Deutsche Grammophon releases Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic's performances of the complete Charles Ives symphony cycle. Called "a revelation" by the Los Angeles Times, the rarely heard symphony cycle was recorded in early 2020 as part of the LA Phil's Dvořák and Ives festival.
THE CLASSIC REVIEW's David A. McConnell writes.....Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and DG deserve our warmest thanks for releasing new recordings of these endlessly fascinating works. The label "Complete Symphonies" is misleading however, since the "New England Holidays" Symphony is not included. Given the excellence of these performances, I hope Dudamel and Los Angeles turn their attention to that work in the future. Nevertheless, it is fantastic that one of America's finest orchestras has recorded this repertoire.
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FanFare's Henry Fogel writes.....Gregoriadou is a Greek guitarist who draws a remarkably wide range of color from her guitar. The calm beauty of the third movement of the Bach violin sonata, simply marked Andante, is followed by a brilliantly executed final Allegro that manages to wed crisp articulation with lyrical flow.
Britten's Nocturnal after John Dowland, written for Julian Bream, is given a superb reading. The music is a set of variations that appear before the Dowland theme itself emerges at the end. Britten said that the music contained "disturbing images," though he never specified what they were. This is unsettled music that seems to stop and start, building tension in its halting, quiet way. Release, at least to a degree, is found at the end with Dowland's original theme. Gregoriadou's performance emphasizes the work's underlying tension without overplaying it.
Sofia Gubaidulina's Serenade was composed in 1960 when the composer was 29, and is a gentler and more introspective work than we are used to from her. At three minutes, it is also very brief. Not unlike the Britten, the music is tonally ambiguous until resolving in what Gregoriadou, in her excellent notes, calls "a therapeutic G major chord."
Jacques Hétu was a Canadian composer (1938–2010) who wrote his Suite pour guitare in 1986. It is predominantly a lyrical work, much of it at soft dynamics. The third movement, "Ballade," is marked by an underlying darkness that is relieved in the following "Rêverie." After these two quiet movements the work ends with a brilliant finale, in the style of a moto perpetuo.
What is special about this recording is Gregoriadou's focus on timbre. Her technique is exceptional, but it is always at the service of creating a sound world with a wide spectrum. Her dynamic shading in the last movement of the Hétu is astonishing, and it is so effortlessly achieved that you don't think about technique as you listen. I don't think of Gregoriadou as a guitarist. I think of her as a musician who happens to play the guitar. This is a very beautiful guitar recital, with recorded sound that makes it seem as if you are in the room with Gregoriadou, and at just the right distance for the best perspective.
HAPPY's Rian Howlett writes.....2020 was an incredible year for gaming for a few reasons. A lot of free time went around the place, imminent next-gen releases pushed everyone into a gaming frenzy, and Keanu Reeves called another man, and all of us, breathtaking. And just like the titles they represent, the video game soundtracks released in 2020 were top notch.
We trawled back through the year that was to single out who we thought brought true heat to the musical table. For the most part, these OSTs are albums you can listen to in their own right, some of them however just complemented the game so perfectly that now it's hard to think of one without the other.
From electrically charged thrash metal to spine-tingling orchestral scores, HAPPY picks the 10 best video game soundtracks of 2020. On the list is Gustavo Santaolalla - The Last Of Us Part 2.
Gustavo Santaolalla has stood as the invisible third piece of the Joel and Ellie puzzle for as long as we've known them. The guitar in the original TLOU was a sparse, exquisite affair. Barely noticeable builds, and almost entirely acoustic. It was haunting and instantly recognisable.
With all of the weapons of the contemporary music producer at his arsenal, he brought a much bigger world for our ears to play in. While absolutely different to the original, there wasn't anything lost through the shift in the music from part one to two. The Last Of Us Part 2's soundtrack is a gorgeous, expansive experience that complemented the jump from adolescence to adulthood that Ellie makes between the games.
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98.7WFMT: Chicago, Lisa Flynn writes.....There have been many musical dynasties throughout history – think of the Bach and Strauss families. Today, we have a new dynasty in the making with the extraordinary talents of England's Kanneh-Masons – seven brothers and sisters, all of whom play either violin, piano, or cello. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided the siblings with the opportunity to join together at home for the first time in over five years, as they've performed and shared their music with the world via livestreams.
