Louisa May Alcott's classic tale "Little Women" is back on the big screen, in at least its fifth cinematic adaptation, this time in the confident hands of writer/director Greta Gerwig. She has assembled a magnificent cast, using a great script (that she wrote), and crafted a warm, superb movie that is absolutely one of 2019's best.
For those unfamiliar, "Little Women" is about the March sisters: their lives and adventures in Massachusetts around the time of the Civil War, in which their father has volunteered to fight for the Union. As women in a less enlightened era, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to certain privileges enjoyed by men, but that doesn't stop them from carving their own paths.
Alexandre Desplat's music is playful and sad and always pairs well with its scenes. Jacqueline Durran's costume design shows why she won the Oscar for that category. Yorick Le Saux's cinematography is sumptuous, and he and Gerwig employ warm and cool color palettes to differentiate the dual timelines, though they begin to merge as the past catches up to the present.
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On Saturday, February 22, at 8:00pm and Sunday, February 23, at 4:00pm, Greenwich Symphony Orchestra will perform an all Beethoven program, the Eroica and the Emperor, in honor of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth. Soloist John O'Conor, known as ‘the world's preeminent Beethoven interpreter', will perform Piano Concerto No.5, (Emperor). John O'Conor Is one of the most popular soloists ever to collaborate with Greenwich Symphony. The concert will take place at the Performing Arts Center at Greenwich High School. A free pre-concert lecture will take place one hour before each performance.
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While recording their third studio album, The Undivided Five, A Winged Victory for the Sullen experienced the capricious extremes of life and death. "This record was bookended by two huge events in our lives," explains Dustin O'Halloran, speaking on Skype from Los Angeles. The other half of this highly acclaimed American ambient duo, Adam Wiltzie, joins us from Brussels. "A really close friend died when we started working on the record. Towards the end of the album cycle, my first child was born."
Dustin O'Halloran, Adam Wiltzie deceased friend was the Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The album's title is inspired by a group formed by a pioneering Swedish artist called Hilma Af Klimt, who was a mystic, as was WB Yeats, Gustav Mahler, Piet Mondrian and Wassily Kandinsky. In 1896, Af Klimt founded a ‘Friday group' called ‘The Five' with four other like-minded female artists.
"They communed with the other side," O'Halloran says. "It wasn't based on Catholicism or anything, but more about the spiritualism of communicating with the unknown. In a lot of ways that is like the magic that happens between Adam and I. Our project becomes something bigger than us. It becomes its own entity with subconscious ideas in tune to universal energies." O'Halloran and Wiltzie discovered more parallels. Photograph: Jonatan Gretarsson
READ THE FULL Irish Times INTERVIEW WITH Dustin O'Halloran, Adam Wiltzie
Musician Jake Shimabukuro released a new album, Trio, on Friday, which features his first-ever recording of a traditional Hawaiian song "Wai'alae." The song is special to Shimabukuro as he shares, "When I first started touring in Japan back in 1999, I opened for one of my favorite Hawaiian bands, ‘Side Order Band.' It consisted of Chris Kamaka, Bryan Tolentino, Del Beazley, and Asa Young. They are four legendary musicians who I grew up listening to. During that tour, the band would open up the concert with Wai'alae and it brought tears to my eyes as I missed home so much. Recording Waialae on the Trio record was a tribute to these four stellar musicians who inspired me since I was a little kid strumming my mom's ukulele."
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Laila Biali recently released the first single 'Sugar' from her deeply personal new album, 'Out of Dust.' The JUNO Award winning Biali's hard-won optimism is apparent in the music on this new recording. Co-produced by Biali and her husband, Ben Wittman, 'Out of Dust' is a celebration of life; warm and uplifting even as it confronts her recent challenges (and the current political climate!) head-on "These new songs took shape as I processed my own feelings of doubt and loss," Biali reveals. "I believe that nothing is wasted, that even life's greatest challenges can produce something meaningful, even if only to make us more aware of and empathetic to the struggles of those around us."
The album will be released Friday, March 27, and Biali is currently touring through Canada and the US. She recently stopped by CBC Radio One's 'Saskatchewan Weekend' with Shauna Powers to discuss the recording, touring and life's challenges. LISTEN
Stories of hope and transformation. Saskatchewan Weekend on CBC Radio One is filled with conversations that connect you to the weekend and the people who live here. Did we mention music? There's plenty of that, too! Join them 06:00 - 09:00 weekends.
