Charles Louis Eugène Koechlin (27 November 1867 – 31 December 1950) was a French composer, teacher and writer on music. He was a political radical all his life and a passionate enthusiast for such diverse things as medieval music, …
Scotty Hard initially made his reputation in the rap world, but since 2000 or so he's been doing at least as many jazz gigs (if not more), contributing heavily to albums by Sex Mob and Medeski, Martin & Wood. Scotty Hard's Radical Reconstructive Surgery is Hard's first jazz release, put out as part of Thirsty Ear's illustrious Blue Series Continuum. The album is constructed from performances of an amazing all-star group: Matthew Shipp and John Medeski on keyboards, free jazz giant William Parker on bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums, with additional contributions from DJ Olive and percussionist Mauricio Takara.
The early compositions of the internationally renowned Finnish composer, Einojuhani Rautavaara, draw on the Nordic classicism of Sibelius and Nielsen, as well as the influences of Bartók, Shostakovich and folk music. Although, during the 1960s, Rautavaara experimented with avant-garde compositional techniques, the First Piano Concerto, written in 1969 (on 8.554147), marked another significant turning point as the composer sought, in his own words, to evoke "the entire rich grandeur of the instrument." In the Second Piano Concerto of 1989, Rautavaara finds an intriguing accommodation between traditional and more radical elements. His Third Piano Concerto, written in 1998 for Vladimir Ashkenazy, is reminiscent of Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in its austere beauty, while the orchestral fantasia Isle of Bliss was inspired by a poem by the Finnish national poet Aleksis Kivi, depicting the mythical concept of the island paradise.
Classical CD Review
Bad boy, bad boy. Whatcha gonna do? During the Twenties, George Antheil flared across the musical sky of Paris with a series of brilliant, highly experimental works like the Ballet mécanique and the "Airplane" Sonata. Music critics and philosophers published important articles about him. Ezra Pound tapped him as his "musical advisor," and took part (on the drum) in a performance of Antheil's Violin Sonata No. 2. Aaron Copland wrote, memorably, that Antheil "had Paris by the ear." Not too shabby for a boy from New Jersey. By the end of the decade, however, Antheil's star had dimmed. He had a restless mind and had begun what would be a lifelong journey to find another style. He felt the influences of Stravinsky and, later, Shostakovich. But Paris wanted more shock, and in the United States, to which he had returned, his radical works were held against him. He became known as the "airplane-propeller man," as if Ballet mécanique were the only thing he had written. The Piano Concerto No. 2 of 1926 is Antheil's first big work after the radical period. Here, one feels the powerful and obvious influence of Stravinsky's 1923 Concerto for Piano and Winds. It has the gravitas of the Stravinsky, without the thickness, and it's chock-full of great ideas, provocative takes on Bach's keyboard music that, Stravinsky aside, are at least ten years ahead of their time. In the Serenade No. 2, the thematic economy we saw in the piano concerto comes across as even tighter.
Chopin's two piano concertos have long been admired more as pianistic vehicles than as integrated works for piano and orchestra. But in his revelatory new recording, Krystian Zimerman suggests otherwise: The opening orchestral tuttis have so much more light, shade, orchestral color, and detail, you wonder if they've been rewritten. Every gesture, every instrumental solo is so specifically characterized that by the time the piano makes a dramatic entrance, the pieces have become operas without words.
The emotional content, lyricism and direct appeal of Gavin Bryars’s music are unique, reflecting a contemporary composer’s absorption and transformation of several centuries of musical craftsmanship in order to reflect his, and our, own epoch. Originally written for harpsichord, After Handel’s Vesper is a strong illustration of Bryars’s post-minimal interests in early music repertoire. Ramble on Cortona, derived from 13th-century music, makes expressive use of the piano’s resonant qualities, while in the highly-coloured, almost impressionistic The Solway Canal, landscapes pass by as if in a dream.