SPRING IS COMING, AND NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON
Incredibly, we are already heading towards finishing up the second month of 2021, a year that could not have arrived too soon! 2020 was a brutal "teaching time" for everyone on Earth, but the lessons must continue, shouldn't they? Much has yet to be learned! May we all use the unprecedented challenges of these times to evolve - to be a united, one-world people. Per aspera ad astra.
To calm the nerves and perhaps inspire the soul, we recommend turning to the charms of music. Whether they feature a new artist, new repertoire, or tried-and-true favorites, MSR's steady stream of new titles (all on CD, and for download and streaming) is bound to turns one's attention away from all the ruckus. Read on for brief introductions to What's New from Newtown.
Just in the door is STARDUST - SONGS OF HOAGY CARMICHAEL, on MSR Jazz. Featuring the trumpetic talents of Mike Kaupa, to the bassest gifts of Ric Vice, to the pianostic perfection of Tom George, these famous tunes waft through the smoke of a virtual Village Vanguard. Coupled with its younger sister CD, TWILIGHT, this may be one of the best jazz albums you've ever heard. No joke! Keeping the trumpet and piano on stage for the next act, MSR Classics brings you INSIGHTS, a program of new music for trumpet and piano. Soloist Ryan Beach, a winner of the prestigious Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Competition, performs the music with the perfect balance of bravado and subtlety. His accompanying pianist, Rachael Kerr, provides effective, sympathetic support. The next new title on offer is LOST MOUNTAINS, QUIET VALLEYS, Volume 4 of Marty Regan's Selected Works for Japanese Instruments. The composer has an uncanny way of integrating shakuhachi and koto with traditional Western instruments - clarinet, strings, piano and percussion - and the soprano voice to create a uniquely beautiful sound world. The large array of performers give their all, such is their pleasure in playing this exquisite music. Leaping back from Regan's rather exotic world to "reality", we encounter a giant of the trumpet world, James Tinsley in PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST. A known quantity as soloist, recitalist and orchestral player, Tinsley plays a wide range of repertoire like there's no tomorrow. Maybe he knows something we don't? His Hindemith is as natural for him to play as is the Joplin. How does he do it? Listen, and find out! Next up we are gifted A MUSICAL BOUQUET, the jaw-dropping debut recital by bassoonist Shannon Lowe. This album features a program of highly accessible, exceedingly lyrical music for solo bassoon and strings (violins, viola, cello and bass), performed by Lowe and her colleagues with the perfect combination of precision and personality. ALABAMA STRING QUARTETS, released under the auspices of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, is a captivating collection of music for string quartet by composers from the Great State of Alabama. The performances by the Amernet String Quartet are nothing short of remarkable, such is the ample evidence of their preparation and resulting engrossing musical execution. The 2-CD set shows off an impressive range of compositional voices, bringing heightened awareness to the work coming from this area of the country. OF LOVE AND LONGING is a brilliantly conceived program of piano music of FRANZ LISZT that offers a cohesive potpourri centered on the title's theme. Jerry Wong, who has released two albums prior to this one (featuring Prokofiev and Debussy) brings a special touch to the music. While much of Liszt's piano music can be seen as "banger's delight", Wong instead wields his power at the keyboard most judiciously, making its appearance all the more effective. Liszt's dark, quieter moments are also most effectively rendered by Wong.
So take it easy, keep happy, and Turn it up!
FINES FACULTATIS COGNITOS TRANSGREDERE
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
[William H. Murray]
New Music for Trumpet and Piano
MARTY REGAN: LOST MOUNTAINS, QUIET …
Selected Works for Japanese Instruments, Vol. 4
Music for Saxophone, Piano and Wind Ensemble
PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST
Transcriptions and Traditionals for Trumpet and
A MUSICAL BOUQUET
Old, New and Borrowed Works for Bassoon and