Tomorrow (Thursday, April 19) from 12:30-1PM, organistJoseph Arndt will be playing all three of my Spiritual Variations, as well as Alexandre Guilmant’s Sonata No. 4, at Princeton University Chapel. Admission is free.
Joe has been a staunch advocate for my work, commissioning all three of these pieces, as well as commissioning and performing choral works at Grace Church Newark,where he directs the music program. I’m very grateful: composers need more advocates like Joe!
If you can’t make the lunchtime concert, you can still hear the live broadcast, locally via 89.1 FM or online at WWFM.org.
Offbeat collaborations have become a hallmark programming preference for Merkin Hall’s Ecstatic Music festival. But the combination of a cappella group Anonymous Four with indie rock songwriter Josh Darnielle of the Mountain Goats and multi-instrumentalist/arranger Owen Pallett is a standout even in this season’s diverse set of offerings.
Josh Darnielle (photo: Jeremy Langet)
Our friends at WQXR were kind enough to share the concert on Q2: it’s streamable via the embedded player below.
Transcendental Youth (Darnielle)
Lection: Apocalypse 21:1-5
The Lord’s Prayer (John Tavener)
Motet: Salve virgo regio/Ave goriosa mater/[DOMINO]
Motet: Gaude virgo nobilis/Verbum caro factum/ET VERITATE
Benedicamus domino: Belial vocatur
Conductus: Nicholai presulis
Song: Novus Annus Adiit
Trope: Gratulantes celebremus festum
The Scientist (Richard Einhorn)
Religious Ballad: Wayfaring Stranger
On Monday, we mentioned that the Miner’s Hymns, for which Jóhann Jóhannsson composed the score, was screening Downtown in NYC. Jóhannsson has a live appearance scheduled tonight on the United States’ opposite coast.
Joined by the Formalist Quartet, Jóhannsson will give a retrospective concert at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on February 8th. The composer was also featured last night on KCRW’s program Morning Becomes Eclectic (Listen here).
Wednesday, February 8th – Los Angeles, CA
@ The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery – 8PM, $25
Jóhann Jóhannsson performs music spanning his entire career with the Formalist Quartet
Alexandre Lunsqui’sFibers, Yarn, and Wire is receives its premiere performances tonight at the Met Museum and tomorrow at Symphony Space as part of the New York Philharmonic’sContact! program. The Brazilian-born composer has been blogging about the preparing the work for Q2: his entries are titled “Contact! High.”
Everyone’s favorite online contemporary classical station, Q2 (part of the WNYC family), needs your help. They would like for Q2 listeners to take a surveyto help them gather information that will shape the station’s future programming.
Want more vocal music? Less crossover? Or more programs featuring Olivia Giovetti? Q2 wants to hear all about it!
Chris Thile is best known for his work as vocalist and virtuoso mandolinist with the bands Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek. And while his fancy finger work frequently dazzles, he’s been criticized in the past for allowing the production values imposed on his music to have to glitzy a sheen: blunting the “authentic-sounding” quality that connoisseurs often prize in traditional music-making. But his recently collaboration with guitarist and vocalist Michael Daves restores a sense of folksiness, grit, and yes, authenticity to the proceedings.Daves is a wonderful foil for Thile. His stomping grounds are in Brooklyn, but his sound is a spot-on reanimation of old-time Nashville. Ironically, the recording takes place in that very city, in a new studio with vintage equipment – Jack White’s Third Man studios.
The concept for the album is beautifully simple. Thiles and Daves went into Third Man and, in four days, recorded all sixteen of the album’s cuts: traditional songs and material by beloved Bluegrass icons such as Flatt and Scruggs. Just two guys standing toe to toe, playing with youthful energy and nimble virtuosity and singing their hearts out. No backing band, no overdubs: none necessary.
In an era of glitzy presentation and overproduction, of far too many cooks spoiling an often thinly appointed stew, Sleep with One Eye Open is an object lesson on how to do it right. Recommended.
The latest addition to Q2′s programming schedule is Olivia Giovetti’s “The New Canon.” Yesterday, she featured youngish indie classical composers alongside downtown composer Julia Wolfe (the embed player featured a free download of the latter!). The music was great fun but the highlight was an interview with composer Du Yun on her latest, more pop-oriented, release Shark in You (New Focus).
I’ve previously enjoyed Giovetti’s writing for Time Out and her blog, but she’s also a fine interviewer and an entertaining broadcast presence. I’m looking forward to many Monday mornings of “The New Canon.”
The Cherry Tree: Songs, Carols, and Ballads for Christmas
Harmonia Mundi SACD/CD
On their latest holiday recording, The Cherry Tree, Anonymous 4 brings together two of their principal musical interests: the chant and polyphony of early English and Irish music alongside repertory from the American spiritual and shape-note singing tradition. This shift between musical eras is accompanied by appropriate shifts in style. The quartet remains impressive in their ability to capture a variety of affects: the suppleness of chant, the vibrancy of early carols, the formalized music-making and rounded tone of polyphonic church music, and the varied inflections of Anglo-American folk music. Thus, fans of their earlier recordings, Wolcum Yule and American Angels alike, will find much to enjoy here.
What’s more, the diversity of the programming poses few problems in terms of cohesion. This is, in part, due to careful curating by the ensemble (certainly helps that they have trained musicologists and folklorists among their number!). But the recording is also unified by themes from the miracle ballads of “Joseph and Mary.” This story is first found in the apocryphal Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, and is famously set in the Coventry Play (c. 1400). It has remained a part of folklore, providing fuel for legends, ballads, and songs since the 15th century. Indeed, it’s fascinating to see how many musical responses there have been to the Cherry Tree legend over the years, making the CD both a history lesson and musical delight.