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August 21, 2018

Goldmine Magazine Fabulous Flip Sides – Jose Feliciano 50th Anniversary Interview

2018 is the 50th anniversary of Jose Feliciano’s U.S. Top 100 singles debut with his interpretations of “Light My Fire” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” We spoke with him about his career and his upcoming return to Detroit on September 8, …

The post Fabulous Flip Sides – Jose Feliciano 50th Anniversary Interview appeared first on Goldmine Magazine.

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Goldmine Magazine Fabulous Flip Sides – Jose Feliciano 50th Anniversary Interview

2018 is the 50th anniversary of Jose Feliciano’s U.S. Top 100 singles debut with his interpretations of “Light My Fire” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” We spoke with him about his career and his upcoming return to Detroit on September 8, …

The post Fabulous Flip Sides – Jose Feliciano 50th Anniversary Interview appeared first on Goldmine Magazine.

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Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise 1989, the number

My essay on Tim Rutherford-Johnson’s Music After the Fall: Modern Composition and Culture Since 1989, in this week’s issue of The New Yorker, was originally intended to include consideration of several other books that address music of the early twenty-first century. In the end, I chose to concentrate on Tim’s book, but I’d like to make mention of a growing literature. Jennie Gottschalk’s Experimental Music Since 1970 has quickly established itself as an essential text, mapping the vibrancy of experimentalism in the post-Cage age. David Metzer’s Musical Modernism at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century focuses on established, quasi-canonical figures like Ferneyhough, Lachenmann, Sciarrino, Kurtág, and Saariaho. In so doing, Metzer vigorously opposes the idea of an endpoint for, or drastic transformation of, the modernist tradition: instead, he sees a network of continuities from the heroic early years to the present. The Cambridge anthology Transformations of Musical Modernism contains Susan McClary’s crucial essay “The Lure of the Sublime” and much other work of value. Finally, I was fascinated by Seth Brodsky’s study From 1989, or European Music and the Modernist Unconscious, even if its extensive deployment of Lacanian theory went somewhat over my head. Brodsky proposes a Lacanian distinction between “master modernism” and “analytic modernism,” which could be aligned with the dividing line between past and present traced in McClary’s essay. Brodsky writes: “A master modernism, dominating discourse with its calls for the new, fantasizes the future as its (Real) object. An analytic modernism, dismantling domination through its desire for absolute difference, takes the past as its (split) subject.” Still, I find myself most in sympathy with Tim’s approach, which avoids getting caught up in categorical debates around modernism and instead strives to address contemporary music very much on its own terms.

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BBC Music Magazine Six of the best… classical saxophonists

Classical-Music.com Six of the best… classical saxophonists

Sigurd Raschèr (Getty)

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Best known for being an important part of the jazz and pop music scenes, the mighty saxophone is often overlooked when it comes to classical music. However, here too its expressive, fluid tone and surprising amount of repertoire means that it has a major role to play. As an increasing number of players advocate the style, the classical saxophone is more popular now than it has ever been. Here are six of the best classical saxophonists, past and present, to introduce you to this exciting sound.

 

Marcel Mule (1901-2001)

Frenchman Marcel Mule was a highly influential figure in the world of the classical saxophone throughout the 20th century. Seen as the creator of the French saxophone school, Mule was the second professor of saxophone at the Paris Conservatoire, after Adolph Sax himself. His teaching involved emphasis on sound quality, and many of his pupils became significant figures in the music world. A pioneer of the classical saxophone, Mule premiered a great deal of new repertoire, and led the way for the genre to expand and develop.

 

Sigurd Raschèr (1907-2001)

Sigurd Raschèr was a contemporary of Mule; however, he took a very different approach to the instrument. After moving to saxophone from clarinet because he thought it would be easier to play, Raschèr soon became frustrated by what he considered to be the limitations of the saxophone’s sound. Working tirelessly to hone his technique, he mastered the instrument and demonstrated its versatility. He encouraged classical composers to write works for the saxophone: Glazunov, Hindemith and Milhaud all dedicated compositions to him. At the height of his career, Raschèr was a celebrated concert saxophonist, playing with many of the world’s greatest orchestras.