In 2020, the Kanneh-Masons also released their first-ever family album, Carnival, joined by several instrumentalist friends for Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals. Michael Morpurgo wrote delightful new poems for the beloved work, read by the author and actress Olivia Colman. (Photo: Stuart McIntyre)
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99.5CRB - Boston - CHRIS VOSS writes.......When I asked Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital about his newest album and how it differed from his previous mandolin albums, he answered me with a wry, winking smile: "I don't have other mandolin albums."
Which is true enough.
Avital's past albums - like the 2012 Bach album or the 2015 Vivaldi album - have mostly included pieces composed for other instruments, like the keyboard, violin, or guitar, in arrangements for mandolin. The mandolin was not the focus. As he puts it, those albums featured works that he enjoys playing "because it's beautiful music." To this day, that he plays the mandolin is simply "is a technical fact."
But with Art of the Mandolin, music written for his instrument takes center stage.
In our discussion we explore the ins and outs of the instrument, talk about how composers's social perception of the mandolin shaped how they wrote for it, hear a work that was assumed to be for keyboard but simply makes more sense played on mandolin, and chat about Avital's passion for expanding the repertoire for his instrument through frequent commissioned works.
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Welcome to a new edition of the Neon Jazz interview series with Jazz Composer & Pianist Sarah Mckenzie. When the corona virus hit in early March., she was just on tour in France and all her shows got cancelled. At the same time the US government implemented a travel ban for everyone who was traveling from the Schengen territory so Sarah was unable to return to her home in Los Angeles immediately. ‘In order not to get stuck during lockdown in a big city – she rented an old school house in the very South of England, in Hastings at the English Channel coast. It was a very romantic place from the 17th century. They had planned to stay for two weeks, in the end it was 3 1/2 months. She explains was ensured .. Enjoy ..
Neon Jazz is a radio program airing since 2011. Hosted by Joe Dimino and Engineered by John Christopher in Kansas City, Missouri giving listeners a journey into one of America's finest inventions. Take a listen on KCXL (102.9 FM / 1140 AM) out of Liberty, MO. Listen to KCXL on Tunein Radio at http://tunein.com/radio/Neon-Jazz-Wit.... You can now catch Neon Jazz on KOJH 104.7 FM out of the Mutual Musicians Foundation from Noon - 1 p.m. CST Monday-Friday at https://www.kojhfm.org/. Check us out at All About Jazz @ https://kansascity.jazznearyou.com/ne.... For all things Neon Jazz, visit http://theneonjazz.blogspot.com/
lab.fm writes....Saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom and bassist Mark Helias have released Some Kind of Tomorrow, an improvised duo album they worked on during coronavirus lockdown.
Bloom (soprano saxophone) and Helias (double bass) worked on the 11-track record together over the course of 2020, collaborating remotely online. The two recorded simultaneously in their respective homes and combined the tracks together in post-production, Helias explained in a Facebook post. "The first time that Jane and I improvised together through Wi-Fi sometime in April or May 2020 was a very high experience on so many levels," he said in a statement.
"We were sorting out the possibilities of making music remotely and assessing the technology and our relation to it. Once we made peace with the situation and the medium, listening, feeling, hearing and responding was the same as it ever was."
Bloom added, "There is a vibration between us that's uncanny given the circumstances and a deep need to play what was real to us just then. It's as real as it gets for two musicians who needed to create music together to try to find some way to mend the world."
Listen to the adventurous title track and purchase Some Kind of Tomorrow in its entirety via Helias' Bandcamp below.
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"The London-based trio The Comet Is Coming-made up of the saxophonist King Shabaka, the percussionist Betamax, and the keyboardist Danalogue-thrusts empyrean jazz into an apocalyptic future, where raucous psych rock and danceable electro-grooves ride lush tenor lines to outer space.
Sony Music Masterworks today announces the release of THE PROM (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX FILM), an album of music from the forthcoming Netflix film directed by Ryan Murphy and based on the hit Broadway musical from Bob Martin, Chad Beguelin, and Matthew Sklar.
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem record their first recording for Analekta
Posted: December 3, 2009 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
The oldest American Bach Choir, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem performs, on their first recording on the Analekta label, works celebrating the Creator by J.S. Bach and Vivaldi. Such renowned singers as Daniel Taylor, Daniel Lichti and Benjamin Butterfield are joining conductor Greg Funfgeld on this glorious recording.
This recording could have been titled "Glorious Glorias," since the first of these three works ends with the Gloria Patri, the second is a setting of the Gloria in excelsis Deo, and the third conjoins the Gloria in excelsis Deo with the Gloria Patri.
