Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. Arguably the most influential movie composer who ever lived, his music is familiar to audiences around the world. Morricone passed away on Monday in Rome, city of his birth, where he'd lived all his life. Cause of death is reported as complications arising from a fall and broken femur. His collaborations with some of the true greats of cinema echo through the ages. Rising to prominence with Sergio Leone – with whom he went to school – he added the iconic twangs, whistles and harmonicas to the director's "Dollars trilogy" (1964-66).
"Added" is probably the wrong word – for Leone, his friend's compositions were an essential part of creating the film. The Guardian notes, "he once remarked that part of the reason Sergio Leone's westerns were so slow was that certain scenes were extended in order to accommodate his soundtrack, a luxury that seems almost unthinkable in today's film industry." In some cases the music was finished before a frame was shot.
Morricone disliked the term "spaghetti western", feeling there was more to his career. No arguing about that – his work moved viewers from the Old West to classic gangster battles in the big cities. His final collaboration with Leone was 1984 crime saga Once Upon A Time In America, which he regarded as his best. Three years later his score accompanied Eliot Ness's pursuit of Al Capone in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables (1987). Robert De Niro starred in both movies, as well Morricone-scored historical drama The Mission (1986), directed by Roland Joffé.
Ennio Morricone in 2012 (Photo by Roberto Serra - Iguana Press/Redferns via Getty Images)
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On March 13, 2020 Shabaka & The Ancestors made their Impulse! debut with the band's sophomore album 'We Are Sent Here By History.' Their breakout 2016 album, Wisdom of Elders, established Shabaka & The Ancestors as a sudden force in spiritual jazz. But where that record warned of impending societal collapse, this one unfolds within it. Shabaka refers to the album as a "meditation on the fact of our coming extinction as a species. It is a reflection from the ruins, from the burning." On the lead single "Go My Heart, Go To Heaven," Siyabonga pays homage to his father's favorite church song. The word "hamba" (or "go") is repeated, and within the context of this track, it's "about the point where one gives in and wants out of this world," Siyabonga says. "But in times of darkness is a call to the light and the heart."
"We Are Sent Here by History" melds saxophone, trumpet, drums, percussion, bass, and piano notes to evoke images of South Africa's traditions and culture.
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Spike Lee's very new joint is an anguished, more funny, violent argument with and about the whole American history, also with an unforgettable performance from Delroy Lindo at its heart. Spike Lee's career can also be described as a lover's quarrel with American movies and with America, too. As he has demonstrated his mastery of established genres, he has also now reinvented them, pointing out the blind spots and filling the gap.
His all critiques of Hollywood's long history of ignoring and distorting, the black lives have altered the way we look at the movies. His all attempts to expand the frame and also correct the record have now changed the course of the cultural mainstream.
He said ‘I am tempted to say that with ‘Da Bloods', which debuts on Friday, Lee has done it again. But, when as he ever repeated himself? This whole long, anguished, funny, violent excursion into a hidden chamber of the nation's heart of the darkness is not like anything else, even if it all may put you in mind of a lot of other things. In all its anger, its humour and its exuberance in the emotional richness of the central performances and also of Terence Blanchard's score'.
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Sally Potter's The Roads Not Taken premiered at this year's Berlin Film Festival and stars Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hayek and Laura Linney. The film now has got a release date and opens in UK and Ireland cinemas from 11th September. It was released in the US in April through Bleeker Street through on-demand services. Universal will release in the UK. You can watch a trailer for the film below.
THE ROADS NOT TAKEN follows 24 turbulent hours in the life of father and daughter Leo (Bardem) and Molly (Fanning) as she grapples with the challenges of dealing with her father's chaotic mental state. But as they weave their way around New York City, their ordinary but stressful day takes on a hallucinatory and epic quality, for Leo is seamlessly flowing in and out of two other parallel lives – a passionate marriage with his childhood sweetheart Dolores (Hayek) in Mexico a life of solitude on a remote Greek island, where a chance encounter with two young tourists unmasks some uncomfortable truths….
The film weaves a rich, cinematic tapestry as Leo's parallel lives – visible only to him – gradually unravel in moments of tragedy, happiness, regret and humour. It is only Molly who eventually begins to understand his secret selves.
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Violinist Niv Ashkenazi plays one of a handful of restored violins that survived the Holocaust, and his debut recording, "Violins of Hope" (Albany Records) is a document of the perseverance of the instruments' original owners. Mr. Ashkenazi, along with pianist and fellow Juillard student, pianist Matthew Graybil, breathe life into music that, in some cases, was written and played in the camps on these very violins. The styles and moods of the music is of wonderful variety: heartfelt, melodious, modern, and sometimes humorous. The recording ensures that the story, the very lives of these human beings, will never be forgotten.
Niv Ashkenazi' discusses 'Violins of Hope' with All Classical Portland. LISTEN
Cellist Inbal Segev recorded music by Lucas Richman with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Now she has a new cd on the Avie label with the London Philharmonic conducted by Marin Alsop with Anna Clyne's Dance and the Elgar Cello Concerto. She talks about Anna Clyne and creating the new music and her work with other women composers and the great classic by Elgar. Topics include what she is doing during the pandemic in New York, a commissioning project and much more in this interview with 89.3WQED: Pittsburgh -Jim Cunningham.
