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Mohammed Fairouz’s poet

Posted on 24 February 2015 by admin

Follow, Poet

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Mohammed Fairouz is a new artistic voice composer born in America.This album is not only Fairouz s UMC/DG debut, but also the recording debuts for both mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey and conductor Evan Rogister.  Fairouz sets verse by the great 20th-century English poet W.H. Auden and late Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney; with Sadat, the composer evokes in an instrumental work the stirring life-story of slain Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. Woven among the musical recordings on the album are readings of the Auden and Heaney by Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon and fragments of spoken word by John F. Kennedy from one of his less-well-known speeches, including this: When power leads man to toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man s concerns, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses…


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Flautist Katherine Bryan talked about her Flute Concertos, and the works by American composers…

Posted on 14 May 2013 by admin

Young flautist Katherine Bryan is rapidly establishing her place as one of Britain’s bright musical stars of the future.  Now she new releases a second disc of flute concertos by Rouse and Ibert on Linn Records on May 20, here she talked about her second flute concerto album what’s the diferent from the first, the works by American composers and more…

Rouse & Ibert: Flute Concertos

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” It is no coincidence that the opening concerto on both of my recordings is a work by an American. I spent my student life at the Juilliard School in New York where I was lucky enough to study with renowned flautist Carol Wincenc, who had commissioned a number of works by American composers. The more I discovered this music, the more I felt inspired and excited to bring it back to the UK and perform it. Composers such as Lowell Liebermann and Paul Schoenfield became regular features in my recital programmes and I loved the warm reactions that audiences would give to the pieces. I also began to play earlier American music, such as Copland’s Duo for flute and piano, with a new feel and understanding. Carol Wincenc had played this piece for Copland himself and by studying it with her I felt I had a direct line back to him.

Selecting the music for my first CD of flute concertos was difficult, as I wanted to highlight an American concerto but also wanted to include the Nielsen Concerto, a favourite of mine for many years. Ultimately, I chose to feature two main works; the Liebermann Flute Concerto and the Nielsen. The music of Lowell Liebermann, also a Juilliard graduate, has an open lyricism to it that I immediately fell in love with. Similarly, for my second CD I chose the wonderful Ibert Concerto to share the limelight with the flute concerto by the American composer Christopher Rouse. Alongside these are the stunning Ballade by Frank Martin, and Debussy’s haunting Syrinx.

I don’t think it is possible to qualify a piece of music as sounding ‘American’. Many of my favourite American works take much inspiration from other traditions. The Rouse Flute Concerto is an excellent illustration of this with its many Celtic influences. However, when one hears the opening of a piece such as Copland’s Appalachian Spring for example, it is impossible to deny that it conjures up a feeling of space and landscape, transporting one straight to the countryside of Pennsylvania, Tennessee or Maryland (despite the title of this piece being rather an afterthought, as Copland originally called the piece, commissioned by dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, ‘Ballet for Martha’, and it was actually she that suggested the final title). Liebermann’s music has the same natural, honest feeling as Copland’s, taking you on a journey through a whole breadth of human emotions. There is a quiet boldness to the American works I know and love, an openness similar to that which I find in my American friends. This is the quality that draws me to the music, and one I find is particularly befitting of the flute. I feel when played at its best, the flute has an open and soulful character that makes it unique and irresistibly alluring.

The flute concerto by Christopher Rouse, composed in 1993 and featured on my latest release, is an incredibly powerful piece of music. The piece’s impact on me increased as I discovered more about the music and the influences behind it. The concerto has connections to Celtic musical traditions. Even though both of Rouse’s parents’ families emigrated to America well before the Revolutionary War, he has said that he still feels a ‘deep ancestral tug of recognition’ when exposed to the arts and traditions of the British Isles. It also felt particularly fitting to choose the Rouse for my latest recording as I am currently living in Scotland, and love Celtic music. The piece has five movements, of which the third movement was written in response to the tragic killing of the young child James Bulger in Liverpool some years ago. Rouse followed this case closely during the time he was composing the concerto and was unable to erase the distress of these events from his mind. Even though I was a child of only ten years old at the time, I too remember this event shaking me to the core. The movement is an elegy dedicated to James Bulger’s memory, in Rouse’s words ‘a small token of remembrance for a life senselessly and cruelly snuffed out’. The first and last movements bear the title ‘Amhrán’ (Gaelic for ‘song’) and are simple melodic illustrations for the solo flute over the accompaniment of orchestral strings. They evoke the traditions of Celtic folk music, and are incredibly spiritual. Significantly for me, not only was Christopher Rouse a professor of composition at the Juilliard when I studied there, but the piece was written for my teacher Carol, who also made the first recording of it. I feel so proud and fortunate to have released the first British recording of this amazing work.”

Liebermann Flute Concerto and Works by Hue, Poulenc & Nielsen

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The first Chinese Requiem, Earth Requiem on Virgin of EMI International

Posted on 14 May 2013 by admin

This recording scored for 100 instrumentalists, a choir of 150 singers, an organ and 4 vocal soloists, it is directed by the very famous french conductor Michel Plasson. This gigantic work performed and recorded in Beijing in May 2011 in remembrance of the devastating Sichuan earthquake in 2008. This is the first Chinese Requiem ever composed. More  than expressing our innermore feelings, it is a thorough masterpiece raising universal questions of life and death. A universality which is embodied by a strong partnership between East and West : Michel Plasson and the China National Symphony Orchestra.

Guan: Earth Requiem

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Great Operatic Voices Sing John Denver’s Songs

Posted on 11 May 2013 by admin

Great Operatic Voices Sing John Denver's Songs

American singer and songwriter John Denver ‘s music appeared on a variety of charts, including country and western, the Billboard Hot 100, and adult contemporary, in all earning him twelve gold and four platinum albums with his signature songs “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, “Annie’s Song”, “Rocky Mountain High”, and “Sunshine on My Shoulders”. On June 11th, legendary music producer, Milt Okun, along with composer Lee Holdridge and conductor and singer, Plácido Domingo, are bringing some of the most famous names in opera to John Denver s famous hit songs. It’s not every day that an album combining the operatic talents of such names as Plácido Domingo, Danielle de Niese, René Pape and Thomas Hampson hits the shelves – let alone a recording of pop and country tracks. All the artists were given the option of which song they wished to sing and unbelievably no two artists chose the same song. As with many people, each of the artists had personal stories that went along with their song choice.

Great Voices Sing John Denver

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