Hailed as one of her generation's most revered sopranos, Netrebko's dramatic vocals bring full-throttle emotionalism to these "realistic style" works, joined by Accademia di Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Chorus.
In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores (2013) - There are a few extra-special violinists in the world and Hilary Hahn is one of them, known equally for her dazzling bravura as well as her thirst for adventure. This appealing disc features 27 short encore pieces the American-born artist commissioned back in 2013, featuring a trophy case of contemporary composers including David Lang, Jennifer Higdon and Nico Muhly. It also showcases the violinist's versatility, with the wide range of pieces spanning David del Tredici's neo-Romantic Farewell, to Mason Bates' hoedown-inspired Ford's Farm.
Fresh from making her sensational Wagnerian debut as Elsa in Lohengrin at the Dresden Semperoper – four performances, all of which were met with thunderous ovations – Anna Netrebko, the best-known soprano of our time announces her forthcoming recording, VERISMO. Set for international release on September 2, 2016 VERISMO, highlights the evolution of this classical superstar's impressive career, as she explores some of the darker reaches of the soprano repertoire. Having successfully broached the weightier Verdian roles of Giovanna d'Arco and Lady Macbeth, she is continuing to expand her vocal and artistic range, as demonstrated on this new album by her portrayals of Puccini's Manon, Butterfly and Tosca, Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur and Giordano's Maddalena (Andrea Chénier).
18 NEW 34 TOTAL
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Little known outside Russia, Tchaikovsky's Iolanta is one of Anna Netrebko's favourites. She stars in this new recording of the opera, released as she prepares to sing the title role at the Met. Most of us are unfamiliar with Iolanta, but Anna Netrebko has long been a passionate champion of the work, which she feels is one of the most beautiful operas ever written. Over the years she has frequently revisited the role of the king's daughter who doesn't realise she is blind because the whole court has protected her from that knowledge. Iolanta is a lyrical fairy-tale with its own inner world of music – and an astonishingly modern parable.
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What better way to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Richard Strauss than with one of the world's most renowned sopranos, Anna Netrebko performing Strauss' Four Last Songs. In an album dedicated to Richard Strauss, Netrebko is accompanied by conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim and one of Germany's oldest and most prestigious orchestras, the Staatskapelle Berlin. The recording will be available December 9, 2014 on Deutsche Grammophon. Recorded live in Berlin earlier this year, this marks Anna Netrebko's first recording of these iconic Strauss songs. Known for her poise, her voice's unmistakable color, and her coloratura technique, Strauss' Four Last Songs are a perfect match for Netrebko's expressive style. The album also features Barenboim and the Staatskapelle performing Ein Heldenleben, one of the most vivid and popular tone poems by Strauss, who himself conducted the Staatskapelle over 1,200 times as the General Music Director over a century ago.
With her first studio album in five years, Anna Netrebko celebrates the mighty power and compelling human drama of Verdi's music. Propelled by her unforgettable interpretations of landmark roles, the Russian soprano has surged to the top of the opera world since the release of her debut recording for Deutsche Grammophon a decade ago. Anna Netrebko – Verdi is destined to stand out among major highlights of the composer's bicentenary year, thanks to its carefully selected program, thoughtful interpretations, and passionate music-making, Netrebko's eloquent artistry evokes the golden age of singing that Verdi and his compositions helped create.
49 New 'ON' this week
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