 

Eugene Rousseau (born 1932)

Eugene Rousseau was an acclaimed pupil of Mule’s, but has since become an influential instrumentalist in his own right. Rousseau has achieved many milestones in the classical saxophone genre, including performing the first solo saxophone recitals in cities such as London, Paris and Vienna. In 1969 he co-founded the World Saxophone Congress, and he has been president of both the Comité International du Saxophone and the North American Saxophone Alliance.

 

John Harle (born 1956)

John Harle is one of the leading saxophonists of his generation. A player and composer, his work covers both the classical and popular genres. He was appointed the youngest ever professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1989. A premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s controversial saxophone concerto Panic at the Last Night of the BBC Proms in 1995 thrust Harle into the spotlight, and since then his work has been important in popularising the genre. He has achieved great commercial success, and is one of the world’s most recorded saxophonists.

 

Arno Bornkamp (born 1959)

A master of both the traditional and the more contemporary repertoire, Arno Bornkamp is a saxophonist who is highly admired for his virtuosic playing style. He has won many prestigious awards, including the 'Silver Laurel of the Concertgebouw' and the 'Netherlands Music Prize'. In 2001 Bornkamp and pianist Ivo Janssen released Adolphe Sax Revisited, a collection of 19th-century compositions performed on period instruments including saxophones made by Adolph Sax himself. A keen chamber musician, he plays tenor saxophone in the much-acclaimed Aurelia Quartet.

 

Amy Dickson (born 1982)

Australian saxophonist Amy Dickson is quickly making a name for herself as a rising star in the saxophone world. She studied under Arno Bornkamp at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and has since gone on to win a great number of awards, including becoming the first saxophonist to win a classic Brit award, as Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2013. Passionate about new music, Dickson has had works commissioned from composers such as Steve Martland and Timothy Salter. Known for her unique tone and masterful control of the instrument, she effortlessly bridges the gaps between different genres and styles.

 

Kirsten Beveridge

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Classical-Music.com A Year of Bernstein: Our 2018 UK Performance Guide

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Ahead of this weekend's Bernstein celebrations at the BBC Proms, we've compiled a list of some of Bernstein's greatest hits, and the concerts they feature in this year. Grab your calendar, and begin planning your year of Bernstein. 

 

This weekend…

Saturday 25 August: On the Town

The August bank holiday at the BBC Proms is being taken over by tributes to Bernstein to mark 100 years since his birth. The celebrations kick off with a concert performance of On the Town, with Nathaniel Hackmann and Louise Dearman taking on the roles of Gabey and Hildey. They will be accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of John Wilson, who also conducted the concert performances of West Side Story earlier in the Proms season. 

On the Town follows the adventures of three sailors on leave for 24 hours in New York City in 1944. The story traces their day and night, and the girls they meet along the way.

London Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Wilson

 

Sunday 26 August: The Sound of an Orchestra

The BBC Proms are paying tribute to Bernstein's televised productions in this concert. Bernstein was renowned for making classical music accessible by engaging viewers via television, and this is just what this Prom should achieve. Words, projections and music come together in this performance, with an eclectic programme of works including Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, Ligeti's Apparitions, Debussy's La mer and Beethoven's Egmont overture. 

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Joshua Weilerstein

 

 

Monday 27 August: Chamber works

This lunchtime Prom will take place at the Cadogan Hall, featuring a recital of works by Bernstein and his contemporaries. The programme is featured below. The concert will also feature a world premiere of a song by British-Lebanese composer Bushra El-Turk, in response to Bernstein's recipe settings, La bonne cuisine. 

Conch Town is an early, unfinished ballet of Bernstein's, and features the song we now know as 'America' from West Side Story. 

Wallis Giunta (mezzo-soprano)
Michael Sikich, Ian Farrington (pianos)
Toby Kearney, Owen Gunnell (percussion)

Bernstein La bonne cuisine
Bushra El-Turk Crème Brûlée on a Tree (BBC commission, world premiere)
Bernstein 'Big Stuff' from Fancy Free
Bernstein Conch Town (UK premiere)
Copland Pastorale 
Barber 'Sea Snatch' and 'The Monk and His Cat' from Hermit Songs, Op. 29
Blitzstein 'Modest Maid' and 'Stay in my Arms'
Sondheim 'The Miller's Son' from A Little Night Music
Bernstein 'What a Movie!' from Trouble in Tahiti

 

Monday 27 August: Symphony No. 2

Monday's Prom features two works by Bernstein: Slava! (A Political Overture) and Symphony No. 2, 'The Age of Anxiety', both conducted by Bernstein's protégée Marin Alsop. 

