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.
Harmonious World Podcast chats with Michael Shapiro about 'Peace Variations for solo violin'
Posted: April 7, 2021 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Interview with Harmonious World Podcast
Hilary Robertson of Harmonious World Podcast was delighted to be joined for a second conversation with composer Michael Shapiro. The two discuss Michael's 'Peace Variations for solo violin', performed by Tim Fain. Our conversation expanded to include several other works from this prolific and extraordinary composer. I am still waiting for the chance to see Frankenstein accompanied by Michael's orchestral score, and the next couple of years will bring his new opera, based on Isaac Bashevis Singer's The Slave.
The extraordinary violin virtuoso, Tim Fain, and New York Philharmonic and Brooklyn Knights pianist, Steven Beck, play Michael Shapiro's four movement Second Violin and Piano Sonata. Each movement features their unique artistry portraying the exciting and sometimes bittersweet lyrical melodies of Michael Shapiro. A special and meaningful presentation of unforgettable music.
With his adventuresome spirit and vast musical gifts, violinist Tim Fain has emerged as a mesmerizing presence on the music scene. The "charismatic violinist with a matinee idol profile, strong musical instincts, and first rate chops" (Boston Globe), was seen on screen and heard on the Grammy nominated soundtrack to the film Black Swan, can be heard on the soundtrack to Moonlight and gave "voice" to the violin of the lead actor in the hit film 12 Years a Slave, as he did with Richard Gere's violin in the film Bee Season. Fain captured the Avery Fisher Career Grant and launched his career with Young Concert Artists.
Peace Variations were written for the great virtuoso violinist Tim Fain and premiered in 2010 at the Meisel Loft in Soho, New York, City. The customary Jewish greeting of Shalom Aleichem – Peace Be Unto You – is also memorialized in a traditional theme often used to greet the beginning of the Sabbath. The music expresses a hope for universal peace that is the ultimate goal of Judaism and civilized living. The Hebrew symbol of "Chai" or life or the number 18 are represented in an equivalent eighteen variations. Yes, cherishing life is more important than anything else. Those desires outlined in contrasting variations are abundantly nurtured by the expressivity of Tim's miraculous playing.
James Whale's film classic Frankenstein (1931), starring Boris Karloff, was released without a musical score, as were many films in those early days of the talkie. A number of critics, including Leonard Maltin, have remarked that Frankenstein is badly in need of music. Michael Shapiro's 70-minute score is written to be played simultaneously with the screening of the film. For modern-day concert- and moviegoers, his haunting music adds significantly to the emotional impact of the film.
Michael Shapiro was commissioned in 2002 by the Boris Koutzen Foundation to write this film score. The world premiere of this work, with live chamber orchestra and film, occurred in October 2002 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Jacob Burns Film Center in New York. Since its premiere, it has received over 50 performances worldwide, including its European premiere at the Bergen International Festival in Norway, and at the Mariinsky Theater Film Annex in St. Petersburg, with major symphony orchestras in the United States, Canada, and the U.K., by Federal service bands such as the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C., and the Royal Canadian Air Force Band (La Musique de Aviation royale canadienne) in Winnepeg, and university ensembles throughout the Americas.
Notes by the composer..........My Second Symphony is a work of absolute music.? It has no subtext; it tells no "story"; it just is.? I had always wished to write a four-movement symphony, containing a serious first movement, a scherzo, a lyrical slow movement, and a set of variations concluding in transcendence.? Working in 2010 with Maestra Marin Alsop and the virtuosic Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (for the California premiere of my Roller Coaster) provided inspiration to open my symphonic veins further, write a large work for large orchestra, and out came this purely instrumental symphony (my first, Symphony Pomes Penyeach, is a song cycle).? The Second Symphony is scored for full orchestra including the usual complement of winds, brass, percussion, and strings, but adding alto flute and English horn for their special pungency. Its premiere reading with The Chappaqua Orchestra in the United States was immediately followed by this recording in July, 2015 with the miraculous City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at CBSO Centre in Birmingham, UK. ? The recording sessions with these great musicians confirmed the sounds, textures, timbres, rhythms, and, yes, emotions I intended to impart when I wrote the work.? It is preserved now for listeners to hear, and, I trust, be moved by ? a symphony in four movements for orchestra, plain and simple, colorful and complex, a work that is absolutely what it is.? The symphony is dedicated to Marjorie Perlin.
Duration of the Second Symphony: 36'
Michael Shapiro breathes new life into the famous Toccata from the Fifth Organ Symphony by Victorian French composer Charles-Marie Widor with this arrangement for full orchestra named Widorama! played by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by the composer. Shapiro's arrangement of the famous Toccata, frequently used by organists for weddings and church services, brings the work into the concert hall in highly dramatic fashion.
‘Archangel Concerto for Piano and Orchestra' features pianist Steven Beck (New York Philharmonic, Brooklyn Knights). The Concerto is probably the most programmatic piece of music Michael Shapiro has ever written. Archangel is in two books or movements. Book One depicts the war between the forces of good and evil set forth in John Milton's Paradise Lost. Book Two portrays Adam and Eve (and the Serpent) in Eden and their being cast out into the world we all live. Archangel is therefore about the most basic and terrifying truth, the fight between good and evil raging to this day.
‘Perlimplinito, Opera Sweet, A Lace Paper Valentine for Orchestra' contains the entr'acte music from Shapiro's first opera, based on the play by Federico Garcia Lorca. The fantastical story of an old man who falls tragically in love with a beautiful young woman who cuckolds him on their wedding night with the five races of the earth, the music of Perlimplinito is emotional, visceral, and beautifully lyrical. A perfect piece for Valentine's Day!
‘Roller Coaster for Orchestra,' is a five-minute wild ride. Premiered at the Cabrillo Festival in California by conductor Marin Alsop, the piece is a musical representation of the Coney Island (Brooklyn NY) Cyclone amusement park ride and a metaphor for life's ups and downs.