Romance of romance: new recordings of classical music
Let’s talk about modern music. What is generally considered modern: everything that is not called “classics”, or works of modern composers, written according to strict academic standards, or maybe just everything that still arouses some interest? Anyway, sometimes we can observe how yesterday’s avant-garde artists become living classics, and pop hits move into the repertoire of academic groups. And at the most, it would seem, well-known figures of the last century, new facets are revealed.
Arctic Philharmonic “Philip Glass: A Descent into the Maelstrom” The devil sits in the minutiae, as the Germans say. Philip Glass’s music for the theatrical production of Edgar Poe’s story “The Overthrow at Malström” was written in 1986. The author himself played it with his team, and now the Norwegian Arctic team performed this material in its own way and as a full-fledged musical composition. In general, the “fractal” composer: after listening to one work, then you learn any other by the first beat. Musically savvy and hating minimalism, people say about the composer that he just rewrote the harmony textbook. This, of course, is great, but what prevented any of his critics from doing the same and becoming fashionable, avant-garde, venerable and, finally, just a modern classic? The question is rhetorical. Here, in principle, the language of the classic Glass is recognized immediately. Whirl? Well, yes, the brand glass storm in a glass of water that does not spill out. Motivators who run after each other in a circle, and this sharpens the perception of nuances. What a combination of timbres here! For example, cello soprano is a completely chimerical sound (“Tranquility”). Or in The Naming, a bone-piercing soprano floating on the cold waves of strings. In Maelstrom, the strings represent the buzz of a swarm of unknown insects, and so on. In general, no matter how many records of Glass you have, and this one does not interfere.
Isata Kanneh-Mason “Romance. The Piano Music of Clara Schumann »Clara Josephine Wieck, the future – Schumann, the wife of the great composer, in her adolescence was young and bold. She composed and played herself – just like modern pop stars. And this year, the music-lover’s world celebrated 200 years since her birthday. The young and daring British pianist Aisata Canne-Mason is also the owner of a famous family name. No, it’s not about Nick Mason from Pink Floyd, but about Aisata’s brother – cellist Sheku Kann-Mason. By the bicentenary of Klara Schumann, many musicians began to record albums with her music, but these works are usually paired with the more famous works of Robert Schumann. Aisata risked and made the album almost exclusively from the works of Clara herself (except for two songs in the transcription, again, Klara). The album opens with an A-Minor Piano Concerto – a wonderful blend of light pathos, heroism and romance. With the crystal-clear sound of Aisata – the most it. Romances and piano sonata in G minor – more sad, thoughtful and romantic. With all the technical bells and whistles – and Clara was a serious musician with ambitions – it is surprisingly easy to listen to, and indeed such pure healthy emotions are nowhere to be found.
Saint John String Quartet “Canadian Hits: Unplugged” I, of course, reprimanded to write about crossover projects. Bach with drums and bass or a pop song arranged for a symphony orchestra. There is nothing terrible in the idea itself: Bach, maybe he himself would now write for bass and drums, and any composition can play a beautiful melody (and classics like Tchaikovsky or Stravinsky did not shy away from including folk or pop melodies in their serious works). The problem is that it usually turns out to be neither. And then I finally realized what distinguishes the crossover musician from the normal classic and popsovik. Why, for the most part, the crossover is a piece unworthy of the ears of a normal music lover. Strokes! Now, if he is a violinist, then he cuts bitterly so that the listener with unplayed ears can understand – it is the violin that howls. If a pianist, then a thundering piano, or, conversely, a glass-pale background, is also understandable: here is a difficult passage, and here is music for relaxation. Canadian string quartet Saint John String Quartet touches are real. And they actually play instrumental versions of the hit songs of their homeland as they would have played “real” composer music. Yes, and chose what is close. “Take This Waltz” – he and in the original Leonard Cohen as a waltz. Or “Miss Chatelaine” – and k.d. lang is zakos under the salon of the beginning of the century. Allanes Myles «Black Velvet is more like minimalism in the quartet, and the problem of alterations of pop hits is revealed: repeating one-on-one refrain. If the vocalist changes his voice, intonations, then the violin soloist simply stupidly repeats the same figure. That is, such songs would be good to combine several pieces into one suite, because without vocals and text the bare accompaniment material is just pale.