J.S. Bach's Magnificat (BWV 243) was originally composed in Leipzig in 1723 to be heard at the service of Vespers. There is reason to believe it was first heard on Advent Sunday that year and repeated a few weeks later on Christmas Day. There are interesting connections between Luther's commentary on the Magnificat, written in 1521, and Bach's setting of the same text composed some two hundred years later. Bach owned several editions of Luther's collected writings, so he probably knew Luther's Magnificat commentary first-hand. Some of the connections are incidental and obvious, such as Luther's exposition of the key words or ideas of the text and Bach's musical treatment of the same material. For example, the emphasis on the word salutari ("salvation") in the soprano aria Et exsultavit; the descending scale given to the word humilitatem ("low estate"); and the fact that in every measure of the chorus Omnes generationes ("all generations") the opening fugal theme is heard. However, there are other and stronger links between the two.
Luther explained the focal point of the Magnificat thus: "I commend the Magnificat... particularly the fifth and sixth verses, in which the chief content is gathered up... In all your life fear nothing on earth... so much... as... 'the imagination of their hearts.' That is the greatest, closest, mightiest, and most destructive foe of all mankind." Bach agrees with Luther. The centerpiece of his setting of the Vesper canticle is movement 7, Fecit potentiam, a distinctive, large-scale chorus. In his commentary Luther stresses the contradistinction between the power of God on the one hand, and the futility of the proud of the earth on the other. The contrast in Bach's chorus is given an eloquent musical form. Fecit potentiam ("He hath shewed strength") is given a suitably strong fugal treatment. However, at the point where the text moves on to speak of dispersit superbos mente cordis sui ("He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts"), the fugal writing is displaced by syllabic homophony. In this musical preaching Bach contrasts the contrapuntal power of God with the pedantic and simple chordal imagination of the proud of this earth. Throughout his commentary Luther makes reference to the dethronement of the mighty and the exaltation of the humble. So Bach gives the theme striking pictorialism in the thematic material, in both the unison violins and tenor solo, in Deposuit potentes, and more subtly in the penultimate movement, Sicut locutus, where the voices in canon enter in an ascending order from the lowest to the highest, suggesting the exaltation of humble "Abraham" and "his seed," that is, those who, like Abraham, live by faith. Thus the humble will be lifted up into the final Gloria Patri, a corporate song of praise which recalls Mary's original "Magnificat." In the 19 measures at the beginning of the concluding Gloria, Bach expresses Trinitarian theology in musical form. There are three clearly defined sections, one for each Person, in which the voice entries are in "threes": triplets and parallel thirds. Further, the voice entries for Gloria Patri ("Glory be to the Father") progress from the lowest to the highest, with a pedal-point in the middle of the three measures of the vocal Bass. Gloria Filio ("Glory be to the Son") has staggered voice entries, beginning with Soprano I, which now has the vocal pedal-point in the middle of these three measures, that is, the inversion of what appears in the Bass of the Gloria Patri. Then for the Gloria et Spiritui Sancto ("Glory be to the Holy Spirit") the voices enter in a simple descending order, in five steps from Soprano I to Bass. Here Bach gives musical form to Trinitarian theology: the Son is the image of the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. So Bach ends as he began, with the same basic music, fusing together Mary's personal response to the promise of the coming of Christ with the corporate response of the church to the coming of Christ during the seasons of Advent and Christmas.
Vivaldi's Gloria in D Major (RV 589), as with many of his instrumental and sacred works, was composed for the "Ospedale della Piete," a convent, orphanage, and music school in Venice where Vivaldi was the violin tutor. This festal setting of the liturgical Gloria in excelsis Deo – Vivaldi's best-known sacred work – was probably composed during his early years at the "Ospedale," that is, sometime between 1713 and 1715. The work is divided into twelve somewhat brief movements that are contrasted by musical texture, instrumental and vocal color, occasioned by the respective sections of the text, often alternating between major and minor tonalities. But the work is essentially characterized by its two outer movements, the energy of celebration in the same bright key of Bach's Magnificat, D major. The first movement is replete with octave leaps, repeated rhythmical patterns that set the tone of celebration for the whole work. The final movement returns to D major, a splendid double fugue, which turns out to be a reworking of a Gloria fugue composed in 1708 by another Venetian opera composer, Giovanni Maria Ruggieri (fl c. 1690–1720). In a similar way that Vivaldi modified and re-worked Ruggieri's fugue, here we might modify John Donne's observation, "No man is an island" to become "No composer is independent from his peers and predecessors:" they all learn something from each other, and Bach learned much from Vivaldi.