The concert's programme is politically charged, particularly as its closing work is Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, which is loaded with meaning as a protest against Stalin's Soviet regime. Bernstein's Second Symphony, 'The Age of Anxiety', is based on WH Auden's poem of the same name, which was published in 1947 following the end of the Second World War. It is preoccupied with trying to find meaning and faith in a post-war world.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet (pianist) with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop

 

Still to come…

24 November: Chichester Psalms

Following a request from Reverend Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester Cathedral in 1963, Bernstein wrote the Chichester Psalms whilst on sabbatical from his post as Music Director for the New York Philharmonic, a period in which he focussed heavily on composition.

‘The sort of thing that we had in mind was perhaps, say, a setting of Psalm 2, or some part of it’ wrote Reverend Hussey in letter to Bernstein. ‘Many of us would be very delighted if there was a hint of West Side Story about the music.’ The Dean was a champion of arts, having previously commissioned a litany and anthem by W.H. Alden, a sculpture of the Madonna and child by Henry Moore, and the cantata Rejoice in the Lamb by Benjamin Britten.

Bernstein used many vocal writing techniques associated with church music, yet wrote the lyrics in Hebrew. The piece became a plea for peace in Israel during the difficult conflict there, and, unlike ‘Kaddish’, it is a piece full of hope for unity.

Marin Alsop conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Chichester Cathedral.

Bernstein Symphony No. 1, ‘Jeremiah’ (Michelle de Young, mezzo soprano)
JS Bach Motets
Bernstein Chichester Psalms

The Chichester Psalms return home this year, under the baton of Marin Alsop, whose schedule is shaping up to be extraordinarily full! Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will be joined by the three cathedral choirs who sang in the original performance in 1965 – Chichester, Salisbury and Winchester.  

‘Performing Chichester Psalms at Chichester Cathedral is the perfect tribute to Bernstein’, says Marin Alsop. ‘This brilliant and very personal piece embodies Bernstein’s faith in humanity, innocence and youth.’

 

 

The ones you've missed…

27 January: Songfest

Originally commissioned as a work in celebration of the American Bicentennial Year in 1976, Songfest wasn’t completed in time. However, Bernstein persisted nonetheless, and the orchestral song-cycle finally premiered in the November of that year with the New York Philharmonic.

The work features 13 poems spanning the 300 years of the country’s history, by the likes of Walt Whitman, Gertrude Stein, EE Cummings and Edgar Allen Poe. These eclectic styles of poetry celebrate the melting pot of America’s multicultural society, and the subject matter focuses on the American artist’s experience.

BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Charles Abell at the Barbican in London.

Bernstein Candide Overture
Bernstein Serenade after Plato’s ‘Symposium’
Bernstein Songfest

 

6-7 April: MASS: A Theatre Piece for singers, players and dancers

Originally intended to be a traditional Mass, Bernstein’s MASS ultimately became something rather different. With its mix of sacred and secular texts, it is staged theatrically and features both liturgical passages in Latin as well as text in 20th-century vernacular by Bernstein and Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz. It explores the crisis of faith experienced by many Americans during this era.

MASS begins with a street chorus expressing their doubts of the necessity of God and the role of the Mass itself. The celebrant, a Catholic priest who conducts the Mass, bursts into a rage, before surrendering and reflecting over where his faith has gone. After this moment of catharsis, an altar server sings a hymn of praise to God and restores the faith of the chorus. Coming full circle, MASS ends with a hymn asking God for his blessing.

Premiered in September 1971, MASS initially received immensely negative reviews, with the Roman Catholic Church being particularly disapproving. However, the mixing of musical genres has become much more commonplace over the years, so much so that in 2000 Pope John Paul II requested a performance of it at the Vatican.

Chineke! Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain conducted by Marin Alsop at the Royal Festival Hall.

Bernstein MASS: A Theatre Piece for singers, players and dancers

 

27 April: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

West Side Story took Broadway by storm in 1957. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it explores gang rivalry in the Upper West Side of New York City in the mid 1950. Tony from the Jets and Maria, sister of the leader of the Sharks, fall in love despite their different ethnic backgrounds and gang associations.

Placing older musical theatre traditions alongside New World influences such as jazz and Latin styles turned out to be a winning combination for Bernstein, and it remains his most famous work, winning him dozens of awards globally.