Everyone enjoys a great New Year's party, especially when the music's rockin'. And this year's New Year's Concert in Vienna with conductor Andris Nelsons on the podium was no exception, as it included a few hitherto unheard pieces during this 80 years running event.
There's an infectious bounce and sparkle to Nelsons' direction that impels the members of the orchestra to produce a sound marked by precise attacks, sharp accents, and punctilious rhythms and dynamics. At once gracious, velvety rich, highly nuanced and energetic, this is one of the best interpretations of the Blue Danube Waltz I've heard in a long time. And one of my all-time favorites, the Light Cavalry Overture by Franz von Suppé (1819-1895) is given a dramatic touch in this riveting account. The brass ensemble work in particular is a thrill to hear. It builds to such a powerfully well-attained coda that even the applause at the end is spectacular. This is a party not to miss, 'cause the music is a rockin'.
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Terence Blanchard is in town for his performance TONIGHT at the Rialto Center and talked to UPFRONT about his numerous TV and film projects. He'll be teaming up with Raphael Saadiq this spring to score the soundtrack for NatGeo's GENIUS: ARETHA biopic starring Oscar-nominated actress Cynthia Erivo. He is also reuniting with Spike Lee for Da 5 Bloods and a reboot of Perry Mason. Blanchard also reveals his most challenging project to date and his unfailing love for the late jazz legend Billie Holiday.
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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.
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.
Here's the transcript - "I felt that what I have been able to bring to the instrument in terms of the unusual collaborations, the literature, that is something that I really wanted there to be a record of," says guitarist Sharon Isbin. "And I wanted it to be very visible so that it would inspire other musicians and other composers to take that ball and run with it and create their own projects after I'm gone. And of course I want the projects that I've done to have a long life that goes on to eternity."
Grammy Award-winning Isbin is talking about her legacy, which has recently been chronicled in, Troubadour, a one-hour documentary. Five of Isbin's classic recordings have been packaged into a new CD set corresponding with the film, which explores what it takes to nurture a dream against all odds to become a world-class musician.
In the guitar world, Sharon says she has always had to fight as a woman. And in the music world, she's always had to fight as a guitarist. "I think having two older brothers trained me for that because I learned early on that I had to stand up for what I believed in," she says. "Of course, when I started as a guitarist, I had no idea what the world was like. But I soon found out and I'm glad that I've been able to be a pioneer in a lot of ways. To create the first guitar department in the Juilliard School and to be able to be the first and still only guitarist to record with the New York Philharmonic, to break the gridlock at the Grammys and [to] be the first to win a classical Grammy as a guitarist in almost 30 years. So all of these things are really paving the way for others, and that's what it's all about."
Two of Sharon's Grammy-winning recordings are part of her new box set, Dreams of a World, and her concerto CD featuring works written for her by Christopher Rouse and by Tan Dun. "Tan Dun likes to pay homage to the instrument that he's writing for," Sharon says, "in this case, the Spanish guitar and its flamenco history and to bring something from his own heritage, so it's also inspired by the ancient Chinese art of the pipa and Chinese folk music. So I have to, in some ways, become a pipa player and with that, to introduce gestures of flamenco. So at the very beginning you're hearing us stomping our feet and clapping and strumming and it's really quite wild. And then the whole journey begins into the land of Tan Dun and China."
Sharon's curiosity about people, about the world and about music is what drives her passion to explore new collaborations like those you'll hear on her recording, Journey to the Amazon. "The late Thiago de Mello … sadly, he passed away last year. He was an Indian from the Amazon rainforests in Brazil. Very exotic. And a composer as well as an organic percussionist. So he made most of the instruments he played. Whether it was the turtle shell - following a dinner that their family would have had in Brazil of the turtle and the hollowed-out shell - depending on where you tap it produces all kinds of sounds. He would make the rainstick - a long bamboo tube filled with beads and seeds. Even the toenails of a tapir or the dried-out shells of a cocoon. And he uses it, believe it or not, all these instruments and many more on our Journey to the Amazon."