J.S. Bach's Gloria in excelsis Deo (BWV 191) is unique among Bach's cantatas in that it is the only one written to a Latin rather than a German text. The cantata comprises the reworkings of movements from the Gloria of the Mass in B Minor (BWV 232). The earlier Missa, the Kyrie and Gloria, was composed in 1733, and the adaptation of three of its movements for this Christmas Day cantata was probably made by Bach sometime between 1743 and 1746. In the Bach-Jahrbuch of 1992 Gregory Butler made the convincing case for Cantata 191 having been performed in the University Church of St. Paul, rather than either the St. Thomas or St. Nicholas churches, at Christmas 1745, which would explain why the libretto was Latin rather than German.
The cantata is divided into two parts, and would have framed a sermon in the University Church, where it was first heard, if Professor Butler's conjecture is correct. Section one comprises the five-part chorus, Gloria in excelsis Deo – the Latin version of Luke 2:14, the last words of the Gospel for Christmas Day – the fourth movement of the Mass in B Minor. The second part of the cantata comprises two movements. The first is a duet for soprano and tenor, a reworking of the Domine Deus of the Gloria of the Mass, an adaptation that is truncated by 21 measures and adjusted for the first part of the text of the Gloria Patri: Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto ("Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit"). The final movement is also an adaptation from the Mass in B Minor. The five-voice chorus Cum Sancto Spiritu of the Mass is adapted to the text of the second part of the text of the Gloria Patri: Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum, Amen ("As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever, Amen"). Thus for this Christmas cantata Bach reused his magnificent music of the 1733 Missa, but the recycling was creatively achieved. The reuse of the opening of the Gloria in excelsis Deo was undoubtedly suggested by the Gospel for Christmas Day. But Bach apparently faced the problem that the whole Gloria would be inappropriate at a service of Vespers. Similarly, the Gloria chorus on its own would not have been long enough for use as a cantata for this principal feast of the church year. Bach therefore decided to make use of two further movements of his extensive Gloria in excelsis Deo setting of 1733, although he would be unable to use them unaltered and with their original texts. His brilliant solution was to juxtapose the two great Glorias of the liturgy of the church, and for the remaining two movements of his Latin cantata to employ the text of the Gloria Patri. The result is a theologically and musically satisfying cantata in which the Incarnation of Christ is celebrated by the two Glorias: the Gloria of the church in heaven, and the Gloria of the church on earth.
Crossover Media Projects with The Bach Choir of Bethlehem
Under the direction of Greg Funfgeld The Bach Choir of Bethlehem is joined by The Bel Canto Children's Chorus, and accompanied by organ, piano, violins, guitar, handbells and percussion for A Child's Christmas in Bethlehem . The voices of adults and children; poets from Robert Herrick, William Blake and Langston Hughes to 10 year old Carla Victoria Lugo; storytellers from Jostein Gaarder to Zaida Padilla; and composers from Johann Sebastian Bach to John Rutter and Bob Chilcott combine to create pure delight for the ears and the heart.
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After a first recording on the Analekta label featuring Bach's Magnificat and Vivaldi's Gloria, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem performs Songs of Hope, an inspired program of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Stephen Paulus, Benjamin Britten and Leonard Bernstein. All of the music on this album was commissioned, one way or another, for special occasions, in thankfulness for the past and in hopefulness for the future. Bach's stunning motet for double choir Singet dem Herrn, BWV 225, was composed either for New Year Day or Reformation Day. It was discovered in 1789 by Mozart, who listened with astonishment and said, "Now there is something one can learn from!"
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The oldest American Bach Choir, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem performs, on their first recording on the Analekta label, works celebrating the Creator by J.S. Bach and Vivaldi. Such renowned singers as Daniel Taylor, Daniel Lichti and Benjamin Butterfield are joining conductor Greg Funfgeld on this glorious recording. This recording could have been titled "Glorious Glorias," since the first of these three works ends with the Gloria Patri, the second is a setting of the Gloria in excelsis Deo, and the third conjoins the Gloria in excelsis Deo with the Gloria Patri.
20 New ON this week 67 Total Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Houston, Cleveland, St. Louis, Detroit, Portland, Indianapolis, Salt Lake Online: RadioIO