Curtis K. Hughes – Video Premiere and CD Review

Tulpa Curtis K. Hughes New Focus Recordings “Tulpa is a term appropriated by 20th century theosophists from Tibetan Buddhism to refer to a manifestation of a physical being generated purely by thought, sometimes also likened to an imaginary friend, a doppelgänger, or a shadow version of the self.” Curtis K. Hughes Curtis K. Hughes isContinue reading “Curtis K. Hughes – Video Premiere and CD Review”

Five Experimental Recordings

Five Experimental Recordings Anna Heflin The Redundancy of the Angelic: An Interluding Play Shannon Reilly, Emily Holden, violins; Anna Heflin: viola, voice, composer, writer Infrequent Seams cassette and download “I’m sitting on a galaxy. Stars and moons blanket the deep red spa chairs. I rest on constellations. Space itself supports me. Luna lifts me.” ThusContinue reading “Five Experimental Recordings”

Douglas Boyce: Hunt by Night (CD Review)

Douglas Boyce Hunt By Night: Chamber Works by Douglas Boyce counter)induction; Trio Cavatina; Beth Guterman Chu, viola; Schuyler Slack, cello,  Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano New Focus CD  In selecting the fifteenth century “L’Homme Arme” tune as the centerpiece for his quintet by the same name, composer Douglas Boyce demonstrates an affinity for connecting music of theContinue reading “Douglas Boyce: Hunt by Night (CD Review)”

Harold Shapero on BMOP (Best of 2020)

Harold Shapero Orchestral Works Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose, conductor BMOP Sound Composer Harold Shapero (1920-2013) was a central figure during the mid-twentieth century. A member of the Boston neoclassical group of composers, he was one of the first professors hired by Irving Fine for a new composition program at Brandeis University. Shapero hadContinue reading “Harold Shapero on BMOP (Best of 2020)”

Piano Concertos on DG (Best of 2020)

John Adams Why Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? Yuja Wang, piano; Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, conductor Deutsche Grammophon Thomas Adés Adés Conducts Adés Kirill Gerstein, piano: Christianne Stotijn, mezzo-soprano, Mark Stone, baritone;  Boston Symphony, Thomas Adés, conductor Deutsche Grammophon This year saw the release of two formidable new piano concertos onContinue reading “Piano Concertos on DG (Best of 2020)”

Matthew Shipp (Best of 2020)

Matthew Shipp The Piano Equation Tao Forms CD Jazz pianist Matthew Shipp turned sixty this year and celebrated in part with the solo release The Piano Equation. Shipp is an extraordinarily prolific recording artist, with dozens of releases as leader or co-leader and numerous more as a supporting musician; his solo catalog alone is extensive.Continue reading “Matthew Shipp (Best of 2020)”

Scelsi revisited (Best of 2020)

Scelsi Revisited Klangforum Wien, Sylvain Cambreling, Johannes Kalitzke, conductors Kairos 2XCD A number of prominent European composers took part in Scelsi revisited, a festival, documented on this double-CD, celebrating Giacinto Scelsi’s music. Their tribute pieces were based on unrealized tapes of Scelsi playing the Ondiola, a three-octave tube synthesizer that was his preferred instrument forContinue reading “Scelsi revisited (Best of 2020)”

Ralph van Raat Plays French Piano Rarities (CD Review)

French Piano Rarities Ralph van Raat, piano Naxos 8.573894 I was fortunate to hear the US premiere at New York’s Weill Recital Hall by Ralph van Raat of Pierre Boulez’s early work Prelude, Toccata, and Scherzo (1944). Composed when he was just nineteen, the piece is a substantial one, twenty-seven minutes long. Unlike Boulez’s worksContinue reading “Ralph van Raat Plays French Piano Rarities (CD Review)”

Amanda Palmer and Rhiannon Giddens: “It’s a Fire”

Amanda Palmer and Rhiannon Giddens have collaborated on a cover of Portishead’s “It’s a Fire,” which you can hear via Bandcamp (embed below). Proceeds from the single benefit Free Black University.

Spektral Quartet (Recording review)

Spektral Quartet Clara Lyon (violin), Maeve Feinberg (violin), Doyle Armbrust (viola), Russell Rolen (cello) Experiments in Living New Focus Records (digital release) The Spektral Quartet takes advantage of the open-ended playing time of a digital release to create effectively a double album for their latest recording, Experiments in Living. While double albums often suffer fromContinue reading “Spektral Quartet (Recording review)”