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Buy a Gift Certificate. Customer Reviews. Contact Info. Most works were instrumental, vocals were used sparingly. Vintage Berlin School tracks typically ran about twenty or thirty minutes, filling one side of a vinyl LP. The genre was so thoroughly identified with the long form that a general shift to shorter pieces in the s seemed to herald the death of the movement.
Some newer works run continuously as a single track for almost 80 minutes. An outgrowth of Krautrock, Berlin School was so named because most of its early practitioners were based out of Berlin, Germany. Berlin School was and still is a relatively self-contained style that has not had nearly the impact on music in general that Kraftwerk has had on synth pop and techno, but ambient, electronica, New Age, and trance are partially rooted in Berlin School.
The genre is sometimes considered a sub-branch of New Age or ambient, though it predates the widespread usage of both terms. Inyears before the invention of the Moog synthesizer, the UK television show Doctor Who had a theme constructed from tape recordings of oscillators, which sounds very much like Berlin School.
Who theme but used two bass guitars interacting with a tape delay system. Its use of wind and other incidental sound effects foreshadowed or possibly inspired the Berlin sound. In Tangerine Dream more or less reigned alone with a studio album, Rubycon, and the live album Barretts Privateers - Stan Rogers - Between The Breaks . Live! (Vinyl. Klaus Schulze delivered the popular but transitional LP Timewind. It contained the side-long track Bayreuth Return, recorded in one take, structured around a sequencer pattern transposed and manipulated in real time.
Tangerine Dream delivered a studio work, Stratosfear, and the soundtrack to the film Sorcerer. Tangerine Dream toured the United States and released a double live Album), Encore, with three sides of Berlin School and a side of proto-Ambient. Each artist had a unique signature. He tended, however, to transpose sequences in real time from a controller keyboard, thus introducing modulations in his pieces.
Between and Tangerine Dream exhausted most of the possibilities of this genre and began to record more accessible, short-form and increasingly New Age-like tracks for albums such as Exit, Le Parc and Underwater Sunlight. Jean-Michel Jarre delivered his ultimate sequencer statement with Magnetic Fields in and then began to record rock-oriented tracks that would please more fans in a concert setting.
As the technology improved and MIDI came into the picture, musicians began to see synthesizers as a means to have the sounds of traditional instruments available at the touch of a button. It became apparent that the Berlin sound had arisen from work-arounds to technological limitations that were rapidly disappearing. I came to know the latter from a New World Records vinyl release featuring Arthur Weisberg and the New York Philharmonic — who commissioned it and gave the premiere performance.
It is an ethereal, mysterious and at times bombastic work in which a low B-flat drone by two scordatura double basses, sustained throughout the work, adds to the eerie ambiance. As William K. That already seems like a lot of listening to come out of the reading of a single book, one not ostensibly about music, but I will add a couple of footnotes before I move on from this nearly month-long journey.
Not the honky-wonky clarinet-heavy wedding band American klezmer. His specific niche: Carpathian klezmer. He spent years tracking down the sacred-original stuff in Transylvania. It was a real pleasure to discover on my shelf a recording that I had forgotten about of these duos.
The rousing final piece, Edoardo Sanguinetiis conceived for violin choir where all of the performers join in on the two lines of the duet. In this performance of Edoardo the two are joined by a host of violinists who I assume are their colleagues and students from McGill.
The final note is about an anachronism that stuck out in Avoid the Daywhen Kirk was musing while on the eco-cruise ship about the last minutes of the Titanic. Nevertheless, it sent me back to the library to dig out my Lasalle Quartet recording of the string quartets of the Second Viennese School to find another old friend in the Lyric Suite.
That haunting performance can now be heard on YouTube youtube. The first was early in my tenure, and very early in their career, back in when I organized a masterclass with Helmut Lachenmann for the members of the quartet who were then studying at the Eastman School in Rochester.
In the pre-concert talk with Robert Aitken, they spoke about just how influential that afternoon spent with the German avant-garde composer a dozen years ago and later attending NMC rehearsals for the Lachenmann portrait concert was to their development as an ensemble, solidifying their commitment to contemporary music and their understanding of the importance of working directly with composers.