With artists stuck at home these days struggling to make sense of a radically new normal, many are turning to the one thing you can do when everything else is on hold: create. We've had a wonderful smorgasbord of new songs and videos coming out over the past three months – but so far, few artists have tried to create work about the pandemic, and some of the efforts I've seen to date have felt a bit forced.
Let's face it, it's very hard to process something when you're still wildly in the thick of it. But Sultans of String strike just the right chord with this video for their song "I'm Free" featuring Waleed Abdulhamid from their latest album Refuge. The concept is simple and the format well-broken-in: they asked friends and fans all over the world to hold up signs showing what they miss most during lockdown.
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Sony Music Masterworks today releases Not Our First Goat Rodeo, the long-awaited follow-up album to the GRAMMY Award-winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions, with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile.
In the fall of 1968, a sixteen-year old high school student named Danny Scher had a dream to invite legendary jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk and his all-star quartet to perform a concert at his local high school in Palo Alto, CA.
Blues Hall of Famer Bettye LaVette has decided to release her stirring rendition of "Strange Fruit" ahead of schedule as it says as much about the history of American racism and the state of the country today.
Guitarist John Scofield celebrates the music of his friend and mentor Steve Swallow in an outgoing and spirited recording, made in an afternoon in New York City in March 2019 - "old school" style as Scofield says, acknowledging that more than forty years of preparation led up to it.
Classic Brit awards return after five-year absence / The Guardian
Posted: March 22, 2018 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
After a five-year absence the Classic Brit awards, originally founded in 2000 in an attempt to create the same buzz for classical music as the Brits have for the pop industry, will return to the Royal Albert Hall this summer. It will be hosted by the musician and television presenter Myleene Klass and the actor Alexander Armstrong.
Damned by one critic as "fundamentally tacky", the ceremony with its glitzy set, amplified music and celebrity presenters, and past awards including a best album prize to Sir Paul McCartney for his Ecce Cor Meum, was regarded by many of the more highbrow classical fraternity as a celebration of crossover rather than true classical music.
In 2008 the violinist, Nigel Kennedy, who is a previous winner of the award for outstanding contribution to music, condemned the organisers as "old farts" after they fell out over the choice of music he had intended to perform.
This year's ceremony on 13 June will certainly raise the same eyebrows. It will feature a performance by Andrea Bocelli, who recently topped the charts duetting with Ed Sheeran on the song Perfect Symphony.
Tokio Myers, who won last year's Britian's Got Talent for a routine that included segueing Debussy's Clair de Lune into a Rihanna song, will be a guest performer. The former Classic Brit-winning opera singer, Sir Bryn Terfel, is also on the bill alongside Ball & Boe – Michael Ball and Alfie Boe – who have been touring the world playing sold-out stadiums.
The ceremony will also feature the winner of the newly announced Sound of Classical poll for artists under the age of 30: the first entrant confirmed is Jess Gillam, 19, who became the first saxophonist to win the woodwind final of the BBC Young Musician of the World in 2016.
A lifetime's achievement award will be presented to Dame Vera Lynn, who celebrated her 101st birthday on Tuesday.
In 1989 Nigel Kennedy made his breakthrough recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. In his sleeve notes to that famous release, Kennedy stressed that he had rejected the idea of playing Vivaldi's suite of violin concertos in either the "authentic" fashion, using period instruments, or in the more florid "romantic" style. Now, in 2015, Kennedy returns with a completely fresh take on The Four Seasons, but while the music sounds hugely different, his creative attitude is the same. Once again he has set out to prove that The Four Seasons is timeless, and in his opinion there's no reason why Vivaldi's masterpiece shouldn't be opened up to embrace developments in musical instrument technology, or even new musical styles undreamt of in Vivaldi's 18th century world.
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Written entirely for violin, orchestra, band and voices and inspired by the elements air, earth, fire and water, Nigel Kennedy's Four Elements takes the listener on a multi-genre musical journey of exhilaration, contemplation and celebration. This work is a suite of pieces which Nigel originally conceived as his own 21st-century response to Vivaldi's baroque masterpiece in the sense of creating programmatic, pictorial music based on an underlying theme. A notable new ingredient in the mix is the electronic drum programming by Damon Reece, who has worked with Massive Attack and Goldfrapp. Singers featured on the album include Zee Gachette and Xanton Blaq, a former member of Amy Winehouse's band.
After decades of dazzling the world with record-breaking classical performances, the English violin virtuoso Nigel Kennedy has surprised the music industry with a breathtaking jazz recording. He has become the first EMI Classics violinist to be invited into the fabled Blue Note family, with his new album Blue Note Sessions marking the start of a completely new career path within the magical world of jazz. Although a radical departure from his lifelong study of the classics, there are still hallmark signatures of this uniquely gifted musician who has so changed the face of classical markets.
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