Blackstar is David Bowie's 28th studio album and his first since stunning the world in 2013 with the critically acclaimed 'The Next Day'. The release date for Blackstar coincides with David's birthday. The album's title track is the first single, and is accompanied by a short film visual by the acclaimed director Johan Renck. Music from the Blackstar single has been featured in the opening title credits and trailers for the new TV series The Last Panthers. The series, also directed by Johan Renck, began airing across Europe in late October, 2015, and will premiere in the U.S. on SundanceTV in Spring, 2016.
Following Ukraine’s independence in 1991, Ivan Karabits became the country’s leading musical figure. An inspirational composer, artistic director and teacher, he absorbed into his own music three particular traditions: Mahler, Shostakovich, and the folk-music of his native country. The colourful, virtuosic and at times theatrical Concertos for Orchestra reflect the influence of his friend and mentor, Rodion Shchedrin. Following Karabits’ untimely death, his compatriot Valentin Silvestrov composed two heartfelt memorials. The first of these, Elegie, makes use of Karabits’ own unfinished pencil sketches which sit side by side with Silvestrov’s own ideas as the piece progresses, almost as if it were a dialogue between the two friends about their work.
Ketil Bjørnstad’s passion for the English metaphysical poet John Donne (1572-1631) is a lifelong affair. His settings of Donne’s verse have led to recordings including The Shadow, Grace and the ECM album The Light. “After working with the texts of John Donne for more than twenty years, I still find new approaches to understanding what he wrote and I find music throughout. It is in the language, in the rhythm, in the silence between the sentences - a passionate quest for meaning and reconciliation. Donne's dramatic life is reflected in the texts and everywhere in them you will find the passion, melodies and sounds”.
This is the 15th recording on Naïve by one of the label’s best selling artists, the renowned French cellist Anne Gastinel. On this new CD she is accompanied by her regular piano musical partner Claire Désert in three essential works of the French chamber repertoire, César Franck’s much loved Sonata in A major in the popular transcription for cello and piano, and Sonatas by Debussy and Poulenc.
Jumaane Smith, trumpeter and vocalist, has already done what most musicians spend their lives dreaming about. He’s traveled the world, played stages in historic clubs, in massive stadiums and at cultural landmarks, recorded a solo album, appeared on national television and performed for two sitting U.S. presidents. His collaborations range from pop idols to jazz legends, and the list reads like a lineup for the best New Orleans Jazz Fest ever. He’s worked with Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Michael Buble’, Jackie Evancho, Alicia Keys, The Jonas Brothers, Wyclef Jean, Justin Bieber, Diddy, Natalie Cole, James Ingram, Wynton Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, Chris Botti and many more…
The acclaimed Polish period band Arte dei Suonatori perform eight of Vivaldi’s concertos a Quattro. Their version of Handel’s 12 Concerto grossi Op. 6 was awarded ‘Orchestral Choice of the Month’ in BBC Music Magazine, alongside further critical acclaim from the international music press. As well as being a major composer in the formation of the solo concerto, he also was the leading exponent of the older concerto a quattro – music in four parts, with several players to a part. His works in this genre are notable not only for their beauty, but also for their experimental character and for providing the most important examples of fugal writing in Vivaldi’s instrumental music.
“This disc represents a major expansion in repertoire … excellently played and recorded“ (Fanfare)
BIS' investigation of Greek composer Nikos Skalkottas' oeuvre is getting into his latest and least-known concerted repertoire with its Skalkottas: Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra (1945). It features violinists Georgios Demertzis and Simos Papanas with Vassilis Christopoulos and the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra in the concerto; the same body supports pianists Maria Asteriadou and Nikolaos Samaltanos in Skalkottas' Concertino (1935) and xylophonist Dimitris Dessyllas in his tiny Characteristic Piece "Nocturnal Amusement" (1949)………..Uncle Dave Lewis @ AllMusic