Over the course of almost 20 minutes, the fingers of the musicians never touch the fingerboards of the instruments. His string quartet, untouchedis a further exploration of the delicate and ethereal sound world of harmonic overtones, with the fingers of the musicians still not touching their fingerboards.
Compared with the two quartets described above, Lines Made by Walking is a veritable torrent of sound. But in reality, when taken on its own, it is a dreamy, contemplative work which proceeds at a gentle walking pace. For much of my life I walked the mountains and tundra of Alaska.
Making my way across these landscapes at three miles an hour, I began to imagine music coming directly out of the contours of the land. I began work on my fifth string quartet […] by composing three expansive harmonic fields made up of tempo canons with five, six, and seven independent layers.
As I did this, each instrument of the quartet acquired a unique profile, transforming the strict imitative counterpoint of the tempo canons into intricately varied textures. Although there have been personnel changes in the quartet since its first collaboration with Adams — only two original members remain — their understanding of and devotion to his music remains intact and undaunted.
I can only imagine the patience it takes to master this gradually unfolding music in which seemingly nothing happens, but in which a marvellous stasis is achieved. It pays homage to Morton Feldman and is a transcription of a piece originally written for two violas in The title makes reference to the eponymous painting created by Mark Rothko, to whom Feldman himself paid homage in Rothko Chapelcomposed for the meditation room of the building of the same name.
Although purely acoustic in nature, the layering and looping of the two instruments, and the reverberant space in which it was recorded, give the impression of electronic enhancement. Thotreferring to the Egyptian god Thoth, is an earlier work dating from The contemplative mood continues throughout the six-minute work, intermittently interrupted by bird-like chirps.
Mnajdra is a Bronze Age temple situated to the south of the island of Malta, the isle of bees or the isle of honey, as it was called in ancient times. It was written in and is dedicated to Barrett.
The disc ends with another solo cello composition, Plus haut Higherwhich, although still in a quiet way, is the most virtuosic piece of the collection. Barrett shows himself astute across the spectrum from the softest nuance to the soaring heights. With 43 previous recordings, five JUNO awards and the Order of Canada to her name, Harnoy needs no introduction to the discerning readers of this magazine. The same can be said of multi-instrumentalist Herriott whose accomplishments in both the classical and jazz worlds run the gamut from lead trumpeter, jazz improviser, orchestral soloist, bassist, arranger and composer.
In the summer of Harnoy and Herriott took a vacation in St. Evidently she fell in love with the place and people of Newfoundland, one of the few locations in the world her career had not previously taken her, and they decided to buy a house and settle there. After their first collaboration for Analekta, Back to Bachwas released in they embarked on a journey to explore the island and research its music.
All of the other instruments, and there are many, are played Album) Herriott except the solo and ensemble cellos of Harnoy. This mainstay of local dance music sees Hallett playing all three of his instruments along with Harnoy and Herriott, all to the accompaniment of a rowdy pub crowd. In his introductory notes Herriott suggests that this is just the beginning of their exploration of the music of his home province.
The players are all top rank in their fields — bluegrass, country, jazz and of course, classical — and work wonderfully together. There have been a number of changes since our first modest column back in July with just 13 discs reviewed by eight writers. But all sectors remain very active and we receive two or three times the number of discs we actually have room to cover.
A large part of my job entails collating and prioritizing the enormous number of releases that arrive each month. But Gurrelieder is far from the most reviewed title in our archives. The two-DVD set includes one with an outdoor concert performance of all six Bach suites and a separate disc of Ma speaking about Bach, the suites, and their importance in his own life. He is very articulate and thoughtful, and his ideas are both intriguing and enlightening.
The website bach. And for Yo-Yo, culture includes not just the arts, but everything that helps us to understand our environment, each other, and ourselves, from music and literature to science and food. The Bach Project explores and celebrates all the ways that culture makes us stronger as individuals, as communities, as a society, and as a planet.
