Eric Salzman / The Nude Paper Sermon & Wiretap
Street Date October 30 12
THE NUDE PAPER SERMON
"The Nude Paper Sermon" is a ground-breaking multi-media music-theater work in sound and one of the first and finest works of contemporary music to be written specifically for multi-track recording. It was also one of the first new works to be written for Renaissance ensemble (Nonesuch Consort under Joshua Rifkin) in half a millennium in a dramatic and thrilling multi-style mix of singing voices and early instruments with chorus, electronics and the highly charged voice of an actor (Stacey Keach) who brilliantly declaims original texts by Steven Wade and John Ashbery.
“…a sustained power to comment on our convulsive time…a wide-ranging mind
at work, one that serves as a tonic function when the arts are becoming increasingly mindless.”
New York Times
Four original pieces, two recorded in performance and two created as recordings. Helix was created in performance by the voices and instrumentalists of Salzman’s Quog Music Theater at the popular Free Music Store, a performance venue established by Salzman at WBAI, the‘underground’ New York Pacifica radio station. “Wiretap” was made out of the recorded voice of dancer/choregrapher Daniel Nagrin and was originally intended for his monumental solo dance workThe Peloponnesian War for which Salzman created most of the score (it was never used in the dance work because Nagrin found he could not move to the anguished sound of his own voice!). Larynx Music, performed by singer Elise Ross and guitarist Stanley Silverman, is based on a text by John Ashbery which appears in fractured syllabic form before it coalesces into a song. Queens Collage is a sound portrait of the Queens College campus in New York City where the composer briefly taught; it was written as a kind of academic festival overture for a student festival.
"The simple but touching vocal parts borrow from madrigals and plainchant,
to which Tony Elitcher's beautiful clarinet adds a nice counterpoint" (Helix). Larynx Music is a wonderful piece...wonderful record.”
Street Date February 26 13
Out of the cross-currents of Central and Eastern European post-modernism, minimalism and mysticism comes this collection of new works for virtuoso piano, solo recorders and string quartet featuring music by the Greek Yannis Xenakis, the Estonian Arvo Pärt, the German Walter Steffens, the Pole Pawel Szymański and two Bulgarian composers, Gheorghi Arnaoudov and Georgi Minchev.
www.jsitop21.com (see review #7 down)
Louisiana Red (1932-2012) / When My Mama Was Living
Street Date October 30 12
16 never before released tracks of Louisiana Red at his peak–the true Louisiana Red, with all of his intensity and raw talent exposed. Also featured, guitar wizard Lefty Dizz and harmonica legend Peg Leg Sam.
"With a guitar that sings, twangs and whines–now angry, now unspeakably lonesome and gentle–and a satin-edged growl that is comfortable in several octaves, Louisiana Red exemplifies the perfect balance of technique and soul that is the blues."
The International Review of Music (PDF)
ABS Magazine (PDF)
Soulbag France (PDF)
Blues Matters! UK
João Carlos Martins / Bach
Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook
Street Date July 30 13
Volume 6 of The Complete Keyboard Works of J.S. Bach performed by the legendary Brazilian pianist João Carlos Martins, is the latest reissue in the Labor Records' 15-volume/19 CD monumental edition. The new CD features the Italian Concerto, a prime showcase for Martins' impressive technique, combined with some of Bach's most intimate work: 20 pieces from the "Anna Magdalena Notebook" and two sets of Little Preludes. Martins does not hesitate to give this music a romantic tinge when such treatment seems appropriate and occasionally he launches an all-out display of pure virtuosity which can be dazzling. The result is a unique glimpse into the musical life of the Bach household.
Martins puts considerable muscle into some items of the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook. But there is plenty of compensation in the form of elegantly molded phrases.
Some of the most disarming examples of his artistry – and imagination – occur in what may be the least likely items: The Little Preludes. Many a piano student may think of these miniatures as mere busy-work, but not Martins. From the gorgeous, misty colors he achieves in the first of the Twelve Little Preludes, to the startling rubato he works into the final measures of the first of the Six Little Preludes, the pianist is in his element. And what he does may be a little crazy, but who cares–it’s terrifically entertaining.
“Entertaining” may not be an adjective some people associate with Bach, but if his music ever sounds stuffy and mathematical, that’s invariably the musician’s fault–not the composer’s. In compelling fashion, João Carlos Martins reveals the spontaneity and joy behind each contrapuntal flourish–the structural brilliance of each piece.
– National Public Radio
His dynamic prowess is frequently breathtaking.
– The New York Times
"As always, Martins is intense and exuberant in his approach, which works best for the outer movements of the Italian Concerto and the faster little preludes. The easy movements from the Anna Magdalena benefit from somewhat sly, humorous readings where the expression is sometimes a little overdone, the way a teacher might emphasize the details of an interpretation to a young student. The tone is excellent, varied, and always appropriate for the music. Some musical choices offer a welcome new perspective on the familiar music, as for instance in the slow and intimate D-major Prelude and the soft, understated closing for the F-major Prelude."
– American Record Guide
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