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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From a deeply stirring Mass to hauntingly re-imagined Leonard Cohen masterpieces, LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood encompasses 25 years of vocal and choral works by the innovative American-Canadian composer. The composer-portrait album features new and compelling performances from The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY conducted by Julian Wachner, cellist Matt Haimovitz, soprano Devon Guthrie, mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata, and Broadway actress Nancy Anderson.
Luna Pearl Woolf's new opera JACQUELINE, about the life of Jacqueline du Pré, premieres at Tapestry Opera in Toronto this week.
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Alterations is jazz vocalist/composer Robin McKelle's follow-up to her 2018 Melodic Canvas which we covered on these pages. While that was mostly an album of originals, McKelle chooses here to, as she says, "fuse jazz, soul, r&b, blues and rock while keeping continuity in the music." These are mostly familiar songs from some of the most celebrated women in song interpreted through a jazz lens. They include Dolly Parton, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Janis Joplin, Carole king, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and Land Del Ray. For good measure, McKelle adds just one of her own, in tribute to female artistry.
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Flamenco guitarist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Soldier has been exploring cultural boundaries throughout his life. He founded a string quartet that fused punk, classical and R&B, but also played punk Delta Blues and started the Thai Elephant Orchestra. Now he explores the roots of pop songs, and found them about a thousand years ago at the crossroads of Muslim, Jewish and Christian cultures in southern Spain, more specifically in Andalusia at the time of the Moors. The song titles of these compositions are therefore in English, Arabic and Hebrew. The lyrics were always sung, are based on muwashshaha & zajal, and were taken over by singers in Provence. And that is what our Western pop music would be based on, from Schubert, The Beatles, Hank Williams, to opera. These old texts have now been given a flamenco, jazz and world music twist and are usually sung by Ana Nimouz. They sometimes sound cheerful, sometimes mysterious, and sometimes as fusion. A special release for those who are interested in the origin of our music, and who are not averse to world music. - Patrick Van de Wiele
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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.
Pianist Simone Dinnersteinfirst gained notice with her recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations, a recording which she funded herself, and which launched her international career. Not long after, Ms. Dinnerstein recorded other works of Bach, the contemporary composer Philip Lasser, Schubert and Beethoven. On her newest CD Broadway-Lafayette, she's created a musical bridge between France and the United States, exploring a relationship that shares ideas across the Atlantic, from Broadway and Lafayette streets in New York, to the avenues of Paris. Philip Lasser is back, too, himself part French, and has written for Ms. Dinnerstein a piano concerto based on a Bach chorale. Ravel and Gershwin met (Simone explains more in my audio blog), both in Paris and New York, and the influence of each on the other is particularly noticeable. Dinnerstein brings out the "Ravelian" qualities in the Gershwin, and vice versa. Lasser's "The Circle and the Child" is a well-constructed three-movement work with many appealing moments built on Bach's Ihr Gestirn, ihr hohlen Lüfte (Your star, her high air and thou bright firmament), and completes the circle of old and new music, and the Old and the New worlds.
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Sony Classical has released acclaimed pianist Simone Dinnerstein's new album, Mozart in Havana. The new album, recorded in Cuba, may be her most ambitious to date and is a testament to music's ability to cross all cultural and language barriers.For it, Dinnerstein has collaborated with the virtuosic Havana Lyceum Orchestra to perform Mozart's Piano Concerto Nos. 21 and 23. In June, the Orchestra will also make their American debut in a series of concerts, the first time an orchestra of this size has traveled to the U.S. from Cuba since the revolution.
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Sony Classical releases the new CD from pianist Simone Dinnerstein - Broadway-Lafayette on February 24, 2015. The music on this album celebrates the time-honored transatlantic link between France and America through the music of George Gershwin (Rhapsody in Blue), Maurice Ravel (Piano Concerto in G Major), and Philip Lasser (The Circle and the Child: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, written for Dinnerstein). The album was recorded with conductor Kristjan Järvi and the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, by Grammy-winning producer Adam Abeshouse.
24 New 'ON' 158 TOTAL
SYND: Classical 24, CBC, The Romantic Hours Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Baltimore, Denver, Portland, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Detroit, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Memphis, Berkeley CA, Sacramento CA, Albuquerque, Louisville, Buffalo, Honolulu, Canada Online: ClassicallyHip, Classicalite, Taintradio
Simone Dinnerstein's new CD of J.S. Bach's Inventions and Sinfonias has been released on Sony Classical. The pianist made the recording at the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York and worked on the project along with Grammy-winning producer Adam Abeshouse. Bach's Inventions and Sinfonias, originally written in 1723 as musical guide for keyboard players, remain a core part of the piano repertoire for students, amateurs, and professional musicians alike and have been lifelong companions for Dinnerstein.
32 New 'ON' this week: 154 TOTAL
SYND: PRI/Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, Baltimore, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Louisville, Albuquerque, Madison WI, Honolulu Online: RadioIO, Taintradio, WGOE, MusiClassical
Sony Classical will internationally release pianist Simone Dinnerstein's second album Something Almost Being Said:The Music of Bach and Schubert. The new album combines J. S. Bach's Partitas Nos. 1 and 2, with Schubert's Four Impromptus, Op. 90, and was recorded at the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York by Grammy-winning producer Adam Abeshouse. The album's title is taken from English poet Philip Larkin's poem, The Trees.
27 New 'ON' this week: 148 Total
SYND: Galaxie, Sunday Baroque, PRI/Classical 24
Direct:SiriusXM, Music Choice
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"An utterly distinctive voice in the forest of Bach interpretation..." The New York Times
Simone Dinnerstein's first album on Sony Classical Bach: A Strange Beauty sees the pianist return to Bach, this time combining three transcriptions of his Chorale Preludes with one of his English Suites and two of his Keyboard Concerti. Simone Dinnerstein's special affinity to the music of Bach was cemented when her self-funded recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations took the US Billboard charts by storm on its release in 2007. The album drew intense critical acclaim and Dinnerstein's unique playing garnered such impressive reviews as that from The New York Times "An utterly distinctive voice in the forest of Bach interpretation."
7 New 'ON' this week: 175 Total
Synd: CBS Sunday Morning, NPR/First Listen/Sunday Baroque/TTBOOK, PRI/Classical 24, Better TV, The Romantic Hours Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, DMX Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta, Houston, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Denver, Baltimore, Portland, Pittsburgh, Detroit, New Orleans, Austin, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Memphis, Nashville, Buffalo, Tampa, San Antonio, Madison WI Online: RadioIO, WGOE