The Symphonic Dances are a concentrated form of the choreographic music, and are independent of the stage production.

Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Cristian Macelaru at Usher Hall in Edinburgh, and at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 27 April.

Bernstein Chichester Psalms
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Barber Symphony No. 1 (in one movement)

To tie in with their Bernstein season, the RSNO are also hosting an ‘In Focus: Leonard Bernstein’ event, which will feature musical extracts, interviews and archive footage, hosted by RSNO violinist Bill Chandler. On 5 May (in Glasgow) they will be performing Bernstein’s MASS in collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. 

 

31 May: Serenade after Plato’s ‘Symposium’

In this five-movement concerto for violin and orchestra, Bernstein again draws inspiration from literature. The serenade is based on Plato’s Symposium, a philosophical text set at a banquet of well-known figures from Ancient Greece, including philosopher Socrates and playwright Aristophanes. A symposium was the traditional end of a banquet, when eating made way for drinking, music and discussion. In Plato’s text, the attendees take turns in praising Eros, the god of love and desire.

The serenade continually introduces new themes, then going on to examine and develop them in new ways, just as the dialogue in Plato’s text does.

The piece was written in 1954 during Bernstein’s hugely productive decade for composition.

Liza Ferschtman with the Brussels Philharmonic at Cadogan Hall.

Guillaume Conneson Le tombeau des regrets
Bernstein Serenade after Plato’s ‘Symposium’
Bernstein Three Dance Episodes from On the Town
Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Speaking to BBC Music MagazineLiza Ferschtman says, ‘The Serenade has its own unique voice, great thematic writing and incredible instrumentation. I find it a pity when people think that his classical repertoire was somehow secondary to his lighter works. It really stole my heart, and I’m really keen to find a much larger audience for it.’

 

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BBC Music Magazine A Year of Bernstein: Our 2018 UK Performance Guide

Classic Album Sundays Classic Album Sundays Orkney presents Pink Floyd ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ at Museum Of The Moon

We are delighted to be hosted a special one off event featuring Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon on Sunday 16th Sepetmber at The Stromness Academy underneath The Museum Of The Moon a touring artwork by Luke Jerram. Measuring 7 metres in diameter, this huge structure was created from NASA imagery of the lunar surface.

Hear the story behind the album and then listen to Floyd’s 1973 masterpiece, uninterrupted, on vinyl played on a Linn Sondek Akurate LP12 turntable whist gazing at this incredible piece of art.


Listen: Classic Album Sundays & The V&A presents Nick Mason on Pink Floyd ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’

There will be space for people to relax on the floor around the Moon (please bring your own cushion) plus seats around the perimeter and in the gallery. All seating will be on a first come, first served basis.

Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is loaded with innovative musical ideas that set high expectations for how epic a rock studio effort could be in 1973. It was Pink Floyd’s first concept album as the lyrics cohesively revolved around heavy themes like mental illness, mortality, and greed. Instrumentally, it’s sound collages and extended jams reinforced the lyrical content and would influence all psychedelic and progressive rock records in its wake. Fortunately, the group and their engineer Alan Parsons had access to the new 16-track mixing technology and new synthesizers like the EMS Synthi AKS, which created the texture of their cosmic universe.


Read more: Album of the Month – Pink Floyd ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’

Dark Side of the Moon was purposefully sequenced into two vinyl sides as two symphonic movements— the band’s performance gradually crescendos until they hit a climax at the end of the first and beginning of the second.  “Money” opens the second side in a refreshing way— it’s accessible riff brings you back to earth after Clare Torry’s experiential vocal performance on “The Great Gig in the Sky” and its shift from 7/4 to 4/4 time inspires an exhilarating performance. It’s the perfect combination of their homemade cats register samples, and their seemingly effortless ability to craft groovy riffs. Bassist Roger Waters and guitarist David Gilmour play together with a chemistry you can feel, and it becomes even more tangible with a great hi-fi.

Join us to experience this album as never before.


Watch: Classic Album Sundays with The Orb at The V&A Museum on Pink Floyd ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon

Orkney

Date and Time: Doors open 3:00 PM

Venue

Stromness Academy, Stromness KW16 3JS

Tickets

£10 In Advance Here

Presenter

Adrian Holmes

 

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The Real Mick Rock “Lou Reed was a true master of his art and one of the most…

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