Alongside each concert, Yo-Yo and his team partner with artists and culture makers, cultural and community organizations, and leaders from across sectors to design conversations, collaborations, and performances. The first dates back to on vinyl for Columbia Records and subsequently released on CD. It is a lasting legacy of this series that the city acquired The Toronto Music Garden, on LP waterfront, designed by Julie Moir Messervy when plans to build it in Boston fell through.
It was recorded on June 30, in the open air at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a stone Roman theatre structure completed in CE on the southwest slope LP the Acropolis of Athens, Greece. The set is stunning with the stage backlit by a wash of purple light on the Acropolis and the surrounding terraces filled to their 5, seat capacity in the evening darkness. The audience is silent, in rapt attention until breaking into thunderous applause at the end of each suite.
The DVD is edited so that we hear the entire cycle without breaks although there are cues for each movement for selective viewing. In a way this is a shame because during the applause after each suite we see Ma bend down to pick up a microphone to address the audience, but never get to hear what he says.
This is especially unfortunate after the second suite, because during the last movement the audio is interrupted by a strange metallic noise that is unexplained in the booklet. We can see Ma smiling in recognition at the sound as he continues undaunted and undistracted through the final two minutes of the giguebut I would dearly like to know what he shared with the audience after that!
Obviously the show went on with no retake and we are presented with an outstanding non-stop performance of nearly two and a half hours of music, played flawlessly from memory. I heard there was a call for extras for the scenes that were being shot at The Royal Conservatory and I was happy to find myself chosen. In the holding room in the morning the charming cellist appeared and introduced himself to each extra, mostly RCM students, and asked something about each of us.
There were shoots both morning and afternoon, and over the lunch hour he welcomed many of the cello students to play his cherished instrument, which I believe was the Davidoff Stradivarius.
What a kind and generous soul. At the end of the day he turned up in holding again and not only spoke to everyone, but actually remembered what he had learned about us earlier in the day. American Gabriela Lena Frank b. Her Own Wings brightshiny. Identity has always been at the centre of her music. While probably ordinary to others, to me, as a gringa-latina, they are quietly miraculous. As such, this piece mixes elements from the Western classical and Andean folk music traditions.
The warmth and clarity of the recording combined with these stunning and nuanced performances makes this a disc to treasure. The Koan Quartet has just released its debut recording, J. Beyer — String Quartet IV koanquartet. It is composed in a very intimate, almost post-Romantic style which differs from some of the other works in her collection. Koan Quartet, a subset of the Los Angeles experimental performance group Southland Ensemble, brings years of experience presenting thoughtful and meticulously researched performances of rarely heard works to their interpretation.
This is an important addition to our understanding of a significant and nearly forgotten voice. The performance is well balanced and the recorded sound pristine.
Although it would be more than a decade before I would experience the magic isle in person, this was my first exposure to the wonderful people and culture of the fabled land. It created an impression that stuck with me and was confirmed in during a two-week visit to Iceland with Bob Aitken, his wife Marion and my wife Sharon. He seemed to know everyone in the country and we were made to feel almost like family. It was truly a trip of a lifetime for me, and one I realize I have mentioned again and again in this column.
The second piece Lucidity is an abstract work that adds clarinet and percussion to the mix without soprano or viola. It has been 20 years since I first heard, and met, the members of Caput. It is inspired by the accordion and the title is extracted from an old Icelandic word for the instrument.
I find it intriguing how the composer uses the string instruments to replicate the sounds of distinctive extended contemporary accordion techniques. Very atmospheric. Even the stage setup is affected by this very personal subject, with the piano isolated in the middle of the audience and the rest of the performers spread around the periphery. Regardless of that, the angst certainly comes through convincingly, completing a very personal portrait of an important new voice. Crumb had been an important part of the NMC family from the very early days to the extent that four of his pieces were included on an extended European tour in The first Crumb portrait concert had taken place at Walter Hall inwith another at Premiere Dance Theatre in that included the premiere of An Idyll for the Misbegottendedicated to Robert Aitken, and then another at Glenn Gould Studio in as mentioned above.