Sharon recalls one recording session with Thiago that required some additional improvisation. "At security in the airport, they mistook the bow of one of his instruments and they thought it was weapon," she recalls. "So they so mishandled it going back and forth through the X-ray machine [and] they broke it. And it was a Sunday and my parents had to go searching for Chinese restaurants to try to find chopsticks to tape together so he could use that. It created a sound that has never been duplicated since … and you can hear it on Journey to the Amazon."
Sharon's journey with the guitar started when her family moved to Italy for her father's job. She was just nine years old, and her dream was to be a rocket scientist. Sharon's passion for the guitar really ignited when she and her family moved back to Minnesota. "And that really happened thanks to the Minnesota Orchestra," she recalls. "I won a competition when I was 14 and the award was to perform with the orchestra. One of those pieces is on the box set - the Vivaldi Concerto in D - and it's featured very prominently on the documentary Sharon Isbin: Troubadour as well. And by having the experience, overnight I decided that playing in front of 10,000 people was even more fun than launching my worms and grasshoppers into space so I decided, that's it. Enough with the science stuff, I'm going to become a guitarist."
Sharon Isbin, a pioneering classical guitarist - who is out of this world. Her 5 Classic Albums box set contains:
Bach for Guitar is now available at retailers nationwide – including Amazon, Arkiv Music, Barnes & Noble – on the Erato/Warner Classics label (cat. #2564617518). Ms. Isbin calls the Suites "among the most challenging and musically rewarding works in the classical guitar repertoire." The first classical guitarist to perform and record Bach on guitar with baroque performance practice techniques, Isbin collaborated with noted Bach scholar and keyboard artist Rosalyn Tureck on the editions performed on the disc. The CD includes all four lute suites by Johann Sebastian Bach, including Suite in E Major, BWV 1006a, Suite in G Minor, BWV 995, Suite in E Minor, BWV 996, and Suite in C Minor, BWV 997.
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Sharon Isbin - Troubadour is a one-hour documentary portrait of the world's premier classical guitarist, shows us a trailblazing performer and teacher who over the course of her career has broken through numerous barriers to rise to the top of a traditionally male-dominated field. The film, produced by Susan Dangel, explores what it takes to nurture a dream against all odds to become a world class musician. It will be presented by American Public Television for broadcast on nearly 200 public television stations throughout the US this November-December 2014, and released on DVD/Blu-ray by Video Artists International.
In coordination with the documentary broadcasts, Warner Classics will release five of Isbin's most popular albums in a single box. The set brings together cornerstones of the guitar concerto repertoire by Rodrigo and Villa-Lobos, arrangements of perennial Baroque favorites, concertos by Christopher Rouse and Tan Dun that were written for Isbin herself (and featured in the documentary) and two imaginatively-programmed recital discs including the GrammyTM Award-winning Dreams of a World.
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Recognized as "the pre-eminent guitarist of our time" The Boston Globe and "the Monet of the classical guitar" Atlanta Journal Constitution, Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin makes her Sony Masterworks debut with Journey to the New World. The extraordinary recording follows a musical progression from 16th century England, Ireland, and Scotland to the shores of America, with the music of the New World represented by Joan Baez, Isbin's first music hero, and violin virtuoso and composer Mark O'Connor.
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Renowned classical guitarist Sharon Isbin, whom critics have acclaimed as "the pre-eminent guitarist of our time" (Boston Magazine) and "the Monet of the classical guitar,"(Atlanta Journal) is following her Grammy-winning 2009 Sony Masterworks debut album Journey To The New World with another extraordinary musical exploration, Sharon Isbin & Friends: Guitar Passions. Available August 30, the new album has a definite Latin American flavor, but the journey this time is focused more on her musical mentors. "I'm paying tribute to my guitar heroes," Isbin says. "These are artists whom I admire greatly, who are also heroes in their own realms." The artists include fellow guitar greats who are also great friends with whom she has collaborated. "Steve Vai has been a dear friend and duo partner for years," Isbin says, singling out the rock guitarist/composer, who improvises with her on La Catedral by famed Paraguayan composer Agustin Barrios Mangore. "Stanley Jordan is another hero and great friend," she adds, and the innovative jazz guitarist joins her in his stunning arrangement of Sonidos de aquel dia, by the Argentinean guitarist/composer Quique Sinesi.
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