Silvestre Revueltas: Mexican composer and conductor born today in 1899

“The music evokes pre-Columbian landscapes and images with a cinematic grandeur, sweep and colorfulness that go beyond the merely picturesque. The suite reaches its climax (in more ways than one) in the fourth section, “Night of Sorcery,” featuring no fewer than a dozen percussion instruments–drums, gourds, rasps, even a conch shell–leading a Mayan sacrificial dance. […]

Today is the birthday of Hans Abrahamsen and now playing is “Walden/Wald”

In a creative life of almost half a century, Hans Abrahamsen has more than once had the courage to stop, and the equal courage to start again – freshly, out of a clear reconsideration of where he was before. His allegiances are shown by the roll of composers whose works he has, as a master […]

Cristóbal de Morales : “Officium Defunctorum”- Jordi Savall

Cristóbal de Morales (c. 1500-1553) was a Spanish composer of the Renaissance. He is generally considered to be the one most influential Spanish composer, who, together with Tomás Luis de Victoria and Francisco Guerrero, is recognized as one of the three most important Spanish composers of the 16th century. Almost all of his music is […]

A Love Supreme : John Coltrane’s Statement of Faith

2015 marked the fiftieth anniversary from the release of John Coltrane‘s seminal recording A Love Supreme.   This recording is unique in Coltrane’s discography in that it was the first time he conceived the music as a four-part suite, broken up into tracks: “Acknowledgement” (which contains Coltrane chanting the phrase that gave the suite its name), “Resolution”, “Pursuance”, […]

The Hilliard Ensemble : Says goodbye with “Il cor tristo”

One of the world’s finest vocal chamber groups, The Hilliard Ensemble has a formidable reputation in the fields of both early and new music.  The program featured on their farewell recording exemplifies its distinctive style and highly developed musicianship in both repertoires.  At its heart is a work commissioned by the ensemble from British contemporary […]

Vinicio Capossela : Marinai, Profeti e Balene

Vinicio Capossela (born 14 December 1965) is an Italian singer-songwriter. His style is strongly influenced by US singer and songwriter Tom Waits though it also draws from the traditions of Italian folk music. Capossela’s lyrics are highly original and are often inspired by literary sources such as John Fante, Geoffrey Chaucer, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Oscar Wilde, […]

Mal Waldron & Archie Shepp Pay Tribute to Billie Holiday

Mal Waldron‘s first tribute to Billie Holiday, titled Left Alone, was recorded in 1959, mere months before the singer’s death.  He and tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp came together in 2002 to salute the legendary vocalist with the CD Left Alone Revisited which is likely to be his final tribute to Holiday. Waldron, who died within a year of making […]

Marcel Pérès and Ensemble Organum : Machaut’s Mass

Ensemble Organum is a group performing early music, co-founded in 1982 by Marcel Pérès and is based in France. Its members have changed, but have included at one time or another, Josep Cabré, Josep Benet, Gérard Lesne, Antoine Sicot, Malcolm Bothwell. They have often collaborated with Lycourgos Angelopoulos and are influenced by Orthodox music. The group […]

Pierre Henry : pioneer of musique concrète, born today

Pierre Henry was born in Paris, France, and began experimenting at the age of 15 with sounds produced by various objects. He became fascinated with the integration of noise into music. He studied with Nadia Boulanger, Olivier Messiaen, and Félix Passerone at the Paris Conservatoire from 1938 to 1948 (Dhomont 2001). Between 1949 and 1958, […]