Crumb was 74 at the time and he showed no signs of slowing down creatively. In most cases this is not to make the music loud, but rather to make the quietest subtleties of harmonics and extended techniques audible. The pianist is required not only to play upon the keyboard, but to venture inside the piano to pluck and strum and dampen strings, use fists, brushes, yarn sticks and other materials to caress and strike various wire, wood and metal surfaces, vocalize and employ a variety of small, mostly percussion, instruments to expand the solo piano into a real orchestra of timbre.
So, still not slowing down! I look forward to hearing the sequel and to future Bridge releases documenting the ongoing legacy of this great American composer. What to say about yet another recording of the Bach Cello Suites? Literally, my shelf runneth over, so it is actually a blessing to be working from digital files during the COVID crisis. Bach loom larger than any other works in the genre. The intrinsic impossibility of this music is the very source of its freedom.
You should too! It seems that the extraordinary cellist Margaret Maria firmly believes in angels, and they are an ongoing source of inspiration in her work. Her latest, Flights of Angels enchanten. Music created from otherworldly energies and the spirit world that can only be felt when you open your spirit to the invisible that exists just beyond what we can see.
Having disclosed my scepticism of celestial creatures I must consider it a coincidence that as I write this on April 21 while listening to Snow Angel I am enchanted to find myself watching a veritable blizzard outside my window. As with almost everyone I am sure, self-isolation with my dear wife Sharon has curtailed much of my activity, foremost that of making music with other people. We were almost ready to bring in a singer to work with us when the pandemic reared its ugly head and all bets were off for the moment.
I first encountered the string quartet version several years ago when I received a recording with baritone Johan Reuter and the Copenhagen String Quartet, of which Krug is the cellist you can find my April review at thewholenote. Last fall, in my first outing following knee replacement surgery, I had the pleasure of experiencing a live performance by Daniel Lichti and the Penderecki String Quartet, during which I found myself thinking, hey, I could play at least some of that!
I contacted Barretts Privateers - Stan Rogers - Between The Breaks . Live! (Vinyl and purchased the score and parts to his arrangement and shortly after began to rehearse with my friends. I look forward to getting back to rehearsal as soon as this crisis is over, but in the interim another interesting transcription has come my way.
Winterreise for string quartet Solo Musica SM naxosdirect. I have mixed feelings about the result. He has chosen seven songs from the first 19 of the cycle, but presents the final five in sequence ending, of course, with the Der Leiermann The Hurdy-Gurdy man in a suitably haunting performance.
In their rendition — fully staged and performed entirely from memory — the evening begins with a surprisingly peppy instrumental version of the opening song Gute Nacht before proceeding through the other 23 songs in order. After Der Leiermann with the singer accompanied by the quartet, instead of being the end of the performance, Sly, alone on the stage, then gave a chilling rendition of Gute Nacht accompanying himself on the hurdy-gurdy.
It was unsettling and has stayed with me ever since. The members all compose, arrange and improvise and their latest release brings together works written by them between and Cellist Kleinig contributes three tuneful works, Cockatoos and Exquisite Peace in addition to the opening number. Violinist Belinda Gehlert is represented by the three-movement tribute to notorious women Femme Fatale and the concluding title track.
Violinist Emily Tulloch and violist Jason Thomas each contribute a pair. Above it all, though, the flutist rises to a spectacular crescendo that still gives me goosebumps when I hear it. And yet, Carroll somehow makes it sound amusingly sentimental—a guy who completely took his relationship for granted, salvaging one last memory. The best tracks from Michigan folk duo Red Tail Ring are the sort of arresting, yearning, sentimental love songs that would sound incredibly hokey and lame coming from most people.
Just hearing about the existence of Scruj MacDuhk and their one studio album together, The Road to Cansowas for me equivalent to a classic rock fan finding out that the members of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones had once put out an album as a young garage band supergroup.
I finally was able to hear it after a folk music conversation on YouTube bloomed into an acquaintance in Portland who physically mailed me a burned copy. April Verch is a sprightly, perpetually youthful fiddler and step-dancer from Ontario who I discovered, like so many other folk artists, by building a ton of folk stations on Pandora while in college.
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